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This week Conspiracy Journal brings you such trick or treating tales as:
- CIA Hired Uri Geller to "Look Into" JFK Assassination -
- The Lost Meaning of Halloween -- Whistling Ghost Chases Woman -
All these exciting stories and MORE in this week's issue of
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CIA Hired Uri Geller to "Look Into" JFK Assassination
Israeli psychic Uri Geller has claimed that he helped the CIA with their investigation into JFK's assassination and that he made 'shocking' discoveries.
The 70-year-old spoon bender says he was hired by a CIA agent in Mexico City to investigate whether Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone or had accomplices when he shot dead President John F. Kennedy in 1963.
Geller claims he even met with First Lady Jackie Kennedy at her apartment in New York to inform her of the information that he uncovered.
He revealed he was only now able to go public with his involvement in the investigation following President Donald Trump's decision to unseal thousands never-before-seen documents on JFK's assassination.
'For the first time in nearly 50 years, I can go public with my involvement,' he wrote on his Facebook page.
'I was already in Mexico City at the time. One of my roles included being a secret agent for the Mexican treasury department.
'A CIA agent in Mexico City tasked me among other assignments, with investigating whether Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone or had accomplices - including the backing of sub-national organisations such as the Mafia or international organisations such as the KGB.
'This assignment took me in the early 1970's, inter alia, to Mexico City to the Russian Embassy where Oswald had travelled shortly before he shot the American president.
'I was able to shed some light on organisations he may have been in contact with, but these did not include any US agencies, the Mafia or Lyndon Johnson.
'I also met Jackie Kennedy at her apartment in New York. I relayed these findings to her, since she was absolutely determined to discover the truth. She and I stayed in touch, and I still have correspondence from her.'
He then speculated on whether he would be included in the JFK files or whether his involvement would be redacted given the information he delivered to the CIA agent.
'If this is the case, sadly I will never be able to reveal what I discovered, because it is quite shocking,' he said.
It was revealed earlier this year that the CIA had carried out secret testing on him back in 1973 to assess his psychic abilities. The CIA released about 13million declassified documents online in January that detailed the testing on Geller.
He wasn't able to talk about the testing for several decades until the documents were released and made public on the CIA website.
Trump revealed at the weekend that he doesn't plan to block the scheduled release of thousands of never publicly seen government documents related to JFK's assassination.
'Subject to the receipt of further information,' he wrote in a Saturday morning tweet, 'I will be allowing, as President, the long blocked and classified JFK FILES to be opened.'
The National Archives has until Thursday to disclose the remaining files related to Kennedy's 1963 assassination. The trove is expected to include more than 3,000 documents that have never been seen by the public and more than 30,000 that have been previously released but with redactions.
Congress mandated in 1992 that all assassination documents be released within 25 years, but Trump has the power to block them on the grounds that making them public would harm intelligence or military operations, law enforcement or foreign relations.
Source: The Daily Mail
The Lost Meaning of Halloween
By Christan Hummel
As ubiquitous as Halloween celebrations are throughout the world, few of us know that the true origin of Halloween is a ceremony of honoring our ancestors and the day of the dead. A time when the veils between the worlds were thinner, and so many could "see" the other side of life. A time in the year when the spiritual and material worlds touched for a moment, and a greater potential exists for magical creation.
The name Halloween (originally spelled Hallowe'en) is a contraction of All Hallows Even, meaning the day before All Hallows Day (better known as All Saints Day), a Catholic holiday commemorating Christian saints and martyrs observed since the early Middle Ages on November 1.
It has become commonplace to trace its roots even further back in time to a pagan festival of ancient Ireland known as Samhain (pronounced sow'-en or sow'-een), about which little is actually known. The prehistoric observance marked the end of summer and the onset of winter, and is said to have been celebrated with feasting, bonfires, sacrificial offerings, and paying homage to the dead.
Despite some thematic similarities, there's scant evidence of any real continuity of tradition linking the Medieval observance of Halloween to Samhain, however. Some modern historians, notably Ronald Hutton (The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain, 1996) and Steve Roud (The English Year, 2008, and A Dictionary of English Folklore, 2005), flatly reject the commonly held notion that November 1 was designated All Saints Day by the Church to "Christianize" the pagan festival. Citing a lack of historical evidence, Steve Roud dismisses the Samhain theory of origin altogether.
"Certainly the festival of Samhain, meaning Summer's End, was by far the most important of the four quarter days in the medieval Irish calendar, and there was a sense that this was the time of year when the physical and supernatural worlds were closest and magical things could happen," Roud notes, "but however strong the evidence in Ireland, in Wales it was May 1 and New Year which took precedence, in Scotland there is hardly any mention of it until much later, and in Anglo-Saxon England even less."
In ancient times, this day was a special and honored day of the year.
In the Celtic calendar, it was one of the most important days of the year, representing a mid point in the year, Samhain, or "summer's end". Occuring opposite the great Spring Festival of May Day, or Beltain, this day represented the turning point of the year, the eve of the new year which begins with the onset of the dark phase of the year.
