Monday, November 30, 2009

Seeing doesnt mean believing..

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Viewing video: Labyrinth of Egypt

Must see video about the recently found legendary Labyrinth of Egypt. Could this be the most important discovery in human history?

Viewing video: Starchild skull - Lloyd Pye

Lloyd Pie speaks on Coast to Coast am about the famous Starchild skull.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Paranormal Activity Deleted Scenes

Scientists under fire in climate change 'cover-up' scandal

A leading British climate scientist has come under pressure to resign over a series of leaked e-mails, which global warming sceptics say point to a mass conspiracy. The scandal erupted after a research server was hacked into, and private e-mails and documents were released, suggesting that scientists may have colluded to prevent the release of climate data.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Viewing video: Michio Kaku: physics of invisibility

Michio Kaku talks a bit about the possibility of technology capable of making someone invisible.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Viewing video: STS-61 UFO

An unidentified object flies over the space shuttle during the STS-61 mission.

Viewing video: Weird creature in Panama

CNN covers this story from earlier this year, a strange creature was found in Panama.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Twitter Seance reached departed pop star?

Twitter users have attempted to speak to departed pop stars in the world's first seance on the social networking site.

The move was a paranormal publicity stunt by a fancy dress shop in London ahead of Hallowe'en

The shop, Angels Fancy Dress, let Tweeters vote on who they wanted to contact and the final list was made up of Michael Jackson, Kurt Cobain, William Shakespeare and River Phoenix.

Tweeters taking part chose questions for the foursome and their 'answers' were tweeted online.

The seance was run by psychic Jayne Wallace, who allegedly contacted the spirit of Jade Goody - who died in March this year - for her mother Jackiey Budden.

Ms Wallace reported that Jade wanted to apologise to her mother for not listening to her about marrying Jack Tweed, saying it was the "biggest mistake she ever made".

Michael Jackson was said to be singing when Ms Wallace made contact. He later "tweeted" he should have asked for help but he was now at peace.

During the Twitter seance, River Phoenix was said to have apologised to his family for the way he died and claimed his brother was the better actor.

Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain allegedly caused Ms Wallace physical pain before saying he was sorry drugs destroyed him.

The tweance failed to reach William Shakespeare.

A spokesman for Angels Fancy Dress said: "We've been amazed by the response we've had to this. We stopped counting at around 4,000 responses.

"And most people have been very positive.

"Jayne Wallace is very well respected in her profession and we thought that this, as well as being a world first, would be a good way of allowing people to interact with their heroes."

:: In other Halloween-related news, a black cat called Tiny from Edgware in London has been appointed the official cat of the Wookey Hole Witch.

To see a picture of Tiny log on to

Sting claims he once confronted a ghost

Sting has claimed he once confronted a ghost which wandered into his room at the dead of night.

The singer, who famously sang Spirits In The Material World in the 1980s, said wife Trudie Styler also witnessed the figure, standing with a child in the corner of their bedroom.

Sting said he also experienced flying objects and mysterious voices in one of his homes in an interview to be played on Radio 2.

He said: ''I would never have said I believe in ghosts, until I saw one - and I've seen a ghost with my own eyes.''

The musician, whose former band The Police recorded an album Ghost In The Machine, continued: ''I was in bed one night, a very old house I used to live in. And I woke up at three in the morning, bolt upright, looked into the corner of the room and thought I saw Trudie standing there with a child - our child - in her arms, staring at me.

''And I thought 'well, that's strange - why is she standing in a corner, staring at me?'. And I then reached next to me and there was Trudie, and I suddenly got this terrible chill. And she woke up and said 'Gosh, who is that?' and she saw this woman and a child in the corner of the room.''

Sting told presenter Claudia Winkleman, in an interview to be broadcast on Friday night at 10pm, that the figure simply disappeared.

He added: ''A lot of things happened in that house, a lot of flying objects and voices and strange, strange things happened.

''When you live in old houses you get this energy there. Intellectually, no I don't believe in them (ghosts), but I've experienced them on an emotional level.''

Could Jupiter Moon Harbor Fish-Size Life?

Video: Hydrothermal Vents on Earth

Victoria Jaggard
National Geographic News
November 16, 2009

In the oceans of a moon hundreds of millions of miles from the sun, something fishy may be alive—right now.

Below its icy crust Jupiter's moon Europa is believed to host a global ocean up to a hundred miles (160 kilometers) deep, with no land to speak of at the surface. (See "Jupiter Moon Has Violent, Hidden Oceans, Study Suggests.")

And the extraterrestrial ocean is currently being fed more than a hundred times more oxygen than previous models had suggested, according to provocative new research.

That amount of oxygen would be enough to support more than just microscopic life-forms: At least three million tons of fishlike creatures could theoretically live and breathe on Europa, said study author Richard Greenberg of the University of Arizona in Tucson.

(Related: "Did Rising Oxygen Levels Fuel Mammal Evolution?")

"There's nothing saying there is life there now," said Greenberg, who presented his work last month at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Sciences. "But we do know there are the physical conditions to support it."

In fact, based on what we know about the Jovian moon, parts of Europa's seafloor should greatly resemble the environments around Earth's deep-ocean hydrothermal vents, said deep-sea molecular ecologist Timothy Shank.

