Just the Facts? - Stonehenge Crop Circle, Neighbor From Hell and Sea Monster Debate
Mystery of 200ft crop circle within yards of Stonehenge
Some believe they are manmade, others that they are caused by earth's magnetic field. And there are a number who are convinced they are the work of extra-terrestrials
The ancient site is widely considered the most important prehistoric monument in Britain and is proving to be a hot spot for the phenomena this season.
Yesterday's design is just the latest in a spate of crop circles to have appeared in Wiltshire in the past few weeks.
Online enthusiast Eliakis Joseph-Sophia attempted to offer some explanation, believing the that the 'three half moons in the crop and that could indicate plans due to budgets in the third quarter.
'The crop is the other side of the road from Stonehenge. So clearly, the people involved in this crop cannot reach the sacred stones.'
The mystery of how crop circles are created has never been solved although they are widely considered to be an elaborate hoax.
Cynics have claimed the patterns are the work of computer scientists using teams of volunteers.
However crop circle enthusiasts argue there are not enough hours of darkness in summer to allow them to be completed by humans.
Many people believe the patterns are a message from extra-terrestrial lifeforms or even God.
Another theory is that colossal energy is amassed above the earth in the ionosphere and then zapped towards the ground where it creates the crop circle usually on chalky ground in areas traditionally known for their 'energy lines' and mystical past. - dailymail
Argentina: Residents of Rafaela Take UFO Photo With Cellphone
From Scott Corrales: They were recording a child dancing when a strange object appeared in the sky. When they noticed the object's presence, the young women began shouting. "It's a flying saucer" according to a local resident. They claim nothing like this had ever happened to them before.
Two women in the north end of Rafaela claim having recorded a strange object toward the sun exactly as they were recording the youngest brother of one of the women as he danced around.
"I was very scared," said one of the girls to a local news station, and her words subsequently appeared in Rafaela's Diario Uno. A strange object is visible in the video, which appears behind the figure of the dancing boy.
The girls began to shout as soon as they noticed the object. A neighbor said: "it's a flying saucer."
One of the young women stated that she has taken photos in the same way and pointing in the same direction, but that nothing similar had ever happened before. "I believe in these things, but I don't know." - Inexplicata
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Wi-Fi–Hacking Neighbor From Hell Sentenced to 18 Years
A Minnesota hacker prosecutors described as a “depraved criminal” was handed an 18-year prison term Tuesday for unleashing a vendetta of cyberterror that turned his neighbors’ lives into a living nightmare.
Barry Ardolf, 46, repeatedly hacked into his next-door neighbors’ Wi-Fi network in 2009, and used it to try and frame them for child pornography, sexual harassment, various kinds of professional misconduct and to send threatening e-mail to politicians, including Vice President Joe Biden.
His motive was to get back at his new neighbors after they told the police he’d kissed their 4-year-old son on the lips.
“Barry Ardolf has demonstrated by his conduct that he is a dangerous man. When he became angry at his neighbors, he vented his anger in a bizarre and calculated campaign of terror against them,” (.pdf) prosecutor Timothy Rank said in a court filing. “And he did not wage this campaign in the light of day, but rather used his computer hacking skills to strike at his victims while hiding in the shadows.
“Over months and months, he inflicted unfathomable psychic damage, making the victims feel vulnerable in their own home, while avoiding detection.”
Ardolf’s attorney, Kevin O’Brien, said in a telephone interview that “it was a lengthy sentence for a first-time offender.” The defendant also forfeited his house and computer gear.
Ardolf had no criminal record, but an investigation revealed that he’d also hijacked the Wi-Fi of other neighbors, and terrorized them as well.
A father of two, Ardolf had turned down a 2-year plea agreement last year to charges related to the Biden e-mail. After that, the authorities piled on more charges, including identity theft and two kiddie-porn accusations carrying lifetime sex-offender registration requirements. He pleaded guilty to them all last year.
The bizarre tale began in 2009 when Matt and Bethany Kostolnik moved in the house next door to Ardolf, who at the time was a Medronic computer technician living in the Minneapolis suburb of Blaine. On their first day at their new home, the Kostolnik’s then-4-year-old son wandered near Ardolf’s house. While carrying him back next door, Ardolf allegedly kissed the boy on the lips.
