These videos are edited versions of four of the original videos....this includes the bathroom door entity video which has been available for several months. The videos were produced by David Eckhart....I am presenting these to you as I received. Please refer to the case history at Links to Eckhart Encounters Information...Lon
The encounters have continued for almost 10 years and have been experienced by David and his family at both of their residences in the Pensacola, Florida area. The video was produced from 2 full frames and parts of the preceding and latter frames...then looped in slow motion. These beings can move in and out at remarkable speeds. No CGI or reconstruction techniques were used...just splicing of the frames to make this slow motion bit of video.
The next three videos are being presented to the public for the first time. Each was produced in David Eckhart's bedroom. Please refer to the case links for information on these videos.
NOTE: At this time, I have curtailed my investigation of this case. There is still a considerable amount of unreleased evidence...much has yet to be thoroughly examined. If additional evidence comes forth I will surely examine it and include it as part of the record. I remain 'in touch' with David...his encounters have given me a new insight to the extraterrestrial / ultraterrestrial phenomena and have also given me a great friend...Lon
Reports of dinosaur-like creatures in Central Africa go back for more than 200 years, according to William "Bill" Gibbons. In 1776, French missionaries passing through the forests reported finding huge footprints in the ground. The clawed prints were three feet in circumference and were spaced about seven feet apart. This would have made the animal as big as an elephant, but it was common knowledge to the locals that the tracks were not from an elephant, since elephants do not posses claws. One of the priests, amazingly, even gave claim to have seen several specimens chewing on vegetation while wading in the rivers. Regardless, it was certain that these were an entirely new group of animals. At that time, however, they were neither "dinosaurs" nor "prehistoric," the words waiting to be invented nearly one hundred years later.
In 1913, a German explorer reported stories of, what the natives called, "Mokele-mbembe," which he had heard while in the Congo. Hearing the reports, a few scientists noticed that the descriptions of the creatures made them sound much like sauropod dinosaurs. Sauropods were the giants of the dinosaurs world, averaging about 70 feet (21 meters) long and standing 12-15 feet (3.7 to 4.8 m) tall at the hips.
In 1932, a British scientist, exploring near the Likouala region where the creatures are said to live, came across some abnormally huge footprints. Later, when he went down one of the rivers in a canoe, he heard strange sounds, but did not see anything.
Coincidentally, that same year the world famous zoologist and biologist, Ivan T. Sanderson, along with animal-trader Gerald Russel, were paddling up the Mainyu River in the heart of western Africa when, according to Sanderson's report:
"The most terrifying sound I have ever heard, which sounded like an on-coming earthquake or an exploding, nearby robot, suddenly greeted us from a large underwater cave."
While the water of the river was boiling and foaming directly in front of their canoe, a darkish, shining lizard-like head suddenly rose from the dark water. They described the head as nearly the size of the head of a fully grown hippo, which sat on a thick, swan-like neck. The enormous neck was turned towards the two men, and for just a few seconds, although it seemed like an eternity, the monster simply stared at Sanderson and Russel. Mr. Sanderson summed up his thoughts with these emphatic words:
"I don't know what we saw, but the animal, the monster, burned itself into my retinas. It looked like something that ought to have been dead millions of years ago. As a scientist, I should have been happy, of course, but this encounter was so frightening, so nasty that I never want to see it again."
Is this a Mokele-mbembe footprint? (Republic of the Congo 1966)
A Dinosaur In Africa?
It was 1986, Rory Nugent and his expedition party were out in the world's largest unexplored swamp on earth, the Likouala Swamp of Africa. While near Lake Tele he saw a long, thin neck come up out of the water, like that of a dinosaur. Rory immediately took two photographs and quickly got in his canoe, but his native guides stopped him at gunpoint and said, "He (the creature) would have killed us all..."
Over the last 100 years, evidence has accumulated that sauropod dinosaurs may still be roaming the vast, unexplored regions of the African swamp and jungle. Places like Nigeria, Congo, Angola, Gabon, and Cameroon have similar reports of huge, long-necked monsters, some with a length of 75 feet! Native sightings have been confirmed by reports from missionaries, explorers, and even army personnel. The natives in the Congo region call this creature “Mokele-mbembe” (the one who stops the flow of rivers). This creature is said to possess a long neck and tail, small head, large body, and four legs. They say the animal is very aggressive when disturbed and will bite and lash its tail at you when it is tipping over canoes, killing elephants or hippos. It is herbivorous (plant-eater) and enjoys eating very large amounts of the Malombo fruit that grows on vines at the edge of the rivers. Tracks from this creature range from 1 to 3 feet wide and are spaced 7 to 8 feet apart. It has no hair and it’s skin is very smooth. Dr. Bill Gibbons and Dr. Roy Mackal have done much research on Mokele-mbembe and without their work, little would be known about it.
At Lake Tele in 1983, Marcellin Agnaga was on an expedition when he said he saw Mokele-mbembe swimming in the lake. The creature was half-way out of the water and he could see it’s head, neck, and part of its body. His sketch resembles a sauropod dinosaur. He got his camera and began filming, but left the lens cap on and lost all proof of his encounter.
In a nearby part of Africa called Cameroon, there is another creature called Le’Kela-mbembe. It is said to grow around 70 feet in length and will eat the leaves from the Esem Tree. Dr. Bill Gibbons has done over twenty years of research on Mokele-mbembes and has discovered that Le’Kela-mbembes are actually mature Mokele-mbembes that migrate into Cameroon to mate (in September) and later return to the Congo to give birth to live young. Bill Gibbons discovered also that it will dig tunnels or caves on the shores of rivers. It mostly eats between 3:00 to 5:00 P.M. and is active at night. An expedition in 2003, confirmed that the Le’Kela-mbembe has a height of up to 18 feet by finding trees with all their branches eaten off up to a height of 18 feet. They also found tracks and a cave that had been sealed partly from the inside with mud. One biologist named Peter Beach could hear scratching sounds inside the cave. As the noises became louder it was evident that what ever was inside the cave was digging it’s way out towards them. One member of the expedition named Pierre feared for their lives and they quickly left, since an adult Mokele-mbembe can be very dangerous if disturbed at close range.
S. Arrey was housing some British soldiers in 1948 near Lake Barombi in Northern Cameroon. While he and some others were swimming in the lake, something broke through the surface of the water. In a very short time everyone was out of the water. They observed two giant reptiles coming out of the water. The larger one had a longer neck (about 15 feet long) and a spike or horn on it’s head that the smaller one did not have. Their skin was not smooth, but rather scaly.
Please note that the natives who see these creatures are not afraid to tell others what they have seen because they haven’t been taught about evolution, and do not know that dinosaurs were suppose to have been extinct millions of years ago. I feel the theory of evolution actually hinders the discovery of animals thought to be extinct. When the school text-books teach about the history of dinosaurs, why don’t they mention there is a strong possibility they might still be living? Because of this unproven theory, people are hesitant to tell anyone when they see dinosaurs like the Loch Ness Monster or Mokele-mbembe for fear of what people might think.
Here is some recently contributed information by David Woetzel (who has been on expeditions in search of Mokele-mbembe):
1.) The older 20-45 ft long creatures live and mate in the Dja and maybe the Sangha rivers. These mature MM's (Mokele-mbembe) have very tough scales, like the back of a crocodile. Also like a croc, their underbelly is much softer. Their coloration is a dulled brownish gray.
