(from express.co.uk) - As Johnny Depp's portrayal of the demon barber of Fleet Street is set to be unveiled, we reveal the astonishing truth about the man who butchered his customers...
The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography boasts that it contains 56,000 lives of people who shaped the history of the British Isles and beyond.
It is an accolade to be included in the work, which is a kind of Who’s Who for the deceased, so you might raise an eyebrow to discover an entry headed: “Todd, Sweeney (called the Demon Barber Of Fleet Street): supposedly flourished 1784, legendary murderer and barber.”
The surprise is not that the ODNB should feature a mass killer – Dr Crippen merits an entry, as does Myra Hindley and even Jack the Ripper (though in his case, biographical data is necessarily sketchy).
No, the extraordinary thing is that the barber who murdered his customers to supply human meat for his wicked neighbour, pie-maker Mrs Lovett, should be treated as a historical figure. For as we reveal here, there is not a shred of evidence that he was anything of the kind. Continued...
I’m Jan McGirk (a journo writing you from Jerusalem, where there are large forces of another kind at work..a colleague pointed out [the recent blogs at Cryptomundo]).
Anyhow, I was reporting the activities of the SPI in Johor back in Feb 2006, and encountered the Destination Truth gang.
What you must remember is that Josh Gates hires people on site to make things happen, and whatever makes good tv is his primary concern.
Doubtless it is true that we botched casting the print in the jungle.
The Singapore Paranormal Investigators had brought along several evidence packs obtained from the police…so there was limited casting material available. It was dusk when we noticed the big footprint. I hollered for the others from the party– the Singapore Paranormal Investigators and the Uncle Seekers of Kuala Lumpur to come see.
The SPI team at least had some gear at hand. Half of Gates’s team was back at the hotel already. It was Gates who insisted on going on camera to pour the cast, once the others brought out the packets, but clearly he did not know what he was doing at the time. This did result in an aha moment for television, and Josh milked it for the international publicity to promote the series. I thought the guy would never put down the cast. (His group had earlier staged chopping their way through jungle foliage..just for typical Reality Show testosterone shots…but I have no reason to believe he faked the print. I was with him –immediately in front of him–when we spotted it. He was following me up the most direct path up a wooded slope to the road.
As a cynical observer, I do not think the Johor footprint was a deliberate fraud…and can attest that no wooden mold was used. This one was encumbered by a huge heel spur; it would not have been the form someone would have faked.
However the new yeti footprint is quite a handy find. Intriguing and as plausible as yeti prints go. (I have seen photos of alleged prints in snow taken by a French heli-skier in the 90s; they looked similar.)
In Nepal, the determining factor should be the stride, which might be measurable from three prints. It would be interesting to get some local primatologists to look at the measurements. Destination Truth doubtlessly can hire the appropriate experts, but the timing will be belated. This is not an academic research team. Josh is clever, has a bachelor’s degree, but his arrogance and enthusiasm carries him away.
There have been tales of the Yeti for many years in the Himalaya…even auburn scalps in high monasteries and celebrity dabblings in trading the bones (Jimmy Stewart & wife had a Himalayan Yeti episode in the 50s*). I have been fascinated by the legends, as have most visitors to these startlingly beautiful mountains.
Jan McGirk, December 6, 2007
McGirk’s email is followed, for visual context, by a video from September 5, 2006, of Jonathan Kent’s BBC report on the “Johor Bigfoot” reports.
Several Wiregrass ranchers say something large and unusually powerful has been killing their cattle.
A California-based research team believes the culprit is a creature, often referred to as "Big Foot".
For two-decades, Californian Tom Biscardi and his team of researchers have traveled much of the country tracking down leads on a large, powerful, hairy creature.
Reported video has been taken of the creature over the years.
Depending on the section of the country, it’s been referred to as Bigfoot, Woolly Booger, and Skunk Ape down in the Florida Everglades:
Founder of Bigfoot Inc. , Tom Biscardi said, "Walking leisurely, just looking at my guys by the tree line; he went toward the creek, the bogs. That's how they remain hidden from man."
The team employs thousands of dollars worth of infra-red, and heat seeking equipment, trying to catch a glimpse of a reported shy creature that has been spotted in brief moments over the last century.