“We’ve just moved next door to a pedophile,” Mrs. Kostolnik told her husband.
The couple reported Ardolf to the police, angering their creepy new neighbor. “I decided to ‘get even’ by launching computer attacks against him,” Ardolf later wrote in a letter to the judge.
Rank, the prosecutor, put it not so mildly:
“It was apparently this incident which caused the defendant to begin a calculated campaign to terrorize his neighbors, doing whatever he could to destroy the careers and professional reputations of Matt and Bethany Kostolnik, to damage the Kostolniks’ marriage, and to generally wreak havoc on their lives,” he said.
Ardolf downloaded Wi-Fi hacking software and spent two weeks cracking the Kostolnik’s WEP encryption. Then he used their own Wi-Fi network to create a fake MySpace page for the husband, where he posted a picture of a pubescent girl having sex with two young boys. Under the “about me” section, he wrote:
“I bet my coworker that since I’m a lawyer and a darn great one that I could get away with putting up porn on my site here. I bet that all I have to do is say that there is plausible deniability since anybody could have put this on my site. Like someone hacked my page and added porn without my knowledge. This is reasonable doubt. I’m a darn good lawyer and I can get away with doing anything!”
He then e-mailed the same child porn to one of the husband’s co-workers, and sent flirtatious e-mail to women in Mr. Kostolnik’s office. “You are such a fox,” read one of the e-mails. He sent the message’s through the husband’s genuine e-mail account.
After the husband explained to his law office superiors that he had no idea what was happening, his bosses hired a law firm that examined his network and discovered that an “unknown” device had access to it. With Kostolnik’s permission, they installed a packet sniffer on his network to try and get to the bottom of the incidents.
Then, in May 2009, the Secret Service showed up at Kostolnik’s office to ask about several threatening e-mails sent from his Yahoo account, and traced to his IP address, that were addressed to Biden and other politicians. The subject line of one e-mail read: “This is a terrorist threat! Take this seriously.”
“I swear to God I’m going to kill you!,” part of the message to Biden said.
A forensics computer investigator working for Kostolnik’s law firm examined the packet logs, and found the e-mail sessions sending the threats. In the data surrounding the threatening traffic, they found traffic containing Ardolf’s name and Comcast account .
The FBI got a search warrant for Ardolf’s house and computer, and found reams of evidence, including copies of data swiped from the Kostolniks’ computer, and hacking manuals with titles such as Cracking WEP Using Backtrack: A Beginner’s Guide; Tutorial: Simple WEP Crack Aircracking and Cracking WEP with BackTrack 3 — Step-by-Step instructions. They also found handwritten notes laying out Ardolf’s revenge plans, and a cache of postal mail that Ardolf had apparently stolen from the Kostolniks’ mailbox and stashed under his bed.
“One of the manuals had Ardolf’s handwriting on it and another had the unique identifying ID for the Kostolniks’ router typed into it,” Rank, the prosector, wrote.
Also discovered in Ardolf’s possession was the pornographic image posted on MySpace and sent to the husband’s co-worker, and evidence that he’d secretly staged a similar harassment campaign against a neighbor at Ardolf’s previous home in Brooklyn Park, another Minneapolis suburb. Among other things, he sent that family a postal-mail message consisting of a one-page, color print-out of the family’s “TurboTax” return with personally identifying information, in addition to several skull images.
“I told you about a year ago that you should be very afraid. I can destroy you at will, you sorry-ass excuse for a human,” the letter said.
The Brooklyn Park family told the FBI they believed Ardolf was upset that their personal care attendants, who looked after their two disabled twin daughters, parked their car in front of his house. - wired
'Sea monster' sightings debated
Sea monsters like those described in ancient mariners' tales down the ages really could exist, some experts claim.
But they are probably not Jurassic Park-style survivors from the dinosaur age.
Scientists are to discuss the possibility of large undiscovered creatures in the sea at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).
One of the speakers, science writer and palaeontologist Dr Darren Naish, said: "The huge number of 'sea monster' sightings now on record can't all be explained away as mistakes, sightings of known animals or hoaxes.
