Some mythical creatures have their origin in tradition and tales from the distant past. However, each culture is associated with a multitude of interesting and odd creatures, many of these beings are humanoids. One of these legendary humanoids is the Rakshasa.
The Rakshasa are a race of humanoid beings in Hindu and Buddhist mythology. They are seen as a type of goblin or evil spirit. They are not equal in evil traits, but have been classified into four subraces:
Ak'chazar - These rakshasa have the heads of white tigers and are skinnier than common breed. They are unusually powerful spellcasters and specialize in necromantic magic. To use their necromantic powers to their full potential the Ak'chazar often use graveyards or old battlefields as their headquarters. When working on one of their dark schemes they often let their undead do the physical work while they stay behind the scenes themselves.
Naityan - These are shapeshifters with the ability to utilize different supernatural combat styles based on their current forms.
Naztharune - Naztharune have the heads of black tigers and are covered in black fur. They have few magical powers but compensate by being strong fighters, specializing in assassination. They lack most Rakshasa's need to be the leader of any organisation that they are part of, often working for other Rakshasa.
Zakyas - Zakyas resemble standard rakshasas, but rather than focusing on sorcery, they are skilled melee combatants and weapon masters. They use their weak magical powers to supplement their martial prowess.
The great ten-headed demon Ravana, enemy of Lord Ram, was a Rakshasa king
According to the legend, Rakshasas emerged from Brahma's foot. The Vishnu Purana also makes them descendants of Kasyapa and Khasa, a daughter of Daksha, through their son Rakshas; and the Ramayana states that when Brahma created the waters, he formed certain beings to guard them who were called Rakshasas. It is thought that the Rakshasas of the epic poems were the rude barbarian races of India who were subdued by the Aryans.
The Rakshasas are described in the Ramayana: "the Rakshasas sleeping in the houses were of every shape and form. Some of them disgusted the eye, while some were beautiful to look upon. Some had long arms and frightful shapes; some were very fat and some were very lean; some were mere dwarfs and some were prodigiously tall. Some had only one eye and others only one ear. Some had monstrous bellies, hanging breasts, long projecting teeth, and crooked thighs; whilst others were exceedingly beautiful to behold and clothed in great splendour. Some had two legs, some three legs, and some four legs. Some had the heads of serpents, some the heads of donkeys, some the heads of horses, and some the heads of elephants."
Many traditional Hindus believe these creature are indeed real and that it feeds on human flesh. They are shape changers and magicians, and often appear in the forms of humans, dogs, and large birds. They can make themselves invisible and can not enter a home without being invited. In the popular lore, Rakshasas are demons and fiends who haunt cemeteries, disturb sacrifices, harass priests, possess and devour human beings, and vex and afflict mankind in all sorts of ways. They are said to drink blood and preferred to attack infants and pregnant women.
They usually disturbed the sacrifices, and tortured the priests. Rakshasas are known to carry away beautiful women to whom they were attracted. The Rakshasas, male or female, were ugly in appearance, but they could assume any form they pleased with the powers they possessed. Occasionally they would serve as rank-and-file soldiers in the service of a warlord. There are epic tales of certain members of the race who rose to prominence, some of them as heroes, most of them as villains.
Most weapons don't work against these creatures. But all Rakshasas have a common weakness; that any crossbow blessed by a priest will kill them instantly. In addition there is said that a dagger of pure brass has the ability to slay it.
There are several modern depictions of Rakshasas including role playing games, comic book series and video games. For more detail references go to - Rakshasas in the Mahabharata
MUFON CMS - Argentina - 3/23/10 - (unedited): A photo captures an object hovering silently in my city and infrared ranges. The image was taken in the morning from the back of my house in March and there was no plane in the sky or hear any noise. The object appeared in the picture when the download to your computer. I send you a piece of the original photo, and another with some processing I hope you can process the best and can help me identify this strange object. I was testing my new camera ( Samsung SL-502 ). Thanks
MUFON CMS - Angel Fire, NM - 8/19/2010 - (unedited): Two messages, one at 5:12 pm and one at 5:13 pm, were left on my answering machine Thursday (I think the date was August 19). After listening to them many times, I believe they are two different messages, left by two different "voices."
I'm submitting this report and a digital audio recording of the messages because I believe they are connected to UFO sightings I have been experiencing in Angel Fire, New Mexico. A couple of years ago, I recall hearing similar sounds on an Internet site (sorry, don't remember when or which site) which described them as being made by extraterrestrials.
The audio recording was made by holding a digital recorder near the answering machine on which the messages were made. I consider the recording to be about 98%-99%% as clear as the original messages (which I have retained on my digital answering machine).
My Caller ID recorded the phone number, which is not included in this narrative (but which will be given to official investigator). If the reverse-number service I accessed on the Internet is correct, the phone calls were made from a land line in southern California.
MUFON CMS - Lake Las Vegas, NV - 10/2/2010 - (unedited): I first reported this incident here at:
*Link moved to Additional Evidence Section below -- CMS/sg.
Instead of just copying and pasting what I wrote before I'm going to try to remember again from my memory best I can.
1. Where were you and what were you doing at the time? I was with my girl friend in my Ford Expedition. We were leaving our house in Lake Las Vegas traveling southwest on Lake Mead Drive about a mile from the entrance of Lake Las Vegas. I was traveling about 50 mph at the time. We were going to eat at Fiesta Casino in Henderson. Immediately after the incident occurred i looked at the clock in the car and on my blackberry. Both said 8:03 pm.
2. What made you first notice the object? I was looking at my girl friend who was sitting in the passenger side and I started to notice the ambient light above the car go from darker shadows to lighter shadows fairly quickly while we were driving, I remember thinking to myself what the hell are those shadows. As soon as I thought that in my head, I started seeing these bright neon green orbs flying around the inside of the car.
4. Describe the object and its actions and motions. The best way I can describe those lights was that they seemed like the size of tennis balls or ping pong balls, its hard to tell because it was like a light source but they seemed to be flying around in the car. I was looking at my girlfriend in the passenger seat so I could see the rear of the car with my peripheral and it looked like the lights were dancing around in the back too. I specifically remember the lights passing over the tops of my thighs and the center console of the expedition. It almost felt like it was scanning the car. The green lights moved quickly, so fast they left those lit up optical traces you see when a light moves fast in the dark. The color of the lights was a deep green type of light. Almost like the green light of a stop light but much a much richer and deep green. This whole incident maybe lasted 2 seconds. I honestly can't say if I remember seeing the lights on the outside of the car. Because the lights were moving so fast and were inside the car my head was concentrated at looking inside I forgot to notice if the lights were outside. My girlfriend says she saw the lights from outside but she's not too sure. Her perspective of it was she was looking through the side view mirror and she said she could see the lights dancing all around the inside of the car. A part of me wants to say I saw some lights in a light purplish color but this may have been an optical illusion at the way the lights were flying around. But me and my girlfriend both agree that we did see deep green lights. The lights were bright, like I was staring into a neon sign but it didn't seem to bathe the car in that green light. I mean the car was lit up but it didn't seem to paint the inside of the car a specific color but it was hard to tell. As soon as the lights came they just all shut off and it was gone. The reminds me, the way the lights first happened it wasn't like just 1 or 2 and slowly more. It was right away a lot of lights and very fast movement, then gone, it was back to darkness. After the incident I slowed down hard on the breaks and yelled "what the hell was that". I immediate looked over head but saw nothing.