2.) The younger creatures live in the Likouala swamp region. Their scales are softer and their colors are a more vivid reddish-brown. They're probably more skittish then their older counterparts.
3.) This sharp contrast in areas by age suggests a migration that only happens once in their lives (although the mother likely goes with its offspring to take them to the swamp).
4.) Their birth instincts are peculiar and vague. The native people say the MM gives birth to live young every 20 years. This is not a trait likely in reptiles, maybe the people their have it wrong because they are not able to find a nest site (some nests have been found) for how territorial these animals are they likely guard their nests very aggressively. They would likely kill anyone that gets close enough to see the eggs.
5.) No matter what, the mother's birth migration probably happens 1 of 2 ways. They either migrate to the swamp and lay eggs (or give birth) there, or they lay their eggs along the river and the mother and offspring go to the swamp together. I'm in favor of that idea because the nests are found along the rivers and the only time more than one MM is seen is when it is with its mother (according to the natives).
6.) The mother remains with her offspring for about a year (it may use this time to take the baby to the swamp and prepare it for life on its own)
7.) The adult male has a shorter neck but it also has a spiky back, and the female has a longer neck without the spikes.
8.) The young all have dermal ridges. - www.livingdinos.com
Japanese team filmed this image over Lake Tele, Republic of the Congo, 1987
Expeditions primarily began in the 1880s, shortly after the region was taken over by Belgium. For many years, therefore, it was called the Belgium Congo. Beginning from 1909, here is a brief list of over a dozen of them.
AMERICAN EXPEDITION 1909
Naturalist Carl Hagenbeck recounted in his autobiography how two separate individuals - a German named Hans Schomburgh and an English hunter - told him about a "huge monster, half elephant, half dragon," which lived in the Congo swamps. Later, another naturalist, Joseph Menges, related to Hagenbeck that "some kind of dinosaur, seemingly akin to the brontosaurs," inhabited the swamps. Hagenbeck soon sent an expedition to the Congo to search for the monster, but the effort was quickly aborted due to disease and hostile natives.
GERMAN EXPEDITION 1913
In 1913, Capt. Freiherr von Stein zu Lausnitz was sent by the German government to explore the Cameroon. Von Stein wrote of a unique animal called, in the local tongue, Mokele-mbembe, said to inhabit the areas near the Ubangi, Sangha, and Ikelemba Rivers. Von Stein described the creature thus:
"The animal is said to be of a brownish-gray color with a smooth skin, its size approximately that of an elephant; at least that of a hippopotamus. It is said to have a long and very flexible neck and only one tooth, but a very long one; some say it is a horn. A few spoke about a long muscular tail like that of an alligator. It is said to climb the shore even at daytime in search of food; its diet is said to be entirely vegetable. At the Ssombo River I was shown a path said to have been made by this animal in order to get at its food. The path was fresh and there were plants of the described type [a liana] nearby"
AMERICAN EXPEDITION 1920
A 32-men-strong expedition was sent out from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. After six days, African guides found large, unexplained tracks along the bank of a river and later the team heard mysterious "roars, which had no resemblance with any known animal," coming from an unexplored swamp. However, the Smithsonian's hunt for Moklele-Mbembe was to end in tragedy. During a train-ride through a flooded area where an entire tribe was said to have seen the dinosaur, the locomotive suddenly derailed and turned over. Four team members were crushed to death under the cars and another half dozen seriously injured.
AMERICAN EXPEDITION 1932
In 1932, American cryptozoologist Ivan Sanderson was traveling in Africa and came across large hippo-like tracks in a region with no hippos. He was told by the natives that they were made by a creature named the "mgbulu-eM'bembe." Later, Sanderson saw something in the water that seemed too large to be a hippo, but it disappeared before he could investigate further.
AMERICAN EXPEDITION 1972
In 1960, herpetologist James H. Powell, Jr. took interest in the African dragons and organized an expedition to the Congo in 1972. Powell's expedition, unfortunately, was fraught with problems (the United States and the Congo had poor relations at the time). Many months of hardships such as snake-bites, near-drownings and tropical diseases only led to more witness testimonies about Mokele-Membe and another lizard-like creature which locally was called "n'yamala."
AMERICAN EXPEDITION 1976
In 1976, James Powell decided to go to Gabon instead, inspired by a book called "Trader Horn." (In 1927, the book, a memoir of the author's time in Gabon, specifically along the Ogooue River, was written by Englishman Alfred Aloysius Smith. He recorded hearing of a creature called the "jago-nini" and identified it with the "amali," a creature whose tracks he had seen). He was quick to realize they were probably identical to the Mokele-mbembe. Furthermore, Powell heard local legends of the n'yamala, and locals identified pictures of a sauropod dinosaur as bearing the most resemblance to the animal.
GERMAN EXPEDITION 1980
An expedition mounted by engineer Herman Regusters and his wife Kia managed to make its way to Lake Tele, where they heard the growls and roars of an unknown creature. They also claimed to have photographed Mokele-Mbembe in the lake, as well as watching it walk on land through the brush. According to Regusters, the creature they saw was 30-35 feet long.
AMERICAN EXPEDITION 1980
Powell launched another expedition in 1980, but this time cryptozoologist Roy P. Mackal came along. Powell and Mackal found that a large number of reports came from the banks of the Likouala-aux-herbes River near Lake Tele. They said that most witnesses maintained that the animal was between 15-30 feet long (a long neck accounted for much of the length). The creature was also said to be a rust color, and that some had been seen to possess a frill or crest.
AMERICAN EXPEDITION 1981
Yet another expedition was organized in 1981 - this time composed of Mackal, J. Richard Greenwell, M. Justin Wilkinson, and Congolese zoologist Marcellin Agnagna. The expedition encountered what they believed was a Congo "dinosaur" along the Likouala River, when they heard a large animal leaping into the water near Epena. They also discovered a path of broken branches supposedly made by the animal, as well as a number of footprints.
AFRICAN EXPEDITION 1983
In April, 1983, a Congolese expedition led by Marcellin Agnagna, a zoologist from the Brazzaville Zoo, arrived to Lake Tele. Agnagna claimed to have seen the beast some 275 meters out in the lake. The animal held its thin, reddish head - which had crocodile-looking, oval eyes and a thin nose - on a height of 90 cm and looked from side to side, almost as if it was watching him. According to Agnagna, the animal was a reptile, though not a crocodile, nor a python or a freshwater turtle.
BRITISH EXPEDITION 1985-86
Englishman William J. Gibbons (presently living in Canada) talked to several eye-witnesses who gave him valuable information about the Mokele-Mbembe. He is currently convinced that the dinosaur exists, but at the time was unable to prove it. However, upon his return to the UK he brought with him the remains of a monkey which he could not identify. This was later classified as a new sub-species of crestless mangabey monkey (cerocebus galeritus). Fish and insect specimens also found in the Congos remain unclassified to date.
