Monday, December 28, 2009

Viewing video: Did the UK military shoot down UFOs ?

A Fox News segment in which Nick Pope is asked about the MoD and UFOs.

Viewing video: And finally tonight... Jesus

A series of segments from news networks on the topic of images of Jesus appearing in unusual places.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Nick Redfern on alien big cats

Now and again, I get asked if government agencies take an interest in reports of strange creatures roaming the countryside – in much the same way that, for many years, official departents have investigated other forms of anomalous phenomena, such as UFOs. Well, the answer is “Yes,” there have indeed been such studies undertaken. As just one of many examples, consider the following.

Early in 1998, the British Government’s House of Commons held a debate on the existence – or otherwise – of a particular breed of mystery animal that is widely rumored, and even accepted by many, to inhabit the confines of the British Isles: the so-called Alien Big-Cats, or ABCs, as they have become known. It scarcely needs mentioning that Britain is not home to an indigenous species of large cat. Nevertheless, for decades amazing stories have circulated from all across the nation of sightings of large, predatory cats that feed on livestock and terrify, intrigue and amaze the local populace.

Indeed, there now exists a very large and credible body of data in support of the notion that Britain does have in its midst a thriving population of presently unidentified large cats – such as the infamous “Beast of Bodmin” and “Beast of Exmoor” that so dominated the nation’s newspapers back in the early-to-mid 1980s.

Documentation that followed the February 2, 1998 debate in the controversy in the House of Commons began with a statement from Mr. Keith Simpson, the Member of Parliament for mid-Norfolk: “Over the past twenty years, there has been a steady increase in the number of sightings of big cats in many parts of the United Kingdom. These are often described as pumas, leopards or panthers. A survey carried out in 1996 claimed sightings of big cats in 34 English counties.”

Many of the sightings, Simpson continued, had been reported in his constituency by people out walking dogs or driving down country roads, often at dawn or dusk. Frequently the description given fitted that of a puma or leopard. Simpson also added that in a number of incidents it had been claimed that ewes, lambs, and even horses had been attacked – and in some cases killed – by the marauding beasts.

Simpson elaborated further: “A number of distinguished wildlife experts have suggested that some pumas or leopards could have been released into the countryside when the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 made it illegal to own such animals without a licence. They would have been able to roam over a wide area of countryside, live off wild or domestic animals and possibly breed. So what is to be done?”

Simpson had a few ideas: “I should like to suggest two positive measures for the Minister to consider. At national and local levels, it is logical that the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food should be the lead Government Department for coordinating the monitoring of evidence concerning big cats.”

In response, Elliot Morley, at the time the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, admitted that there was a valid issue that needed addressing. He said: “The Ministry’s main responsibility on big cats is confined to whether the presence of a big cat poses a threat to the safety of livestock. The Ministry is aware that a total of 16 big cats have escaped into the wild since 1977. They include lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars and pumas, but all but two animals were at large for only one day.”

Morley expanded: “Because there is a risk that big cats can escape into the wild and because of the threat that such animals could pose to livestock, the Ministry investigates each report in which it is alleged that livestock have been attacked. Reports to the Ministry are usually made by the farmers whose animals have been attacked. In addition, the Ministry takes note of articles in the press describing big cat incidents and will consider them if there is evidence that livestock are at risk.”

On receipt of a report of a big cat, explained Morley, the Ministry would ask the Farming and Rural Conservation Agency – the Ministry’s wildlife advisers – to contact the person who reported the sighting, as he explained:

“The FRCA will discuss the situation with the farmer and seek to establish whether the sighting is genuine and whether any evidence can be evaluated. It will follow up all cases where there is evidence of a big cat that can be corroborated and all cases where it is alleged that livestock are being taken.

“The FRCA will consider all forms of evidence, including photographs given to it by members of the public and farmers, plaster casts of paw prints and video footage. In addition, it will carry out field investigations of carcasses of alleged kills for field signs of the animals responsible.”