Bigfoot Team Member Steve Kulls said, "The sighting here in Alabama, I saw him for 3-to-5 seconds in a cow pasture. We caught him with the thermal imager. He didn't even know we saw him."
Bigfoot Team Member T.J. Biscardi said, "He could have thrown me two-hundred yards back with the others. He was in excess of eight feet tall, and four-foot wide. Just looking at him, you could tell he was very powerful."
Biscardi and his team plan to spend several more days tracking down Bigfoot sightings between the Asbury Community and Samson, along the Coffee/Geneva County Line.
A Polish businessman and philanthropist has built an upside down house to remind people of wrongdoings against humanity. Many tourists who visit complain of mild seasickness and dizziness after just a few minutes of being in the structure.
by Clark C. McClelland, Former ScO, U.S. Space Shuttle Fleet KSC, Florida 1958 to 1992
(from agoracosmopolitan.com) - "Shortly after the US Air Force became a separate branch of the service, Alamogordo Air Base became Holloman AFB in honour of Colonel George V. Holloman, a pioneer in Air Force research and development." The old Alamogordo airfield had been a training base for heavy bombers. Then, U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower was landing at Holloman. It was a smooth landing as landings go. The big Lockheed Constellation in passenger service in those days carried over 125 passengers, but there were fewer than twenty aides and secret service men in the main cabin with the crew of fourteen each at his station. At about 7,000 feet into the landing, Major Bill Draper, the pilot, started reversing the engines, and the plane slowed measurably and taxied to the end of the runway.
Air Force One taxied back up the runway about 75 yards and stopped. All engines were shut down. There were probably 300 people with a vantage point, who saw Air Force One land, and as it did, they called others to other windows, work stations and vantage points. It must have seemed very eerie for the president's plane to be seen sitting out there almost a half mile away, alone and quiet.
No red carpet, no band, no honour parade, just a few horned meadowlarks calling in the distance. Eventually, the base workers returned to their stations. And always the question was asked: Is Ike here? What's going on? The civilians and military on the base had been told that while the president was here, this would be a "business as usual" day. A few minutes earlier, Col. Sharp, the base commander, and several officers had gone to the base operations tower to see the president's plane land.
The first communication they heard about 8:10 was "HOLLOMAN TOWER, THIS IS AIR FORCE 7885 TEN MILES EAST OF MARYHILL."
They requested landing instructions, other traffic in the area, and base wind direction. The runway they were assigned was the farthest away from the hangars and workshops. It was obvious to base personnel that what was happening or going to happen was as far away as it could be. Little could be seen unless one had a vantage point and binoculars. Phones all over the base were very busy, many questions were asked, is he still out on the runway?
But about ten minutes after the plane landed the radar officers gave instructions to shut off all radar. He had turned base operations over to his deputy base commander as long as the President was here. He felt it his duty to be with him with no distractions.
There were a dozen visual patrols out around the base and some of the up-range small radars were on. A phone rang in the tower with a report of two unidentified objects passing over Range Road 12. Then a minute later the bogies were over Range Road 7 only a few minutes from the runways. Men in the tower swung their glasses to the north in the morning haze. Then something glinted in the sun, then something else just below it.
A report came in of a third bogie five minutes behind the first two. The tower personnel who did not know what these were, were stunned. No tail, no wings, no motors. Just round objects approaching the president's plane sitting alone on the far runway with a covey of base officers in the tower, including Col. Sharp. They knew something big was up. They reported the objects, logged them and did their job which was "business as usual." The two objects stopped about 300 feet over Air Force One, and one descended on the far side of the plane and gently touched about 200 feet ahead of the plane.
The other hovered briefly and then came across the near runway towards the big hangars and some shop buildings. It took up a position somewhere above the buildings over the tarmac. The disc had a good vantage point of anything that might come towards the president's plane and the disc on the ground. It was with some disbelief that two UFOs had come to Holloman AFB in February of 1955. There was little background for believing in them at all as extraterrestrial. Some who saw or heard about the two craft at the base that day thought they might be new Russian or German innovations.