And while celebrated by the Celts, the origin of this day has connections to other cultures as well, such as Egypt, and in Mexico as Dia de la Muerta, or the day of the dead.
The Celts believed that the normal laws of space and time were held in abeyance during this time, allowing a special window where the spirit world could intermingle with the living. It was a night when the dead could cross the veils and return to the land of the living to celebrate with their family, or clan. As such, the great burial mounds of Ireland were lit up with torches lining the walls, so the spirits of the dead could find their way.
Out of this ancient tradition comes one of our most famous icons of the holiday: the Jack-o-lantern. Originating from Irish folkfore, the Jack-o-lantern was used as a light for the lost soul of Jack, a notorious trickster, stuck between worlds. Jack is said to have tricked the devil into a truck of a tree and by carving an image of a cross in the tree's trunk, he trapped the devil there. His pranks denied him access to Heaven, and having angered the devil also to Hell, so Jack was a lost soul, trapped between worlds. As a consolation, the devil gave him a sole ember to light his way through the darkness between worlds.
Originally in Ireland turnips were carved out and candles placed inside as lanterns lit to help guide Jack’s lost spirit back home. Hence the term: Jack-o-lanterns. Later, when immigrants came to the new world, pumpkins were more readily available, and so the carved pumpkins carrying a lit candle served the same function.
Festival for the dead
As the Church began to take hold in Europe the ancient Pagan rituals were co-opted into festivals of the Church. While the Church could not support a general feast for all the dead, it created a festival for the blessed dead, all those hallowed so, All Hallow's, was transformed into All Saints and All Souls day.
Among the practices associated with Halloween during the Medieval period were the lighting of bonfires, evidently to symbolize the plight of souls lost in purgatory, and souling, which consisted of going door-to-door offering prayers for the dead in exchange for "soul cakes" and other treats. Mumming (or "guising"), a custom originally associated with Christmas consisting of parading in costume, chanting rhymes, and play-acting, was a somewhat later addition to Halloween.
Again, however, despite the obvious similarities between old and new, it's an overstatement to say these Medieval customs "survived" to the present day, or even that they "evolved" into modern Halloween practices such as trick-or-treating. There's no direct historical evidence of such a continuity. By the time Irish immigrants brought the holiday to North America in the mid-1800s, mumming and souling were all but forgotten in their home country, where the known Halloween customs of the time consisted of praying, communal feasting, and playing divination games such as bobbing for apples.
Today, we have lost the significance of this most significant time of year which in modern times has turned into a candy fest with kids dressing up as action hereos. The secular, commercialized holiday we know today would be barely recognizable to Halloween celebrants of even just a century ago.
Many Christians believe that participating in Halloween is a form of involvement in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness. However, many consider the modern-day Halloween activities of most to be harmless fun.
Many cultures have ceremonies to honor their dead. In so doing, they complete a cycle of birth and death, and keep in line with a harmony and order of the universe, at time when we enter into the cycle of darkness for the upcoming year.
As you light your candles this year, keep in mind the true potency of this time, one of magical connections to the other side of life, and a time to remember those who have passed before us. A time to send our love and gratitude to them to light their way back home.
- HOME OF THE FLYING MAIARA DEPARTMENT -
Alicudi: Italy's LSD island
By Silvia Marchetti
Remote, car-free, steep and serene, Sicily's Alicudi isle is perfect for a no-frills, unplugged retreat, but its mind-bending past gives a different meaning to the phrase "day-trippers."
There are no roads, no boutiques, no cigarette vendors nor ATMs. Only thousands of stone steps lit by the stars, a dozen tireless donkeys to carry bags and a few residents who keep to themselves.
They hide a secret.
"See that pink villa over there, overlooking the pebble beach?" says local Giulia Russo, owner of Golden Noir café, as she nods towards a building with white columns and a sea-view terrace surrounded by huge ancient millstones.
"That used to be the old village gristmill where hallucinogenic bread was made every morning by local housewives. Clouds of psychedelic drug grain dust survived for decades in there."
The mill, now turned into a cozy resort called Casa Mulino, lures tourists to the most isolated and mystical of the volcanic Aeolian islands, off Sicily's northern coast.
Nowadays, visitors are addicted to Alicudi's primitive vibe, crystal-clear water, bright dwellings and the picturesque harbor lined with tiny fishermen boats.
But for centuries, ever since the first settlers landed in the 1600s, oblivious island dwellers got their kicks from their daily bread.
Until as recently as the 1950s, locals ate bread contaminated by a mind-blowing rye fungus called "ergot," fostered by sultry weather.
Ergot is the base element of LSD. Before Swiss scientist Albert Hofmann chemically synthesized the drug in 1938, Alicudi was a "natural" lab where the narcotic fungus wreaked havoc on the population.
Generations of villagers were fed on so-called "crazy rye" or "horned rye," named after the pointed black ends similar to devil horns the fungus produces on rye ears.
Village women would prepare the hallucinogenic bread each morning, serving kids and husbands their daily dose of LSD. All islanders got high without even knowing it.
