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Monday, 21 December 2020

Conspiracy Journal #1070 SOLSTICE EDITION: NEW New Zealand Monolith! - Strange Radio Signal From Nearby Star - Christmas Ghost Stories - Real Santa Claus sightings - Giant Spiders




12/20/20  #1070
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This week Conspiracy Journal brings you such Holly-Jolly stories as:

- Mystery Radio Signal Detected From Nearby Star System -

 - Real Santa Claus Sightings on Christmas Eve -

- Giant Spiders-Monstrous Myth, or Terrifying Truth? -

AND:  

New Monolith Appears in New Zealand

All these exciting stories and MORE in this week's issue of
CONSPIRACY JOURNAL!

~ And Now, On With The Show! ~



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Exploring the Bizarre - Thursday Nights at 10:00PM EST


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- ALIEN TALK RADIO DEPARTMENT -

Mystery Radio Signal Detected From Nearby Star System
By Rafi Letzter

Astronomers hunting for radio signals from deep space have detected an "intriguing signal" from the direction of Proxima Centauri, the nearest star system to the sun.

The researchers are still preparing a paper on the discovery, and the data has not been made public. But the signal is reportedly a narrow beam of 980 MHz radio waves detected in April and May 2019 at the Parkes telescope in Australia.

The Parkes telescope is part of the $100 million Breakthrough Listen project to hunt for radio signals from technological sources beyond the solar system. The 980 MHz signal appeared once and was never detected again.

That frequency is important because, as Scientific American points out, that band of radio waves is typically lacking signals from human-made craft and satellites.

Breakthrough Listen detects unusual radio signals all the time — between Earthly sources, the sun's natural radio output and natural sources beyond the solar system, there are a lot of radio waves bouncing around out there. But this signal appears to have come directly from the Proxima Centauri system, just 4.2 light-years from Earth. Even more tantalizing: The signal reportedly shifted slightly while it was being observed, in a way that resembled the shift caused by the movement of a planet. Proxima Centauri has one known rocky world 17% larger than Earth, and one known gas giant.

The Guardian quoted an unnamed source with apparent access to the data on this signal as saying "It is the first serious candidate for an alien communication since the 'Wow! Signal,'" a famous radio signal detected in 1977 that also resembled a technosignature. But the Guardian cautioned that this signal is "likely to have a mundane origin too."

Such more mundane sources include a comet or its hydrogen cloud, which also could explain the Wow! Signal.

Penn State University's Sofia Sheikh, who led the analysis of the signal for Breakthrough Listen, voiced her excitement about it: "It's the most exciting signal that we've found in the Breakthrough Listen project, because we haven't had a signal jump through this many of our filters before," Sheikh told Scientific American, adding that the signal is now being referred to as Breakthrough Listen Candidate 1, or BLC1.

An inherent challenge in searching for alien communications is that no one knows how aliens might communicate, and no one knows all the potential natural sources of radio waves in the universe. So when signals arrive that seem even plausibly technological and don't come with easy natural explanations, it's tempting to make the jump to aliens. So far, no data on this signal is public, and it's likely that even when it does become public there will be no conclusive answers; that's what happened with the Wow! Signal after all.

Source: Live Science
https://www.livescience.com/proxima-centauri-mystery-radio-beam.html

- HAVE A SPOOKY CHRISTMAS DEPARTMENT -

The Lost Tradition of Christmas Ghost Stories

Ghost stories at Christmas, seems out of place or is it? We have enjoyed the classic, The Christmas Carol, and Tim Burton's The Nightmare before Christmas? In Celtic times, there were spirits ghost, and mystical beings that were associated with the fire festival.

The Winter Solstice, Alban Arthuan, or better known as Yuletime Season is a time of death and rebirth of Nature and our souls. It is said the Old Sun dies at dusk of December 21st. and when the Sun of the New Year is born at the dawn of December 22. The New Sun is thought to rejuvenate the aura of the Earth. It is like a mystical cleansing to the spirits and the souls of the dead.

Samhain is considered the most haunted time of the year in the Celtic calendar; Yule is the second. Haunting starts on December 6th to December 20th. The spirits are more active as they wait for the rebirth of the Sun’s powers.

This haunting is not the same as during Samhain, where the veil is thinned so that the dead can walk among us. The spirits of Yule are connected with the mystical and the psychic logic of the Solstice Season. However, one can be visited from their ancestors, relatives, spirit guides or their soul friends (anamchara).

