Sunday, March 30, 2008

Elephant artist

Not sure of its authenticity, but its sure a neato vid!

The Mysterious Case of Two Spheres Falling to Earth in Australia and Brazil

On the March 24th, a story hit the web from Brazil asking for help identifying a mysterious-looking sphere found in farmland. The black, shiny object appeared to be wrapped in fibrous material and it was hot to the touch. Immediately thoughts of extra-terrestrial origin came to mind…
Today, several news sources covered the discovery of a mysterious spherical object found in the Australian outback last year. The farmer who made the discovery has only just started to make enquiries into what the object actually is.
So are the two objects connected in some way? Are they indeed from outer space?The answer is "yes", and "yes". But don't go getting too excited, they're not bits from a broken alien spacecraft. view article here.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

10,000 year old structure found in Canadian lake

In the world of history, thanks to Darwin's theory of evolution, the accepted cradle of civilization is commonly cited by scholars as being the continent of Africa. The Middle East - notably, in the area of 5 rivers; the Tigris-Euphrates (in modern day Iraq), the Nile in Africa, the Indus in South Asia, and the Huang-He-Yangtze in China are also figured prominently in the development of humankind. We're told modern civilization is but 10,000 years old, but if that's the case, how do we explain findings that predate us? Are there such things outside what we're taught and 'known' for so long? In the Spring of 2005, Canadian divers conducting a project in MacDonald Lake at the Haliburton Forest and Wild Life Reserve, came upon an ancient stone structure - 40 feet below the present lake level. Initially the structure was considered to have been ferried by glaciers created during the last ice age, thousands of years ago and dumped where they happened to melt at the end of one of the more recent cold-freezes. There's been several ice ages in the history of the Earth. What's commonly called 'the ice age,' is actually the most recent one, which began about two million years ago, and was characterized by cold, and relatively warm phases. Out of that, there have been four major continental glaciations recorded in North America. The last began about 70,000 years ago, and ended about 8,000 BC. At the peak of the last glaciation, approximately 97% of Canada was covered by ice. We're currently in an interglacial phase that could last for another 10,000 or more years. The discovery of this mystery rock formation (an assembly of now seven rocks) were thought to be compound perched erratics (found in northern North America), where 2 or even 3 rocks happened to land on top of each other, leaving behind a natural structure.
However, when geologists and archaeologists saw images of the object - a 1,000 pound, elongated and south pointing rock sitting on baseball-sized stones at each end, which in turn, were resting on a massive, several thousand pound slab on top of the ledge, they expressed doubts about its natural origin. Article here.

Mars is 'covered in table salt'

Mars appears to be covered in salt crystals from ancient dried-up lakes, new evidence suggests. A Nasa probe has found signs that the southern hemisphere is dusted with chloride mineral, perhaps "table salt". US scientists think the mineral formed when water evaporated from salty lakes or soil billions of years ago. The deposits, similar to salt-pans on Earth, are a good place to search for traces of past life preserved in salt, they report in the journal Science. The evidence comes from a camera on Mars Odyssey, which has been mapping the Red Planet since early 2002. The camera images Mars in the visible and infrared parts of the spectrum in order to work out the distribution of minerals on the surface. It found about 200 places with spectral "fingerprints" consistent with chloride salt deposits. All were in the middle to low latitudes of the ancient, heavily cratered terrain in the southern highlands. Team member Professor Philip Christensen, of the School of Earth and Planetary Exploration at Arizona State University, Tempe, said the most likely chloride mineral "would be good old table salt (sodium chloride)". He said many of the deposits lay in basins with channels leading into them, the kind of feature that is consistent with water flowing in over a long time. He told BBC News: "Two possible mechanisms would be the evaporation of a large body of water (like a salt lake on Earth), or capillary action in the soil that could draw salt-rich water toward the surface, where the water evaporates and the salt is left behind and accumulates. Full article here.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Giant sea creatures found in Antarctic

