Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Yellow-bellied Snake in “Snake -free” New Zealand

The Yellowbelly Sea Snake or Pelagic Sea Snake (Pelamis platurus) is a species of sea snake found in tropical oceanic waters around the world. It occurs on both sides of the Pacific and is the only sea snake to have reached the Hawaiian Islands. One of the world's most poisonous snakes, it has caused a stir in New Zealand, where a 90-centimetre yellow-bellied sea snake made its way alive to the snake-free country, washing up on the beach at Dargaville.
The snake was discovered Wednesday by Graeme Ramsey of Baylys Beach as he walked his dog on the sand. Ramsey identified the snake on the Internet and called police, who kept guard on the snake until it was picked up by rescuers.
It is now reported to be recovering at an Auckland marine centre. "We get three or four sightings a year, but usually when they come to shore they are dead or at death's door," according to curator Andrew Christie. Few sea snakes survive in New Zealand's cold waters. The yellow-bellied sea snake is part of the cobra family. There has been speculation in some quarters, that the increase in the sightings of these snakes in the colder waters surrounding New Zealand, including this one which survived long enough to wash up alive, are related to increases in average sea temperature (as a result of the effects of global warming). Does this seem likely?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Hole in Roof from Unknown Object [Hawkes Bay-NZ]

Photograph-George Cunningham and the hole in his ceiling. Photo / Hawkes Bay Today
Experts are mystified by an unidentified flying object that crashed through the roof of a Hawke's Bay home.
Nightshift worker George Cunningham woke about 5pm on Wednesday to find a fist-like hole in his lounge ceiling and a piece of rusty iron on the floor.
His wife Helen, who was at work when the object landed, said it could have killed someone standing in its path. "It's come through with the force of a bullet. The roof wasn't dented, it was a clean-cut hole."
Sergeant Ray Kirby, who is in charge of the case, described the hunk as arch-shaped, 10cm long and 5cm wide. "To me, it looks like a drumshoe from a brake."
The velocity of its descent suggests it fell from the sky, rather than being thrown.
An aviation expert and a Civil Aviation Authority aeronautical engineer have examined the object and agree it wasn't an aircraft part. "It's too heavy. Generally aircraft are made out of alloy," said Hawke's Bay Aviation chief executive Wattie Solomon, who also ruled out satellite and space station parts for the same reason.
source & references: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10505165

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Curious cloud formations linked to quakes

From New Scientist by Lynn Dicks
CAN unusual clouds signal the possibility of an impending earthquake? That's the question being asked following the discovery of distinctive cloud formations above an active fault in Iran before each of two large earthquakes occurred.
Geophysicists Guangmeng Guo and Bin Wang of Nanyang Normal University in Henan, China, noticed a gap in the clouds in satellite images from December 2004 that precisely matched the location of the main fault in southern Iran. It stretched for hundreds of kilometres, was visible for several hours and remained in the same place, although the clouds around it were moving. At the same time, thermal images of the ground showed that the temperature was higher along the fault. Sixty-nine days later, on 22 February 2005, an earthquake of magnitude 6.4 hit the area, killing more than 600 people
. full article here.
http://environment.newscientist.com/channel/earth/mg19826514.600-curious-cloud-formations-linked-to-quakes.html

FRANCIS, the Adelaide Arcade ghost [video]

FRANCIS, the Adelaide Arcade ghost, has been caught on the centre's security cameras for the first time, so it appears.
Adelaide Arcade promotions manager Sharon Leaney provided the City Messenger with the eerie surveillance footage which shows a burst of light, man-like, fading in and out, near the Grenfell St end of the arcade.
"It's been on the surveillance cameras for quite a few days," Ms Leaney said.
"We have had lots of reports of people hearing footsteps, going cold, but this (film) is the first time I've ever seen anything."
The Adelaide Arcade ghost is said to be its former caretaker Francis Cluney.
He was investigating a flickering light one night in June, 1887, when he fell into the generator and died. Adelaide Arcade, built in 1885, was the first mall in Australia to boast electric lights.
Adelaide Arcade's resident clairvoyant Joan Lesley has no doubt it's Francis on camera.
"He's a nice guy," Ms Lesley said. full article and video here...http://paranormal.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?zi=1/XJ&sdn=paranormal&cdn=newsissues&tm=26&gps=131_375_1436_601&f=22&su=p284.8.150.ip_&tt=2&bt=0&bts=1&zu=http%3A//www.citymessenger.com.au/article/2008/04/08/4447_city_news.html

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Stonehenge dig

For the first time in over four decades, archaeologists are conducting a dig at England's Stonehenge. After their first week of work, they’ve already reached a "breakthrough" to some intriguing new finds. BBC News has video of the excavation at the esoteric landmark. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7337292.stm

Saturday, April 5, 2008

First ever photographs of a possible Yowie?