A Yuletide story called the Sluagh-Sídehe of Brug na Bóinne. It translates people of the mound or barrow where the dead have been buried. All sídehe in the Celtic mythology and traditions are haunted. It is said that they are the gateway for the souls and spirits of the dead. It is also a gateway for living mortals so that they can pass back and forth to each world.

On the other side the sídehe is the Otherworld or the Land of the Youth, the Isle of the Blessed. This is where the living soul continues the quest for wisdom. The people of the Sídhe are the Faeryfolk. They live forever beyond the sídhe in the ráths, which are submerged roundhouses or Faery fortresses, which are their magical castles in the Otherworld.

The custom of the Yule Log also seems to be a dying trend. It used to be a large log, cut from ones own land or a neighbor’s, which was supposed to burn all twelve days of Christmas. While relaxing before the burning log, it was customary for people to gather around and tell ghost stories. Further proof of the existence of the tradition can be found by listening to the popular Christmas song, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”. In it you can hear the phrase “there’ll be scary ghost stories and tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago.”

Of course this being Conspiracy Journal, we have some true Christmas ghost stories to tell. The following weird tale took place in Liverpool, England in the early 1990s, and it has never been explained. It all started in one foggy December evening in 1991.

On the evening of Friday, December 20th, 1991, at 7 pm, the Edwards family of Dovecot decided to go and do a bit of late Christmas shopping in Liverpool city centre. Mr Edwards drove his wife and four kids to town in his old Volvo estate, and as usual, finding a place to park proved to be a real pain. Mr Edwards drove about, searching desperately for a parking space as his three sons and daughter gazed at the spectacular Christmas lights and decorations lining the streets. The youngest of the Edwards children was Abbey, who was only six years old. She loved Christmas, and for days she had been pestering her mum and dad to take her to see the big fir tree covered with coloured lights in Church Street.

As Abbey's dad was grumbling about finding a place to park the Volvo, her Mum suddenly pointed to a secluded side-street called Bold Place, which runs from Berry Street, past the back of St Luke's Church, up to Roscoe Street.

"You're a genius." Mr Edwards complimented his wife and he turned left and drove up the poorly-lit cobbled road, which was on a bit of an incline. As soon as the car was parked up, the kids eagerly jumped out the vehicle and all four of them started asking their parents what they were getting for Christmas. Meanwhile, an icy fog rolled down the street.

Mr Edwards checked the doors of the car were locked then had a quick discussion with his wife about where they were going to first. He wanted to go to a shop in Bold Street to buy his father a cardigan, but Mrs Edwards insisted upon going to Dixons first to buy a CD player for her sister. Then the children started arguing too; they wanted to go to various toy stores first. Mr Edwards shouted, "Awright, will you all just shut up!"

The family were about to walk off when Mr Edwards suddenly noticed something - and his heart skipped a beat. With a look of dread he glanced about Bold Place and muttered, "Where's Abbey?"

Everyone looked around. Mr Edwards anxiously looked through the windows of the car, but his little daughter wasn't there. "Where's she gone?" Mrs Edwards asked with a tremble in her voice. The three boys looked about, but the street was empty.

Then they all heard a faint voice scream out in the distance. "Daddy!" The voice sounded like Abbey, and it came from the top of Bold Place, towards Roscoe Street. The Edwards family rushed up the cobbled road with the father leading the way. "Abbey!" Mr Edwards shouted, "Where are you?"

The gates at the back of St Lukes were open, and Mr Edwards surmised that his daughter had wandered into the precincts of the old church. He hurried into the grounds followed closely by his wife and their sons, and once again they all heard Abbey cry out for her father. But the little girl was nowhere to be seen, and the fog was getting thicker by the minute.

Mr Edwards didn't want to alarm his wife and kids, but he wondered if some perverted lunatic had grabbed his daughter and taken her into the ruins of the old church. He handed his wife the car keys and told her to go and bring the torch from the vehicle. She did this and Mr Edwards climbed up onto the ledge of a church window and shone the flashlight into the deserted church ruins. The interior was deserted with nothing but rubble scattered about. Mr Edwards knew that the church of St Luke had been gutted by an incendiary bomb in World War Two during the Blitz. Only the shell of the building survived, and the church had been left that way as a reminder of the war. And yet it sounded as if Abbey's voice had come from inside the church.

As Mrs Edwards helped her husband down from the window, she said, "Listen!"

It was the faint eerie sounds of a church organ, and it seemed to be emanating from the church.