Soon after the UFO landed in front of Air Force One, a man many assumed to be the President, came to the doorway of the plane, descended the portable stairs and approached the saucer on the ground. Some sort of a hatch had been opened a few minutes before and had folded down to become a small ramp. The man walked up the ramp, stood briefly at the opening, shook hands with someone, and went inside.
Observers thought the period of time to be about 45 minutes. When he emerged from the craft, he walked towards Air Force One. Part of this time he was facing the observers, and most were sure it was Ike. He wore no hat, and many recognized the hairline and his erect military walk.
(from thisissouthdevon.co.uk) - Spooky lights spotted over Teignmouth have freaked out some locals.
There were dozens of reports about the strange, whitish-coloured shapes moving up and down the estuary early on Monday evening.Was it extra terrestrials, or did the objects in the sky have a simpler, down-to-earth explanation such as lasers?
So far it remains a mystery, but one woman who witnessed the display from her window high up on a hill, told the Herald Express: "It was beautiful, and a little scary at the same time.
"The white lights changes shaped, moved very fast and would suddenly disappear, only to return a few minutes later.
"I don't believe in UFOs or flying saucers, but this was very strange, and made me feel a little bit uneasy.
"I am sure there is a perfectly logical reason behind it, and I hope somebody will be able to explain it all." Continued...
On this way back from Nepal, Josh has deplaned in Zanzibar and written a quick report for Cryptomundo
Here is my take on things for your Cryptomundo readers:
Hello from Zanzibar.
My team and I have arrived here after a long but amazing two weeks of research in the Himalayas in search of the truth behind the Yeti legend.
I’m very excited about our time in Nepal. The general Western image of the Yeti is a narrow one (the abominable snowman), and to have the opportunity to experience the diverse and profound views of this animal from the varying perspectives of the Nepalese people is a discovery in and of itself.
Both feared and revered, there is no doubt in my mind that a great number of people, often separated by vast geographical boundaries, are having real and fundamentally similar experiences in the Himalayas that have not been fully accounted for.
As to whether or not the Yeti is real as we envision it, I think it’s more than safe to say that with thousands of years of history and legend surrounding this creature, it’s a complicated task to separate the zoology from the mythology, but that’s exactly what needs to be done.
We are all overwhelmed and excited at the discovery of this print and look forward to having it analyzed by specialists who should have a chance to weigh in on this issue. More than anything, I think this print reminds us that beyond the legend, there is something very real here that needs to be more fully explored.
Our team has, for the first time, documented the discovery, casting, and extraction of a large, unexplainable print - a process which will allow our viewers to become a part of our exploration and get them engaged with the search for one of the most enduring mysteries of the cryptozoological world.
In terms of the assertions that the print bears a striking resemblance to the one discovered in Johor, Malaysia, it does not. There are a few similarities that are worth noting: The splayed toes and wide ball of the foot are similar to the Johor print. However, it’s there that the similarities end.
One of the fundamentally troubling things about the Johor print has always been that, anatomically, it’s difficult to account for. The large toe is strangely jutted out to the side, and the general curvature of the foot seems to be almost reversed with what we would expect.
This print is smaller and, to me, appears to be a more viable looking. Also, as it was found in a series - there are two additional impressions which, in situ, show clear signs of weight distribution and movement across the muddy expanse. Once we’re able to present the series of prints and show how they were discovered, I think most of your readers will agree that these are uniquely different than the single print found in Malaysia.
On a separate note, if a hundred humans stepped in the same track of mud, most of the prints would look largely the same. When we took the Johor print to a specialist in evolutionary morphology, I was amazed at the number of similarly featured prints in his lab. Having said that, this is a unique looking print. The few photos that have been released of it do not do it justice.
It’s also important for me to add that the routing of our investigations in the Himalayas were largely improvised, based on eyewitnesses and experts and that, as the print was first spotted by one of our Nepalese support crew, the idea that the prints were fabricated by someone in advance of our group is, as we see it, not a viable explanation.
We were in a very remote area and chose the river valley that we trekked down in the moment, which would not offer anyone the time to pull off what would be an elaborate hoax. Also, we start our cameras at the beginning of the night and roll continuously - fully documenting our trek and discovery.
I hope this sheds a bit more light on things and we look forward to being in touch soon with more information from the field.