In conclusion, Morley stated: “It is impossible to say categorically that no big cats are living wild in Britain, so it is only right and proper that the Ministry should continue to investigate serious claims of their existence – but only when there is a threat to livestock and when there is clear evidence that can be validated. I am afraid that, until we obtain stronger evidence, the reports of big cats are still in the category of mythical creatures.”
Of course, many of those British citizens who have seen big-cats roaming the countryside would perhaps strongly argue with the notion that these beasts are merely mythical in nature…

Friday, December 18, 2009

Video from Norway investigating the Hessedalen UFO phenomenon.

Group release images of "Atlantis" ruins

Lost city of Atlantis discovered? Grainy images show city-like formations at the bottom of the Caribbean

A group of 'undersea archaeologists' have become the latest to claim they have uncovered the lost city of Atlantis.

The scientists - who have refused to identify themselves - have released a series of images taken beneath the Caribbean.

They insist the snaps show what appear to be the ruins of a city that could pre-date Egypt's pyramids, which appeared after 2600BC.

They even told a French newspaper that one of the structures appears to be a pyramid.

Now the anonymous group wants to raise funds to explore the secret location where the images were taken.

They would not reveal the exact location, however, saying only that it was somewhere in the Caribbean Sea.

The claims have raised eyebrows on the internet, though sceptics refrained from debunking them entirely - just in case.

The legend of Atlantis, a city of astonishing wealth, knowledge and power that sank beneath the ocean waves, has fascinated millions.

Time and time again hopes have been raised that the lost city has been found - only for those hopes to be dashed against the evidence (or lack thereof).

Its location - or at least the source of the legend - remained a tantalising mystery.

In 2004 an American architect used sonar to reveal man-made walls a mile deep in the Mediterranean between Cyprus and Syria.

In 2007 Swedish researchers claimed the city lay on the Dogger Bank in the North Sea, which was submerged in the Bronze Age.

And as recently as February of this year, what appeared to be grid-like lines that resembled city streets were spotted on Google Earth - in the ocean off the coast of Africa.

Sadly Google itself quickly debunked the suggestion, explaining that the lines were left by a boat as it collected data for the application.

'Bathymetric (sea-floor) data is often collected from boats using sonar to take measurements of the sea-floor,' a spokesman said.

'The lines reflect the path of the boat as it gathers the data.'

Sunday, December 13, 2009

UK’s Vista telescope sheds new light on Milky Way and beyond

A new telescope designed by British scientists has released its first images, revealing spectacular views of both the Milky Way and distant galaxies.

The stunning pictures of the Flame Nebula, the centre of the Milky Way and the Fornax Galaxy Cluster show that Vista — the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy — is working well.

Vista is the largest and most powerful telescope yet built for surveying the sky using infrared light, which allows it to peer through clouds of dust that obscure many celestial structures when viewed in the visible spectrum.

The telescope — which cost £37 million — at the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) Paranal Observatory in Chile, was developed and built by a consortium of 18 British universities, and was formally handed over for operations this week.

Its image of the Flame Nebula, a star-forming cloud of gas and dust in the constellation Orion, shows off Vista’s capabilities particularly well. When observed with visible light, the Nebula’s core is hidden by dust, but infrared light has revealed the cluster of hot young stars at its heart.

A new image of the centre of the Milky Way, in the constellation Sagittarius, has been assembed from two Vista views, which have again penetrated opaque clouds to show about a million stars in a single picture.

The image of the Fornax Galaxy Cluster shows off Vista’s wide angle of view, which has allowed multiple galaxies to be seen in a single shot.

Vista, which sits adjacent to ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT), will be used to study the nature and distribution of stars and galaxies of different types, as well as the underlying structure of the Universe.

It will also investigate the mysterious “dark matter” and “dark energy” that are known to make up much of the Universe’s mass, but which have not yet been directly observed.

Professor Jim Emerson, of Queen Mary, University of London, who leads the Vista consortium, said its most exciting discoveries would probably be unanticipated. “History has shown us that the most exciting things that come out of projects like Vista are what you least expect — and I’m very excited to see what these will be,” he said.

Lord Drayson, the Science and Innovation Minister, said: “This outstanding example of UK kit is revealing our Universe’s deepest secrets. I eagerly await more images from Vista, which builds on our reputation as a world-leading centre for astronomy.”