5. Describe your feelings, reactions and actions, during and after sighting the object. When the lights first turned on in the car I immediate thought it was a toy or some kind of electronic had turned on in the back of the expedition. But when I started to notice the lights shining and dancing around I knew it wasn't a toy and I got goose bumps all over my body. I slowed down and went to the next place where I could make a U-turn and wanted to turn around to see what it was. My girlfriend said she was scared and freaked out and just wanted to get out of there. We went to Fiesta Henderson and ate and saw nothing else.
A unique phenomena happened over the sky of Jakarta last night. Several red, green and yellow lights were visible over the clear sky of Jakarta. This incident invited the attention of the citizens.
According to one of the readers at detik.com, Erwan Sudiwijaya, those multi colored lights were visible over city part Bendungan Hilir (Benhil), Central Jakarta. "red, green and yellow lights in a "C" formation were clearly visible in the sky. This event happened for 15 minutes and the lights were easily seen for 5 minutes before slowly fading away, at around 20:10 pm . It caused several people on foot to stop and watch it. other people nearby ran into their houses to take cameras.
On the same note, another reader - Barry claimed to have seen lights forming a bow and close to it one bright shining, blinking, light. However, Barry's claim came without any image as proof.
abcnews - A Chinese airport was shut down for more than an hour last month because air traffic controllers saw what they believed to be a UFO buzzing the airport, according to reports out of the country.
It is the eighth time since June that UFOs have been reported in China.
In the latest episode, several passenger jets were diverted from the airport at Baotou in Inner Mongolia for about an hour arond 8 p.m. on Sept. 11.
The alert was triggered by bright lights in the sky that moved erratically, but reports claim that air traffic controllers at the Hohhot Air Traffic Management Bureau spotted the object on their radar.
After about an hour, the object and the lights suddenly vanished and passenger jets were allowed to land.
The Chinese government had said on previous occasions that the lights claimed to be UFOs were military exercises, but the government denied the Sept. 11 incident happened at all.
This summer another UFO report caused a sensation and forced Xiaoshan Airport in Hangzhou, to cease operations on July 7.
A flight crew preparing for descent first detected the object around 8:40 p.m. and notified the air traffic control department. Aviation authorities responded within minutes, grounding outbound flights and diverting inbound ones to airports in Ningbo and Wuxi.
Eighteen flights were affected. Though normal operations resumed an hour later, the incident captured the attention of the Chinese media and sparked a firestorm of speculation on the UFO's identity.
Hangzhou residents released photos, taken in the afternoon before the delays, of a hovering object bathed in golden light and exhibiting a comet-like tail. Less than an hour before the Xiaoshan airport shut down, residents said they also saw a flying object emitting red and white rays of light.
Chinese Scientist Predicts UFOs to Bring 'Great Events'
AOLNews - All those UFOs that have been spotted around China this year, closing down airports and causing general flying saucer mayhem and wonder, are on the increase. And "great events" will soon follow, an astronomer says.
"First, I'd like to say something about the conception of 'great events about UFOs,'" Wang Sichao, a planetary astronomer at Purple Mountain Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told the Beijing Review.
Wang Sichao, a planetary astronomer at Purple Mountain Observatory in China, predicts UFO sightings in China will continue to increase.
"It does not mean large numbers of UFOs but refers to events of credible facts backed by observation. But these facts cannot yet be explained by existing scientific knowledge or natural phenomena," he told the English-language weekly.
Those are strong pro-UFO words from a scientist who, in September, dismissed UFO sightings over Hong Kong as "ghost images" -- reflections of outdoor lamps caught by camera lenses.
Wang has investigated UFO sightings in China for nearly 40 years and described the many types of unidentified objects that have been seen: "bolide, light spot, spiral, fan, bright star, flying rod, ball lightning and V-shaped."
The astronomer has a theory as to why, over so many decades, there hasn't been much progress in available UFO information -- presuming some UFOs are a type of extraordinary vehicle.
"The reason is that a UFO only appears randomly and often disappears rapidly in a few minutes. By the time large professional telescopes are started up, it has already disappeared. So, we can only rely on information from occasional sightings or encounters by observers," he said.
"Astronomers all over the world are now intensifying their efforts to explore extraterrestrial life. As long as we have open minds about scientific exploration of the unknown and employ multiple methods, the contact between humans and extraterrestrial life will, hopefully, come this century."
Honey Bee Colony Collapse Mystery Possibly Solved
It has been one of the great murder mysteries of the garden: what is killing off the honeybees?
Since 2006, 20 to 40 percent of the bee colonies in the United States alone have suffered “colony collapse.” Suspected culprits ranged from pesticides to genetically modified food.
Now, a unique partnership — of military scientists and entomologists — appears to have achieved a major breakthrough: identifying a new suspect, or two.
A fungus tag-teaming with a virus have apparently interacted to cause the problem, according to a paper by Army scientists in Maryland and bee experts in Montana in the online science journal PLoS One. Continue reading at NYTimes
Seance Plans Deep-Sixed by Religious Leaders and Residents
winnipegfreepress - Plans for a Halloween seance at a Saskatchewan museum have been sent to the grave following complaints from religious leaders and residents.
Officials at the provincially run Western Development Museum in Moose Jaw had organized a Halloween "ghost walk" to help raise funds to repair a train that takes children around the building. The event was to include a presentation on talking with the dead as well as a demonstration.
Many in the city were spooked by the idea.
"The manager at the museum started receiving phone calls and emails and personal visits from individuals who were objecting to the seance pretty much by and large on religious grounds," said David Klatt, the museum agency's executive director.
"One of the specific comments that was made, which I guess would give you an example of what we were hearing, is that we would be inviting evil through the doors if we were to conduct the seance."
Even the local legislature member, Warren Michelson, ended up fielding concerns.
The museum gave in to the pressure and cancelled the event, but only after a lot of deliberation.