YOWIE hunter Paul Compton has long believed a giant animal lives in the Glen Innes district - and he claims he finally has photos to prove it.
Two days before Christmas, Mr Compton set up a wild view trail camera in an area north west of Glen Innes he has been watching for some time. A week later he returned, finding the camera - triggered by movement - had shot 921 images, including two showing a blurred black figure he claims to be the elusive animal.
“There had been a lot of activity there - rocks moved, broken tree limbs - I’d left a couple of cooked chops in a plastic bag in a tree about eight foot of the ground as bait, and when I returned it had been ripped apart,” he said.
Mr Compton estimates the shadowy figure to be about 35m from the camera, and estimates it’s height to be about (4 foot six inches) - “I took my son out and got him to stand in the same place and he’s about the same height”.
He says he believes the animal is a descendant of the giant ancient ape Gigantapithicus, which was in Asia tens of thousands of years ago.
“I’ve got hair at home that’s been identified by Dr Henner Fahrenbach from Oregon Regional Primate Research Centre in America who believes it to be a high primate and identical to the type of hair belonging to the (American) Big Foot or Sasquatch.”
Mr Compton, who has plaster casts of footprints, has become somewhat of an authority on big animals, and in October will be a guest speaker at the three day Mid American Big Foot Research Foundation conference in Oklahoma to talk about big animals in Australia.
Meanwhile, two commercial television current affairs programs are looking at the recently snapped photos.
“There’s never been a picture before, this could really put Glen Innes on the map,” he said. Source: Glen Innes Examiner, NSW

Friday, April 4, 2008

Unidentified object flies Canterbury skies

By PAUL GORMAN - The Press

Teenager Andrew Wilkinson captured an apparently fiery object in the Canterbury sky on his digital camera last night.
Wilkinson, 17, photographed the object, at left, from his Halswell home at 7.27pm.
He said it was too slow to be a meteor or a plane, and wondered if it might be satellite debris in the western sky.
A handful of other observant Cantabrians also spotted the orange ribbon standing out brightly in the dusk.
"I got the camera and took a photo. It was moving extremely slowly, so I thought it might have been a plane for a minute. The front looked like a fireball.
"I didn't hear any noise. It looks like it might have been extremely high up, given the speed it was moving," he said.
Police southern communications shift supervisor Trevor Cross said he received one phone call about the phenomenon. A policeman at Oxford also saw it and thought it might be a vapour trail.
The superintendent of the University of Canterbury's Mount John Observatory at Tekapo, Alan Gilmore , said his "immediate reaction" was it was a plane.
"The slowness would be due to the plane's movement. I assume from the contrail's angle that it is a plane heading for Australia," Gilmore said. "The trail doesn't look at all like a meteor or space-debris trail."

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Cottingley fairies house for sale

Fancy owning a piece of Fortean history? Cottingley is forever in our minds courtesy of Arthur Conan Doyle and the fairy photographs of Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths from 1917 and 1920. There are so many Fortean aspects and indeed cliches in this case that I shall not rehash them here. Cottingley is currently experiencing a bit of a building boom and new streets are being added, streets with names such as Oberon Way, Lysander Way and Goodfellow Close. There is already a Fairy Dell there. But Main Street survives. This is the street where the girls were staying at the time, specifcially in number 31. Number 31 was sold in July of 2000, for £57 000. But it now appears that next door is up for sale. A mere snip at £154 995 The estate agent description inlcudes mention of the fairies: "Access to the garden from the rear of the property which has a history as the garden featured in the Cottingley Fairies Story. In July 1917, two young girls claimed to have taken photographs of real life fairies at the bottom of their garden. full article here. http://blogs.forteana.org/node/54

How to transform your arm into a wing

A reconstructive surgeon has now described the steps that would be needed to transform human arms into wings. --New Scientist article here. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn13562-how-to-transform-your-arm-into-a-wing.html