JAPANESE EXPEDITION 1987
A piece of blurry video footage filmed by a Japanese film crew supposedly showing the creature in Lake Tele remains disputable evidence of the animal's existence. The film is indistinct and grainy, possibly just showing two men in a boat with one of them standing upright in the front of the vessel, as is common in Africa. This has been interpreted as a head and neck, but this interpretation of the videotape is purely speculative at best.
BRITISH EXPEDITION 1990
Author and explorer Redmond O'Hanlon returned from his failed expedition convinced that witnesses must have mistaken wild elephants, crossing rivers with their trunk in the air, for a prehistoric Mokele-Mbembe.
BRITISH EXPEDITION 1992
William Gibbons tried again six years later, this time together with American explorer Rory Nugent. Together they searched almost two thirds of the unexplored Bai River while also examining two small lakes North West of Lake Tele. These are Lake Fouloukuo and Lake Tibeke, which are surprisingly absent from most maps. Both are said to be haunts of Mokele-Mbembe. Rory Nugent also took two interesting photographs of something most unusual in Lake Tele. One may actually show the head of a Mokele Mbembe.
The Milt Marcy Expedition is the fourth such trek to Africa, with the three before this one being lead by William Gibbons. Marcy is an insurance broker (Milt Marcy Insurance) in Portland, Oregon, who has funded the last three expeditions, and will be participating in this one himself as Gibbons cannot go.
The four expeditions have been greatly assisted by the cryptozoology-friendly government of Cameroon (they received all their official documents quickly). Furthermore, Pierre Sima has collected several new reports of Mokele-mbembe activity in the river system which borders the Congo Republic. Ed Holdroyd, an atmospheric scientist, has also helped the expedition by providing some superb high resolution satellite photographs of an undisclosed area of the river system where Gibbons, Marcy, and all believe the animals are currently active.
Through a combination of field expeditions, recons by Pierre Sima, native reports and the satellite images, the Milt Marcy Expedition feel that they can now track the migration patterns of mokele-mbembe much more effectively.
Update - 2/3/2006:
Milt Marcy is in good shape given all the travel time and tough conditions (the insect problem was awful and his feet are swollen up from all the bites). But he sounded encouraged and in good spirits.
He took a boat with him (11ft with 24 hp outboard) that performed flawlessly and took them far up the Dja for 110 miles. They interviewed three fishermen and acquired three independent eyewitness accounts of Mokele-mbembe observed merely days before they got there.
Missionary Paul Ohlin saw a Mokele-mbembe on the Sangha River on January 10, 2006!
This incident reportedly occurred on the Congo side, as Ohlin works there among the Aka pygmies. This is the area also bordered by the Ngoko River, which in west-central Africa forms part of the Cameroon-Congo (Brazzaville) boundary. The Dja Faunal Reserve (Cameroon) lies along its upper course.
Peter Beach did a great job with the satellite maps and has marked a number of places (including caves) in the general target area. According to Pierre Sima, new information on the animals confirms that they were in the Forbidden Zone from 1984 to 2003/4, so the Mokele-mbembe sometimes stay in one area long-term if the conditions are right. This explains why the villagers in Langoue saw them with such frequency in that area throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
One fantastic tale, not bearing much difference from a legend, tells how the locals, or pygmies, built a barrier of stakes to keep the Mokele-mbembe from entering Lake Tele. That way, the pygmies could fish in a safe haven. This particular story is actually quite recent, somewhere around the 1930s to be precise. As the story goes, two of the creatures, obviously displeased with the course of action taken by the natives, attacked the wall of stakes. The pygmies attacked and speared one of the creatures to death. To memorialize this achievement, the pygmies cooked the animal and feasted over its flesh. It is said that all who tasted the meat died. This, of course, might just be an exaggeration, an effect evident on all stories that travel through time. The pygmies believe that the magical and mystical properties of the Mokele-mbembe were released after this event....
Local's sketch of the Mokele-mbembe
Was a Mokele-mbembe Killed at Lake Tele? - by Bill Gibbons Anomalist.com
I can confirm that at least two of the pygmies who were directly involved in the killing of a Mokele-mbembe at Lake Tele about three decades ago were acquainted on a personal level with missionary pastor Eugene P. Thomas. I have discussed this incident with Pastor Thomas, and he was able to confirm most of the details of the story which follows.
Around 1960, the forest dwelling pygmies of the Lake Tele region (the Bangombe tribe), fished daily in the lake near the Molibos, or water channels situated at the north end of the lake. These channels merge with the swamps, and were used by Mokele-mbembes to enter the lake where they would browse on the vegetation. This daily excursion into the lake by the animals disrupted the pygmies fishing activities. Eventually, the pygmies decided to erect a stake barrier across the molibo in order to prevent the animals from entering the lake.
When two of the animals were observed attempting to break through the barrier, the pygmies speared one of the animals to death and later cut it into pieces. This task apparently took several days due to the size of the animal, which was described as being bigger than a forest elephant with a long neck, a small snake-like or lizard-like head, which was decorated with a comb-like frill. The pygmy spearmen also described a long, flexible tail, a smooth, reddish-brown skin and four stubby, but powerful legs with clawed toes. Pastor Thomas also mentioned that the two pygmies mimicked the cry of the animal as it was being attacked and speared.
Later, a victory feast was held, during which parts of the animal were cooked and eaten. However, those who participated in the feast eventually died, either from food poisoning or from natural causes. It should be noted that pygmies rarely live beyond 35, and pygmy women give birth from aged 12. I also believe that the mythification (magical powers, etc) surrounding Mokele-mbembes began with this incident.
During my first expedition in 1985, we met with several eyewitnesses who have observed Mokele-mbembes in the Sangha and Likouala aux Herbes Rivers. Our pygmy informants also mentioned that there was at least two Mokele-mbembes still living in the Lake Tele vicinity, but they were simply too afraid to take us to a precise location where we could actually film and observe a specimen of Mokele-mbembe, due to their superstitious beliefs surrounding the animals and fear of reprisals from the Boha villagers who are regarded as the owners of the lake. The Boha villagers are also familiar with areas in the river and swamps where we can observe these animals for ourselves. However, the general belief that speaking of Mokele-membes to white outsiders will result in great misfortune or death is fairly prevalent throughout the Likouala region. This presents huge problems in obtaining accurate and up-to-date information on Mokele-mbembes and other cryptids.
I should add that I am not convinced that Marcellin Agnagna, Rory Nugent, or Herman Regusters have observed Mokele-mbembes. During our two visits to the Congo, my colleagues and I were unable to locate a single one of the "dozens" of witnesses that allegedly observed Mokele-mbembes with the aforementioned explorers. Marcellin Agagna changed his story several times, and is now thought (by Roy Mackal) to have observed the giant African freshwater turtle, Trionyx triunguis. Herman Regusters and his wife Kia are the only individuals on his expedition to have observed a "long-necked member" travelling across Lake Tele, in spite of the fact that 28 other people were with them from the village of Boha. Rory Nugent's alleged Mokele-mbembe photos could be anything, although he may have seen "something" in the distance.