"The board really struggled with it ... because there are matters of principle here," Klatt said. "Does the museum have the right to put on a broad spectrum of programming? Are we going to limit our programming because of the concerns of a special interest group?"
The other problem was that it's too late to put together a different fundraiser before Halloween.The museum's board had hoped to raise $1,000 toward the train-repair bill. The money will be raised eventually, Klatt said, and the train should be back on track by next summer.
The Western Development Museum was established by the Saskatchewan government in 1949 to preserve farm machinery and other aspects of the province's history. Board members are appointed by the province to oversee four facilities in Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, Yorkton and North Battleford.
Priest Fears Masonic 'Witchcraft'
times-age - A Christian minister in Carterton is objecting to a Masonic Lodge being used for a temporary library because he considers it connected to witchcraft.
John Cromarty and his wife Marilyn, of St David's Church, are handing in their library cards and are asking all their friends not to visit the lodge, which is housing the town's books while the $6 million events centre is built.
In a letter to Carterton Mayor Gary McPhee, which was distributed at yesterday's Carterton council meeting, Mr Cromarty warns that any decision to enter the premises is "not wise".
"Freemasonry, while it does good works in the community, is based upon the worship of pagan gods," Mr Cromarty wrote.
"While it portrays a facade as being compatible to Christianity in its teaching, it has its foundation rooted in witchcraft and pre-Christian teachings and practice."
Mr Cromarty suggested alternatives, such as an empty building on High St, Carterton, or the Wai Art Centre.
The couple are leaving at the end of the year but have taken the decision to hand their library cards in now to make a stand.
Called by the Times-Age, Mr Cromarty said he had "no comment" but objected to his letter being published, believing it to be private correspondence.
Mr McPhee said the letter showed a few people in the community were "stuck in the wrong century".
"We are now in the 21st century but clearly some people didn't move along with us," he said.
Warwick Cashmore, a past master and a Freemason of the lodge, said he was saddened by Mr Cromarty's comments.
"I'm extremely disappointed he's taken this attitude.
"The basic tenants of freemasonry are brotherly love, relief, and truth."
He said freemasons, like Christians, believed in a god and, perhaps most importantly, had shared connections to paganism.
"He should examine his own religion and see there are some very big connections to paganism there.
Christmas and Easter both derive from pagan rituals," Mr Cashmore said.
He believed the comments to be further evidence there were grave misunderstandings about freemasonry in the community after a recent court case in Wellington debating whether the society is a charity or not.
Carterton's Masonic Lodge has 52 members.
Protein Cocktail is 'Elixir of Life'
BBC - A cocktail of amino acids - the building blocks of proteins - is the latest contender in the age-old search for the elixir of life.
Scientists gave mice drinking water laced with three amino acids. They said the rodents lived significantly longer than other mice fed a normal diet.
The research, reported in a scientific journal, has yet to be tried in people.
The study leader said a large patient trial was needed to provide evidence to convince doctors.
In experiments, middle-aged healthy male mice were given drinking water containing the amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine.
Dr Enzo Nisoli, of the University of Milan, and colleagues, said it increased the average lifespan of the mice by 12% and boosted their fitness and co-ordination.
They wrote in their paper, published in Cell Metabolism: "Our study offers a rationale for deeply exploring the role of amino acids in prevention and control of age-related disorders in humans."
The amino acids - three of the 20 that make up proteins - have been shown to extend life span in yeast. However, the precise role of these amino acids in humans is unknown.
They are used by bodybuilders to maintain muscle tissue and can be bought in health food stores and online.
edhtelegraph - There might be something more than spirits on tap at Yager’s Tap House and Grille Pub.
Brian McKeown, one of Yager’s co-owners, said he has known for some time that the building, located at 727 Trader Lane, was haunted.
“Last year, when we were remodeling the place, previous patrons and employees would stop by and tell us stories,” McKeown said. “We heard a lot of interesting stories.”
He said that the building was something of a “fixer-upper” and a lot of work went into it, so Yager’s could re-open for last year’s Folsom Live. During that time, McKeown said he heard more stories about the place and learned about its history.
“The building was built in 1856. I believe that it was originally a fire house,” he said. “Peter Yager opened his brewery here in 1882. Before Prohibition, it was a bar called the Soapy Saloon. It has also been a hardware store and a grocery store.”
The lowermost floor once served as downtown’s civil defense bomb shelter years ago and it has three underground tunnels — all of which are now sealed.
“Bootleggers used those tunnels during the Prohibition days, (according to local lore),” McKeown said. “I’ve heard there are other tunnels in the Sutter Street area.”
McKeown said that many of the stories he’s heard focus around the ghost of a little girl.
“Some people have seen her running around the pool table,” he said. “One day, one of our cooks was mopping the upstairs room where the pool table was located. He heard a sound and looked around — that’s when he saw this little girl running around the pool table and watched her vanish into thin air.”
Jeff Dwyer, a paranormal investigator from San Francisco, wrote a book titled “Ghost Hunter’s Guide to California Gold Rush Country.” The book has a listing on Yager’s and even calls the entity “The Eight-Ball Ghost.”
McKeown knew the story.
“A few years ago, some customers wanted to play pool but couldn’t because the eight ball was missing,” he said. “They looked everywhere for it and couldn’t find the damn thing. Then, that night, one of the employees walked by the pool table and out rolls the eight-ball.”
The pool table has since been relocated to the bottom floor, where the old bomb shelter was located. But, the “Little Girl,” as McKeown and some employees call her, keeps busy all over the building.
“After our opening, we could hear footsteps up in the attic,” he said. “Then the door up there would open and close by itself. Something kept messing with the alarm control box too. It got to be annoying at first then we just told ourselves it was (the Little Girl). We’ve gotten used to it.”
McKeown said employees and customers have told him of hearing a girl laugh and whispering. Some, he said, have even experienced cold spots appearing then disappearing.
“But, it’s nothing creepy,” he said. “Before this, I had another experience with the paranormal. I’m not scared. In fact, I’ve even crashed here over night during the remodel but I was never scared.”
Last Christmas, one of the bartenders set out a plate of cookies for the Little Girl.
“Nothing happened though,” he said.
But the Little Girl isn’t the only ghost haunting Yager’s.
“We call the other one ‘the Old Woman,’” he said. “Some people who’ve been in the old bomb shelter have seen her. Some have even been touched by her.”
Like the Little Girl, McKeown said no one feels threatened by this other entity. Nothing malicious has ever happened.
“I would love to know more about the history of the building and who worked here,” he said. “I know the ghosts are attached to this place for some reason.”
While McKeown is curious about the ghosts he doesn’t want ghost hunters to show up and investigate.