Mr Edwards said, "Sound can play funny tricks at night. Come on, let's go to the police."

Mrs Edwards started to cry, but her husband said, "It'll be all right. We'll find her love. She can't have gone far."

The family went to the police station in Hope Street and told the desk sergeant about their lost daughter. The sergeant alerted all the patrol cars in the area, and told officers on the city centre beat to be on the lookout for the girl. The Edwards family then rushed back to Bold Place to resume their search for the girl. They searched the grounds of St Lukes once again, and after twenty minutes, they were about to return to their car, when something happened which continues to puzzle the Edwards family to this day. A tall man wearing a top hat and a long black coat came out of the grounds of St Lukes and walking with him was little Abbey, holding his hand.

When Abbey saw her mum and dad she ran to them and started to cry as her father picked her up. The sinister man in black looked like something out of the Victorian age. He had long bushy sideburns, a pallid face, and staring ink-black eyes. He stood outside the gates of the church, and in a creepy low voice, the outdated-looking stranger said, "Please accept my sincere apology for any distress caused."

He then turned and walked silently back towards the rear of the church ruins.

Mrs Edwards grabbed Abbey from her husband and said, "Are you all right? Where have you been?"

Abbey just said, "I'm fine mummy."

Mr Edwards was furious, and he shouted after the man, "Oi! Who are you? What's your game eh?"

Then a police patrol car came tearing down the road, and Mr Edwards told the officers in the vehicle about the stranger who had returned his daughter. Three police officers bolted from the car and rushed into the grounds of the church wielding their batons.

But the police found no one. The grounds were empty. More police turned up and the grounds were searched again with powerful torches, but the place was deserted. However, several police officers also heard the faint strains of a church organ playing nearby somewhere, but they never determined just where the strange music was coming from.

One of the policemen asked little Abbey where she had been, and the child gave a strange account. She said an old woman in a shawl had grabbed her hand and dragged her into the church, where a mass was being held. In the church, there were many people dressed in old-fashioned clothes. The women wore big hats, and the men were all dressed in black. Abbey had screamed for her father, but the old woman had put her hand over the girl's mouth to silence her. Sometime later, a tall man came into the church and pulled Abbey from the old woman's clutches. He had been the man who had taken Abbey back to her parents.

The intrigued policeman continued to interrogate the child, and he asked her if the man had spoken to her about the strange incident. Abbey shook her head, then said, "The man said he had been a long time dead, that's all."

A cold shudder ran up everyone's spine when they heard the child's reply. Since that strange incident, the Edwards family refuse to go anywhere near St Luke's Church, especially during the Christmas period...

(This story reproduced with permission from Tom Slemen)

Another ghostly tale comes from Alle G: Around Christmas time, 2001, I had a few weird experiences involving a spirit that must still live in our house. One of the past owners, a lady, died in our house. Around Christmas time, I felt the presence more and a lot stronger than I usually did.

One night, I decided to draw whatever my hand felt like drawing. I drew a bottle with ribbons exploding out of it, then a yacht... then it felt like someone was moving my hand for me. My hand drew a circular shape that at first looked like a peach. My hand lifted and dropped and made a mark inside the circle. My hand lifted again and dropped and it made a weird curve. My hand drew another dot. I regained full control over my hand again and I looked at what I had a drawn: a weird smiley face.

I told my mum about it and she said to try it again the next night, and so I did. I was painting some landscapes in water colours when I felt the presence again. My mum had said that she thought her name was Faye, so that name was stuck in my mind.

I asked, "What is your name?" and I let my hand be controlled. I wrote what looked like the name Faye. I asked what the last name was. I wrote something that looked like "Edith." This was all confusing. I asked why it was here, and the reply looked like "I'm lost." I asked why it was here with me, and the reply looked kind of like "crussby," but was still very hard to read. I asked, "What?" and the answer cleared up a bit, but still not a real word. I asked again, and the final reply came what looked like "crusty." I am still puzzled, but the spirit may have meant the house was crusty since it is falling to bits in some areas.

Later on, my mum confirmed that the lady's name was Edith. This freaked me out big time, and I still felt the presence strongly for a while until a few days after Christmas.