But Jose Bourges, the Congolese wildlife official who accompanied the 1988 Japanese expedition to the lake, reported that the entire expedition observed a large humped back of an animal, slowly moving along, as if foraging on the bottom of the lake, which is three meters deep at most. So the animals are still there, and I still want to find one! - Bill Gibbons has conducted two major expeditions to the Congo, in 1985-6, and 1992, in search of the Mokele-mbembe
In March 2008 an episode of the SyFy (formerly the SciFi Channel) series Destination Truth involved investigator Joshua Gates and crew searching for the elusive dinosaur. They did not visit the Likouala Region, which includes Lake Tele, but they visited Lake Bangweulu in Zambia instead, which had reports of a similar creature in the early 20th century, called the "'nsanga". The crew of Destination Truth kept calling the animal "Mokèlé-mbèmbé" to the locals, when that name is only used in the Republic of the Congo. The name used in that particular spot is "chipekwe". Their episode featured a videotaped close encounter, but filmed from a great distance. On applying digital video enhancement techniques, the encounter proved to be nothing more than two submerged hippopotami.
In March 2009 an episode of the History Channel series MonsterQuest involved Bill Gibbons, Rob Mullin, local guide Pierre Sima and a two-man film crew from White Wolf Productions. It took place in Cameroon, in the region of Dja, Boumba, and Nkogo Rivers, near the border with the Republic of the Congo. The episode aired in the summer of 2009, and also featured an interview with Roy P. Mackal and Peter Beach of the Milt Marcy Expedition, 2006.[self-published source?] While no sightings were reported on the expedition, the team found evidence of a large underground cave with air vents. The team also received sonar readings of very long, serpentine shapes underwater.
A March 2011 episode of Beast Hunter on the National Geographic Channel is planned to feature a search for Mokele-mbembe in Congo Basin.
Mexico City’s history of phantasmagoria is known all over the world, going as far back as the terror inspired by the manifestations of Ciuhcoatl (“La Llorona”) during the fading years of the Aztec Empire to the seductive manifestations of Xtabay among the gum trees of the Yucatan Peninsula. But no period was more active – or better remembered – south of the border than the ghostly activity of the Colonial Era. This period, spanning three centuries, centered around the young capital of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, its palaces and monasteries, great lords and ladies, built on the ashes and bones of fallen Tenochtitlan. Shades of the conquest still haunted the streets and alleyways, and the spirits summoned by the Aztec emperor’s sorcerers in their temples of dark tezontle stone were now on the loose.
Some of the stories were romanticized beyond recognition, many of them are spurious and best left to the historias de aparecidos category, which even included some ghastly comic-book format offerings in sepia ink. But a few of them, such as the ones collected by Artemio del Valle Arizpe in his historical works, have stood the test of time.
It is interesting to note that many of these ghost stories occurred in convents, which played a considerable role in Viceregal Mexico’s cultural and economic structure, aside from the obvious spiritual one. Monasteries such as San Francisco and Santo Domigo were impressive structures with their own churches and chapels. Much as they had in Medieval Spain, convents played the additional role of being a place where conquistadors could leave their wives and daughters before setting off on their exploits. Any tourist can visit the place where the events we are about to describe occurred: the Convento de la Concepción, a baroque nunnery built in the 16th century which today houses one of the Mexican government’s ministries.
The records of this institution, carefully preserved over the centuries, state that the cloistered nuns had been tormented for decades by a white figure – wearing the garb of a novice – that would appear dangling from one of the trees on the convent’s premises. The descriptions offered by terrified novices was always the same: a figure with bulging eyes and protruding tongue, twisting slowly in the breeze blowing down from the encircling mountains. In true horror story tradition, by the time the lady abbess and her assistants reported to site, there was nothing to be seen.
Neither masses nor collective penance appeared to make the apparition fade away. It is not known, however, if the Archbishop of Mexico offered any prescriptions or if the Inquisition stepped in to investigate the affair. These grim ecclesiastical figures would have been surprised to learn of the near-Shakespearean tragedy that was at the core of these events.
A young noblewoman – María de Avila – had fallen in love with a mestizo whose surname, Arrutia, is all that is left for posterity. The iron-clad caste system of Colonial Mexico frowned on such a relationship, and María’s brothers – Gil and Alfonso – confronted Arrutia, who scorned them and challenged them to a duel. The brothers, however, felt that accepting such a challenge was beneath them, and decided instead to buy off the upstart half-breed. A considerable sum of money was presented to Arrutia, asking him to leave the city immediately and never return. He did exactly that.
A disconsolate María de Avila was urged to enter the novitiate to seek pardon for her improper relationship and sublimate her feelings in prayer. But the rigors of the convent did not sit well with her. But, as the chronicles tell, what drove her to suicide was learning that her lover had returned to Mexico City to demand more silver from her brothers.
Aside from becoming a terrifying vision to the cloistered nuns, her death caused the downfall of her family: the Avila brothers were implicated in a conspiracy to oust the viceroy and were beheaded; the stately family home was demolished.
From Convents to Libraries
In 1984, a group of high-school students who had embarked upon a photographic tour of the Morelia's colonial past made a startling discovery: a photo taken in the City Library's stacks revealed--upon developing--an eerie silhouette projected on the neat rows of books. At first the students thought it was a trick of the light, or a prank played by a member of their group. But when Library employees were shown the image, they were able to identify it all too well as the outline of a "nun in blue" which has haunted the repository of knowledge for untold generations. Many of the City Library's holdings, it is said, once belonged to one of Morelia's convents.
Nor is identifying the deceased religious woman an easy task: Morelia's library is housed in an ancient stone building that dates back to the 16th century. Burials took place in the structure's floors and walls, and even the librarian's desk is located on top a slab covering an early 20th century burial.
"When I leave the building," stated library director Rigoberto Cornejo in an interview to the El Norte newspaper, "I feel the sensation of someone following me. In fact, I can even hear the footsteps." Although this sober-minded professional refuses to believe in the supernatural, he is hard pressed to find logical explanations for his experiences, or for those of his subordinates.
In 1996, library worker Socorro Ledezma requested a transfer from her work area in the colonial structure after an uncanny experience. "The time must have been seven o'clock in the evening," she told reporters from El Norte, "and it was getting dark outside...that's when I suddenly felt the presence of someone standing behind me, blowing in my ear. I was unable to turn around, and my body was gripped by a chill."
Spain: Trade Unions and Ghosts
The haunted Mexican convent has a counterpart across the Atlantic: the ancient convent of the Arrecogidas in Madrid, located at 86-88 Calle Hortaleza, has steadily gained the reputation of being a haunted location ever since the labor union known as U.G.T. (Union General de Trabajadores) established its headquarters at said location. A number of union leaders who remained into the wee hours of the night hammering out collective bargaining agreements claim felt cold chills upon hearing strange voices, murmurs and the sounds of doors opening and closing all by themselves.
One of the more remarkable agreements involved the office of Antón Saracibar, one of the labor union's former directors. Every morning, his staff would arrive at work to find hand prints on the leather sofas and sunken areas suggesting someone had been sitting in them overnight--despite the fact that the executive office was carefully locked every evening. The incidents caused no-nonsense labor officials to request the aid of prominent parapsychologists.
Historical background checks soon attested to the building's tormented past. Centuries ago, the nuns had turned their fortress-like building into a home for "wayward girls and fallen women," toward whom they behaved more like jailers than helpers. The building's popularity as a place of torment was such that the renown filmmaker Pedro Almodovar used it as the scene for one of his projects, Entre Sombras ("Among Shadows").