Sadie Mills and Niki Davey hold a giant sea starfish (top) and Sadie Mills with a sea cucumber the crew named a 'sea pig'
Scientists have found that Antarctic waters harbour sea-creatures of startling proportions, with giant-sized specimens surprising researchers during a major survey of New Zealand's Antarctic seas that ended this week. Huge sea snails, jellyfish with tentacles up to 4 metres long and starfish the size of large dinner plates were some of the species found during research vessel Tangaroa's 50-day, 2,000-mile voyage in the Ross Sea, New Zealand marine scientist Don Robertson said. "I would say there will be hundreds" of previously unknown organisms and "a lot of new species" among the 30,000 specimens collected, Robertson said.Cold temperatures, low predator numbers, high levels of oxygen in the seawater and even longevity could explain the size of some specimens, said Robertson, a science manager with New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, or NIWA.Robertson's team said their Ross Sea survey was the most comprehensive so far.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

18 Billion Suns -A Galaxy Classic: Biggest Black Hole in Universe Discovered—and it’s BIG

Whatever gave birth to this monster can be real proud. The biggest black hole in the universe weighs in with a respectable mass of 18 billion Suns, and is about the size of an entire galaxy. Just like in the Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Devito flick “Twins”, the massive black hole has a puny twin hovering nearby. By observing the orbit of the smaller black hole, astronomers are able to test Einstein's theory of general relativity with stronger gravitational fields than ever before.
The biggest black hole beats out its nearest competitor by six times. Fortunately, it’s 3.5 billion light years away, forming the heart of a quasar called OJ287. Quasars are extremely bright objects in which matter spiraling into a giant black hole emits large amounts of radiation. Full article here.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Arthur C. Clarke Dies

Legendary science-fiction author Arthur C. Clarke has passed away at age 90 in Sri Lanka. One of his works was made into the classic film 2001: A Space Odyssey. See article here.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Ghostly Image Caught on Camera

The York Street jail is nothing but a pile of rubble now, as crews cart away the remains of the 120 year old landmark. The last inmate was imprisoned there 16 years ago. But a snapshot may prove that at least one spirit never left."The picture here on the left is the first picture I took," explains Jim Boone a local historian, who says he may have a photo of a ghost. Boone says he was taking photographs of the jail in February and documenting the demolition, when he noticed something on his digital camera. "I took a picture and it was foggy on the viewfinder. I was afraid something was wrong with my camera. So I took another picture in the same location, and the second one was clear," says Boone.But when Boone loaded his photos onto his computer, he realized his camera wasn't broken. All his pictures came out crystal clear except for one, with a ghostly image. "It is very ghost-like looking to me, I don't know whether I believe in ghosts or not, but if I did, I think that it was probably some kind of ghost or spirit," said Boone. Full article here.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Nerve-tapping neckband used in 'telepathic' chat

From news service writer Tom Simonite... A neckband that translates thought into speech by picking up nerve signals has been used to demonstrate a "voiceless" phone call for the first time.
With careful training a person can send nerve signals to their vocal cords without making a sound. These signals are picked up by the neckband and relayed wirelessly to a computer that converts them into words spoken by a computerised voice.
A video (above) shows the system being used to place the first public voiceless phone call on stage at a recent
conference held by microchip manufacturer Texas Instruments. Michael Callahan, co-founder of Ambient Corporation, which developed the neckband, demonstrates the device, called the Audeo.
Users needn't worry about that the system voicing their inner thoughts though. Callahan says producing signals for the Audeo to decipher requires "a level above thinking". Users must think specifically about voicing words for them to be picked up by the equipment. Full article here.