Professor Tim de Zeeuw, director-general of ESO, said: “Vista is a unique addition to ESO’s observatory on Cerro Paranal. It will play a pioneering role in surveying the southern sky at infrared wavelengths and will find many interesting targets for study by the future European Extremely Large Telescope.”

Professor Keith Mason, chief executive of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), which funds the Vista collaboration, said: “This innovative telescope will help to reveal some of the deepest secrets of the Universe like the nature of dark matter and dark energy.”

Professor John Womersley, director of science programmes at STFC, said: “The handover of Vista marks a major milestone for UK astronomy, strengthens our relationship with ESO and enhances our capabilities in an area of science where the UK has a particular strength.”

India Scientist detects sign on life on MOON

Bangalore: Scientists at the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) are on the brink of a path-breaking discovery. They may have found signs of life in some form or the other on the Moon.

They believe so because scientific instruments on India's first unmanned lunar mission, Chandrayaan-1, picked up signatures of organic matter on parts of the Moon's surface, Surendra Pal, associate director, Isro Satellite Centre (Isac), said at the international radar symposium here on Friday.

Organic matter consists of organic compounds, which consists of carbon -- the building block of life.

It indicates the formation of life or decay of a once-living matter.

Pal said the signatures were relayed back to the Bylalu deep space network station near Bangalore by the mass spectrometer on board the Indian payload, the moon impact probe (MIP), on November 14, 2008.

The relay of data happened moments before it crashed near the Moon's south pole. The MIP was the first experiment of the Chandrayaan-1 mission, which was launched on October 22, 2008.

Pal, however, did not elaborate, but concluded saying "the findings are being analysed and scrutinised for validation by Isro scientists and peer reviewers".

"It is too early to say anything," said the director of Isro's space physics laboratory R Sridharan, who is heading the team of MIP data analysis and study. He, however, did not deny the finding.

DNA later inquired with other senior Chandrayaan-1 mission scientists, who not only confirmed the finding, but gave further details.

"Certain atomic numbers were observed that indicated the presence of carbon components. This indicates the possibility of the presence of organic matter (on the Moon)," a senior scientist told DNA.

Interestingly, similar observations were made by the US's first manned Moon landing mission, the Apollo-11, in July 1969, which brought lunar soil samples back to Earth. But due to a lack of sophisticated equipment then, the scientists could not confirm the finding.

However, traces of amino acids, which are basic to life, were found in the soil retrieved by the Apollo-11 astronauts.

The Chandrayaan-1 scientists, at present, are analysing the source of origin of the Moon's organic matter. "It could be comets or meteorites which have deposited the matter on the Moon's surface; or the instrument that landed on the Moon could have left traces," a senior space scientist said.

"But the presence of large sheets of ice in the polar regions of the Moon, and the discovery of water molecules there, lend credence to the possibility of organic matter there," he said.

Viewing video: Nick Pope on Fox News

An interview with former MoD UFO department head Nick Pope on Fox News.

Viewing video: James Randi on homeopathy

In this short video James Randi explains homeopathy. This is a portion of the lecture Randi gave at Princeton in 2001.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Norway's mysterious spiral blue light display: Was it a failed Russian Bulava missile test? Read more:

By Mail Foreign Service
Last updated at 11:18 AM on 10th December 2009

What's blue and white, squiggly and suddenly appears in the sky?

If you know the answer, pop it on a postcard and send it to the people of Norway, where this mysterious light display baffled residents yesterday.

Speculation was increasing today that the display was the result of an embarrassing failed test launch of a jinxed new Russian missile.

The Bulava missile was test-fired from the Dmitry Donskoi submarine in the White Sea early on Wednesday but failed at the third stage, say newspapers in Moscow today.

This emerged despite earlier reports denying a missile launch yesterday. Even early today there was no formal confirmation from the Russian Defence Ministry.

The light appears to be unconnected with the aurora borealis, or northern lights, the natural magnetic phenomena that can often be viewed in that part of the world.

The mystery began when a blue light seemed to soar up from behind a mountain in the north of the country. It stopped mid-air, then began to move in circles. Within seconds a giant spiral had covered the entire sky.

Then a green-blue beam of light shot out from its centre - lasting for ten to 12 minutes before disappearing completely.