The hauntings appear to be circumscribed to the former convent's lower floor, where the cemetery used to bury deceased nuns was located. When the U.G.T took over the building as its main office, the convent's chapel was turned into the main room in which press conferences were to be held, and the choir area became the office of another union executive. Serious consideration was given to the removal of mortal remains from niches in the crypt to make way for computer servers, but wiser heads prevailed and a door was built to bar access to the old convent's lower levels.
Have efforts been made to contact the deceased occupants of these old structures, ridden with memories? The answer to this question is apparently affirmative. In 1995, Father José María Pilón of the Society of Jesus delivered "The Ata Report" on the subject to the board of governors of the Reina Sofía Museum of Art in Madrid, which had formerly been the San Carlos Hospital. The controversial aspect of Father Pilón's effort was that contact had allegedly been made through a Ouija board.
According to Sebastián Rodríguez Galindo's report on the subject in April 1996 issue of Mundo Paranormal, a team of paranormal experts composed of Sol Blanco Soler, Paloma Navarrete, Jose Luis Ramos, Piedad Acevedo, Lorenzo Plaza an Jaime de Alvear, looked into the "psychic presences" in the former hospital, which were allegedly responsible for activating elevators that had been shut down, opening locked doors, and perhaps more chillingly, "processions of entities wearing religious garb moving down the hallways." The majority of the witnesses in these cases were members of the buildings custodial and security staff.
Among the entities contacted by means of the Ouija board were "Malé", a Jewish woman who had lived at the site in 1594; "Aldonza de los Angeles", who claimed having been the prioress of the building's religious community in 1750, and last but not least "Ataulfo" or "Ata" (who gave the report its name): a dangerous, psychopathic patient of the hospital who confessed to having committed five murders while alive.
Bogota’s Liévano Palace
On July 24, 2004, Colombia’s El Tiempo newspaper ran a feature on a ghost in an unlikely place: the city of Bogota’s busy town hall, hardly the Gothic structure one would associate with ghostly apparitions. Yet bureaucrats and watchmen have reported strange goings-on during the late hours as “something” makes its way at a quickened pace across the deserted second and third floors of Palacio Liévano, an 18th century structure that survived the devastating 1827 earthquake and was remodeled in 1902. Speculation about the unearthly intruder’s identity has range from a former workaholic employee to a disgruntled citizen tired of bureaucratic wrangling, but no one knows for sure.
The fact remains that the Palacio Liévano “haunt” has a fondness for turning light switches on and off, for closing and opening doors, and an absolute delight over typewriters, whether electric or manual (nothing has been said about its computer proficiency, however). On occasions it has been heard to flush the employee toilet on the first floor of the building. Whenever office workers or the building’s night watchmen – always alert in security-conscious Bogotá – report to check on the source of the disturbance, they are greeted by an empty stillness.
The Liévano phantom appears to have intensified its activity this year with the election of a new mayor. Augusto Cubides, press secretary to Mayor Luis Garzón, reported to work on January 1st at 9:00 a.m. when he had his first run-in with the phantom. “I left the office for a moment,” he told reporters from El Tiempo, “and upon my return, I found the lights in my office were on. So I turned them off. I had to leave my office again about an hour later, and I found my lights on again and a boom box playing at full volume. I asked around to see if some journalist had come in to see me, but there was no one. Little did I know that town hall was haunted.”
Press secretary Cubides would have benefited, perhaps, from a long chat with a former watchman who actually saw the ghost years earlier: Libardo Bravo was making his rounds of the colonial building around 11:00 p.m. one night during Easter Week. When he reached the offices of the Secretary General on the second floor, he saw something moving around—a white bundle with an estimated height of 1.60 meters, floating above the ground. “I couldn’t see its feet or head,” relates the security guard, “and the bundle suddenly vanished into those offices and I heard it typing rapidly on one of the machines. Tell you the truth, I was really scared. I ran down to the first floor.”
During his twelve years of service at town hall, Libardo says that he finally got used to living with the phantom.
The odd comings and goings of the typing-obsessed entity are now being picked up by the motion sensors on the first and second floors of the building. Police officers responding to the scene say that the movement detected by the sensitive equipment is similar to that of footsteps.
Even weirder things have been going on: workers have reported a strange “bird” in the vicinity. One woman, Marcela Cadena, told El Tiempo that she has seen an “enormous owl” flying over the town hall parking between 10:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m.. “I’ve seen it. It is truly immense.”
The logical counterpoint to these claims is that there are no ghosts in Palacio Liévano and that there are perfectly reasonable explanations for the incidents. Former mayor Paul Bromberg blames it all on “strong mountain winds” blowing off the Andean heights and which cause similar effects “in all old buildings.”
health.com - You don't have to be a Buddhist monk to experience the health benefits of meditation. According to a new study, even a brief crash course in meditative techniques can sharply reduce a person's sensitivity to pain.
In the study, researchers mildly burned 15 men and women in a lab on two separate occasions, before and after the volunteers attended four 20-minute meditation training sessions over the course of four days. During the second go-round, when the participants were instructed to meditate, they rated the exact same pain stimulus -- a 120-degree heat on their calves -- as being 57 percent less unpleasant and 40 percent less intense, on average.
"That's pretty dramatic," says Fadel Zeidan, Ph.D., the lead author of the study and a postdoctoral researcher at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The reduction in pain ratings was substantially greater than those seen in similar studies involving placebo pills, hypnosis, and even morphine and other painkilling drugs, he adds.
The findings, which appear in the April 6 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, aren't entirely surprising. Past research has found that Buddhist-style meditation -- also known as mindfulness meditation -- can help people cope with pain, anxiety, and a number of other physical and mental health problems. But in most cases the training takes weeks, not days.
The fact that Zeidan and his colleagues achieved these results after just 80 minutes of training is "spectacular," says Robert Bonakdar, M.D., the director of pain management at the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine, in San Diego.
"Although the full benefits of meditation can be realized after long-term training, our study suggests that some of the effects can be realized just for your average Joe," Zeidan says.
The type of meditation used in the study is known as Shamatha, or "focused attention." Like other forms of mindfulness meditation, it entails learning how to observe what's going on in one's mind and body without judging, and while maintaining focus on one's breathing or a chanted mantra.
Brain scans conducted during the pain experiments showed that this technique appeared to cause a number of changes in how the participants' brains responded to pain.
The researchers looked, for instance, at a part of the brain called the somatosensory cortex, which contains a kind of map of the body. Before meditation training, the area corresponding to the right calf was quite active when the heat was applied to the volunteers. But there was little activity in this region when they were meditating, which suggests that "meditation reduces pain by reducing the actual sensation," Zeidan says.
Areas of the brain responsible for maintaining focus and processing emotions were also more active during meditation, and the activity was highest in the volunteers who reported the greatest reductions in pain. "There's not just one thing happening," Zeidan says. "Mindfulness meditation incorporates multiple mechanisms, multiple avenues for pain relief."
The conventional wisdom has been that meditation relieves pain not by diminishing sensation but by helping people consciously control their perception of pain, says Katharine MacLean, Ph.D., a meditation researcher and postdoctoral fellow in psychology at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore.