Camera traps finally capture elusive pygmy hippo on film

Little is known about the private life of the pygmy hippo except that it spends its days hiding in the swampy shallows of rivers, only to emerge in the dead of night to forage furtively on the forest floor.
Fewer than 3000 are thought to have survived the extensive destruction of the west African habitat where it lives and its rarity has placed it in the list of endangered species. Now, a British zoologist has taken some of the first pictures of pygmy hippos in the wild with the help of a network of automatic camera traps.
Capturing images of the retiring animals in Liberia is even more remarkable, given that the region has had two civil wars and an epidemic of brutal poaching for bushmeat in remote forests where well-armed miners pan illegally for gold.
Ben Collen, a research fellow at the Zoological Society of London, took the shots with the help of a team of locals who set up 32 camera traps spaced 2km apart over a network covering a sizeable part of the Sapo National Park where many of the remaining pygmy hippos live.
To his surprise, the animals were photographed within three days of the camera traps being set. "We knew we'd get something or other, but I never dared hope that we'd get pygmy hippos so soon," Dr Collen said.
"The pygmy hippo is an extraordinary, mysterious creature that has almost never been seen in the wild ... we were delighted to discover that a population still persists there, but remain highly concerned for the species, which continues to face significant threats from poaching and habitat degradation."
The pygmy hippo grows to about half the height of its full-sized cousin and leads a solitary life, feeding on ferns, leaves, fruits and indeed anything it can find on the forest floor. Its vastly reduced habitat extends into four countries: Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Ivory Coast. Three other species of pygmy hippo that lived on Madagascar have become extinct in modern times, as has a subspecies that lived in Nigeria.
Unlike prehistoric dwarf hippos that lived on the Mediterranean islands of Sicily, Malta and Crete, the pygmy species are not descended from a larger species that became smaller as a result of living on an island.
Dr Collen said it was important to confirm the presence of pygmy hippos in the Sapo National Park because it would help attempts to assess their numbers and maintain a viable breeding population.
The zoological society has identified pygmy hippos as one of the key species in its Edge animal-conservation programme that are in need of urgent attention if the species is to survive.
John Woods, managing director of the Forestry Development Authority in Liberia, which helped to organise the camera-trap project, was surprised to discover the pygmy hippo alive and well.
"I was pessimistic about [its] existence ... at Sapo." - INDEPENDENT

Rare moa bone found

A rare moa bone has been found in South Canterbury's Ruataniwha Conservation Park.
The well-preserved pelvis of the upland moa was found by Department of Conservation rangers under an overhang in a tributary to the Hopkins River. Its position protected it from strong winds and high rainfall.
The upland moa was one of the smallest of the moa species. It lived in higher, cooler parts of the country and was one of the last moa species to become extinct - around 500 years ago.
Canterbury Museum curator of vertebrate zoology Paul Scofield said upland moa bones were rarely found because of the absence of limestone caves in the area.
Dr Scofield said a study of coprolites, dung fossils, around the site would be made to find out about the species' diet. - NZPA

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Tiny islanders 'shrank to survive'

The bones of "small-bodied people" who lived on a remote island in the Pacific Ocean have been discovered by scientists who believe they may represent an unusual branch of the human family that grew progressively smaller.A team of palaeontologists discovered the remains - including a diminutive skull - in rock caves on the Micronesian island of Palau, about 600km from the Philippines to the west and Papua New Guinea to the south. The find is reminiscent of the discovery in 2004 of a group of humans, nicknamed "hobbits", in Indonesia. Their most unusual feature was a small head with a grapefruit-sized brain, which was in perfect proportion to a tiny body about 91cm tall. Full article here.

NZ firm on Noah's Ark quest

A New Zealand company is helping in the quest to determine whether an object buried under ice on Turkey's Mt Ararat could be Noah's Ark.
The company Global Intelligence Solutions, which specialises in forensic imagery, is helping to examine satellite images of what a US team believes is a 300 metre long ship lying on its side.
Director Rod McCourt says the object cannot be seen clearly because it is under a layer of ice. The Turkish government also will not allow ground teams in.
However Mr McCourt says researchers have already determined the anomaly could be man-made because of its symmetry and evenness of shape. His company is in the process of receiving new images from the best commercial satellite available and will analyse them next week. [NZ Herald]

The 'Creepy Gnome'

People in an Argentinean town are said to be frightened by a "creepy gnome" who stalks the streets at night. The short person or midget wears a pointy hat and has an unusual sideways walk.
For more, including video footage, visit The Sun.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Giant Salamanders!

Loren Coleman over at Cryptomundo has an interesting article with photos and a running discussion on the recently released pictures of these enormous amphibians. Read on here.....