Bonnie O. tells about a Christmas phone call from heaven when her mother passed away three years ago: We were very close and I miss her daily. Last Christmas evening, I went to bed and woke up to the phone ringing. I answered it and a voice that was very familiar to me said, "Hello there." It was my mother's voice. The line had a static noise and it sounded to cut in and out. I said, "This can't be you, mom. You're dead." She said, "Oh, come on now." She sounded a bit agitated, and then we were cut off. My 16-year-old daughter was sleeping in the next room and also heard the phone ring that night. I know it was my mother's voice: she has a Norwegian accent and it was her!

Happy Holidays from your friends at Conspiracy Journal!

- HE SEES YOU WHILE YOU'RE SLEEPING DEPARTMENT -

Santa Claus Sightings on Christmas Eve
By Stephen Wagner

Does Santa Claus really exist? Some would say that the question is silly because of course Santa Claus is a myth. Others would say the question is ridiculous because of course, he is real! How can we doubt it?

Over the years, children all over the world have reported sightings of the real Santa Claus—not department store Santas or bell-ringing Salvation Army charity collectors, but the real thing. Some even claim they saw Saint Nick's sleigh and reindeer. Are these simply illusions seen through the eyes of a child's Christmas excitement and expectation? Here are some of the stories adults and children tell of mysterious Christmas Eve sightings gone by.

Bristol, England—2000

I am 14 now, but this happened back in 2000 in my old house in Bristol, England. I was with my mum and dad and my sister. It was about midnight on Christmas Eve and I was the only one awake because I was really excited. I could hear these big footsteps in my living room. I was quite scared, and I could also hear bells tingling above me. So I wanted to see what was going on.

I walked down the stairs very slowly and I could see this big man putting presents around my living room. I wanted to say something, but I was too scared to do it because I thought he would be angry. I ran back upstairs and went back to sleep. I was so convinced I saw the real Santa and told everyone in the morning: but no one believed me.—Alex H.

New York City—2002, 2004 and 2007

It was Christmas Eve of 2002 in New York City. My parents had invited some friends and relatives over for dinner, sort of like a Christmas Eve celebration. After that, I decided to go to my room to watch some television, but there was nothing good to watch. I then found myself pacing back and forth in the hallway. My house is big, so there was no one with me. Everyone was in the living room watching a movie I wasn't interested in.

About seven minutes into my pacing, I saw a tall, fat figure scurry away about 20 feet away from me. It was crouched down, too. It was even wearing some sort of Santa Claus suit. I didn't believe in Santa, but this just freaked me out. There was a strange man in my house!

I quickly ran to where my parents were and told them all about it. They grinned at me and said jokingly, "Maybe it was Santa Claus." I didn't believe that, so I just sat down in the living room with my family and everybody else.

Then it occurred again on Christmas Eve, 2004. I remember it more vividly than the last one. I was lying on the couch in the living room. My parents were in the kitchen having a conversation about a business blog or something. Suddenly, I saw a huge man, about seven or eight feet tall, crawl underneath the tree and just vanish. Before it disappeared, it looked at me and said, "Shh." Very strange, so I went into the kitchen and sat with my parents.

Similar happenings occurred the following Christmases. I recall one in 2007, it was daylight this time and I just happened to see another tall figure with a Santa hat trudge by me for two seconds, then it was gone. This really happened!—Claxton Kalmbach

White Santa—1969

I had an experience when I was three years old and still young enough to wear footed pajamas. The year was maybe 1969, Christmas Eve. I wanted to see what Santa had brought me, so I quietly walked down the hallway and looked around the corner to our living room. I saw my parents and someone I didn't know hanging around our Christmas tree. The stranger was an old guy with a white beard and hair with a red suit. I quickly went back to my room as fast as I could with footed pajamas and slid into bed.

I told my mom what happened many years later and she insisted that I was dreaming or that it was my dad. That wasn't possible because my dad was sitting in a chair behind the stranger and my mom was standing right next to my dad! I'm African American, and during that time the tenants in our building were all African American, so Santa stood out!—Joanne

Neighborhood—1973

One Christmas Eve about 35 years ago, while I was in my teens, I was in a car with my parents, returning home very late at night. We were talking the whole way about Santa Claus and how great it would be if he really did exist. As we pulled into the driveway of our house—there he was, tiptoeing in the snow in-between two houses across the street! We all laughed when we saw this and remembered the incident for many Christmases thereafter. P.S.: No robberies were reported.—Del

Bright Light—2003

I am 13 now, but I saw something when I was seven. It was dark, nighttime around midnight [on Christmas Eve]. I was in bed, but I wasn't asleep (who could be?). All of a sudden, I saw a red light beaming down into my window. It was so bright, and somehow I knew it was him.