"I'd be shocked if no life existed on Europa," said Shank, of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, who was not involved in the new study.

Despite the promising new estimates, it's too early to do more than speculate about how Europan life might have evolved. A closer look—perhaps by a NASA orbiter now in development—will be needed to tell exactly how chemicals are distributed on Europa and how the moon's geologic history might have contributed to life's chances.

Europa's Shiny New Coat

Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei discovered Europa in 1610. But it wasn't until Galileo, the NASA spacecraft, reached the Jupiter system in 1995 that scientists were able to study the moon in detail.

What the Galileo probe found was so exciting that NASA deliberately crashed the spacecraft into Jupiter in 2003 to prevent the craft from contaminating one of its own discoveries: the salty, subsurface ocean on Europa. Although the probe didn't see the ocean directly, scientists are pretty sure it's there, based on the age, composition, and structure of the moon's icy surface.

For instance, pictures of the moon's bright surface suggest it's relatively young, said the University of Arizona's Greenberg, author of Unmasking Europa: The Search for Life on Jupiter's Ocean Moon.

Europa, like the other planets and moons in our solar system, is more than four billion years old. But a relative lack of impact craters implies that the icy crust is just 50 million years old. "It's an entirely different surface now than it was at the time the dinosaurs went extinct on Earth," Greenberg said.

"Repaving" Sends Oxygen Steadily Downward?

Europa's smooth surface is marred only by dark, crisscrossing ridges that suggest the icy shell is being stretched and compressed by tidal forces.

"We're used to thinking of tides on Earth as something seen on the shore," Greenberg explained. But on a larger scale, gravity from the sun and moon constantly squishes and stretches Earth as a whole.

Europa, which is about as big as our moon, also gets tidally stretched, not by the sun but by the gravity of massive Jupiter.

The friction from all this tidal stretching probably heats Europa enough to maintain liquid water, Greenberg said—even though the Jovian moon is 483 million miles (778 million kilometers) from the sun.

The warmer ocean material may be oozing up through cracks in the ice and freezing on the surface at the same rate that older ice sinks and melts into the liquid interior.

This cycle of "repaving" would explain the young look of the surface ice—and would open the door for oxygen at the surface to permeate the subsurface ocean.

Oxygen is created when charged particles from Jupiter's magnetic field hit the ice. Given his estimates for the moon's rate of repaving, Greenberg thinks it would have taken one to two billion years for the first surface oxygen to reach the ocean below.

Time to Grow

A few million years after the ice-repaving process had started, oxygen levels in Europan seas reached their current levels—which exceed levels in Earth's oceans—Greenberg speculates.

This timeframe actually improves the chances that life as we know it took root on Europa. For starters, the most primitive life-forms need an absence of oxygen to form, Greenberg said.

"Oxygen tends to cause other molecules to come apart," he said, so genetic material such as DNA can't freely assemble with oxygen present.

"You need the delay so genetic material and structures can take shape," he said. "And then when oxygen arrives, organisms will at least have a fighting chance."

Similarly, a sudden abundance of oxygen can kill simple life-forms that aren't accustomed to the highly reactive element. But if oxygen is introduced slowly, creatures can evolve to tolerate it and even come to depend on it—a process thought to have happened on early Earth.

The Case Against Animals on Europa

Greenberg's generous estimate of oxygen in Europa's ocean—and the resulting speculation that fishlike creatures may exist there—depends on the surface repaving to have happened at a relatively stable rate, in this case, a complete renewal every 50 million years.

But planetary scientist Robert Pappalardo said the process may have been more intermittent, and therefore the oxygen level—and chance for fishlike life—lower.

"Maybe 50 million years ago it was churning away, and now it's slowed down and become much more sluggish," said Pappalardo, a senior research scientist with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

For example, Pappalardo said, Europa is gravitationally locked with its neighboring moon Io, which has an eccentric orbit around Jupiter. This means Io may be pushing and pulling on Europa in extreme cycles, resulting in periods of high and low tidal friction on Europa.

Even in this scenario, oxygen could reach the seas, though maybe not in quantities that would favor complex life-forms.

Since ice behaves like a fluid over long time frames (think glaciers), he said, surface elements could be reaching Europa's ocean via solid ice.

"Picture a lava lamp: Blobs of warmer material rise, and cooler blobs sink. It's just that in ice it might take a hundred thousand years for a blob to rise."

Meanwhile, if tidal activity on Europa comes in fits and starts, that would change the rates at which heat and nutrients from the rocky mantle become available, he said.

"Say there are microbes down there," Pappalardo added. "What would it mean for their evolution if every hundred thousand years there was much more heat and chemicals? It might lead to much more hardy organisms"—but not necessarily complex life.

Life's chances on Europa would also depend on whether tidal friction heats the moon all the way to its rocky core. If the solid core is in fact warm, he said, "then you may have black smokers pouring out heat and chemicals." If not, the dissolved nutrients needed to sustain life would be much more limited.

In fact, even with vast amounts of oxygen in the water, astrobiologist Cynthia Phillips of the SETI Institute said, it's unlikely for Europa to house anything bigger than microbes, given its probable amounts of life-supporting chemical nutrients.

"While it's really exciting to think of giant squid on Europa, there's not likely to be anything there that size," Phillips said.