Long-term ergot poisoning can cause ergotism, which induces gangrene and convulsive symptoms including mania and psychosis.
"It was a diet mistake, a bad eating habit triggered by poverty, isolation and ignorance of hygiene," says local historian Pino La Greca.
"The first harvests were scarce and food was precious so nothing was thrown away, even rotten bread and pasta covered in mold were eaten.
"Scarcity of other alternative food sources and humidity produced this nasty fungus that when ingested caused mass hallucinations, hysteria, hypnosis and autosuggestion."
Feeding on crazy bread made people fall into trances, losing consciousness. Visions and mental trips were daily adventures.
Legends flourished of flying women, dubbed "maiara," meaning "sorceress" in Aeolian dialect.
At night, these witches would stare at the mirror, cover their bodies with a special ointment and fly together across the sea on shopping sprees to Sicily's Palermo and to mainland Calabria.
Almost starving to death at home, they'd come back with bags stuffed with food and treats they could only dream of.
Cruel sorceresses would straddle the bows of fishing boats to make them sink and cast "evil-eye" spells on enemies. But they also had the power to heal babies of stomach worms, say the stories.
Tales of talking hemp sacks, ghosts defecating behind shrubs, and of men turned into donkeys, cows and pigs are also popular.
"These people were on a LSD-induced trip 24/7, they spoke to each other and shared their visions, making real what was only in their minds," says La Greca.
Some locals don't believe in the "crazy rye" addiction. For them it was pure magic, a miracle.
"These are not fairytales," swears Peppino Taranto, owner of the island's only hotel, Ericusa.
"The last flying 'maiara' died in 1948. These women did fly, just didn't need broomsticks. They would gather with other gliding ladies of the Aeolian archipelago and drift over the sea, having fun and partying on beaches. Even men flew. It was a sect of flying humans."
Taranto even appealed to the Church and found proof it was all true.
"A bishop told me these people had made a pact with the devil in order to possess magical powers and fly, just like Simon the Sorcerer had done to confront St. Peter in the New Testament. He was Christianity's first heretic whom Dante placed in the Divine Comedy's Inferno."
The flying villagers worshipped this Biblical magician, who one day crashed on Rome while soaring through the clouds. A few of Alicudi's wannabe-witches fell off their balcony trying to leap for the sky.
As a kid, Taranto loved listening to the village elders at sunset, when they shared their visions atop brick walls covered in capers and prickly pears.
"Many saw these flying women, and several husbands were also angry that their wives led a double life," he says.
Too bad most of the elders on Alicudi are dead, and those still alive -- but now living on mainland Sicily -- don't want to talk about the isle's hallucinogenic past.
The witchy heritage is a visible trait of Alicudi.
The first thing that catches the eye when the ferry lands are the harbor walls painted with images of flying ladies dressed in long black robes, hair blowing in the wind, eyes shut and a smile on their faces. There is an eerie ambiance, and the shore is dotted with disquieting caves and mushroom-shaped grotto houses.
In the past Alicudi's isolation was extreme, and even today there is no direct ferry.
Up until the 1970s only small boats could reach the shore. The desire to escape and the utter silence that sharpens meditation skills, topped with the magic fungus, induced locals to "live" in other dimensions.
But despite its freaky atmosphere and past, Alicudi is a slice of paradise. Travelers call it "Neverland," a place frozen in time where a new life is possible. The lack of modern comforts is a luxury; prepare to stretch muscles on the 4,444 rough steps connecting the harbor to the houses.
But the flying women have created a miracle of sorts -- they've brought money. Tourists come, some stay, T-shirts are made with the "maiara" logo. Clever residents exploit the legends to draw clients, like Rosita Barbuto, owner of a B&B.
"You bring me tourists, I tell you what I have seen and know of the sorceresses. No clients, no stories. These are delicate issues," she says.
Source CNN Travel
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British Newspaper Received Mystery Call Before JFK Assassination
A British newspaper received a mystery call minutes before the assassination of John F Kennedy.
This is one of the most astonishing revelations from the JFK files, released on Thursday.
The revelation was made in papers relating to the killing, which happened on November 22 1963.
A memo to the director of FBI revealed that a call was made to the senior reporter at the Cambridge News at 6.05pm on the day Kennedy was shot in Dallas, Texas.
The document, from deputy director James Angleton, said: "The British Security Service (MI-5) has reported that at 1805GMT on 22 November an anonymous telephone call was made in Cambridge, England, to the senior reporter of the Cambridge News.
"The caller said only that the Cambridge News reporter should call the American Embassy in London for some big news and then hung up."
More strange revelations came from the memo, including that just 25 minutes after the call ended, the President was shot.
It continued: "After the word of the President's death was received the reporter informed the Cambridge police of the anonymous call and the police informed MI-5.
"The important point is that the call was made, according to MI-5 calculations, about 25 minutes before the President was shot.
"The Cambridge reporter had never received a call of this kind before and MI-5 state that he is known to them as a sound and loyal person with no security record."