I looked up in the sky, but all I could see was the bright light coming from a small object. I didn't hear a helicopter or anything, but I did hear the unique sound of bells and, of course, the sound of hooves tapping on the roof. These sounds lasted for a few seconds after the light had disappeared, then they were gone.—Jade

San Antonio

I was about 7 and I was looking outside my second-story window, just waiting to see him. I saw something approaching in the distance: it was a huge sleigh and it was flying right over my house! I don't remember seeing any reindeer, but I did see a man dressed in red with a beard. I was so startled, but I kept looking, even sticking my head and half my body outside of the window!

I told my family, but I knew they really didn't believe me. I swear on my life to this day I saw something. I don't know if it was really Santa Claus, but I did see what I described!—Drew

Scotland—1978

An old friend came to see me a couple of weeks ago. We lost touch years ago, but he managed to trace me and he brought me a Christmas card. After a few minutes, I asked him if he remembered the Christmas Eve about 30 years ago when we were outside our houses. We grew up next to each other.

It must have been around 7.30 p.m. on a clear night when we suddenly heard a bell or bells in the distance getting closer real fast. As we both looked up, there was the reindeer, the sleigh, and Santa flying very fast and low over my house. It was brief, but we both ran to tell our families. Of course, everyone laughed, but I tell you it was real!

So when my friend turned up I asked him if he remembered, and he said of course he did... but he didn't like telling people about it now. You can imagine why!—Jimmy

Up On The Roof—2006

Three Christmases ago, I was coming home from my aunt's, where we have a party. I was crying because one of my cousins told me that Santa wasn't real. Then we came around the corner of my street and there it was—a big red sleigh and reindeer sitting on my roof! And then Santa popped out of my chimney!

I told everyone the next morning to see if they could remember, but they couldn't. But a couple of days ago, my dad went up to the roof to fix the leak... and there were long, straight lines going across the roof. I took a picture and showed it to my baby cousins and told them always believe.—Anonymous

Airport Parking Lot

A few years ago I worked at the airport parking lot in a booth collecting parking fees. On Christmas Eve, a car pulled up to the window, the passenger was a very happy, chubby, white-bearded guy wearing red pants with red suspenders and a white turtleneck covered in red and green Christmas characters. He sure looked like Santa to me. The rest of the evening I told all my customers that Santa had just flown in.—SKIttySKat

Australia

This happened long ago when I was about ten years old. Our house was in the suburbs. I swear that on one Christmas Eve, I was sleeping in my room when I heard my backyard door open, then close, and then a minute later it opened and closed again another three times each, about a minute apart. I thought it must have been my parents bringing in our presents from our garage, although, I don't recall seeing them go past my bedroom to their room. I was hiding under the covers at the time.

On another Christmas Eve, I tried to sneak down to the living room to try and catch Santa, but I chickened out and left. As I was walking back to my bedroom, I passed our front door and the light came on from outside, and I thought I could see the shadow of someone outside. Of course, now that I think about it, it could have just been a passerby or a cat or something. Or maybe—just maybe—it could have been Santa.—Nick

Eerie Santa

I was five years old, and I was in my room when I heard shuffling in the living room. I got up and peered around the doorway, where I saw a man in a Santa suit standing in front of the Christmas tree. He must have felt my presence because he turned around and looked at me. He didn't look jolly or kind and happy like you would expect Santa Claus to look. He looked kind of eerie like he was staring into my soul.

Automatically, I ran into my parents' room and hid under the covers. I don't know why I was so scared at the time, but I wrote it off as a dream for a while before I forgot about it completely.

Years later, I remembered it. I thought it could have been a burglar, but when I asked my parents, nothing was ever missing from that apartment. The only time we were ever robbed was when we moved later on. The only explanation I have now is that it was some kind of apparition.—Ana

Memphis, Tennessee—1980s and 2009

I grew up in a suburb of Memphis, Tennessee. In the 1980s, I was 8 or 9 years old. My parents and I were coming home from a Christmas party on Christmas Eve. When we pulled up in the driveway, we saw Santa Claus in a sleigh hovering above our house. All we could hear were sleigh bells. The sleigh was illuminated so that we could see Santa (in full outfit) in the sleigh. I remember seeing reindeer, but I don't know how many there were. Santa waved at us and flew off in the sleigh.

I'll never forget it, and I'll never forget my dad's face of total shock. He was an air traffic controller and when he went back to work after the holidays he asked about it and nothing came up.