“The ghosts are here because they want to be and we want them to stay,” McKeown said. “We don’t want people to provoke them or anything like that. This is their home, so to speak, and I don’t want anyone to be disrespectful towards them.”
So, McKeown and others at Yager’s are content with their ghostly companions. He looks forward to more experiences.
“This Christmas, we’ll be setting out a plate filled with cookies again,” he said. “It’d be great if they were gone by the morning.”
from 'The Ghost Hunter's Guide to California's Gold Rush Country'
I recently challenged the readers of ‘Phantoms and Monsters’ to forward their thoughts on ‘The Jesus Theory’. There has been increased speculation that the being known as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ was different than what the New Testament of the Christian Bible described. Traditional Christians believe that Jesus was born of a virgin mother, performed miracles, founded the Church, rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, from which he will return. Most Christian scholars today present Jesus as the awaited Messiah and as God, arguing that he fulfilled many Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament.
Although the historicity of Jesus is accepted by most Biblical scholars and classical historians, a few have questioned the existence of Jesus as an actual historical figure. As well, recent archaeological evidence suggests that the traditional story of Jesus' life described in the New Testament may not be accurate. I’m not going to make an argument as to Jesus’ actual historical subsistence but there is enough evidence to conclude that Jesus probably did exist in some capacity.
At the time I asked my readers to express their thoughts, I also posted a poll that asked “Jesus of Nazareth was...” There have been over 500 responses so far and the answer percentages have remained very consistent.
42% - believe Jesus was a human being
6% - believe Jesus was an extraterrestrial being
11% - believe Jesus was a non-specific hybrid being
25% - believe Jesus was a supernatural entity
16% - believe Jesus was a myth
I received 66 email responses to my challenge. Most were very well written and thoughtful narratives that embodied religious doctrine, fundamentalist ideology, scientific scrutiny and personal conjecture. Many people warned me that I didn’t know what I getting myself into and others stated that I had no right or reason to even ask the question. Nonetheless, I want to thank each person who took the time to reply.
Those responders who believe Jesus was a divine being used scripture, dogma and personal opinion to make their feelings known. Some examples were:
“Jesus Christ is God Almighty in human form. He was 100% human, but He was also 100% God.”
“God, who became human, and took on human flesh” (Philippians 2:6-8)
“...it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is,” (1 John 3:2)
“Some people may be born completely aware of their natural divinity, and divine origins. Jesus, perhaps, was one of these people. Perhaps he made it his life goal, to try and teach others of their divine nature. To try and help others to uncover their natural divinity.”
“Jesus was indeed fully human. His life has bisected human history into then and now. The statements of the Apostle’s Creed focus on the humanness of Jesus of Nazareth, as well as his claims to being the Son of God.”
“…my utmost conviction is that Jesus Christ was a fully Human Being of Divine Origin, (as we actually are), but his manifestation or incarnation was of such an intensity, as such an evolved, Super Conscious Entity, that, (to the sincere, unprejudiced investigator), there ultimately cannot be any doubt that He, (as a manifestation of the Ultimate Nonlocal Consciousness), is still fully alive and accessible when one immerses oneself in a meditative state: i.e., an Alpha/Theta Wave brain frequency spectra.”
“I believe that in the same way that human genetics, through the natural reproductive process, produces people with extraordinarily high levels of intelligence, i.e. Albert Einstein, Leonardo DaVinci, Stephen Hawking, or exceptional cruelty i.e. Hitler, Marquis de Sade, we are also capable of producing individuals of exceptional compassion and human relations wisdom. I believe that Christ was one of those people, notwithstanding the inevitable embellishments to his life story.”
Carlo Crivelli's "Annunciation," 1486.
A UFO-like object in the sky shines a beam of some kind down on Mary's head.
On the other hand, those responders who doubt the Biblical accounts and consider Jesus was something other than a human being or simply a myth stated the following:
“He was born a man, to a human mother who had never had intercourse. The sheer ludicrousness of this happening can only mean that it was devised by an outside source. Since without modern medical intervention, a virgin cannot be impregnated without penetration. (I am sure that there is a near negligible chance of some acts of foreplay resulting in the possibility of a pregnancy, but for all intents and purposes, we will assume that this was not the case.) So, since the father was not human, this inevitably means that Christ was not fully human; he was the Son of God. More amazingly still, not only was he the Son of God but he was God. The theory of the Holy Trinity claims that he was even more than this: Father, Son, and Spirit. This is and of itself defies all that we know to be possible.”
“There is more than enough evidence to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that, if the Bible is true and the miracles of Christ did truly occur, it is the most extensive example of paranormal activity that we have to date. And Christ, being the center of all the events, must be the catalyst, making him intrinsically more than human.”
The evidence for any of these theories is mostly anecdotal and based on emotion and core beliefs. The holy scriptures are considered the word of God to Christians and that’s all the confirmation they need. So, let’s look at the enlightened word of the gospels.
Sandro Botticelli's "Mystical Nativity," 1501.
Something huge and saucer-shaped is in the sky above the manger
with a circle of winged beings floating beneath it
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus. – (Matthew 1:24-25)
The gospel of St Matthew opens the New Testament with a frightening visit from a flying being who descends from the stars to proclaim an amazing message to terrified shepherds attending their flocks. “Behold, a virgin shall be with child and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God is with us.”
Matthew declares "When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the King, behold, there came wise men from the East to Jerusalem, saying, 'where is he who is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East and have come to worship him.'"
The birth of Jesus of Nazareth is cloaked in mystery, as well as his death and alleged resurrection. Just as the pillar of light led Moses and the Israelites through the wilderness to the Promised Land, another mysterious object steered those with wisdom to the birthplace of a carpenter's son in the New Testament. The unidentified flying object angle certainly seems to fit the account of this guiding light in the sky. But just what was the Star of Bethlehem? Is it simply a myth or did the bright messenger really exist in the skies over Judaea? For centuries, theologians and scientists have argued over their interpretations of the celestial event, which was recorded only by the apostle Matthew.
Despite all the conjecture, astronomical theories and historical research, we are still no closer to uncovering the truth about the Star of Bethlehem mystery. If it wasn't a comet, nor a planetary concurrence, then one logical hypothesis which can explain a light which behaves as if it is controlled by an intelligence is that it was possibly a spacecraft. If we can accept this explanation, then we must ask…why was it hovering over the stable where Jesus was born?
There are few accounts about the early days of Jesus, especially the circumstances of his conception and birth. Traditionally, March 25th is held as the Day of the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she would give birth to the Messiah or "the anointed one". In May 1999, Israeli historians who researched ancient copies of the Apocrypha stated that one translation of the Virgin Mary's conception after a visitation from God described a chilling tale which was strangely similar to the accounts of people who had undergone gynecological examinations in UFO abduction experiences. When pressed the codex researchers refused to comment further on their intriguing claims. There is little doubt that these historians were advised by the religious authorities to withhold further interpretations of the ancient texts.