Onlookers describing it as 'like a big fireball that went around, with a great light around it' and 'a shooting star that spun around and around'.

Yesterday a Norwegian defence spokesman said the display was most likely from a failed Russian test launch.

Tromsō Geophysical Observatory researcher Truls Lynne Hansen agreed, saying the missile had likely veered out of control and exploded, and the spiral was light reflecting on the leaking fuel.

But last night Russia denied it had been conducting missile tests in the area.

A Moscow news outlet quoted the Russian Navy as denying any rocket launches from the White Sea area.

Norway should be informed of such launches under international agreements, it was stressed.

However this morning media reports claimed a missile had indeed been launched from the White Sea. Test firings are usually made from the White Sea, close to the Norwegian Arctic region.

Kommersant newspaper reported today that a test-firing before dawn on Wednesday coincided with the light show in the northern sky.

It also emerged today that Russia last week formally notified Norway of a window when a missile test might be carried out.

This included a seven hour period early on Wednesday at the time when the lights were seen.

The submarine Dmitry Donskoy went to sea on Monday, ahead of the test, and some reports suggest the vessel is now back in port.

A Russian military source said today that 'the third stage of the rocket did not work'.

The Russian Defence Ministry, with characteristic secrecy, has so far been unavailable for comment.

A Bulava missile is fired from a submarine in this undated file photo. Russia has yet to confirm if a similar test launch was behind the mystery lights seen over Norway yesterday

A Bulava missile is fired from a submarine in this undated file photo. Russia has yet to confirm if a similar test launch was behind the mystery lights seen over Norway yesterday

The Bulava, despite being crucial to Russia's plans to revamp its weaponry, is becoming an embarrassment after nine failed launches in 13 tests, prompting calls for it to be scrapped.

In theory, it has a range of 5,000 miles and could carry up to ten nuclear weapons bound for separate targets.

A previous failure in July forced the resignation of Yury Solomonov, the director of the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology which is responsible for developing the missile.

However, he is now working as chief designer on the jinxed project.

The Norwegian Meteorological Institute was flooded with telephone calls after the light storm yesterday morning.

Totto Eriksen, from Tromsø, told VG Nett: 'It spun and exploded in the sky,'

He spotted the lights as he walked his daughter Amalie to school.

He said: 'We saw it from the Inner Harbor in Tromsø. It was absolutely fantastic.

'It almost looked like a rocket that spun around and around and then went diagonally down the heavens.

'It looked like the moon was coming over the mountain, but then came something completely different.'

Celebrity astronomer Knut Jørgen Røed Ødegaard said he had never seen anything like the lights.

He said: 'My first thought was that it was a fireball meteor, but it has lasted far too long.

'It may have been a missile in Russia, but I can not guarantee that it is the answer.'

Air traffic control in Tromsō claimed the light show lasted 'far too long to be an astronomical phenomenon'.

Saudi Arabia to execute TV psychic

n the United States, television psychics are merely mocked. In Saudi Arabia, they are executed.

The Saudi Arabian government is planning to execute Lebanese television psychic Ali Sibat. Sibat was found guilty of witchcraft by a Saudi court in November, a crime which carries the death sentence.

It appears that Sibat was targeted for arrest and trial while visiting Saudi Arabia for the Hajj. Saudi Arabia’s special religious police, the Mutaween, grabbed him out of his hotel room and placed the host in custody. Sibat was then tried on charges related to his satellite television show:

Before his arrest, Sibat frequently gave advice on general life questions and predictions about the future on the Lebanese satellite television station Sheherazade, according to the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar and the French newspaper Le Monde.

According to Sibat’s supporters in Lebanon, he was denied a lawyer at his trial and “tricked” into making a confession. Sibat’s Lebanese lawyer, May al-Khansa, stated that the television psychic was told he would be deported to Lebanon if he confessed to witchcraft. Instead, Saudi lawyers used Sibat’s confession as proof he deserved the death penalty.

Saudi Arabia routinely sentences foreigners to the death penalty. Additionally, death sentences are usually carried out through public executions — mainly in the infamous Chop-Chop Square.