In another bizarre twist, on Black Friday in 2009, I was waiting in line at a local Target store and broke out into conversation with another lady in line. We were talking about Christmas shopping, and all of a sudden out of nowhere she mentioned that her brother had seen Santa Claus in his sleigh two years before. I stood with my mouth wide open because I couldn't believe it. Every Christmas Eve I still think about him and look outside to try to get a glimpse.—Mrs. Wages

Quiet Santa

I was probably around 8 years old when on Christmas Eve around 12 a.m., I had been lying awake in bed for about 30 minutes. I was extremely excited, thinking about the morning and opening presents. Anyway, I start to hear these very faint footsteps approaching. Slowly, a man in boots, carrying a sack looked into my room, my parents' room and then my brother's room. I'm absolutely 100% positive I was awake, too. I could see him fairly well because we had a nightlight on across the hall in our bathroom. I remember hiding my entire face under the covers with a small portion of my eyes to see. He then walked away quietly and he was gone.

Of course I told my parents and brother in the morning about my sighting and, of course, they thought I was crazy. To this day (I'm 28 now), I ask my parents if they had anything to do with this, and they still deny it and say I was dreaming. I strongly believe I saw a spirit or some kind of entity of Santa.—Richard

Definitely Not Santa

I heard this story from my husband years ago. He was small, probably around six years old. His family was spending Christmas at the old family homestead. He was in bed when he heard a noise outside and ran to the window to see what it was. What should he see, but a fat, white-bearded man walking through the swirling snow toward the house. He crept downstairs to get a good look at Santa.

How disappointed he was when he discovered it was only his grandfather in his red "union suit" on his way back from the outhouse.—K. Stuart

Source: Live About
https://www.liveabout.com/santa-claus-sightings-2594781



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- THE THING OF NIGHTMARES DEPARTMENT -

Giant Spiders-Monstrous Myth, or Terrifying Truth?
By Karl Shuker

Monstrous spiders of gargantuan size are perennially popular subjects in science fiction 'B' movies as well as in classic fantasy novels such as J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit, but could such beasts exist in reality? The current record-holder for the title of world's largest spider is Rosi - a 12-year-old captive female specimen of South America's goliath bird-eating spider Theraphosa blondi (click here for a separate ShukerNature blog article revealing the outcome when T. blondi was formally challenged recently for its title as world's largest spider species by a near-legendary competitor). Rosi boasted a leg-span of 11.25 in (big enough to cover a dinner plate), a body weighing 6.17 oz (which is as heavy as six house sparrows Passer domesticus) and as big as a tennis ball, plus a total body length of 4.75 in.

Although these are impressive statistics, they are far from monstrous. In contrast, as I reveal in this present ShukerNature blog article, there are some remarkable yet currently-unresolved modern-day reports on file hinting that certain truly astonishing arachnids whose size very dramatically surpasses this latter species' stature lurk in shadowy zoological anonymity within various regions of our world.

A PUPPY-SIZED SPIDER IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA

The Kokoda Track (or Trail) is a predominantly straight, single-file foot thoroughfare running 60 miles through inhospitable terrain across the Owen Stanley mountain range of Papua New Guinea, and from July 1942 to January 1943 it was the site of a series of World War II battles between Australian and Japanese forces known as the Kokoda Track Campaign. In 2001, Australian cryptozoologists Peter and Debbie Hynes revealed that it was also here, while serving as a soldier in the Australian Army, that the father of one of Debbie's friends had a brief but unforgettable encounter with a mystery mega-spider:

"One day he had to take himself off into the scrub in answer to a call of nature. While thus engaged he noticed he was crouched down next to a very large cobweb - not the classic "fishing-net" sort but the fine, snow-white cottony stuff that spread all over the ground and tree trunk etc. His eye followed it one way and then the other - seems it was very extensive, like 10 to 15 ft either way. Then he noticed the spider itself, only a foot or so away from his face. It was a real horror - the body, i.e. thorax+abdomen, he described as the "size of a small dog or puppy", it was coloured jet black, the legs were thick and hairy but not as long as the classic "dinner plate tarantula" type spider that owes its size to the spread of its legs. This thing had more body bulk than spread. Needless to say he backed out of there very slowly and carefully."

In spiders, the 'body' is actually just the abdomen (opisthosoma), not the thorax plus abdomen (although it can look like that to laymen unfamiliar with spider anatomy), because the thorax section is combined with the head, yielding the prosoma or cephalothorax. So, judging from the above description, the Papuan 'puppy spider' must have been at least the size of an adult chihuahua!