From the Gospels, a case could theoretically be built that the biological parents of Jesus were the Father and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is female…the Goddess of Christianity. A convincing argument can be made that the Holy Spirit is a woman from the Gnostic texts. Was Mary really the biological mother of Jesus? Was the Virgin Mary’s womb used simply as a vessel to incubate Jesus?
“A child will be born to us, a son will be given to us and the government will rest on His shoulders and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
Isaiah also accurately predicted that "He would be born of a virgin" (Isaiah 7:14)
In our modern age of scientific and medical marvels, it is possible through the techniques of artificial insemination to produce a child in the womb of a woman who is a virgin. Scientists are making rapid progress with the development of artificial wombs which will allow the development of a fertilized egg into an embryo and finally a nine-month-old baby.
Ponder this scenario: a superior race from another world directing the affairs of mankind. This higher race implants the embryo of Jesus into a woman's womb so she becomes a surrogate mother. Jesus is born in a secluded hamlet. As he grows he probably becomes aware of the superior and superhuman talents he possesses. He is a carpenter until he’s thirty then embarks on a mission which will sow the seeds for the most momentous sociological and philosophical transformation in world history. The authorities soon realize that he is not an average prophet...he gives back life to three dead people, stops storms, walks on water, exorcises evil spirits from possessed people, heals the sick and crippled, restores sight to the blind, turns water into wine and feeds the multitudes.
Jesus proves through his supernatural prowess that he was no ordinary human being…he himself said the kingdom or realm he came from was “not of this world”. He also maintained that his father was in Heaven and spent many lengthy periods in the vast isolation of the wilderness, where he may have received the instructions for his revolutionary program to change civilization. Was this the rendezvous point for meeting his extraterrestrial kin? There are many instances of luminous objects descending onto Jesus and shining “divine” rays on him. All of these incidents are interpreted as religious omens among the primitive people of the time, but what can we make of them?
“God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16)
The ultimate evidence that Jesus was no ordinary human came with his physical resurrection, which was mentioned in all four gospels. Jesus was scourged and treated brutally by the Roman guards, who crowned him with thorns, mocked him then crucified him at the ninth hour of the day. A secret disciple of Jesus named Joseph of Arimathea, bravely asked the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate if he could bury Christ. Jesus had to be buried before the Sabbath began at 6 p.m., so that his corpse should not profane the holy day. Pilate was said to be surprised that Jesus had died so quickly but allowed Joseph to take charge of the rabbi's body.
Jesus’ body was wrapped in a fine linen and hurriedly laid in a sepulchre carved out of a rock, and the entrance to this tomb was sealed with an enormous stone. There has been speculation that Jesus was faking death but had only swooned. This was unlikely since a Roman scourging was terrible and traumatic, many victims died before being crucified. The graphic account by John states a soldier named Longinius thrust a spear into Jesus's side while he was on the cross and that 'blood and water' came out. This is a medically accurate description of what happens when the pericardium is pierced, and such a wound is always fatal.
In John 20: 1-9 it reads “The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And he, stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying, yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter, following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, And the napkin that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple, which first came unto the sepulchre, and he saw, and believe. For as yet they knew not the scripture that he must rise again from the dead.”
The Jewish Sanhedrin shuddered when they heard the news of the empty tomb. There were odd accounts that an unusual being in 'snow-white clothes' with a light on its head as bright as lightning had descended from the low dark clouds which bewildered and terrified the Roman soldiers guarding the tomb. This unknown figure that was assumed by the Jewish priests to be a heavenly being proceeded to push away the stone blocking the tomb's entrance with astonishing might. It was later revealed that two unearthly-looking men dressed in white clothes had been seen at the entrance of the tomb by Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome. The three women said one of the strange figures said: “Be not affrighted; ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified. He is not here...he is risen. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.”
The figures in white simply vanished into the skies as mysteriously as they had appeared. Who or what were these enigmatic beings?
Aert de Gelder's The Baptism of Christ, 1710.
This painting shows John the Baptist with Jesus beneath what appears
to show beings associated with an Extraterrestrial spacecraft in the sky shining rays of light on him.
It is written that the resurrected Jesus later reappeared to his faithful disciples, but seems to have undergone a transfiguration. Although he was apparently solid and tangible enough to eat food and to allow the disciples to touch his wounds, doors did not have to be opened before he could enter a room. He simultaneously projected to different locations on several occasions. Some who had been familiar with him prior to the crucifixion, including Mary Magdalene, did not recognize him right away. On one occasion, Jesus joins his disciples but says “their eyes were holden that they should not know him”. The disciples told Jesus about the crucifixion and of the empty tomb he had been laid in. Jesus then revealed his identity by describing the scriptures that concerned him in great detail. After instilling faith into his followers, he is said to have “ascended” into heaven. They watched in amazement as Jesus rose higher and higher into the heavens until he and the angels in the Merkaba (a celestial vehicle of the angels which is mentioned in the ancient Kabbals) were lost to sight. Is it possible that these “angels” and Jesus were seen boarding a spacecraft?
As I have been reminded in many of the readers’ responses, Christians assert that Jesus was God incarnate, while the Jews maintain that he was merely a prophet. Whoever or whatever Jesus was, there can be little doubt that he was an exceptional and unconventional being. He preached that pacifism was the only way to live. If your enemy should strike you, then you must turn the other cheek and bear the brunt again. This philosophy was totally opposite of the Old Testament's suggestion of “an eye for an eye”. Jesus also told those who wished to follow him to love their enemies and pray for them, and abandon all worldly wealth. Was this the philosophy of a man, a prophet or an extraterrestrial being? The mysteries of his life and teachings are surrounded by religious dogma and superstition…regularly interpreted and morphed by self-made prophets and clergy. An extraterrestrial interpretation is not made to belittle Jesus or his followers in any way, but represents him in an advanced personification in the universe.
The Holy Bible - King James Version: 1611 Edition
"Origin of the Name of Jesus Christ". Catholic Encyclopedia
Strobel, Lee - The Case for the Real Jesus
Harris, Stephen L., “Understanding the Bible”
The Readers of “Phantoms and Monsters”
azcentral - Somewhere out there, there's a modern Western explorer who decided he had something so important to say that it had to be slathered in silver paint on a remote rock wall full of ancient petroglyphs in the national forest.
The mysterious etchings depicting people, animals and a blazing sun are in a box canyon known as Keyhole Sink in the Kaibab National Forest east of Williams, a mountain town off Interstate 40 that has welcomed sojourners since its namesake, fur trapper "Old Bill" Williams, explored the locale in the early to mid-1800s.