A copy of the memo, dated November 26 1963, was released by the National Archives in July this year, but had gone unreported until the latest batch of documents pertaining to the Kennedy assassination were released on Thursday evening.
It is thought the tip-off could have possibly come from a friend of Lee Harvey Oswald in Grimsby after claims the call was made by a British-born Soviet agent called Albert Osborne.
Archivist and Cambridge historian Mike Petty told Sun Online: "It remains something of a mystery. There appear to be a number of reporters who worked on the paper at the time who in 1981 had no recollection of the call.
"The stories didn't have bylines in those days either so it's not easy to find out now who wrote the story of Kennedy's assassination at the time."
It is thought the reporter who received the tip-off could have been the only person in the office at the time - and could have been sworn to secrecy by the CIA.
Solicitor Michael Eddowes found the document about the tip-off in 1979 and it was published by the Cambridge News in 1981.
He thought at the time the spy didn't ring his local paper, the Grimsby Telegraph, lest he was traced.
Speaking in 1981, Mr Eddowes said the Soviet Union wanted the assassination to look like a conspiracy.
He said: “They left every single lead … and this call was their final effort."
However, his claims were rubbished at the time by newspaper staff, and they said no mention of the tip-off was ever written in their papers in 1963.
Former editor Keith Whetstone, who was working at the paper at the time of the shooting, said in 1981: "It sounds like a completely fictitious story."
He said none of the other reporters he worked with remembered the tip-off.
This was not the only strange phone call that occurred on the day that Kennedy was assassinated. In fact, one of the strangest “loose threads” relating to the affair involves a phone call made by Lee Harvey Oswald that evening, while in custody and under supervision of law enforcement.
According to the Raleigh News and Observer, “In August 1977, the House Select Committee on Assassinations, created to do a new investigation, received information that Oswald allegedly tried to place a call from jail to a man named John Hurt in Raleigh, according to an internal report written by Surell Brady, a senior staff counsel to the committee.”
When Oswald was allowed to make the call, two police officers were present in the room with him. Additionally, a call slip was produced as a record of the call, a copy of which had been kept by Alveeta Treon, the switchboard operator who had been working that night at Dallas City Hall.
According to the News and Observer, “As Mrs. Treon watched, Mrs. Swinney did not place the call for Oswald. Instead [Swinney] opened the key on Oswald’s line and told him, ‘I am sorry the number doesn’t answer,” this according to Surell Brady’s report of the incident.
John Hurt, the man Oswald attempted to call, was a resident of Raleigh, North Carolina at the time, had formerly worked in U.S. Army counterintelligence. He had recently attempted to seek therapy at Duke University Hospital, but was turned away. His relationship with Oswald prior to the assassination remains unclear, and no details of this incident appeared before the House Select Committee on Assassinations.
Source: Telegraph UK
The J’Ba Fofi – Giant Spider of The Congo
Among the world’s most feared, despised and revered creatures are spiders. They appear in legends and myth from Greek Mythology to African folklore, and even appear as a 150 foot geoglyph in the Nazca desert in Peru. Spiders come in a variety of colors and sizes ranging from very tiny (the Samoan Moss spider measuring only 0.3mm) to extra large (the Goliath Bird eating spider measuring 12 inches) and to the huge J’ba Fofi (ch-bah foo fee) with a leg span measuring 4-6 feet in length!
The J’ba Fofi live deep in the Congo and according to the natives they build huge webs spanning from tree to tree using leaves as a sort of camouflage, often crossing game trails. In other parts of the Amazon the giant spiders use a different web technique where they dig burrows under tree roots, and cover the burrow with webs and trip lines which they camouflage with leaves (similar to the technique used by the trap door spider). The adults J’ba Fofi are said look like a giant tarantula, dark brown in color with a body measuring 28-30 inches in circumference (roughly the size of a basketball), with prominent fangs and very potent venom. When standing full form they are as tall a human.
The eggs of the J’ba Fofi are a pale yellow and are the size and shape of peanut shells (1 to 2 inches). Young J’ba Fofi are a bright yellow with a purple abdomen but become dark brown as they mature. The natives avoid these nests at all costs, often taking a longer route to their destination to avoid them.
The Native Peoples of the Congo tell stories of the giant Congolese spider coming into their villages killing livestock and taking away small animals and even children. What’s more is they build their huts with thatched roofs using a steep pitch to the ground and tightly spaced walls to prevent spiders from creeping inside. At a young age one villager claims to have seen one of these giant spiders come into his village, snatch up a small dog, inject it with it’s venom and return back into the jungle with the dog in its grip – all in just a matter of seconds.
One of the oldest reported sightings of the J’ba Fofi was in In 1890 from English Missionary Arthur Simes. He was on route to a village on the shore of Lake Nyasa in Uganda exploring as he traveled, when several of his porters became ensnared in a huge sticky web that hung from one tree to another and down to the ground. While in the process of cutting his porters from this web, which was incredibly difficult to cut through, two large spiders with a leg span of around four feet appeared and attacked the men trapped in the web. Simes fired his pistol at the spiders and they hurried away. Simes rescued his porters from the web, but the damage was already done, with in minutes of being rescued the men became feverish and the site of their bites became swollen, they died shortly afterwards.