An Elyria couple who purchased a quart of egg nog from a Lorain supermarket the day before Thanksgiving said they recently discovered a “fleshy” substance inside the container when it was about half empty.
Anne Beard, 45, and Thomas Wilson, 57, said they drank about half the quart on Thanksgiving Day.
The container sat in their fridge until Sunday, when Beard started to pour a glass and noticed it had something in it.
Inside the container was a reddish ooze, and a clump of what appeared to be a meaty substance, like raw bacon or ham.
The couple contacted the Michigan company that packaged and pasteurized the egg nog, and a company representative said someone would visit their apartment on Monday to examine the package and its contents.
“The egg nog didn’t taste right,” Beard said. “I shook it up because I thought it needed shook to make it more creamy, but this was in it. It was fleshy and didn’t look right. I knew it wasn’t supposed to be in the egg nog.”
Representatives from the company didn’t return calls seeking comment.
“When people hear this, they automatically think that someone put something in the (container),” Wilson said. “But besides all this, our Thanksgiving dinner turned out great.”
(from sunjournal.com) - "MonsterQuest," a 13-week documentary series that delves into the evidence surrounding Bigfoot, Birdzilla and other legendary monsters, will profile the Turner beast - and the international hysteria that fueled the mystery - in an episode called "Mutant Canines." The show will air Wednesday on the History Channel.
The series was created by Whitewolf Entertainment, a Minnesota-based production company. Producer Doug Hajicek learned about the Turner beast after the Sun Journal ran a story about a strange animal found dead beside some Turner powerlines in August 2006.
Many people thought the grotesque body was that of a mystery beast believed to have killed dogs in Greene and Wales, a long-rumored creature with glowing eyes, a chilling cry and the features of a wolverine, hyena and Tasmanian devil.
News of the beast, as well as photographs of the body, spread fast and far, appearing on TV news broadcasts, cryptozoology Web sites and news pages.
Hajicek read about it on the Internet and grabbed the case for his mutant canine episode.
"It is an interesting story because a lot of people don't realize it's not really unique, what's going on in Maine. It's happening all over," Hajicek said.
Although Sun Journal-sponsored DNA tests ultimately confirmed the body was that of a dog - not, as many believed, a Chupacabra, werewolf, extraterrestrial or mythological bogeyman from American Indian folklore - Whitewolf Entertainment came to Maine last winter to film a segment on the Turner beast maelstrom and the local legend that fed it.
Malvin Badilla, a Costa Rican construction worker, managed to record a very compelling video of a possible disc-shaped unidentified flying object.
The object appears to spin on its own axis and makes maneuvers in a matter of seconds. The witness states that its apparent size was slightly larger than that of a tractor tire, adding that the time was 3:49 in the afternoon.
Luis Carlos Monge elaborated on this report for Telenoticias, which was broadcast over the three separate editions.
Some aspects of the video:- Recorded on a Motorola cellphone in 3GP format. - Duration of 15:06 seconds. - There is a break at 3:19, when the zoom is applied, a situation that can be normal in some cellphone models when the zoom is used. This information must be checked against a similar phone. - The object remains static and later changes position, tilting toward the left and the right in fractions of a second, showing other aspects such as: the upper, lateral and lower view, respectively. - This copy of the video is from researcher Richard Sandi. The file was labeled "22-11-07-1550", leading me to suppose it is 22 November 2007. In Luis Carlos's report, dated 30 November, the witness claims to have recorded it :"some days ago" - therefore, the label could match the date of the sighting.
Mr. Badillo mentions being in the company of another person, his co-worker William Rivera, who pointed the flying object out to him. Badillo couldn't hear him it at first due to the noise of the drill he was using on the job.
Regarding audio, it should be noted that the copy I received appears not to have any. So I asked reporter Monge about it, and he replied verbatim: "Yes it does, but it is very low. You can hear the boy shouting William, William, then the drrill sound. According to him, the object made no sound whatsoever."
Ana Luisa Cid's Opinion
After reviewing the video several times, in slow motion and frame by frame, I believe that this could be genuine material and while it is true that "UFOs" can be created on the computer, it is nonetheless true that many people around the world have reported and documented artifacts of this sort.