The pristine rock art in Keyhole Sink was a silent reminder of the ancient culture that long flourished in northern Arizona, and it stood unaltered for at least 1,000 years. That all changed in August, when someone painted "ACE" on top of the petroglyphs in sloppy, dripping letters. Under the defacement is an indistinguishable glop of paint that could be more lettering.
Kaibab officials aren't sure exactly what it says, nor what it means, other than a potentially expensive restoration job that might not work. Investigators are trying to find the culprits but have no suspects.
"It's beyond words," Kaibab archaeologist Neil Weintraub said of the damage. "It feels like an attack on this site. What has it done except give people pleasure for years?"
The damage at Keyhole Sink is a fresh reminder of the ongoing assault on ancient archaeological sites in Arizona and across the Southwest - graffiti, looting of artifacts, littering and garbage-dumping. Sites are defaced with paint, bullet marks, paintball stains and messages scratched into rocks. Professional thieves remove pottery, hack out chunks of ancient art-covered rock and dislodge anything they can carry away.
The sites are vulnerable because they're not behind locked doors. They are operated on the assumption that visitors will behave, since monitoring is intermittent at many of these locations. There aren't enough people, either paid or volunteer, to check them frequently. There are simply too many sites. Often, they're hard to reach.
"We can't monitor them all, and neither can the land managers," said Nicole Armstrong-Best, interim coordinator for Arizona's Site Stewards program. The program oversees a group of volunteers who monitor local, state and federal sites all over the state.
There are about 800 volunteer stewards who monitor the 3,000 most significant or most affected sites the program tracks. Armstrong-Best said there are thousands of other sites - both known and undiscovered - not being watched.
More than 130 vandalism reports have been filed by the stewards since October 2009, when a computerized reporting system was put in place. Reported incidents include petroglyph thefts, paint damage, graffiti and dumping of debris. In a few cases, even shrines and cairns have been built on the sites, along with other alterations.
Looters and vandals can be prosecuted under the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979. But experts say the cases can be difficult to prosecute unless there are witnesses. Still, there have been enforcement actions in Arizona and neighboring states recently.
Perhaps the best known is a federal sting that targeted looters in the Four Corners area of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. More than 25 people were arrested in the case.
In other examples of prosecution, a Bullhead City man was hit with several citations after a paintball fight damaged petroglyphs in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, and the federal Bureau of Land Management is investigating a case near Tucson in which people were spotted spray-painting a series of rock-art panels.
Archaeology buffs like Robert Schroeder of Phoenix wonder if it's a good idea to have the sites listed so publicly.
"I don't see any easy solution," said Schroeder, who photographs petroglyphs, including some that have been damaged. "You want Americans to have access to the country's cultural resources, but you want to keep sensitive sites off the radar, so to speak."
Mike Johnson, deputy preservation officer for the BLM's Arizona office in Phoenix, said urban growth in the West means more people looking to crowd into diminishing open space, putting more pressure on archaeological sites. At the same time, he said technology like GPS helps people find sites, and Internet marketplaces permit thieves to easily market what they've stolen.
Johnson said the BLM is working to increase steward visits and patrols by uniformed officers at sensitive sites, and to increased cooperation with Native American tribes, for whom these sites are sacred reminders of their ancestors.
Experts say that the impulse to restrict access is giving way to the idea that educating visitors about the value of the sites will make them more apt to notice and report criminal shenanigans.
"You give people who are professional looters more reason for concern, more eyes and ears out there," said Andy Laurenzi of Tucson's Center for Desert Archaeology.
Kaibab officials were proactive in trying to protect Keyhole Sink. Two forest roads leading to the small canyon were closed, and now the rights of way are carpeted with forest growth. Without easy access, garbage and litter almost disappeared.
To keep the site accessible, forest managers created a ¾-mile walking trail to Keyhole Sink. They figured that anyone willing to make the effort to get there on foot would value what they were seeing.
Kaibab officials erected signs warning against vandalism and explaining the significance of the site. Now, Weintraub said, the agency may have to consider installing cameras and motion detectors to protect the site, though that runs counter to his notion that the place is a touchstone to the past.
Until the paint is removed, he said, people who come there from around the world will be disappointed.
"We've lost the value of people being able to come there, see the stuff, sometimes sit there alone and imagine how it was for the ancient people who lived there," he said.
Margaret Hangan, Kaibab National Forest's heritage-program manager, said she was unsure if anyone would be caught for the vandalism. Kaibab officials are still trying to figure out the best way to remove the paint without leaving more damage. Officials hope publicity helps educate people and generates some tips on who did it.
"It hurts us emotionally, because this is just such a special place," Hangan said recently, standing near a pool at the base of a cliff where a waterfall cascades during the snowmelt season. "It's really hard to see that not everybody feels the same way we do about it."
Michigan Mom Accused of Faking Son's Cancer
AP - An unemployed Detroit-area mother accused of drugging and shaving her healthy 12-year-old son so he appeared to have cancer, then accepting thousands of dollars in donations for his treatment, was arraigned Friday on charges of fraud and child abuse.
A Roseville district court judge ordered Carol Lynn Schnuphase, 47, of Warren, held on $100,000 bond.
"A mother, no less, goes so far as to shave the head every other week, shave the eyebrows, and maybe the worst thing of all, to crushing up drugs to put in his applesauce to make him appear lethargic," said Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith.
A hospital has tested the boy and declared him cancer-free, although he was going through opiate withdrawal, Smith said. Authorities haven't yet determined what drugs were in the boy's system and are awaiting hospital test results.
Court records indicate Schnuphase told her son he had leukemia.
Authorities say Schnuphase elicited donations from individuals, groups and members of at least one church who believed they were helping to pay for her son's medical care as he underwent chemotherapy.
Smith said she received $7,500 from a church fundraiser, in addition to other donations, and that her son was given gifts including an Xbox video game system.
"People, out of the goodness of their hearts, seeing what they think this poor child is going through have given cash, given an Xbox, given presents trying to lift his spirits," Smith said. "This poor child, thinking all along that he is dying of cancer. It never ends; the shock."
The charade appears to have started in December, and eventually Schnuphase's family members and relatives of her deceased husband reported her to police.
After authorities removed the boy from her home earlier this summer, Schnuphase told past donors her son had died and that she needed money for his funeral and burial, Smith said.
"We see greedy people all the time and people scamming for money all the time, but we never see it to this level," he added.
"It appears as though the money is for the same thing all of us spend our money on: car payments, food, housing," Smith said. "There appear to be no gambling debts or anything else. This appears to be just a mindless greedy action."