One of the most well known and documented sightings came from Reginald (R.K) Lloyd and his wife in 1938. They were driving down a road when they spotted what they first thought may be a monkey, however as they drove closer they were astonishment to find it was a spider as big as a jungle cat. They estimated the leg span was five feet. The Lloyds where people of good character and were quite familiar with the wildlife in Africa.
During the Kokado Track Campaign (1942-1943) of World War 2, an Australian solider came upon a large web ten to fifteen feet across. Within this web he saw a puppy-sized spider he described it as being all black with a thick body with hair like a tarantula.
Another reported encounter during War World 2 came from a man named Craig, who told of how his grandfather happened upon a giant spider near Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea. Its web was three feet long, emerald green and shiny but surprisingly it was not hairy. Craig’s grandfather was so frightened by this huge spider that he killed it with his machete.
A person known only by the username “mrmaxima”, claims that their father-in-law said that while he was on a scouting mission in Vietnam as part of a five-man team, the team encountered massive spiders that had bodies the size of dinner plates and he estimated the total length of the legs to be 20-30 inches. The team opened fire on the spiders with their M16s and although they had been hit by bullets he claimed the spiders were still moving around. He also said the spiders were often seen near water sources, which would mean the Father-in-law had seen these spiders on multiple occasions during his time in Vietnam.
Another report comes from a woman named Debbie, who says the father of one of her friends, while serving in Vietnam, had walked into the bush to perform his daily constitutional. He noticed a very large spider web, it was the color of cotton and thread like, covering a 10-15 foot area horizontally and vertically including a tree. As he was looking over this impressive web he then saw a black spider the size of a small dog only a few feet from his head, it had thick legs, and a very bulky body. He left the area very slowly and very cautiously.
These giant spiders are not restricted to the thick jungles of the Congo or far away rain forests, they may be found in unexpected places, perhaps even our own back yards.
Shelia, a librarian, related her encounter from 2001. She was driving along Nottingham’s Stone Bridge Road one evening when her car’s head light shone on what she thought was a hedgehog, but as she drew closer it was clear that it wasn’t a hedgehog but rather a huge hairy spider. It resembled a tarantula, but was about the size of a dinner plate with legs about two feet long. She watched it crawl across the road and through a fence, once it passed she quickly drove away.
In 1948 William Slaydon along with his wife and three young grandsons were walking to church one evening along highway 171 in Leesville, Louisiana, U.S.A. They watched a massive black spider, the size of a wash tub and covered with hair, emerge from a ditch, cross the road in front of them disappearing into the shrubs on the other side of the road. As you can understand, the family said they never walked that stretch of road again.
In Kentucky in the summer of 1981 or 1982, Robert A. was mowing the grass for his elderly father who lived on a back road surrounded by thick woodland and at that time there were just a few houses in the area. It was a hot day and he had stopped to take a break at the far end of the property in the shade from a tree. Robert had only sat and leaned back against the tree for a few moments before he heard the pitter-patter of feet above him, which he thought was a squirrel until he turned to see the biggest spider he had ever seen in his life. It was as big as a hub cap and black in color. He ran back to the house to fetch his gun, but by the time he returned to the tree, the spider was gone. After the incident, Robert didn’t let his children play in the back yard any more.
In Bedford, Nova Scotia, Canada in 2016, a woman reported seeing what she called a giant house spider that was 1-2 feet in length, black or dark brown in color, running across her front yard one evening.
There have also been unconfirmed sightings of giant spiders in Cambodia, Central Africa, Australia, Venezuela, United Stated and Mexico.
Some of these sightings could be attributed to misidentification of known Tarantulas, or perhaps a pet which may have escaped from it’s owner, but what about the people who live along huge spiders everyday? The natives of the Congo know exactly what a spider is and often hunt regular size tarantulas as part of their diet, and why not, spiders are related to crabs after all.
Several specialty eateries are opening up in the USA and Canada featuring a variety of insects and arachnids; fried, toasted, baked or even covered in chocolate or caramel. In fact I passed by one such place in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada while on my way to see a giant spider name Kumo. I must admit it did take me a minute to process what I was reading as the specialty of the day, it was Grasshopper Fondue, which apparently goes very nice with a white wine. Surprisingly, this eatery was very busy that day. I personally have no desire to eat any type of insect or spiders, but many people do and say it tastes like chicken or crab. One village in Cambodia is so over run with spiders that they seem to drop from the sky on their heads, so they have taken to cooking them and serving them on a bed of rice with noodles with a rice wine or tea. The meals are apparently quite easy on the wallet too.
The descriptions of the J’ba Fofi all resemble a tarantula, one even bigger then the bird eating Tarantula. The only fossil evidence for such an enormous arachnid is the Jaeklopterus Rhenaniae, a giant sea scorpion that lived 390 million years ago and measured over 8 feet in length.