Wanted: Ice-Penetrating, Swimming, Sniffing Spacecraft

For some scientists, though, the idea of at least microbial life on Europa is plausible enough that researchers, including Shank of Woods Hole, are already eyeing Earth's superheated hydrothermal vents as possible analogues.

Some microbes can thrive on the gases created from the chemicals spewed out by these vents. On Europa such chemicals could be the basis of a food chain that, with oxygen in the water, might support complex life.

One day spacecraft could be sent to Europa to penetrate the ice and explore the ocean, much as remotely operated vehicles sniff Earth's deep ocean for nutrients released by unseen hydrothermal vents, Shank said.

But first scientists would have to develop sensors that can probe for DNA, RNA, and other chemical signatures of life.

A submersible sent to Europa would also have to be made smaller, lighter, and with better battery life than existing models—while still being able to drill its own way through what may be miles of ice.

Robust communications capabilities would also be essential, Shank said. "It's no good to go down there and find life and not be able to tell anyone about it."

Mission: Europa

NASA's next step in exploring Europa, however, is more likely to be an orbiter—i.e., no undersea missions—proposed as part of a joint mission with the European Space Agency.

Such a mission, while desirable, would face a number of hurdles, SETI's Phillips noted. At their closest, Jupiter and its moons are roughly 365 million miles (588 million kilometers) from Earth, so getting there can take as long as five to six years with current technology.

At that distance, there's not enough sunlight for a solar-powered probe, so the craft would need to bring its own nuclear power source, Phillips said.

There's also the constant radiation from Jupiter's magnetosphere to contend with.

"If you want to orbit Europa, the radiation is [eventually] going to fry your spacecraft," Phillips said. "Once you finally get to Europa, you can hope to orbit for a couple months if you're lucky."

Pappalardo, the study scientist for the proposed Europa mission, said NASA's planned orbiter should be robust enough to last almost a year before succumbing to radiation or other environmental pressures.

Such a mission, he added, could find concrete evidence for complex life on Europa. But, he said, that's the optimistic view.

"The conservative view would be to ask: Is there enough chemical energy for organisms of any type to thrive?" Pappalardo said.

"It's not out of the question, but first let's go see what's there."

Nasa and Esa sign Mars agreement

The US and European space agencies have signed the "letter of intent" that ties together their Mars programmes.

The agreement, which was penned in Washington DC, gives the green light to scientists and engineers to begin the joint planning of Red Planet missions.

The union will start with a European-led orbiter in 2016, and continue with surface rovers in 2018, and then perhaps a network of landers in 2018.

The ultimate aim is a mission to return Mars rock and soils to Earth labs.

The Washington document was signed by the heads of the agencies, Nasa administrator Charles Bolden and Esa director-general Jean-Jacques Dordain.

The Mars Joint Exploration Initiative (Meji) has been under discussion for several months, with the key elements - covering scope, division of responsibility and financing - gradually falling into place. The letter of intent puts the initiative on a more formal footing.

The US and Europe have taken the view that they can achieve more together scientifically at the Red Planet if they combine their expertise.

And with both parties' current Mars programmes also experiencing financial pressures, the shared approach means the exploration schedule of a mission every two years can be maintained.

Esa's member states have already pledged 850m euros towards a Red Planet venture. They will need to take that figure up to about a billion euros to properly fund Meji activities.

The existence of this extra funding, and which European nations might provide it, will have to be established at a council meeting of the agency in mid-December (although the subscription opportunity will officially stay open until the end of the year).

"The important thing I think is that the member states have bought into the ideas; I'm not expecting any shocks," Professor David Southwood, Esa's director of science and robotics, told BBC News.

Professor Southwood has put together the joint initiative with his opposite number at Nasa, Dr Ed Weiler.

Their broad vision would encompass the following launch opportunities:

  • 2016: A European-led orbiter to study trace gases, including methane, in Mars' atmosphere. The mission would also put a static meteorological station on the surface. Critically, Europe would handle the entry, descent and landing (EDL) of this station - a capability it has yet to demonstrate.
  • 2018: European and American rovers would be despatched to Mars. The US would do the EDL.
  • 2020: "Under consideration" is a network of landers focused on geophysics and the environment.

Nasa will provide the launch rockets in 2016 and 2018.

The 2016 meteorological station would be smaller than the recent US Phoenix lander.

Europe will try to land it during what is expected to be the dust storm season, when Martian dirt is whipped into the sky.

Such storms can sometimes envelop the entire planet and change the characteristics of the atmosphere, making EDL far trickier.

"It will be a challenge but we think we know how to do it," said Professor Southwood.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Video Viewing : History Channel documentary about the year 2012 and what might happen.

Viewing video: Sleep paralysis with David Hufford

The Authority on sleep paralysis David J Hufford speaks openly about sleep paralysis, the raw footage is from the documentary Your Worst Nightmare.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

This video has some interesting information about Russian Cosmonaut UFO sightings.

This video has some interesting information about Russian Cosmonaut UFO sightings.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Joshua Kucera 11/09/09
Part 1 of a Series

According to legend, when Genghis Khan died in 1227 in what is now northern China, his lieutenants wanted to keep the death a secret from the Mongols’ enemies. So as the party accompanying his body made its way back to Mongolia, they killed every person they saw on the way - more than 20,000 - so news of the death wouldn’t spread. Then, when they buried Genghis, they either redirected a river to cover the site, or set horses to trample the ground so no trace would be seen, or killed all the people who buried him, and then killed those killers.