"At least some of the better ones, some of them made by trained naturalists and such, probably are descriptions of encounters with real, unknown animals.
"And, because new large marine animals continue to be discovered - various new whale and shark species have been named in recent years - the idea that such species might await discovery is, at the very least, plausible."
Some have suggested that present-day "monsters" might be plesiosaurs, long-necked marine reptiles that lived at the time of dinosaurs, or other survivors from the prehistoric world.
Dr Naish thinks this is unlikely and points out that the "prehistoric survivor paradigm" (PSP) contradicts what is known about the fossil record.
"The idea that these 'sea monsters' might be such things as living plesiosaurs is not a good explanation at all," said Dr Naish, who is affiliated with the University of Portsmouth.
The meeting, entitled "Cryptozoology: Science or Pseudoscience", is being organised by Dr Charles Paxton from the University of St Andrews. - belfasttelegraph
The Baigong Pipes...Natural or What?
We’re all familiar with the concept of modern technology having ancient Chinese analogues. But a 2002 discovery in remote Qinghai province is anachronistic enough to constitute an OOPart. Out-of-place-artifacts are so unusual, or found in such improbable contexts, that mainstream science has no plausible explanation for them.
The crystal skulls of Mexico referenced in the latest Indiana Jones movie, the iron pillar of Delhi, and the ancient Greek Antikythera mechanism are examples of OOPart yet to be explained. Like these, the pipes of Qinghai’s Mount Baigong suggest a level of technology simply inconceivable for the apparent era of their manufacture. Those open-minded enough to think “extraterrestrial” when searching for a theory, while often dismissed out-of-hand, have like-minded souls in some of the Chinese scientists investigating.
Locals, residing forty kilometers southeast of Qinghai’s Delingha city, have known of the pipes for centuries. They credit aliens for their construction, and even have legends of extraterrestrial visitors to Mt. Baigong. Although the stories are met with predictable skepticism, they become harder to laugh off when one takes in the sixty-meter pyramid near the mountain’s summit. Superficially, the pyramid could be shrugged off as having been shaped by natural forces. For some reason, however, the structure has not been conclusively studied, at least officially.
Near the foot of Mt. Baigong lie three caves, the largest and most accessible some eight meters high by six meters deep. Inside, spanning from the roof to the back end of the cave, runs a pipe 40 cm in diameter. Another one roughly the same size runs into the earth from the floor, with just the top protruding.
The pipes, according to tests carried out at a local smeltery, are made chiefly of iron, but with an unusual thirty percent silicon dioxide in their matrix. They are also centuries old, if Xinhua and its source, Liu Shaolin, the engineer who carried out preliminary tests, are to be believed. Strange, but easily written off as a bizarre metallurgical operation by some nomads with too much time on their hands, assuming geological origins of the eerily symmetrical pyramid.
However, dozens of pipe openings have been discovered in the mountains far above the caves. Now these nomads must be credited with some advanced system of drilling since forgotten, as there is no modern industry in the area nor record of such. Not far from the foot of Baigong sits Toson Lake, on whose beach run many more iron pipes in unlikely patterns and in a variety of diameters, toothpick-sized at the thinnest. More pipes are in the lake, some protruding above the water surface, others buried beneath the lake’s bed.
Although nine Chinese scientists were reportedly dispatched to make a detailed analysis of the pipes in 2002, there has been no further information. This hasn’t prevented local government from promoting the site as a tourist attraction. A CCTV crew went to Mt. Baigong soon after, accompanied by researchers from the Beijing UFO Research Association, but no record or footage of the expedition has come to our attention. If this is because such documentation would be widely laughed off, then they would at the expense of Yang Ji, a research fellow of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences who told Xinhua that the extraterrestrial theory was “understandable and worth looking into”.
Then again, plain old terrestrial science has many mysteries left to be fully explained. Similar pipe-like structures have been found in the Jurassic sandstone of the Southwestern United States, as well as in Citronelle formations in Louisiana. No pyramids have been found close on, and researchers have concluded that they were formed through natural processes. But similar conclusions from scientists studying the Baigong pipes have yet to be announced, six years later. - chinaexpat
'Phantoms and Monsters' blog site. Again, my gratitude to you for being there...Lon