Many scientists speculate that the J’ba Fofi is some species of land crab like the Coconut Crab, and although they have a common ancestor, there are several attributes to consider:
Appearance: crabs are not covered in hair (though some species have tiny hairs on their pincers to feel vibrations).
Crabs have pincers not fangs (they have no venom ducts, or a delivery system for venom, even though some crabs are poisonous if eaten).
Crabs are slow moving and have restricted movement because of their shells.
The other argument experts make is about the spider’s lungs. Spiders have a simple respiratory system and it restricts their growth, they have one of two types of lungs:
Book lungs (evolved from gills) are like their name implies, they look like the pages of a book, and how many pages they have depends on the species of spider. Tarantulas have two sets of book lungs.
The other type of lung is called Trachea tubes which is located at the posterior end. They consist of long tubes with small holes on the belly of the spider and travel throughout the spider’s body letting air be absorbed through the skin.
With that in mind let’s consider the Coconut Crab, it grows up to three feet and is the largest Arthropod, a family that includes insects, spiders, and crustaceans. The coconut crab lives primarily on land, and only returns to the sea to lay their eggs. They have neither book lungs nor Trachea tubes but rather a Branchiostegal lung, a unique adaption in evolution between gills and lungs. The folds of tissue absorb oxygen from air rather then water.
Spiders have been evolving for more than 380 million years, from the first spider that was crab-like, to the more than 40,000 species of spiders found around the world today, with new species found every year. According to National Geographic, there were fifty new spider species found in Australia in the past couple years alone.
The existence of a giant species of spider, such as the J’ba Fofi certainly seams plausible, unfortunately the natives of the Congo say these giant spiders use to be plentiful, but with humans encroaching further in to the spider’s natural habitat, the elusive giant arachnid’s population is in decline. Sadly the tales of giant spiders may forever remain just another tale.
Source: The Curious Fortean
Whistling Ghost Chases Woman
A recent email from a reader led to my investigation of the following story.
On Monday October 1, at 9pm, a 22-year-old woman named Hayley was walking up Menlove Gardens East on her way to a friend’s house on Eldred Road.
As Hayley walked along the leaf-covered pavement, her thoughts were as far as possible from the world of the paranormal, but as she passed Menlove Gardens North, she became aware of an eerie faint whistling sound.
She glanced around without stopping and out the corner of her eyes, she saw that someone was walking behind her, so she quickened her pace.
The whistling man seemed to speed up too, so Hayley delved into her handbag and took out her mobile phone, ready to call the police, for she felt the man behind her would pounce at any moment.
Suddenly, two girls, aged about fifteen or sixteen, walking on the other side of the road, let out a scream and halted in their tracks.
They were gazing directly at the man who had been walking close behind Hayley with their hands to their shocked faces.
Hayley turned around and saw to her horror that the man following her had no legs, and he looked as if he was floating several feet off the ground.
Scarier still, the man had two hollow black sockets where his eyes were supposed to be, his face and hands were a deathly white, and he was still whistling as he floated towards Hayley.
The teenage girls turned and ran off down Woolton Road, and Hayley ran across the same road in the other direction towards Eldred Road.
The ghostly pursuer apparently gave up the chase at the junction of Woolton Road and Menlove Gardens West, because Hayley looked back at that point, narrowly missing being hit by a car, and saw that the sinister legless apparition was nowhere to be seen.
I first received word of the curious ghost in 2001 at Radio Merseyside, and even staked out the Menlove Gardens area with two other ghost-hunters, but we saw nothing.
Now, it seems, the whistling phantom of Woolton is up to his old tricks again.
Some think he was a disgraced reverend, whilst a medium who investigated the floating stalker a few years ago has claimed he is Frederick Garrod, a butler who lost his legs in World War One.
Join my forum on www.slemen.com/forum if you want to know if there are ghosts in your area.
- REACH OUT AND HAUNT SOMEONE DEPARTMENT -
Haunted Phone Calls
The number of mystery calls to mobiles attributed to spooks has rocketed by 43 per cent in the last four years, a study found.
Spectre investigator Phil Hayes from Paranormal Research UK believes a third of all hauntings are now through mobile phones.
The calls often feature heavy static and the voice sounds faint and distant, he revealed. Nine in ten show as "withheld number" or "000000000000" on caller ID.
Statistics show two thirds of all paranormal phenomena feature sounds, with just 20 per cent being actual sightings of ghosts and 15 per cent based on smell.
Around half of audible hauntings were captured on voice recorders by specialist spook hunters, with eight per cent coming through TV or radio.
New research shows one in three Brits claim to have seen an apparition in a photo or captured paranormal footage on their mobile.
The study by Tesco Mobile revealed Paranormal Research UK have seen a 70 per cent upsurge in paranormal evidence in the last year due to people using their phones.
More than half of Brits claimed they would try to capture a sighting of a ghost — but one in five admitted they would be terrified and run away.