Unfortunately for Sibat, Saudi Arabian authorities have refused to define what they call “witchcraft,” “sorcery” or “charlatanry.” Saudi Arabia lacks a penal code outside of sharia and judges are given wide latitude in defining criminal acts.

Activist group Human Rights Watch trawled the Saudi press and found other examples of a literal witch hunt taking place in the country:

Saudi newspaper Al-Madina reported on November 15 that a lower court in Jeddah started the trial of a Saudi man arrested by the religious police and said to have smuggled a book of witchcraft into the kingdom. On October 19, Saudi newspaper Okaz reported that the religious police in Ta’if had arrested for “sorcery” and “charlatanry” an Asian man who was accused of using supernatural powers to solve marital disputes and induce falling in love. [...]

In February 2008, Human Rights Watch protested the 2006 “discretionary” conviction and sentencing to death for witchcraft of Fawza Falih, a Saudi citizen. Minister of Justice Abdullah Al al-Shaikh responded that Human Rights Watch had a preconceived Western notion of shari’a, but did not answer the organization’s questions about Falih’s arbitrary arrest, coerced confession, unfair trial, and wrongful conviction. She remains on death row in Quraiyat prison, close to the border with Jordan, and is reportedly in bad health.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the 51-year-old Falih was given the death penalty after a man accused her of making him impotent. A Saudi court in the northern town of Quraiyat determined that Falih had practiced witchcraft, consorted with djinn and slaughtered animals in an effort to make the man impotent. According to Saudi authorities, her death was for “the benefit of ‘public interest’ and to ‘protect the creed, souls and property of [Saudi Arabia].’ ” Interestingly, documents surrounding the Falih case indicate that she is a foreigner — a Jordanian — who also got caught up in the Saudi witch hunt.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Viewing video: Apollo 11 in orbit

Apollo 11 - Aldrin describes surface color characteristics from Lunar orbit

Viewing video: Why we believe in gods

Andy Thomson gives his talk titled 'Why We Believe in Gods' at the American Atheist 2009 convention in Atlanta, Georgia.

Viewing video: Norway UFO footage

An unknown filmmaker shoots footage of mysterious objects in the sky over Norway

Friday, December 4, 2009

Viewing video: Albert Ostman bigfoot capture

BFGTV presents Albert Ostman talking about how he was kidnapped in 1924 by a family of Bigfoot on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

Viewing video: Double slit experiment

Dr Quantum explains the mysteries of the double slit experiment.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Venomous Aussie redback spiders invading Japan

AFP - Wednesday, November 25

TOKYO (AFP) - – Australia's venomous redback spiders are on the march in Japan, where they are believed to have arrived years ago as stowaways on cargo ships, a wildlife expert warned Wednesday.

The creepy-crawlies, named after their fiery markings, have infested the Osaka region and are drawing closer to the capital Tokyo, said Japan Wildlife Research Centre official Toshio Kishimoto.

A dozen people have reportedly been bitten in Osaka prefecture alone, media reports say, including a six-year-old boy who was treated with antivenom in June, the first time the medication had been used in the country.

"Their poison is strong and they are particularly dangerous to people in weak physical condition, like children and the elderly," Kishimoto told AFP.

"Redbacks are becoming a common species in Japan. They are very numerous, especially in the western region, and are now often sighted in residential areas.... Once the spiders spread, it's hard to eliminate them."

Redback bites, which inject a potent neurotoxin, have caused numerous deaths in Australia, although an antivenom stocked in hospitals has prevented fatalities more recently.

Redbacks were first spotted in Japan in 1995, around Osaka, a major port where, experts believe, they may have arrived in a container of Australian woodchips used to make paper in Japan.

Several years ago a major redback infestation was found in the street drainage system of the city, and the arachnids have now spread to prefectures covering roughly a third of the country.

In one case, a man moving from Osaka north to the Tokyo region by car unknowingly took a redback spider with him after the animal had latched onto the vehicle, the wildlife researcher said.

He said Japanese people must become more aware of the dangers of redbacks, a species long feared in Australia, where the creatures are known to lurk in garden sheds, in shoes left outdoors, and under toilet seats.

"People need to be warned on how to treat them, and to be careful when they're out cleaning ditches, and to wear thick cotton gloves for example," said Kishimoto.

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