The mystery of mammoth tusks with iron fillings

By By Ned Rozell
A giant meteor may have exploded over Alaska thousands of years ago, shooting out metal fragments like buckshot, some of which embedded in the tusks of woolly mammoths and the horns of bison. Simultaneously, a large chunk of the meteor hit Alaska south of Allakaket, sending up a dust cloud that blacked out the sun over the entire state and surrounding areas, killing most of the life in the area.
Embedded iron particles surrounded by carbonized rings in the outer layer of a mammoth tusk from Alaska. Inset photo shows how an object ripped through the tusk. Image courtesy Richard Firestone. Full report here.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

New IR Flashlight Captures Attention of Paranormal Community

Surprise, Arizona, March 2, 2008 - The paranormal community is taking interest in a new piece of equipment designed to assist with gathering evidence during investigations. According to Bryan Abel, the inventor of the IR (Infrared) flashlight (see picture below), "this flashlight is a must for shooting night video or photography; the combination of IR technology and flashlight make it great to add just enough light in a room or shoot down a long hallway so that the field investigators can increase their chances of catching movement."
Full article here.

UFO group finds no answer for P.E.I. mystery

PRINCE.EDWARD.ISLAND (CBC) - A UFO research group in Manitoba has been unable to identify a mysterious sighting in the sky over P.E.I. on Boxing Day.
The long, smoky spiral was videotaped by Tony and Marie Quigley of North Tryon. Researchers in Manitoba used digital software to enlarge the images, and were able to rule out meteors, satellites and airplanes, but beyond that they just don't know.
Chris Rutkowski, head of the Ufology Research Centre in Winnipeg, said the Quigleys join a group of hundreds of Canadians who see something unexplainable in the sky every year.
"They were witness to a very interesting phenomenon and they're one of the hundreds of people in Canada every year who see UFOs," said Rutkowski.
"In their case, it was something very spectacular in 2007."
Only about one third of sightings each year are definitively explained. The incident will be included in the group's annual report, due out in a couple of weeks.
Environment Canada and the Transportation Safety Board also examined the video, but were unable to explain the phenomenon. The best explanation offered is it might have been a fighter jet dumping fuel.

Friday, March 7, 2008

T.G. Hamilton's Photos of Ectoplasm

A collection of photographs from the early 20th century showing alleged supernatural phenomena including ectoplasm was recently made available for viewing on YouTube.

Bigfoot Video?

Bow-hunting website have just posted a short piece of video, 9 frames to be exact. The footage was reportedly taken by a 'stealth cam' and shows something unusual walk past the camera. What do you think? View the video here. Click on 'latest video'.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Venus wows early morning stargazers

A bright object hanging next to the moon this morning wasn't a satellite or flying saucer, but Earth's twin sister Venus.
Richard Hall, president of the Phoenix Astronomical Society, said the solar system's smallest planet, Mercury, was also visible on the moon's other side, but it was not as bright as Venus.
He said having the two planets so close to the moon was unusual. "It can make quite a pretty picture early in the morning."
"Certainly Mercury's quite a bright object but sort of pales into insignificance alongside Venus."
Mr Hall said the two planets would be close to the moon for just a few more days.
More information is online at

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Nanomagnets 'could target cancer'

Tiny magnets made by bacteria could be used to kill tumours, say researchers.
A team at the University of Edinburgh has developed a method of making the nanomagnets stronger, opening the way for their use in cancer treatment.
The bacteria-produced magnets are better than man-made versions because of their uniform size and shape, the Nature Nanotechnology study reported.
It is hoped one day the magnets could be guided to tumour sites and then activated to destroy cancerous cells.
The bacteria take up iron from their surroundings and turn it into a string of magnetic particles.

UFO 'seen hovering over village' near Wrexham

A north east Wales resident has called for an explanation after spotting a UFO.
The man, who did not want to be named, claims to have seen a strange object in the sky above Overton, near Wrexham, at about 6am on Friday.This is the latest in a string of UFO sightings in the Wrexham area in recent months, prompting one flying saucer enthusiast to dub the region "a UFO hot spot".In July last year, the Evening Leader had its largest ever internet response to a video, posted on its website, of 'UFOs' which had been seen by a number of people over Borras.Referring to the latest sighting, the Overton resident said: "I don't want to be made a laughing stock, but I thought I'd let you know I saw a UFO this morning over Overton at around 5.40am."I viewed it for three minutes or so. I hope it was a plane or something but I was watching it for a while and it didn't ring of a plane to me. I'm just hoping someone else has seen it so I don't look silly."One of Britain's most famous UFO incidents, dubbed North Wales' very own 'Roswell incident' allegedly occurred on the Berwyn Mountains in 1974. Full article here.