There is no hard evidence that any of those things happened. It may well be that they are after-the-fact embellishments designed to explain a remarkable circumstance of history: the location of Genghis’ tomb remains a mystery.

The Mongol Empire receded almost as fast as it spread -- a fact that may have played a big role in keeping Genghis’ final resting place a secret. For centuries, the people of Mongolia retained a traditional, nomadic lifestyle that left little time to contemplate the distant past. In the 20th century, the Soviet Union dominated Mongolia and, while it modernized the country, it feared Mongolian nationalism, and so discouraged any deep look into the nation’s history.

But the last 20 years have seen a burst of interest in Genghis Khan. Abroad, his reputation as a bloodthirsty barbarian has undergone a substantial revision, thanks in part to books like the bestselling Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World. Meanwhile, a new, high-budget museum exhibition is touring the United States that emphasizes some innovations developed by Genghis Khan, including intercontinental commerce, religious pluralism and meritocracy.

In Mongolia, Ghengis is revered to a degree approaching that of a deity. His image appears everywhere, including on a tapestry in Ulaanbaatar’s main monastery, as well as a statue in front of the parliament building. Ulaanbaatar’s airport and popular brands of beer and vodka are named after him.

Given the revival of his legacy, it’s not surprising that there has been an awakening of interest in finding his grave.

Since the collapse of Communism in 1991, two high-profile attempts have been mounted to find the grave. Both became mired in controversy.

The first was in the early 1990s, when the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun sponsored an expedition that lasted four years and found the site of an early Mongol capital city, Avraga, and an intriguing circular structure three kilometers in circumference called the Almsgiver’s Wall. But it found no sign of Genghis’s tomb. The expedition did, however, engender suspicion among Mongolians, many of whom still believe the Japanese were in fact using Genghis as a pretext to secretly prospect for minerals.

Rumors also still circulate in Mongolia that the government, in an attempt to thwart the foreign expeditions, forbade the group from looking at Burkhan Kaldun, a mountain near the border with Russia where most scholars believe Genghis Khan is likely buried. It was on Burkhan Khaldun that, after his wife was kidnapped by rivals, Genghis prayed and received the revelation that he was to build an empire.

"Mongolians wouldn’t accept them finding the grave, because of our beliefs," said D. Tumen, the chair of the archeology department at the National University of Mongolia. "This was the first time that an international expedition was undertaken, and Mongolians [were] afraid they would destroy or steal some things from the grave, so they didn’t want them to be touched." Hard evidence of a government ban on exploration around Burkhan Khaldun has never surfaced, however.

The next major expedition was led by a retired commodities trader, Maury Kravitz, and a University of Chicago historian, John Woods. That expedition, too, did not look at Burkhan Kaldun, but at the Almsgiver’s Wall. Even so, the group was forced to end its research early, in 2002, after a former prime minister of Mongolia visited and wrote a public letter alleging that the Americans had desecrated the site by driving cars over it, constructing temporary buildings too close to the wall, and storing human remains unceremoniously in pans.

Now there is a new group intent on finding the grave. It is called the Valley of the Khans project, and started work last year. It is led by Albert Yu-Min Lin, a materials science expert at the University of California-San Diego with no archeological background. The front page of the project’s website features a quote from the 2004 book Genghis Khan, by John Man, which hints at the expectations of the team:

"Surely, it is widely assumed, the grave of the ruler of half Eurasia would rival that of Tutankhamun. In fact, the search is not just for one grave but for a whole necropolis, a Mongolian Valley of the Kings, where Genghis’s family and heirs ... must lie buried, along with wives, concubines, slaves, horses and Eternal Heaven knows what else of gold, jewelry, costumes and weapons the imagination can conjure up."

"If the grave exists and if it were ever found, it would create a revolution in archeology, scholarship, cash-flow and - since China claims Genghis as its own - international relations."

But the Valley of the Khans website doesn’t quote the next lines of Man’s book: "The discovery of the grave would signal the start of a feeding frenzy, attracting funds, most of them probably in dollars, to the delight of both the institutions that already exist and many more that would spring up overnight. Universities would rival tour companies for control of access, with the government acting as umpire, trying to seize a share of the inflow for the nation, and probably failing, given the current passion for privatization and the prevalence of bribery."

The potential for that sort of unseemly chaos around the resting place of Mongolia’s greatest hero has created deep misgivings in Mongolia about the search, and so while researchers close in on their goal and the answer to one of archeology’s great unanswered questions, another question is increasingly being asked in Mongolia: Should Genghis Khan’s grave be found?

Editor's Note: Joshua Kucera is a Washington, DC,-based freelance writer who specializes in security issues in Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Middle East.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Telekinesis revealed!

Is the straw moving by the power of telekinesis? If not, how does it move?

Science of Scam Video : Why We Believe?

Psychic Readings revealed!

Is the reader really psychic? If not, just how does she seem to know so much?

Viewing video 53:56 mins: UFOs: the best evidence - the visitors

Emmy winning journalist traces UFOs through history, includes sightings by the world's most famous people.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Police worker fired for backing psychic investigations claims religious discrimination

A police trainer who was sacked for believing that officers should use psychics to solve crimes is going to court to prove he was the victim of religious discrimination.