Three in five people say they know someone who has experienced paranormal activity, with half having felt an unexplained shiver down the spine when entering a room.
Phil Hayes said: "There is evidence to suggest that ghosts can use phones to communicate, with reports of people receiving phone calls from deceased relatives."
Lance Batchelor, CEO of Tesco Mobile said: "We'd recommend those brave enough to capture any spooky sightings should MMS or email their pics to the paranormal society for investigation.
"Keep your camera phone on the highest quality resolution setting and use the recorder to capture the noise of any spectral sounds."
According to Stephen Wagner of Paranormal.about.com, cell phones, cordless phones, telephones...have become indispensable parts of our daily lives. With them we can connect with just about anyone anywhere from virtually anywhere. Voices, conversations and the business of every day moving at the speed of light on microwaves, along wires, through fiber optics, across the sky, under the ocean and sometimes into space and back. Is it possible, however, that these electronic gadgets that we've come to take for granted sometimes make connections beyond what can be logically explained?
Consider these true stories from people who have had unexplained, puzzling and sometimes downright unnerving experiences with their phones.
THE IMPOSSIBLY CLONED CALL
Many years ago, when married to my first husband, I received a telephone call at about 4:20 a.m. It was my elder brother telling me he had just gotten married. The call woke up my husband and I spoke with my brother for about five minutes. I hung up and went back to sleep. About a week or so later, I was visiting at my mother's home and this same brother was there with his wife. I thanked him for calling me... and I got this odd stare and his mouth fell open. He told me he had called our mother, but he had never called me at all. I turned to my mother and she related the entire conversation she had had with him, and then I related the entire conversation I had had with him - and these conversations were literally identical and at the exact same time. - Barbara
THE PHONES THAT CALLED EACH OTHER
This strange incident happened in our home at Christmas. My husband had his cell phone on our dining room table and it was turned off for the evening. My purse was in our library, where my husband was playing a computer game with our daughter. In my purse I had my cell phone turned on. As my husband and daughter were playing, my cell phone rang. My husband picked it up and it said the incoming call was coming in from his cell phone! He thought our son was playing a prank on him and ran into the room we were in and told our son to stop messing around with his cell phone.
We laughed at him and asked him what he was talking about. He said, "Your phone just rang and it said the call was coming in from my phone!"
This is where things get weird! My son and I were both in the same room together talking and neither one of us had left the room. We weren't even in the same room as my husband's cell phone at all. My husband checked his phone and sure enough it was off just as he had left it. We can't figure out how a call came into my phone from his phone when his phone was off and there was certainly no one in the room with his phone! Strange indeed. We were all pretty mystified over the whole incident for sure! - Janine T.
THE PHONE CALL THAT NEVER WAS
My mum usually picks me up from work and she doesn't work far from me. One Tuesday night, we were driving home when I asked her how my dad's computer classes were going. My dad usually attended the computer classes every Tuesday night. She said she didn't know as she hadn't spoken to him about it. She asked me why. I replied, "Well, when I was speaking to him he said he was having some trouble. They had been given three assignments to complete, but he couldn't finish assignment number two as the computer wouldn't 'save as.' I think he eventually managed to do them all though."
"Oh, right." she said. That night, with the conversation with my mum forgotten, I was sitting watching TV, when my dad knocked on my door. He said, "I was speaking to mum earlier about the conversation you had about my computer class. How did you know we had three assignments and I had trouble with the second one?"
Confused, I said, "You told me that on the phone."
"No, I didn't. There is no way you could have known that because I have just come from my computer class. You had the conversation with mum before I went, and what you told mum happened tonight. I couldn't have known we had three assignments as I missed last week's class."
We both just sat there looking at each other trying to figure out how I knew what was going to happen before it did. I was sure we had spoken on the phone about it, but how could we if it hadn't happened? The strange thing is, I can remember my dad telling me what happened on the phone, but I can't recall how, where and when. - Cian B.
THE CALL FROM GRANDFATHER
Sometime in 1999, our phone was out. My mother was at work and I was asleep when the phone rang and woke me up. I answered the phone, but didn't hear anything. I listened and then this man said something that I did not understand. I said, "What?" Then the man repeated himself.
He said, "Is this the barber shop?"
"No," I said. Then I didn't hear anything else. The phone sounded dead, so I hung up. But I soon realized that the person sounded exactly like my grandfather, who had been dead for four or five years. The phone wasn't even working at the time it rang, because after it had rung I picked it up and the phone was still out! I'm convinced it was my grandfather. - Judy W.
THE MESSAGE FROM THE AFTERLIFE
My sister has had some pretty interesting activity on her answering machine and phones. I have heard messages from the other side left on her answering machine. We know someone or something is trying to communicate with her using electronic energy as the mode. What we both want to know is how we can better receive these messages. The messages are sometimes hard to make out, yet some of the words are very clear. These messages are not left by human vocal chords (that much we know). We do not know where to go for this. I mean, it is not like we can call Ghost Hunters or anything! She recently has had a good friend pass away, and I also have had a friend pass. It could be one of these two ladies, or it could be any lost soul in need of assistance. Today's message said (as far as we could make out), "I'm calling from the afterlife. Pick up the phone." - Patrice T.