However, she says, the brain scans make it clear that both processes take place: Mediation changes the nature of pain before it's perceived and also allows people to better handle it. "Meditation is really kind of retuning your brain," MacLean says.
An important question raised by the study is whether meditation might have the same effect on "real-life pain," Bonakdar says. Pain -- especially chronic pain -- is much more complex in the real world than in a laboratory, he points out, and it can involve trauma, depression, and other physical and mental processes.
"Sometimes pain is more about suffering than it is about pain," he says. "Sometimes that's the hardest part of pain to treat. Maybe mindfulness meditation is just the right medicine for that problem."
Black-Market Trinkets From Space
Ebay and other Web sites pulse with hundreds of sales pitches. “The pieces below have an exceptional patina,” a site called Star-bits.com said of 10 pictured fragments.
The ads are for chunks of meteorites, bits of asteroids that have fallen from the sky and are as prized by scientists as they are by collectors. As more meteorites have been discovered in recent years, interest in them has flourished and an illegal sales market has boomed — much to the dismay of the people who want to study them and the countries that consider them national treasures.
“It’s a black market,” said Ralph P. Harvey, a geologist at Case Western Reserve University who directs the federal search for meteorites in Antarctica. “It’s as organized as any drug trade and just as illegal.”
The discovery of a rich and historically significant meteorite crater in southern Egypt, just north of the Sudanese border, has shown the voracious appetite for new fragments. Just as scientists appeared to be on the cusp of decrypting the evidence to solve an ancient puzzle, looters plundered the desolate site, and the political chaos in Egypt seems to ensure that the scientists will not be going back anytime soon. Continue reading at Black-Market Trinkets From Space
UFO...Unidentified Floating Object
telegraph - Hundreds of locals flocked to Bridgwater after news spread that an “unidentified floating object” was found in the River Parrett.
The market town, which has a population of almost 34,000, was brought to a standstill after crowds gathered to catch a glimpse of the object.
Police were then called amid claims the object, which had washed up close to the town centre’s main thoroughfare bridge, was a dead body.
Within hours of the news being reported on the local newspaper’s website, the topic become one of the most discussed – or trended - issues on Twitter, the micro-blogging website.
The issue was ranked alongside Wayne Rooney facing a two match ban over his foul mouthed outburst at the weekend.
Debate raged about whether the mystery object was something out of paranormal or something as simple as a dead turtle, pig or a dolphin.
Coral Pople told the town's local paper: “I’ve been here for 45 minutes. Everyone was saying it was a turtle – but it looks more like a pig to me.”
Andrew Coles added: “I think it was a pig or cow’s head. But I heard people saying ‘look, you can see a hand.’
"But I think it was just the animal’s ears flopping around.” The object has since disappeared without being identified.
A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police confirmed officers attended the scene but dismissed suggestions of foul play.
"We were made aware of a large number of people looking into the river," he said, declining to comment further.
In 2009 a similar number of onlookers gathered at Town Bridge after a dead cow was spotted floating near the banks of the river.
UCF - A mysterious sea creature of unknown origins has been found in Indian River Lagoon in Brevard County.
The creature that looks like bunched up bright red daisy petals is an ascidian, better known as a sea squirt. But exactly how it got into the lagoon and where it came from has researchers puzzled.
The only thing scientists know for sure is that it is overgrowing native oysters, a keystone organism for the health of the waterway as well as an important part of the local economy. And it may be part of an ugly trend.
University of Central Florida biologist Linda Walters has been monitoring the lagoon and helping to restore its oyster population for the past 14 years. She has since seen three other non-native species invade the lagoon putting it at risk.
Global warming may be partly to blame as water temperatures rise and create inviting environments for species that typically stay in tropical climates farther south. Some states are spending millions of dollars battling invasive marine creatures that use interconnected waterways to spread.
“This is not unique to Florida,” Walters said. “We’re seeing more and more aquatic nonnative species across the United States. They compete with native species and can disrupt the natural ecosystem. And that can have very real consequences.”
In Brevard, for example, if oysters can’t grow because of an invasive species, they can’t clean the lagoon. It’s estimated that one oyster filters five gallons of water a day.
The oysters also provide refuge to native species such as blue crab, shrimp and red fish that locals catch and sell. Without them, many other creatures’ food sources disappear. In the Indian River Lagoon, Walters has identified 149 species that rely on native oysters in a balanced ecosystem.
Eric Hoffman, a UCF evolutionary biologist who specializes in genetic variation of invasive species, is working with Walters. Together with a team of students and other scientists, they are working to trace the origins of each new species in the lagoon through careful detective work.
It’s essential to figure out each species’ origins if invaders are to be kept from wrecking havoc on U.S. waterways, researchers say – like putting together a giant puzzle over long period of time.
“Each time these organism make it into a new environment, there is a potential for them to establish themselves,” Hoffman said. “Sometimes we don’t see the damage for decades. Other times it is more immediate.”
For example, the zebra mussel has steadily been invading U.S. waterways since the late 1980s when it was found in the Great Lakes region. The mussels, which originated in Europe, attached themselves to cargo ships. Now, they have been spotted across North America, including New York, Illinois and even parts of Canada.
The Great Lakes region has spent millions trying to get rid of the mussels, which clog up pipes at utility plants, factories and water treatment facilities. These finger-like shellfish also are endangering industrial, agricultural and municipal water supplies and could become a costly nuisance for freshwater shipping, boating and clamming.
In Brevard County, Walters and Hoffman have studied three other non-native sessile – or fixed – species for the past five years. They are the green mussel, the charru mussel and the pink barnacle. All have been found growing on local oyster reefs, and they’ve spread as far north as South Carolina.
Grants from United States Department of Agriculture, the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program and The Nature Conservancy help the UCF team track the different species. The team will continue to monitor the Indian River Lagoon and 100 other waterways that they check twice every year to study the spread of non-native species.
Although it may take some time, they expect to solve the mystery of this latest invader.
“We are working on it,” said Sarah Cohen, an associate professor at San Francisco State University’s Romberg Tiburon Center who joined the search this year. “Thus far, it does not match samples currently in our genetics database, so it is not one of the readily known invasives. We are adding additional samples from other warmer water locations to our database for comparison.”
The U.S. Geological Survey, which tracks nonnative species found throughout the United States doesn’t have a record of the new ascidian either.
Despite these hurdles, researchers say they’ve already learned some important clues about this mystery sea creature – it doesn’t like the cold.
“The cold weather snaps in December and January seemed to have greatly reduced the abundance of the new sea squirt,” Walters said. “We are having fewer sightings now, and that’s a good thing. However, with warmer weather on the way, new individuals may be found again.”
Oysters Threatened By Red Slime
wesh - Oysters that call the Indian River Lagoon home are being threatened.
Covered in a layer of sea squirt, a red gooey slime, the oysters are having a hard time settling.
The University of Central Florida has been researching the lagoon for years to try to encourage oyster growth. Marine biologists said the oysters filter the lagoon water and keep the system in balance.
Not having a healthy crop of oysters could result in fewer red fish, fewer flounder and other organisms that live in the lagoon, Dr. Eric Hoffman said.
The sea squirt slows down oyster growth, possibly turning back the progress that has already been made.