Alan Power, who has been a member of a Spiritualist church for 30 years, argues that his belief in the power of mediums should be placed on a par with more mainstream religious and philosophical convictions.

He has already secured a legal ruling that his principles are covered by laws designed to prevent religious discrimination in the workplace, and is now seeking to prove that they were the reason for his dismissal.

Mr Power's case follows a landmark ruling last month that environmental views should be considered equivalent to religious and philosophical beliefs, following a legal challenge by a green executive at a property firm.

At a tribunal in London, Mr Power will claim that Greater Manchester Police broke the law by sacking him for believing that mediums should be consulted in criminal investigations.

In an initial judgement seen by The Independent, Judge Peter Russell said that the case had merit because his Spiritualist views "have sufficient cogency, seriousness, cohesion and importance" to be covered by the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003.

The judge wrote: "I am satisfied that the claimant's beliefs that there is life after death and that the dead can be contacted through mediums are worthy of respect in a democratic society."

Mr Power's former employers are expected to argue that Judge Russell's ruling was not justified, and highlight that the trainer did not initially claim that his belief in the usefulness of psychics to police investigations amounted to a religious conviction.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: "GMP can confirm that a member of police staff was dismissed from his role as a trainer. The former staff member has appealed this dismissal. As the appeals process is underway it would be inappropriate to comment further."

Last week it was disclosed that police in Wales spent £20,000 following up murder case "leads" supplied by a group of psychics.

Viewing video: Vatican holds astrobiology conference

Though it may seem an unlikely location to happen upon a conference on astrobiology, the Vatican recently held a study week of over 30 astronomers, biologists, geologists and religious leaders to discuss the question of the existence of extraterrestrials.

Moon-Bombing Mission Finds Significant Amount of Water in Lunar Soil

NASA's moon-smashing mission may not have provided a huge show for the folks on Earth, but now there's sweet vindication for scientists. The plume of lunar debris kicked up from ancient lunar crater kicked up 24 gallons of water, LCROSS mission staff reported today. The October 9th impact from the main LCROSS impactor sent one plume arcing high above the rim of the crater Cabeus, and ejected another curtain of debris more laterally. Scientists identified water's light-absorbing signature in the plume by examining data from the spacecraft's spectrometers. They may have also spotted other "intriguing substances" that have lain dormant within the crater for billions of years.

"The concentration and distribution of water and other substances requires further analysis, but it is safe to say Cabeus holds water," said Anthony Colaprete, the lead LCROSS scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center in California.

This finding fits with earlier findings from three lunar probes that affirmed evidence of water on the moon. But the latest discovery may signal that water remains on the moon in greater amounts than just trace samples, and could point to the polar craters as future ice mining sites for lunar colonies.

NASA already has microwave technology and other ice-mining methods in the works. We can't wait for that first taste of aqua-pure filtered lunar water.

Human Bat Prank

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ouija board revealed!

Chi energy revealed!

Viewing video: Psi wheel exposed

Derren Brown reveals how simple science can explain how a psi wheel spins around as part of the Science of Scams series.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Villagers confine rare turtle, say it is God

BHUBANESWAR, India (Reuters) - Hundreds of poor Hindu villagers in eastern India have refused to hand over a rare turtle to authorities, saying it is an incarnation of God, officials said on Tuesday. Villagers chanting hymns and carrying garlands, bowls of rice and fruits are pouring in from remote villages to a temple in Kendrapara, a coastal district in eastern Orissa state.

BHUBANESWAR, India (Reuters) - Hundreds of poor Hindu villagers in eastern India have refused to hand over a rare turtle to authorities, saying it is an incarnation of God, officials said on Tuesday.

Villagers chanting hymns and carrying garlands, bowls of rice and fruits are pouring in from remote villages to a temple in Kendrapara, a coastal district in eastern Orissa state.

Policemen have struggled to control the gathering and have failed to persuade the villagers to give up the sea turtle.

"We have asked the villagers to hand it over as it is illegal to confine a turtle, but they are refusing," said P.K. Behera, a senior government wildlife official.

The turtle is protected in India and anyone found keeping one without permission can be jailed for a year or more and fined.

But adamant villagers have refused to give up the reptile, saying the turtle bears holy symbols on its back and is an incarnation of Lord Jagannath, a popular Hindu deity.

"Lord Jagannath has visited our village in the form of a turtle. We will not allow anybody to take the turtle away," said Ramesh Mishra, a priest of the temple.

(Reporting by Jatindra Dash; Writing by Bappa Majumdar; Editing by Ron Popeski)

(c) Reuters 2009. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.

Last updated: 10 November 2009, 08:51

Woman diagnosed with fear of vegetables

Woman diagnosed with fear of vegetables

Vicki Larrieux, a 22-year-old student from Portsmouth, claims she is unable to keep to a healthy diet because she is frightened of vegetables.

Miss Larrieux survives on a diet of meat, potatoes, cereals and an occasional apple but refuses even a single slice of carrot on her dinner plate.

"I have always had an irrational fear of vegetables even as a child I used to properly freak out if some carrots or a few peas were on my plate," she said.

"But as it continued into adult life I started to think it might not just be a dislike for vegetables but an actual phobia.