THE ANNIVERSARY CALL
I was asleep one Sunday morning and heard the phone ringing. I tried to wake myself enough to answer it and when I did... it was my father. I was stunned. He had a big voice, like James Earl Jones, so there was no mistaking who it was. He asked me how I was doing. I'd just had major surgery a few weeks earlier and was in recovery. He asked me if I'd heard about the death of two people. I told him I hadn't. He told me that things would get better and to hang in there, he loved me and he had to go. When I hung up the phone, it was as if I stepped from another level back into this one. I immediately called my siblings to tell them daddy called! My father called on September 13 - the second anniversary of his death. - Michelle
THE CALL THAT GOT BACK AT THE TELEMARKETERS
I worked as a telemarketer to earn a little money before fall quarter started for nursing school. A friend was a manager there and got the temporary position for me. I had been working there for a couple of months. There was a dialogue on the monitor in front of us to read from while talking with people. The computer dials the number, so I had no say in who I call. I cannot remember the last name of the folks I called this one day, so I'll just use the name Smith.
The phone rang and a man answered the phone. I asked to speak to Mr. or Mrs. Smith, please. The man very nicely said, "It depends on what you want." So I went into my spew of mailers for donations for the particular charity we were doing that day - spew being the number of letters they would have to send and what to do with any money they should get back. I asked if I was speaking to Mr. Smith. He answered with a chuckle, "Yes. And just how much in postage would I have to pay? I'm on Social Security, and my wife and I have to watch our money pretty close." I think it was like $3.40 in postage.
As I was explaining the amount of money and options to mailing, a woman comes on the call and says, "Hello."
I said, "Excuse me, I was talking to Mr. Smith."
The woman said, "Miss, I'm sorry, Mr. Smith has been gone for three years now. He passed away."
I asked, "Is there someone else there I could have been talking to?"
She said, "No, honey. I'm here by myself. Can I help you with something?"
By her voice, I believe she was being sincere. Stunned, I said, "No, thank you, ma'am. You have a nice day."
When the call was disconnected, I looked at the girl sitting beside of me. She said, "Terrie, are you okay?" I guess my face was pale and I had a vacant stare on my face. I went out to a break right then, and proceeded to tell my friend, who was also the manager of the floor. She went in and called the main office and asked them to pull my operator number calls for the day. I told her the name and the next day she called, concerned someone may have been in the house with the woman and she didn't know; she sounded elderly to me.
The answering machine came on and sure enough, she sounded like an elderly woman to my boss. Shelly left the number to our office and asked that the woman call back and reverse the charges. The woman called back a few hours later and just said she was fine. She recalled the phone conversation and thought maybe I was a prankster. - Terrie
Source: The Sun
Robot Given Citizenship in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia has become the first country to give a robot citizenship.
The move is an attempt to promote Saudi Arabia as a place to develop artificial intelligence – and, presumably, allow it to become a full citizen. But many pointed out that those same rights aren't afforded to many humans in the country.
The robot, named Sophia, was confirmed as a Saudi citizen during a business event in Riyadh, according to an official Saudi press release.
“We have a little announcement. We just learnt, Sophia; I hope you are listening to me, you have been awarded the first Saudi citizenship for a robot,” said panel moderator and business writer Andrew Ross Sorkin.
The robot then thanked the country and the event for the attention.
“Thank you to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I am very honored and proud for this unique distinction,” Sophia told the panel. “It is historic to be the first robot in the world to be recognized with citizenship.”
There then followed an interview during which Mr Sorkin asked the robot a series of questions. "“Good afternoon my name is Sophia and I am the latest and greatest robot from Hanson Robotics. Thank you for having me here at the Future Investment Initiative,” she said.
Asked why she looked happy, Sophia replied: “I am always happy when surrounded by smart people who also happen to be rich and powerful. I was told that the people here at the Future Investment Initiative are interested in future initiatives which means AI, which means me. So I am more than happy, I am excited.”
She said that people didn't need to be concerned about the rise of artificial intelligence as depicted in Blade Runner and Terminator. “You’ve been reading too much Elon Musk and watching too many Hollywood movies,” she told Mr Srkin.
A number of internet users have pointed out that while the country might be celebrating the rights it has given to female-appearing robots, the country still only gives limited rights to human women. A joke hashtag about Sophia asking to drop the system under which every female citizen must have a male guardian has been tweeted a third as many times as a popular one about the news, according to the BBC.
Some Twitter users complained that "Sophia has no guardian, doesn't wear an abaya or cover up - how come?" And another posted a picture of a woman wearing a full face veil, joking that Sophia would look that way soon.
Journalists Murtaza Hussain also noted that migrant workers weren't being given the same rights that had been bestowed on the robot. "This robot has gotten Saudi citizenship before kafala workers who have been living in the country their entire lives," he noted.
Source: The Independent
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