The cold winter weather killed some of the sea squirt, but the sunshine of spring brought them back in great numbers.
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The Giant Ground Sloth, or Megatherium (Giant Beast) was an omnivorous relative of the modern-day sloth that lived in Pliocene - Pleistocene South America.
Evidence has been found suggesting Giant Sloth's survival into modern times. There is reason to believe indians hunted them. Fresh skin, dung and footprints were discovered in a cave in the Patagonian region of Argentina in 1895. Tales of the native indians revealed that when they tried hunting these creatures with arrows, the arrows bounced off their skin. It has been discovered that Megatherium had a layer of strong, bony armour in its skin, something also seen in the skins found in the cave. There have also been sightings of giant ground sloths in the area. One of the witnesses is Ramon Lista, the governor of Argentina. - http://cryptozoology.wikia.com/wiki/Giant_Sloth
The mapinguary (also spelled "mapinguari") is a hairy biped reported from the Amazon Rainforest of South America. It is firmly embedded in local folklore, and some legends show characteristics that would tend to classify this beast as supernatural, scaring away researchers who work in the field of cryptozoology. The mapinguary sometimes speaks, likes to punish hunters who violate religious holidays, and is often bulletproof. Certain lore seems to link it with the South American werewolf. The more werewolf-like version of the mapinguary is called the "wolf's cape" and is thought to have originally been human.
Other sightings describe what sounds more like a real animal. The mapinguary looks something like Bigfoot, being a bipedal hairy giant, but it is less human-looking than Bigfoot. In fact, it resembles a giant sloth, an animal that was alive during the last Ice Age. Even its footprints resemble those of the giant sloth. Therefore, cryptozoologists who are investigating this creature usually think that if it exists, it is really a giant sloth.
Ornithologist David C. Oren is the researcher who is most strongly associated with the theory that mapinguary legends represent sightings of living giant sloths who survived the Ice Age extinctions, but there are many other scientists and adventurers who have looked into the problem. Charles Fort was perhaps the first to suggest the survival of giant ground sloths in South America, in reference to legends about the "blonde beast" of Patagonia.
Sloth Scares the Boonville Natives
Hammond Times, Hammond, Indiana
Wednesday, August 18, 1937
Boonville, Ind., Aug. 18.  – (U.P.) – A stranger who declined to identify himself strolled into the newspaper office here today and declared that the weird, mysterious beast whose screams and prowlings have terrified residents of the Ohio river valley is simply a giant sloth.
The man said he and his uncle were returning home from Mexico two years ago with the sloth, which they had captured on a game hunting expedition. He said they lost it near Evansville and never had found a trace of it since. He was uncertain if it was two-toed or three-toed, but averred that sloths came in both varieties.
When a sloth is hungry and frightened, he said, it will give vent to blood-curdling shrieks and yells such as terrified river valley residents have reported they have heard intermittently since Friday night [August 13].
At that time Mrs. Ralph Duff reported she caught a fleeting glimpse of the animal and said it looked like an ape.
Posses, according to reports here, are searching the river bottoms cautiously in the hope of tracking the beast to its lair.
River folk said today that they had seen an empty circus truck in the vicinity, and assumed that animal experts are endeavoring to capture the alleged monster also.
A Huge Amazon Monster Is Only a Myth. Or Is It?
Perhaps it is nothing more than a legend, as skeptics say. Or maybe it is real, as those who claim to have seen it avow. But the mere mention of the mapinguary, the giant slothlike monster of the Amazon, is enough to send shivers down the spines of almost all who dwell in the world’s largest rain forest.
The folklore here is full of tales of encounters with the creature, and nearly every Indian tribe in the Amazon, including those that have had no contact with one another, have a word for the mapinguary (pronounced ma-ping-wahr-EE). The name is usually translated as “the roaring animal” or “the fetid beast.”
So widespread and so consistent are such accounts that in recent years a few scientists have organized expeditions to try to find the creature. They have not succeeded, but at least one says he can explain the beast and its origins.
“It is quite clear to me that the legend of the mapinguary is based on human contact with the last of the ground sloths,” thousands of years ago, said David Oren, a former director of research at the Goeldi Institute in Belém, at the mouth of the Amazon River. “We know that extinct species can survive as legends for hundreds of years. But whether such an animal still exists or not is another question, one we can’t answer yet.”
Dr. Oren said he had talked to “a couple of hundred people” who had said they had seen the mapinguary in the most remote parts of the Amazon and a handful who had said they had had direct contact.
In some areas, the creature is said to have two eyes, while in other accounts it has only one, like the Cyclops of Greek mythology. Some tell of a gaping, stinking mouth in the monster’s belly through which it consumes humans unfortunate enough to cross its path.
But all accounts agree that the creature is tall, seven feet or more when it stands on two legs, that it emits a strong, extremely disagreeable odor, and that it has thick, matted fur, which covers a carapace that makes it all but impervious to bullets and arrows.
“The only way you can kill a mapinguary is by shooting at its head,” said Domingos Parintintin, a tribal leader in Amazonas State. “But that is hard to do because it has the power to make you dizzy and turn day into night. So the best thing to do if you see one is climb a tree and hide.”
Geovaldo Karitiana, 27, a member of the Karitiana tribe, claims to have seen one about three years ago, as he was hunting in the jungle near an area that his tribe calls “the cave of the mapinguary.”
“It was coming toward the village and was making a big noise,” he said in a recent interview on the tribe’s reservation in the western Amazon. “It stopped when it got near me, and that’s when the bad smell made me dizzy and tired. I fainted, and when I came to, the mapinguary was gone.”
Mr. Karitiana’s father, Lucas, confirmed his son’s account. He said that when his son took him back to the site of the encounter, he saw a cleared pathway where the creature had departed, “as if a boulder had rolled through and knocked down all the trees and vines.”
Though the descriptions of the mapinguary may resemble the sasquatch of North America or the yeti of Himalayan lore, the comparisons stop there. Unlike its counterparts in the Northern Hemisphere, the creature is said not to flee human contact, but to aggressively hunt down the hunter, turning the tables on those who do not respect the jungle’s unwritten rules and limits.
“Often, the mapinguary gets revenge on people who transgress, who go where they shouldn’t go or harvest more animals or plants than they can consume, or set cruel traps,” said Márcio Souza, a prominent Brazilian novelist and playwright who lives in Manaus, in the central Amazon, and often draws on Amazon history and folklore in his works.
Amazon folklore, in fact, is full of fanciful creatures that are used to explain unwelcome or embarrassing phenomena. The boto, for example, is a type of dolphin that is said to be able to transform itself into human form, wearing a white hat to cover its air spout, and seducing and impregnating impressionable young virgins.
When a hunter or woodsman gets lost in the jungle, he often blames the curupira, a mischievous red-haired elf who has feet that face backward and takes delight in making trails that lead travelers astray. And when an experienced navigator inexplicably disappears or drowns in calm waters, he is usually said to have fallen victim to the iara, a cross between a siren and a mermaid.
Scientists link the current mapinguary legends to the Megatherium, one of the largest mammals ever. It vanished thousands of years ago.
“If you’re a rubber tapper and you’re returning to camp empty-handed, you’d better have a pretty good explanation for your boss,” said Marcos Vinícius Neves, director of the government’s department of historical and cultural patrimony in Acre State, where a statue of a mapinguary has been erected at a public plaza here in the capital. “The mapinguary is the best excuse you could possible imagine.”