"Every time I would see vegetables not just on my plate, but anywhere I would get feelings of panic, start sweating and my heart rate would shoot up.

"People might think it is a bit of a laughable affliction but I have a genuine fear of greens it's not just that I dislike the taste of sprouts or broccoli, but the actual sight of them fills me with dread and I could never touch them."

The unusual fear affects just a few thousand people in Britain and treatments for the condition include "psychological re-programming" to control the anxious response to seeing vegetables.

Miss Larrieux's condition makes routine trips to the supermarket or a night out at a restaurant with her boyfriend Joseph Jade, 25, a major problem.

"It is a bit of an ordeal to go to the supermarket because the veg is usually right by the door," she said.

"My boyfriend is very understanding and does his best to accommodate me. It is a good job he isn't a vegetarian because it just wouldn't work.

"I am learning to control my fear but it isn't easy it is a hard thing to have to bring up when I meet new people and I'm sure some people must think I'm taking the mickey.

"But I'm confident that I will eventually overcome the phobia I'd love to be able to sit down to a slap-up Sunday roast with a pile of greens and I'm sure one day that will happen."

A spokesman for phobia charity Anxiety UK said: "Around 13 per cent of Brits suffer a phobia of some form.

"There are treatments available including medication and self-help groups for all manner of phobias, but anyone fearing they may have a problem should see a GP first for proper diagnosis."

Viewing video: Graham Hancock: Underworld

17,000 years ago and 7000 years ago, at the end of the last Ice Age, terrible things happened to the world our ancestors lived in.

Viewing video: World's largest pyramid discovered

CNN feature about the world's largest pyramid being discovered in the Lost Mayan City Of Mirador, Guatemala.

Viewing video: Nemrut Dag

Footage taken of the mysterious statues at Nemrut Dag, Turkey.

Viewing video: Smart dog counts with paw

This dog appears to be able to count with its paws.

Viewing video: Man is scared of peaches

This man has a phobia for the most bizarre of things - peaches.

Boy, 11, declared reincarnated holy man

A US boy is not going back to school - after he was declared the reincarnation of a Buddhist holy man who first died in 1250.

Boston-born Jigme Wangchuk, 11, has now moved to India where he has been made the head of a Buddhist sect in the country's eastern Darjeeling city.

His parents say they discovered their son was not like other children two years ago when he started talking about his "past life". At first, they dismissed it as a childish fantasy, but began taking it seriously during a trip to a monastery in Mysore, southern India. At one point, he went into a trance in which he described a celebrated Buddhist monastery with a 35ft dragon on the roof.

After hearing his description of the temple he had never visited, the monks proclaimed he was the reincarnation of the 'Rinpoche' or high priest Galwa Lorepa, the founder of one of the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism.Now he will spent the next ten years in virtual seclusion and only be able to communicate with his former school friends by email."It has been a very difficult period for us over the past two years. I have been crying for the past five months, but have, at last, come to terms with it," said his mother Dechen."When we were in New Delhi on our way to Darjeeling, I asked him whether he would like to go back to Boston. He said he has to fulfil his responsibilities to his people."But for 'His Holiness' Jigme, there's no regrets: "I will miss my school days but I am happy in my new role. I like it here," he said.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bizarre plant root resembles boy

Getting to the root of the matter

Baffled scientists are trying to get to the root of this astonishing plant dug out of the ground by a Chinese farmer.

The two foot tall root weighs in at a massive 12 lbs and bears an amazing resemblance to a boy in even the smallest detail.

The root comes from the Chinese knotweed plant, used by local healers as a natural laxative.

Farmer Zheng Dexun, 63, of Datianba, in southern China, said: "I was shocked that it was so large and is so clearly like a boy.

"It's bigger than my grandson. Scientists are looking at it now and will tell me how it came to be like this."

Sunday, November 8, 2009

(2/2) UFO & Ghost Photos - fake or true?

(1/2) UFO & Ghost Photos - the fakes or true?

(2/2) Time Slips / Time Travel

(1/2) Time Slips / Time Travel

This segment from Strange But True explores the phenomenon of time slips.

The world's most dangerous roads

But what are considered the worst roads if you're travelling overseas? Below, in reverse order, is a top 10 of the world's worst roads, compiled by the Association for Safe International Road Travel.

Think your local roads are bad? From Bolivia to China and beyond, we name the world's 10 worst routes.

We all know local roads which can be considered 'dangerous' - poorly lit lanes, potholed tracks, stretches of motorway which attract the area's wannabe Schumachers and so on.

These roads will have you driving among the clouds, along fast-eroding cliff tops with 3,500m drops, across deadly streams, through bandit territory and more. Suddenly, our local drive looks a whole lot less stressful...

10) Grand Trunk Road (India)
'GT', as it's often called, was built about 500 years ago to connect the east and western regions of the Indian subcontinent. The 2,500km road is full of trucks and rattling buses manned by drivers without much respect for their lives - or yours. And then there's the cyclists, the pedestrians, the salesmen, the ox carts, the cows, the buffalos....

9) Patiopoulo-Perdikaki Road (Greece)
This dirt track leads from Patiopoulo down to Perdikaki in the Agrafa region of Greece. It's steep, busy, full of huge potholes and extremely slippery (due to the gravel surface). It's also very narrow in places, with no lines or guard rails on the edges. That's less than ideal given the sheer drop... on both sides.