Schnuphase was arrested Thursday after visiting the boy, who is in foster care, defense lawyer Dominic Greco said.
"They grabbed her after they had made arrangements with her to turn herself in today," he said.
Wearing a powder blue hooded pullover jacket, Schnuphase stood before Judge Marco Santia quietly answering questions about where she lived.
Greco told the judge she was standing mute to the charges. A preliminary hearing was set for Oct. 13. Greco said he thinks that bond was set too high.
"She doesn't have any money. All the money in her account, she was saving up for bond," he said.
Schnuphase faces two counts of fraud over $1,000, which carry sentences of up to five years. She also is charged with one count of second-degree child abuse, a felony with a sentence of up to four years.
Roseville's Deputy Police Chief James Berlin said during the scheme Schnuphase was living in her suburban Detroit home, which was in foreclosure.
Angry relatives viewed the arraignment in the small courtroom and expressed disbelief and anger toward Schnuphase afterward.
"I have never heard of such a thing where a mother would do this. I don't know what caused it," said her aunt, Lorraine Kelsch.
Former sister-in-law Elizabeth Carmack called the actions "sick and disgusting."
"I hope that she rots in jail," Carmack told reporters.
Chinese Blackouts For The Sake of Energy Efficiency
weirdasianews - Since 2009, China has surpassed the US as the world’s biggest consumer of energy and the main emitter of green house gasses, according to the International Energy Agency.
China’s current five-year plan, which had been focused on improving the energy efficiency of the economy by 20%, is quickly drawing to a close.
Initially, the outlook was hopeful as until last year, the country measured a 14.4% gain.
By measuring energy use via relative Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, the target percentage was established as the very least level China could contribute towards battling greenhouse emissions.
But this year, especially in the first three months of 2010, huge expenditures involving energy-intensive steel and cement infrastructure projects propelled the economy upward, but at the cost of having to burn more coal for yuan of productivity.
Over the summer, the two most industrially active provinces, Zhejiang and Jiangsu, began to irregularly cut the power supplies to factories. And they are not alone, as other regions have also adopted similar measures on local levels.
In Hebei Province, Anping County has adopted radical measures to achieve China’s intense effort to improve the environment and shift away from the waste of energy so long in effect. For 22 hours every three days, authorities cut electricity to homes, factories and public buildings.
The problem was that these indiscriminate cuts impacted industrial sectors and poor rural communities alike.
“We don’t have many electrical appliances in our home so it didn’t affect me that much. We just had to hang around because we couldn’t watch TV as usual,” said Mr. Liu, a farmer in the village of Liukou.
Media attention brought a public apology and return to normal energy use for residents.
A new, more scientific approach is definitely needed and is in the works.
“We will achieve this goal even if it means losing GDP growth,” promised prime minister, Wen Jiabao.
NOTE: seems to me that China is falling into the same syndrome that plagued the Japanese basically, producing low-cost exports to fund investment at home while pissing off trading partners. Japan's export boom funded remarkable growth for four decades...but it's undervalued currency eventually helped blow up one of the largest economic bubbles in history. I see China going the same route but at a much faster pace. Compound that with the energy costs and environmental problems, China has major economic and social issues in the near future...Lon
Filipinos Face Fine / Prison For Singing National Anthem Incorrectly
BBC - The Philippine House of Representatives has approved a bill criminalising the improper singing of the country's national anthem.
If the Senate passes the bill into law, performers who deviate from the official version could face a fine of more than $2,000 (£1,264).
The new bill, which is very precise, says offenders could face up to two years in jail.
It also outlines penalties for improper use or displaying of the national flag.
When one of the Philippines' most famous pop stars Charice Pempengco sings her country's national anthem, her rendition is deemed acceptable by the National Historical Institute.
But not all versions are so favourably received.
Other performers have been criticised for singing the anthem too slowly or with the wrong beat, or adding their own personal touches.
This new bill is very precise: the anthem should be sung to a marching tempo, within the range of 100 to 120 beats per minute.
When it is played at public gatherings and in cinemas, all citizens should stand to attention and sing with fervour, as a sign of respect.
The bill also tightens up the rules on the use of the national flag - but it is the anthem that has the biggest impact.
This is a country where people love to sing. Now - if people want to sing their national song, they need to make sure they do it properly.
NOTE: did you ever get the same thoughts when performers butcher the Star-Spangled Banner with all the embellishments?
ET Contact Gameplan
MSNBC Science Editor Alan Boyle writes the following: Experts have hammered out a simplified game plan to follow in the event that signals from an extraterrestrial civilization are ever detected.
The new guidelines for dealing with theoretical radio transmissions from E.T. were adopted unanimously by the International Academy of Astronautics' SETI Permanent Study group last week during a meeting in Prague, the Czech capital.
The timing is weirdly coincidental, in that the long-scheduled meeting came amid an international buzz over the United Nations' role in responding to a hypothetical E.T. call. Malaysian astronomer Mazlan Othman, head of the U.N. Office for Outer Space Affairs, said the world body was "a ready-made mechanism for such coordination," and quite a few news outlets suggested that Othman herself might be named the point person for dealing with extraterrestrial communications.
Othman eventually said she wasn't aiming to become an ambassador to the aliens. But the newly approved protocol does say the U.N. secretary-general would be among the first people officially notified if alien contact is confirmed. I'm stressing the word "officially" because the protocol also says scientists shouldn't try to hush up any detection of signals they think might be coming from E.T. Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon may well find out about alien detection from a Twitter tweet rather than an official phone call.
The earlier version of the protocols was a lot wordier, and called for notifying 10 separate organizations about "credible evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence." The revised protocols also make a point of saying that scientists should deal honestly with the news media in the event of a signal detection ... which of course I'm glad to hear.
Conspiracy theorists might say the one-world government "don't need no stinking protocols," to paraphrase a classic movie scene. And it's true that the protocols are not legally binding. But the SETI League found it comforting that the experts declared their commitment to openness in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.
"The advent of the Internet has changed the way the world does collaborative science," H. Paul Shuch, the grassroots group's executive director emeritus, said in a statement released over the weekend. "The revised IAA SETI Protocols better reflect this reality and provide a workable means for honoring both scientific integrity and the public's right to know."
Here's the text of the revised protocols, which are posted on the SETI League website:
The parties to this declaration are individuals and institutions participating in the scientific Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI).
The purpose of this document is to declare our commitment to conduct this search in a scientifically valid and transparent manner and to establish uniform procedures for the announcement of a confirmed SETI detection.