MoD releases secret files on UFOs

Confidential Ministry of Defence files on Unidentified Flying Objects are set to be made public.
Hundreds of documented sightings of UFOs across the UK will be released by the MoD to the National Archive in the coming weeks. Full article here.

Spielberg launching social network for UFO and paranormal buffs

From, TechCrunch reports a rumor that Steven Spielberg is readying a new social network for people who are interested in unusual and/or paranormal phenomena like UFOs and ghosts. According to the TechCrunch post, "the new social network may also have original video content investigating alleged ghosts and UFO stories." This has the potential to be very interesting as Spielberg has had a lifelong interest in this topic. Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind is one of my all-time favorite films and in later years, I realized how in touch he was with UFO research at the time. This was brought home for me when I learned that esteemed UFO researcher Jacques Vallee, a past president of Institute for the Future where I work, was the inspiration for Claude Lacombe, the French scientist in the film played by Fran├žois Truffaut. Apparently, Spielberg's interest in strange phenomena wasn't just tied to Close Encounters either.

From TechCrunch: "Spielberg has apparently had at least one paranormal experience himself. There are stories of him staying in a hotel called Excelsior House and being so frightened by ghosts that he fled the room and moved 20 miles away. We’ve also heard anecdotes about Spielberg seeing the ghost of a dead relative repeatedly as a child. Whether based in reality or the product of an exceptional imagination, these experiences may have had an impact on his life’s work and this upcoming social network."

Saturday, March 1, 2008

43 Year Old New Zealand Navy Photo Shows UFO

New Zealand: More than 40 years after an official Defence Force photographer snapped an image of the navy cruiser Royalist, debate is raging over the unidentified flying object in the background.
The print is believed to have languished since being taken in February 1965, but a plan to display it by the Devonport Navy Museum has sparked speculation about the mystery object. UFO expert Peter Hassall, who wrote a book on the subject in New Zealand, is excited by this previously unreported sighting.
The image was captured by the photographer on large-format black and white negative film shot from the cruiser's wing bridge as it approached what looks like Cape Brett in Bay of Islands. The Royalist was on its way back from Waitangi celebrations in February 1965.
It was first spotted by museum staff member Paul Restall as he was assembling images for the museum's new website.
Full article and zoom enlargement photo here.

UFO snapped over Thames

A STUDENT was left shocked when she checked her tourist snaps of the London skyline - and spotted what looks like a flying saucer.
University Of Exeter academic Karolina-Slavka Mueller was in London for the weekend, when she took some shots with her camera phone of the sights.
But when she looked back at the January 19 night time pictures of Tower Bridge and the London Eye, she was shocked to see an apparent UFO. And experts claim it is the real thing.
Karolina said in an email: "What's very strange about this is the fact that we didn't actually see this object in the sky while I was taking the photos. Full article and photos here.

Oh water, where art thou?

A profile of an apparently successful New Zealand water diviner, Dave Penney []
The quartz crystal quivers, then leans ever so slightly, with no apparent sleight- of-hand direction from Dave Penney.
Slowly, the pointed end of the crystal zeroes in on a blue pen mark scribed on a map.
Penney is a picture of concentration, his hands clasped around a cord attached to the crystal. "It's moving on that one," says the 70-year-old retired motoring and ground engineer, under his breath. "See Johns Road? That aquifer is coming from a main artery here. What I have found with divining is the water is coming from the Antarctic, sourcing through the southern lakes."
Penney is a water diviner, but not for him the conventional forked willow or the two L-shaped metal rods. The divining rods are only used as a back-up. The rest of the time, he lets the crystal run its course over maps, plotting the direction of aquifer arteries and their sub-branches.

Full article here.