8) A44 (United Kingdom)
Much of the A44, a major road which runs from Oxford in southern England to Aberystwyth in west Wales, is fairly innocuous, but a 40km section between Leominster and Worcester has several blind corners. A quarter of accidents here involve vehicles leaving the road, and even more are head-on collisions. Nevertheless, the route is popular with thrill-seeking bikers.

7) Luxor-al Hurghada Road (Egypt)
Egypt's most dangerous road links two tourist locations - the ancient city of Luxor in the south, and Hurghada, a hub for diving schools on the coast of the Red Sea. The route is well-known bandit territory, with travellers facing a high risk of ambush and hijack. To avoid detection at night, the vast majority of drivers opt not to use their headlights. And that has a rather predicable side-effect...

6) Cotopaxi Volcan (Ecuador)
This 40km-long dirt track, one of countless dangerous roads in Ecuador, connects the Pan American Highway with the Cotopaxi Volcan National Park, which boasts one of the highest active volcanoes in the world. The treacherous route is peppered with holes, but the 'highlight' of the journey comes when you need to cross a bridge-less stream. It's particularly dangerous during flash floods... and flash floods seem to occur here even in the lightest of rains. You won't find that mentioned in any travel brochure.

5) Coastal roads (Croatia)
The Croatian coast makes the list due to the narrow and twisty nature of the roads, and a general lack of markings, lay-bys and side rails. The scenery on the jagged coast is absolutely stunning, but if you're driving, it's probably best to watch where you're going - and keep your fingers crossed that others do too.

4) Pan American Highway (Costa Rica)
The Pan-American Highway system, the longest drivable road in the world, runs an incredible 48,270km from Alaska to the lower reaches of South America. Several stretches can be considered 'tricky', but the most infamous section is a high mountain pass called 'Cerro de la Muerte' in Costa Rica. It's steep, narrow, twisty, full of holes and susceptible to flash floods and landslides. The name translates as 'Hill of Death'.

3) Sichuan-Tibet Highway (China)
At least 100,000 people are said to die on Chinese roads each year - or one person every 5 minutes. You'll want to avoid the 2,000km-long (but not very wide) Sichuan-Tibet Highway, which traverses at least a dozen different mountains with an average height of 4,000-5,000m. The high altitude means you'll be driving among clouds, and there's a high risk of landslides and avalanches to boot.

2) BR-116 (Brazil)
Brazil's second longest road runs 1,550km from Porto Alegre to Rio de Janeiro. The middle section, which covers around 400km from Curitiba to São Paulo, has steep cliffs, poor conditions and unstable weather. Officially it's named Rodovia Régis Bittencourt, but it's known locally as 'Rodovia da Morte'. That's 'Highway of Death'.

1) The North Yungas Road (Bolivia)
Some of the choices here may seem a little quirky, but few will deny that Bolivia's 'Death Road' is the most dangerous in the world. North Yungas Road snakes across roughly 70km of the Andes, from La Paz to Coroico, with drops of up to 3,500m... and dozens of wrecked vehicles at the bottom. Drivers need to contend with crazy hairpins, oncoming traffic (often rushing to beat you into bends), an almost constant layer of fog and, during tropical downpours, high risk of landslides too. Tourist companies now cash in on the road's notoriety by offering extreme bike tours down it. We'll give that a miss, thanks.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Colossal 'sea monster' unearthed

The ferocious predator, which is called a pliosaur, terrorised the oceans 150 million years ago.

The skull is 2.4m long, and experts say it could belong to one of the largest pliosaurs ever found: measuring up to 16m in length.

The fossil, which was found by a local collector, has been purchased by Dorset County Council.

It was bought with money from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and it will now be scientifically analysed, prepared and then put on public display at Dorset County Museum.

Palaeontologist Richard Forrest told the BBC: "I had heard rumours that something big was turning up. But seeing this thing in the flesh, so to speak, is just jaw dropping. It is simply enormous."

liosaurs were a form of plesiosaur, a group of giant aquatic reptiles that dominated the seas around the same time that dinosaurs roamed the Earth.

They had short necks and huge, crocodilian-like heads that contained immensely powerful jaws and a set of huge, razor-sharp teeth.

Using four paddle-like limbs to propel their bulky bodies through the water, they made easy work of passing prey such as dolphin-like ichthyosaurs and even other plesiosaurs.

David Martill, a palaeontologist from the University of Portsmouth, said: "These creatures were monsters.

"They had massive big muscles on their necks, and you would have imagined that they would bite into the animal and get a good grip, and then with these massive neck muscles they probably would have thrashed the animals around and torn chunks off.

"It would have been a bit of a blood bath."

Big contender

Experts think this latest discovery could represent one of the largest pliosaurs ever found.

Dr Martill said: "This thing is absolutely enormous. When I saw it, it really just hit me how big it was."

The fossil comprises a lower jaw and upper skull.

And based on their length of 2.4m (7.9ft), it is estimated that the creature would have measured between 10 and 16m (33-52ft) from tip to tail, and would have weighed in at a hefty 7-12 tonnes.

This means it could rival recent finds made in Svalbard, where beasts dubbed "The Monster" and "Predator X" were thought to have measured 15m-long (49ft), and in Mexico, where the "Monster of Aramberri" was discovered in 2002, and is believed to have been of similar dimensions.