The witness seems sincere and I find it feasible that he should have experienced a sighting.
I extend this opinion in a preliminary capacity, as we still need to see the research of Costa Rican ufologists, who will doubtless have a more qualified opinion by virtue of interviewing the witnesses and vistiting the site to conduct field work.
The video shall be transmited as an exclusive in Mexico on 7 December on the "Con Claridad" program on Channel 3 of Pachuca Television.
It should be noted that the images are the property of Teletica - Canal -7 - Costa Rica. (translator's note- Prof. Ana Luisa Cid requests that this be honored).
My thanks to: Pilar Cisneros (Asst. Dir. for Telenoticias), Reporter Luis Carlos Monge, researcher Richard Sandi.
(from wired.com) - A constable in a sweat-stained undershirt and checkered blue sarong lays a ragged cloth over a patch of mud. He jerks open the back door of a decrepit Indian-made Tata Sumo SUV — what passes for an evidence locker at this rustic police outpost in the Indian state of West Bengal. A hundred human skulls tumble out onto the cloth, making a hollow clatter as they fall to the ground. They've lost most of their teeth bouncing around the back of the truck. Bits of bone and enamel scatter like snowflakes around the growing pile.
Standing next to the truck, the ranking officer smiles and lets out a satisfied grunt. "Now you can see how big the bone business is here," he says. I crouch down and pick up a skull. It's lighter than I expected. I hold it up to my nose. It smells like fried chicken.
Before the authorities intercepted it, this cache was moving along a well-established pipeline for human skeletal remains. For 150 years, India's bone trade has followed a route from remote Indian villages to the world's most distinguished medical schools.
Skeletons aren't easy to get. In the US, for instance, most corpses receive a prompt burial, and bodies donated to science usually end up on the dissection table, their bones sawed to pieces and destined for cremation. So most skeletons used for medical study come from overseas. Often they arrive without the informed consent of their former owners and in violation of the laws of their country of origin. Continued...
(from nytimes.com) - The 16 big flasks of bubbling bright green liquids in Roger Ruan’s laboratory at the University of Minnesota are part of a new boom in renewable energy research.
Driven by renewed investment as oil prices push $100 a barrel, Dr. Ruan and scores of scientists around the world are racing to turn algae into a commercially viable energy source.
Some algae is as much as 50 percent oil that can be converted into biodiesel or jet fuel. The biggest challenge is cutting the cost of production, which by one Defense Department estimate is running more than $20 a gallon.
“If you can get algae oils down below $2 a gallon, then you’ll be where you need to be,” said Jennifer Holmgren, director of the renewable fuels unit of UOP, an energy subsidiary of Honeywell International. “And there’s a lot of people who think you can.” Continued...
(from washingtonpost.com) - A high school student hunting fossils in the badlands of his native North Dakota discovered an extremely rare mummified dinosaur that includes not just bones but also seldom seen fossilized soft tissue such as skin and muscles, scientists will announce today.
The 25-foot-long hadrosaur found by Tyler Lyson in an ancient river flood plain in the dinosaur-rich Hell Creek Formation is apparently the most complete and best preserved of the half-dozen mummified dinosaurs unearthed since early in the last century, they said. Continued...
(from sunjournal.com) - For more than a mile, the forest on both sides of the closed-up camp road was quiet except for the white noise of wind coming off Mooselookmeguntic Lake. Walking along in the dark, Chris Julian explained why he keeps his investigations secret (the risk of pranks), what he carries in his bag (human pheromones) and his general thoughts on out-of-state researchers (opportunistic jerks).
Suddenly one tree, one lone tree among thousands, let loose with an obscenely creepy, creaky whine, something between a coffin lid and a sticky farmhouse door.
Everyone stopped to listen and stare.
Could Bigfoot be leaning against the tree? Could he be up in the tree?
Someone shone a light. No Bigfoot, yet still it creaked, and whined and pleaded, that one tree in the whole wide woods. The sound was an eerie reminder that we were in the middle of pitch-black-nowhere with no cell reception, no one else for miles, looking for a hairy, elusive thing seven-feetish tall, spotted in these same woods.
Julian does this most weekends, and, yeah, he gets scared. Minutes before, he'd told a buddy:
"I feel good about this area. ... As long as we don't become food, we're good." Continued...