This is not the only report of a giant mystery spider encountered in New Guinea during World War II. During an interview with cryptozoologist Rob Morphy of AmericanMonsters.com on the U.S. radio show 'Coast To Coast AM' a couple of years ago, a telephone caller named Craig recounted how his grandfather, while serving in New Guinea during WW2, encountered a monstrous spider in a web that scared him so much he hacked it to death with his machete. According to Craig's grandfather, the spider measured an immense 3 ft from tip to tip, and, unexpectedly, was not hairy like many big spiders are. Instead, it was shiny, and was emerald green in colour. This nightmarish arachnid was encountered near Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea.

J'BA FOFI – 'GREAT SPIDER' OF THE CONGO

Yet even this monster pales into insignificance alongside the horrifying j'ba fofi ('great spider') claimed by the Baka pygmy tribe and also the local Bantu hunters to exist amid the central African jungles of Cameroon and also the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly the Belgian Congo). This eight-legged terror was first brought to attention in 2001, when cryptozoological explorer Bill Gibbons told me of a very frightening close encounter that had occurred one day back in 1938.

This was when explorers Reginald and Margurite Lloyd were driving along a jungle path in the Belgian Congo's interior. Suddenly, a figure stepped out onto the path just ahead of them, resembling a monkey or a small, stooped human. Reginald Lloyd stopped the car to let the figure pass, and was astonished to see that it was a huge brown tarantula-like spider, with a leg-span of 3-4-ft! As he turned to grab his camera, however, the giant spider scuttled into the undergrowth and disappeared.

In November 2003, during an expedition to Cameroon seeking a mysterious long-necked water beast called the mokele-mbembe, Gibbons mentioned to the Baka pygmies the Lloyds' sighting (originally recounted to him by their daughter, Margaret). They were familiar with such creatures and provided him with additional information.

The Baka claimed that these colossal spiders were once quite common in this area but are rarer now (due to modern deforestation here?), although one was reputedly sighted by them as recently as June 2003. They used to construct hut-like lairs from leaves near to the pygmies' villages, and by spinning mighty webs between adjacent trees, with trip lines running across game trails, they ensnared and devoured victims as sizeable as duiker (small antelopes). Moreover, they were said by the Baka to be powerful and venomous enough to kill humans too, but are themselves killed by the pygmies if encountered by them. The j'ba fofi supposedly lays white peanut-sized eggs, from which yellow spiderlings with purple opisthosomas emerge, turning brown as they mature.

SOUTH AMERICAN MEGA-SPIDERS

Reports of comparably massive spiders have also been recorded from the rainforests of Venezuela in South America. In 2008, the American television series 'MonsterQuest' sent tarantula expert Rick C. West to investigate such stories in the field via a short, filmed expedition to some Venezuelan jungle villages near to the Orinoco River and the border with Colombia. During his three-day foray, he was accompanied by a team of local helpers and an experienced Amazon guide, Juan Carlos Ramirez, who has worked here for over 20 years.

West began his quest by visiting the village of San Rafael de Manuare. Here, one villager attested that as a child he had seen a giant tarantula-like spider capture a small dog from the village and drag it off into the jungle. Its opisthosoma was as big as a basketball, and when it reared up it was the size of a human. If such a gigantic spider existed, and its fangs (chelicerae) were in proportion to the rest of its body, they would probably measure 6-9 in long. Although such claims would incite considerable scientific scepticism, Ramirez was convinced of the villagers' veracity, stating that they know the local fauna very well, and would not mistake something familiar, such as a monkey or a sloth on the ground, for a giant spider.

 West and his team also visited Pandari, a village deeper in the mountains. Here, two inhabitants, Antonio and his son Simoni, spoke of a small child who had disappeared, never to return – which had been blamed upon giant spiders. In addition, so real is the Pandari villagers' fear of such creatures that they even engineer their huts specifically to keep them out, building thatched roofs that extend all the way down to the ground, thus yielding dense tightly-interwoven barricades.

On the third day of West's expedition, they headed back into the jungle and found an extremely large spider lair in the ground, inside which they placed a videoscope. This revealed the presence there of a very big tarantula, which they captured alive. Although nothing like as sizeable as the reputed chicken-killing, dog-devouring, child-abducting specimens feared by the villagers, it was roughly the same size as the biggest tarantulas on record and was 2 oz when weighed inside a plastic specimen bag.