This commitment is made in recognition of the profound scientific, social, ethical, legal, philosophical and other implications of a SETI detection. As this enterprise enjoys wide public interest, but engenders uncertainty about how information collected during the search will be handled, the signatories have voluntarily constructed this declaration. It, together with a current list of signatory parties, will be placed on file with the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA).
1. Searching: SETI experiments will be conducted transparently, and its practitioners will be free to present reports on activities and results in public and professional fora. They will also be responsive to news organizations and other public communications media about their work.
2. Handling candidate evidence: In the event of a suspected detection of extraterrestrial intelligence, the discoverer will make all efforts to verify the detection, using the resources available to the discoverer and with the collaboration of other investigators, whether or not signatories to this Declaration. Such efforts will include, but not be limited to, observations at more than one facility and/or by more than one organization. There is no obligation to disclose verification efforts while they are underway, and there should be no premature disclosures pending verification. Inquiries from the media and news
organizations should be responded to promptly and honestly.
Information about candidate signals or other detections should be treated in the same way that any scientist would treat provisional laboratory results. The Rio Scale, or its equivalent, should be used as a guide to the import and significance of candidate discoveries for the benefit of non-specialist audiences.
3. Confirmed detections: If the verification process confirms â€“ by the consensus of the other investigators involved and to a degree of certainty judged by the discoverers to be credible â€“ that a signal or other evidence is due to extraterrestrial intelligence, the discoverer shall report this conclusion in a full and complete open manner to the public,
the scientific community, and the Secretary General of the United Nations. The confirmation report will include the basic data, the process and results of the verification efforts, any conclusions and intepretations, and any detected information content of the signal itself. A formal report will also be made to the International Astronomical Union
4. All data necessary for the confirmation of the detection should be made available to the international scientific community through publications, meetings, conferences, and other appropriate means.
5. The discovery should be monitored. Any data bearing on the evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence should be recorded and stored permanently to the greatest extent feasible and practicable, in a form that will make it available to observers and to the scientific community for further analysis and interpretation.
6. If the evidence of detection is in the form of electromagnetic signals, observers should seek international agreement to protect the appropriate frequencies by exercising the extraordinary procedures established within the World Administrative Radio Council of the International Telecommunication Union.
7. Post Detection: A Post-Detection Task Group under the auspices of the IAA SETI Permanent Study Group has been established to assist in matters that may arise in the event of a confirmed signal, and to support the scientific and public analysis by offering guidance, interpretation, and discussion of the wider implications of the detection.
8. Response to signals: In the case of the confirmed detection of a signal, signatories to this declaration will not respond without first seeking guidance and consent of a broadly representative international body, such as the United Nations.
Unanimously adopted by the SETI Permanent Study Group of the International Academy of Astronautics, at its annual meeting in Prague, Czech Republic, on 30 September 2010.
These revised and streamlined Protocols are intended to replace the previous document adopted by the International Academy of Astronautics in 1989.
Will these protocols ever be put into practice? Most of the scientists involved in SETI say 50 years of searching isn't long enough to judge whether our efforts to detect alien signals are on the right track or not. It may be that advanced extraterrestrial civilizations don't care enough about us monkeys to make contact, just as we don't spend a lot of time letting ants know what we're up to. It may be that intelligence is a volatile thing, and that civilizations self-destruct before they're around long enough to send signals to other star systems. Or it may be that aliens are just boring themselves to death.
Over at Discovery News, Ray Villard explores the issue of cosmic boredom. This is one of the issues raised a couple of months ago in a paper posted to the arXiv physics website by Igor Bezsudnov and Andrey Snarskii. They built computer models that gave "bonus life" to civilizations that contacted each other â€” and not surprisingly, civilizations too distant or dissimilar to achieve contact were more prone to die away.
It's just a simulation, but Villard takes away a couple of lessons from this. One implication would be that the cross-cultural effects of contact could be good for both sides. That argues against "the idea that extraterrestrials would devote an enormous amount of resources to physically travel here only to snoop around, be mischievous, yet avoid direct contact," he says.
The other implication is that there may be a "use it or lose it" quality to the quest for contact. "Extraterrestrials may wither away due to a loss of interest in the universe around them, or the atrophy of technological capability," he says. "Their brains might turn to mush as they become totally preoccupied with their versions of Facebook, World of Warcraft and reality TV shows."
Paranormal experiences run the gauntlet of categories - but nearly all of them are `paranormal’ because in one manner or another they don’t correspond with known laws of physics. And, IF the paranormal is not some self-projection of intentions, or, even if it is - does the fact that the experiences `defy physics as a explanation’ - offer us a possible clue as to what reality may ultimately BE.
Cryptozoologist Adam Davies recently met with members of his team of fellow cryptid researchers who will accompany him on his latest expedition to the West Garo Hills district of the state of Meghalaya in India, which is in the northeastern part of the country, bordering Bangladesh.
Once there, Adam and his team will search for evidence of the Mande Burung, a legendary man-like ape (or perhaps ape-like man) that has long been reported as having been seen and encountered in this heavily forested and remote region.
Here are the plans for the expedition, as conveyed to me by Mr. Davies:
* The Team will be on expedition for approx three weeks. They will depart on Halloween, 31st October, from London, and return on 19/20 November.
* The team will be headed by Adam Davies. He will be joined by Dave Archer and John McGowan, who will be bringing their tracking expertise to the Team, whilst Dr. Chris Clark and Richard Freeman will be providing Technical and Zoological expertise, respectively.
* Dipu Marak, will head up the Indian Team, which includes both trackers and porters.
* They will be deploying both traditional tracking techniques, as well as using hi-tech equipment such as infra-red, camera traps, thermal imaging and filed microscopes as well as a helicam, if appropriate. They will use Silicon Moulding should they find any prints.
* The team will be engaging in both arduous physical treks, and night stake outs.
* They have already arranged a series of appointments with alleged Mande-Burung eyewitnesses.
* The expedition will be filmed for a forthcoming documentary.
In a personal aside, Adam told me, “I would love to see one, but at the end of the day, it’s all about the science. Getting pictures on the camera traps would be amazing. What the expedition really hopes to do though is obtain tangible physical evidence of the creature, should it exist, which can then be analyzed by independent scientific experts (e.g. to extract D.N.A.). I also hope to have a great adventure when we are there, and chill with the locals!”
And in a personal aside of my own, I apologize to Adam (and the readers of this blog) for not posting this last week as I’d planned and told him I would. I sincerely appreciate the updates and I’m always eager to post them on The Paranomalist. Just been dealing with a lot of personal issues, centered around my ailing dad and busy work schedule of late. It’s been a lot to juggle, and I’m afraid I’ve been rather neglectful of my writing duties. I’ll try to get back on track this month. Thanks again, Adam, for staying in touch and letting me know about your plans.