Dr Martill added: "We only have the head, so you cannot be absolutely precise.

"But it may be vying with the ones found in Svalbard and Mexico for the title of the world's largest."

The specimen is still in its rocky, unprepared form, but it is clear that it has been remarkably well preserved.

Richard Forrest, a plesiosaur expert, said: "Pliosaur skulls are very big, but not that robust, in general, and you tend to find them crushed flat - completely 'pancaked'.

"What is fantastic about this new skull, not only is it absolutely enormous, but it is pretty much in 3D and not much distorted."

He added: "You have this wonderful lower jaw - and you can just see from the depth and the thickness that this was immensely strong.

"It could have taken a human in one gulp; in fact, something like a T. Rex would have been breakfast for a beast like this."

Geological treasure trove

The fossil was discovered by a local collector along the Jurassic Coast, a 150km (95 mile) stretch of coastline covering Dorset and East Devon that spans 185 million years of geological history.

The exact location of the find is not being revealed, as Dorset County Council does not want to encourage people to head to the spot. The area is unstable and prone to rock falls and landslides.

Richard Edmonds, Dorset County Council's earth science manager for the Jurassic Coast, said: "This part of the coastline is eroding really rapidly and that means the fossils that are trapped and buried are constantly tumbling out on to the beach.

"The collector was lucky enough to come along on the day a large piece fell out of the cliff, and that gave him the clue to keep on looking. He spent the next four years coming back day after day, and as a result he has uncovered this absolutely incredible fossil.

"It was an amazing effort."

Dr Edmonds believes that the rest of the giant may still be entombed in the rock, but it could take decades for it to emerge.

He said: "The ground is dipping very steeply, and as it is such a huge specimen it will be buried beneath layer-upon-layer of rock, so we will have to patiently wait for the next big landslide."

Using Heritage Lottery Funds, Dorset County Council has now purchased the fossil for £20,000.

David Tucker, the County's museums advisor, said: "Our aim is to purchase fossils found along the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site and to get them into local museums - we want to put really exceptional fossils in museums."

The council is now meeting with experts to discuss how best to study and prepare the fossil.

Scientists say it will provide a fantastic opportunity, which could reveal a wealth of information about these giants of the seas, and the ancient world they once inhabited.

Page last updated at 05:17 GMT, Tuesday, 27 October 2009

By Rebecca Morelle
Science reporter, BBC News

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Mysterious Orang Pendek apeman spotted by British expedition

A mysterious ape man reported to inhabit an island jungle has been spotted by British explorers who even managed to get pictures of its footprints.

By Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent
Published: 5:09PM BST 30 Sep 2009

The team of four British explorers and their Indonesian guide tracked through dense and treacherous jungle in the Kerinci National Park of Sumatra where two of them caught a glimpse of the Orang Pendek - or short man.

The team have brought back hair samples and a piece of palm they hope will provide DNA evidence of the Orang Pendek - a creature sighted in the area since colonial times and reputed to be immensely powerful.

A sample of hair thought to belong to the ape is also being analysed.

The team hopes that by sending the sample to several labs, they will find DNA evidence of the Orang Pendek.

Sightings of the creature go back to the time of colonialism.

Witnesses have described it being about five foot tall and say that it walks on two legs, like a human.

It is also thought to be extremely powerful - with reports of witnesses seeing it ripping apart logs.

After a spate of sightings around Lake Gunung Tuju, in the Kerinci national park, a team from the Devon-based Centre for Fortean Zoology - which investigates unknown species of animals - embarked on a two-week mission to the region to see if they could obtain evidence of the creature.

Richard Freeman, the expedition zoologist and zoological director at the Centre, said he believes that the creature is an unidentified species of ape.

“We are not talking about a unicorn or a griffin, we are talking about an ape that’s unknown to science,” he said.

The team, who have just returned from their two-week expedition, hailed it a success and are awaiting tests.

“We found several sets of tracks in mud and earth,” he said.

“I know those tracks are not made by any species of ape and are not made by any species known to be living in the park.

“It was an ape - but not a known type of ape - it’s more adapted for upright walking.”

Mr Freeman said two of the expedition saw the creature from behind but unfortunately, the team did not manage to get a photograph.

UFO plunges Sicilian town into darkness, photos

3 November 2009

UFO plunges Sicilian town into darkness, photos
An extraterrestrial story making news currently in Italy involves a highly credible UFO event that occurred in the locale of Montserrat near the city of Agrigento in the historic ‘Valley of the Temples’ region of Sicily. The event occurred on the night of 26 September of this year.
Multiple witnesses saw a UFO move across the sky above their homes in the commune of Montserrat. Witnesses confirmed that as the UFO moved across the sky electricity failed and lights went off within a certain radius of the area directly below the craft! As the UFO moved away from an area the lighting immediately returned.
Retired police officer, Gaetano Castellano, who witnessed and managed to get photographs of the out-of-this-world event, noted that due to the surrounding darkness the UFO was very visible. ‘It was silvery grey’. Mr Castellano said that at some point the UFO veered to one side and zoomed off into the sky at a very fast speed.
It is known that the Italian Government investigates events involving UFOs. No doubt they will be on to this one.

Mr Gaetano’s photos can be seen below:

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