Sadly, West's expedition ended without finding conclusive evidence for Venezuela's fabled giant spiders. However, he was sufficiently impressed by the size of their captured spider to consider it possible that bigger ones did exist in the jungle, and stated that he planned on returning to continue the search for one.

MONSTER SPIDERS IN VIETNAM

On 8 April 2013, American cryptozoologist Craig Woolheater posted on the Cryptomundo website a fascinating communication that he'd lately received from an American correspondent publicly identified only by their Cryptomundo user name, mrmaxima. This person stated that their father-in-law claims that while serving in the jungles of Vietnam during the Vietnam War as part of a five-man unit conducting scout work there, he encountered spiders with bodies the size of dinner plates, and, with their legs, yielding a total span of 20-30 in. These terrifying arachnids were always spied near to creeks or other water sources, and were so tough that even after being shot by him and the other men with their M16s and unloaded full magazines, they were still moving around.

Source: Skuker Nature
https://karlshuker.blogspot.com/2014/07/giant-spiders-monstrous-myth-or.html

- IT'S FULL OF STARS DEPARTMENT -

New Monolith Appears in New Zealand

A mysterious shining monolith has appeared at a theme park for mountain bikers in New Zealand.

It is the latest in a series of similar metal obelisks that have appeared eerily around the world, seemingly out of thin air. Some carry strange engravings.

Christchurch Adventure Park in the Port Hills near Canterbury on New Zealand's South Island posted a picture of the monolith that appeared in a grassy patch near its 1.8km chair lift to social media on Sunday.

'Does anyone know what this is or where it has come from? As we genuinely don't....' the park wrote.

The three-sided metal pillars are reminiscent of the science fiction Space Odyssey series by author Arthur C. Clarke in which three such monoliths, built by extraterrestrials to foster intelligent life, are discovered across the solar system.

Similar structures, often with a series of coordinates leading to landmarks, have appeared all over the world in recent weeks.

On December 10, a monolith appeared overnight in Adelaide, Australia at Seaford Train Bridge, Noarlunga.  

The Adelaide monolith had three different coordinates engraved into it.

The top coordinate was the location of Trump Tower, in New York, while the second location was the uninhabited island of Managaha in the Northern Mariana Islands, near Guam, in the Pacific Ocean.

The bottom coordinates marked The Sphinx in Egypt's Al Giza Desert.

Three days later it vanished, and three metal posts were left in its place.

Two other monoliths were spotted in Poland on December 9.

One was found on the banks of the Vistula river in the nation's capital Warsaw while another was spotted in the southern city of Kielce at a former quarry.

Another structure appeared at the top of the Pine Mountain in Atascadero, California.

The first shiny pillar was spotted in southern Utah on November 18 by baffled locals and news of the object quickly went viral around the world.

Conspiracy theories speculating aliens circulated soon after the stainless steel, 10-foot monolith was discovered in a remote area of the Utah desert.

Christchurch Adventure Park seems an oddly less remote location for a riveted metal pillar to appear.

The park is set on 358 hectares of privately owned land and boasts New Zealand's longest chairlift, hosts mountain bike trails and New Zealand's highest and longest ziplines.

More than 250 fans of the park took to Facebook to discuss the mysterious artifact.

'The same was in Utah desert and disappeared...' wrote one woman.

'Don’t get too attached, some wannabe eco warrior will take it down for no reasonable reason,' wrote a man.

'I believe it’s from the Galactic Hyperspace Planning Council. Something about an interstellar bypass,' wrote a fan of Douglas Adam's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Others proposed it might be a marketing campaign by the park.

Some called it 'Brilliant' while others poked fun at the visible rivets.

'Incorrect dimension ratios. Also, rivets. 3/10,' wrote one critic.

Art collective The Most Famous Artist, from Santa Fe, New Mexico, U.S.A has claimed credit for at least some of the metal monoliths discovered across the globe.

The collective is selling them for $45,000, advertising them as of 'Museum-quality materials,' with a blockchain certificate of authenticity on its website.

'Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery, no refunds or exchanges,' the collective says in a distinctly un-mystical fashion.

It is not likely that either aliens or the U.S-based art collective is behind the New Zealand appearance, however.

'Was made by staybrite stainless steel in Christchurch. Saw it get put on a truck,' wrote one man on FaceBook.

Source: Daily Mail
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9072599/Mysterious-metal-monolith
-appears-Christchurch.html


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