(from star-telegram.com) - Loved and hated in almost equal portions, a man who played pool better than almost any other -- and yet who wanted to go fishing even more -- treacherous and warmhearted: All this was the hustler U.J. Puckett.
Before his death in 1992, Puckett became national nine-ball champion, was featured on 60 Minutes with Harry Reasoner, was profiled by Texas Monthly magazine, and played televised matches with Willie Mosconi and Minnesota Fats.
Puckett also came to haunt a south Fort Worth pool hall, Fast Freddy's.
And now, at least according to the regulars down at Fast Freddy's, the great U.J. Puckett has returned.
"I sat here at 4 in the morning and heard the door open and close, and nobody was there and I said, 'Damn it, Puckett is walking around here again,'" said Richard McElroy, a longtime regular at the smoke-filled pool room down on Crowley Road.
"And a couple of girls have been right by him and they get a cold feeling, like he's standing over their neck. It's happened a couple of times. People talk about Puckett's ghost, and it's pretty serious." Continued...
(from planetjh.com) - It can happen in a minute. A lifelong pet, a cherished family member, is chewing on a bone in the backyard, and then, just like that, he’s gone.
Star Valley residents aren’t the only ones who have experienced a rash of dog disappearances recently. In communities across the nation and overseas, dogs are going missing. Some studies put the number at 2 million a year. And no one knows why. Continued...
<--This allegedly haunted doll reportedly brings bad luck to its owners
(from thenaughtyamerican.com) - As children, all of us had our favorite playthings: dolls, teddy bears, toy soldiers; the list goes on. But how many of us ever suspected that those same toys might have been haunted?
According to paranormal expert Gina Lanier, a surprising number of American toys have ghostly connections. Indeed, she estimates that no less than three percent of all teddy bears in the country may be haunted by spirits of the dead.
Lanier, who lives in New Orleans, is a lead investigator for the website HauntedAmericaTours.com and knows this firsthand.
“I have a teddy bear, one that the original owners don’t want back, who sits on a shelf in my house,” she said. “And no matter where I position him, I always find him later looking out of the window.”
She speculates that the child who owned him long ago used to like playing outside, and now that person’s energy is in the teddy bear and making him want to be outside. Continued...
(from thenewstoday.info) - Brother Joe Caldeo, a soft-spoken man in his sixties and a ufologist for 11 years, visited The News Today one afternoon and narrated stories about the existence of aliens in our midst as well as miracles of the dancing sun. That afternoon was a test of faith. Believe it or not. Again, this article will be a test of faith.
Caldeo said that there are unidentified flying objects that are hovering in the skies of Capiz, his home province. He said that the aliens visit his backyard often.
One writer said that on the evening of April 5, he and his companions gaped at the sight of a peculiar shadowy figure moving in the thick bushes. Continued...
(from reuters.com) - A U.S.-based television channel investigating the existence of the legendary Yeti in Nepal has found footprints similar to those said to be that of the abominable snowman, the company said on Friday.
A team of nine producers from Destination Truth, armed with infrared cameras, spent a week in the icy Khumbu region where Mount Everest is located and found the footprints on the bank of Manju river at a height of 2,850 meters (9,350 feet).
One of the three footprints discovered on Wednesday is about one foot long, or is of similar size and appearance as shown in sketches of the mystical ape-like creature believed to live in snowy caves, the TV company said. Continued...
(from recordnet.com) - There's a very large snake out there, slithering in Mormon Slough. Well, maybe.
Several homeless people have reported seeing what could possibly be a 15-foot-long python near the Wilson Way bridge over that arm of water.
"This is not a joke," said Michael McPherson, who is homeless. "There's something down there."
Animal control officials hadn't heard about it, and a local snake expert said if it existed, it likely wouldn't have survived the recent cold weather, but several of the city's homeless say it's real, and some of them refuse to stay in the snake's nest, so to speak.
"A lot of people have seen it," Pat Carter said.
She's one of them.
Carter, also homeless, said she thought she was walking past a large log one day - until it moved.
"I was gone when I saw it," she said. "I took off running. I was running so fast that I was running on my knees." Continued...