Mr. Souza, the writer, counts himself among those who believe the mapinguary is a myth. The deforestation of the Amazon has accelerated so rapidly over the last generation, he argues, that if the creature really existed, “there would have been some sort of close encounter of the third kind by now.”
Partly for that reason, most zoologists scoff at the notion that it could be real.
The giant ground sloth, Megatherium, was once one of the largest mammals to walk the earth, bigger than a modern elephant. Fossil evidence is abundant and widespread, found as far south as Chile and as far north as Florida. But the trail stops cold thousands of years ago.
“When you travel in the Amazon, you are constantly hearing about this animal, especially when you are in contact with indigenous peoples,” said Peter Toledo, an expert on sloths at the Goeldi Institute. “But convincing scientific proof, in the form of even vestiges of bones, blood or excrement, is always lacking.”
Glenn Shepard Jr., an American ethnobiologist and anthropologist based in Manaus, said he was among the skeptics until 1997, when he was doing research about local wildlife among the Machiguenga people of the far western Amazon, in Peru. Tribal members all mentioned a fearsome slothlike creature that inhabited a hilly, forested area in their territory.
Dr. Shepard said “the clincher that really blew me away” came when a member of the tribe remarked matter of factly that he had also seen a mapinguary at the natural history museum in Lima. Dr. Shepard checked; the museum has a diorama with a model of the giant prehistoric ground sloth.
“At the very least, what we have here is an ancient remembrance of a giant sloth, like those found in Chile recently, that humans have come into contact with,” he said. “Let me put it this way: Just because we know that mermaids and sirens are myths doesn’t mean that manatees don’t exist.”
Even so, the mystery of the mapinguary is likely to continue, as is the search.
“There’s still an awful lot of room out there for a large sloth to be roaming around,” Dr. Shepard said. - The New York Times
A July 2007 report from Rio Branco, Brazil states that a creature with one eye, like the Cyclops of Greek mythology, as well as a gaping mouth was seen wandering in the deep jungle. The creature was tall, seven feet or more when it stood on two legs, that it emitted a strong, extremely disagreeable odor, and that it has thick, matted fur.
Geovaldo Karitiana, 27, a member of the Karitiana tribe, claims to have seen as similar creature in 2003, as he was hunting in the jungle near an area that his tribe calls “the cave of the mapinguari.”
“It was coming toward the village and was making a big noise,” he said in a recent interview on the tribe’s reservation in the western Amazon. “It stopped when it got near me, and that’s when the bad smell made me dizzy and tired. I fainted, and when I came to, it was gone.”
Mr. Karitiana’s father, Lucas, confirmed his son’s account. He said that when his son took him back to the site of the encounter, he saw a cleared pathway where the creature had departed, “as if a boulder had rolled through and knocked down all the trees and vines.”
Source: Witness accounts to reporter
NOTE: The mere mention of the mapinguari, the giant sloth-like monster of the Amazon, is enough to send shivers down the spines of almost all who dwell in the world’s largest rain forest. The name is usually translated as “the roaring animal” or “the fetid beast.” Though the descriptions of the mapinguari may resemble the Sasquatch of North America, the comparison stop there. Unlike its counterparts in the Northern Hemisphere, the creature is said not to flee human contact, but to aggressively hunt down the hunter, turning the tables on those who do not respect the jungle’s unwritten rules and limits. Here is an interesting link - On the trail of a man-eating megatherium...Lon
Clark, Jerome and Coleman, Loren - "Cryptozoology A-Z" - New York - Simon & Schuster - 1999
Hammond Times, Hammond, Indiana
Newton, Michael - "Encyclopedia of Cryptozoology: A Global Guide to Hidden Animals and Their Pursuers" - Jefferson, North Carolina - McFarland & Company - 2005
MUFON CMS - Missouri - Note: This was called in to the assistant State Director, Margie Kay today by phone. The witness wishes to remain anonymous. I have written down exactly what the witness said:
I was awakened at 3:15 AM this morning by my German Shepard, who came to get me out of bed. She would not stop barking at something in the back yard. She wanted me to go to the back door. As I walked through the kitchen I stopped. I could see a whitish/bluish bright light coming in the window in the door and the back windows. I had never seen any lights like this and thought it must be a helicopter looking for someone. I did not hear any sound, though, and thought that was odd.
I am a retired police officer and at that point, I felt uneasy, so I went back to the bedroom to got my gun, which is always loaded. I then went back to the kitchen and opened the back door, at that point the light just blinked out. I looked around the yard and looked up where the light was, and saw a very dark dull black triangle shape above me. It had no lights on at that point. The object appeared to measure the width of my yard (50 ft.) just floated there, unmoving.
I heard a noise towards the back fence and looked in that direction. Then I remembered my flashlight and went to get it from the kitchen drawer, when I heard a sound in the hallway behind me. It sounded like an animal of some sort (two clicks), so I shined the flashlight there for a few seconds but saw nothing. I then went back out to the back porch and shined the flashlight in the direction of the noise I heard outside and saw a very strange, short (approximately 4' tall), gray, humanoid looking creature with big eyes standing there looking at me for just a second or two. It just disappeared - it did not run. Then I looked up and the craft was also gone - I did not see it leave. I stood there, frozen in fear. My dog would not come outside, which is not normal behavior. I am hard to scare after 30 years on the police force. I have FBI training as well and I thought I'd seen everything, but this was not normal at all!
My first instinct was to call 911 and I went to the phone, but after picking it up, I put it back down. I know everyone at the police department and even though we have received a few reports of UFOs in the past, I knew they would think I have lost my mind. But I haven't. I know what I saw.
I then locked the entire house up and went to the bedroom, not thinking about the noise I heard in the house before until this morning. My wife was sound asleep and I did not wake her, and I did not tell her about what happened. I thought I was gone only 10 -15 minutes but my clock said 4:46 AM. I don't know what happened to the time! Now this morning I have a red sunburn on my face, neck, and arms like I stayed in the sun way too long. I told my wife that I saw a light outside and went to investigate because she is worried about the sunburn. I may go the Dr. about it if it doesn't go away, but won't be able to tell him what I saw.
I just had to tell someone that this is real and that I'm a 64-year old believer now.
MUFON CMS - Utag - unedited: I was driving home from Ogden, Utah on the I-15,i was with my daughter,friend and brother in-law.getting close to St. George around 2to3 hundred miles to go i started to get sleepy, every one else was tired so i told them that i was going to pull over and rest. as i closed my eyes a bright light came over our car, i could not move or talk, i was scared, a tall suffer kind of guy approached our car and i began to float out, he wore a dark swimsiut and told me that everything was alright, not to be scared. that they just wanted to do some experiments, i saw 7 to 8 tall figures standing behind him, i saw the car clock and it read 1207. i saw my brother in-law next to me leaning against the passenger door ,my friend and daughter wre in the back asleep.the next thing i remember was being placed back into the car. everthing went silent and then i sceamed, everybody was screaming for me to get the car out of there.
I would like to talk to someone about this, hopefully under hypnosis.
this happened in 1987 and every time i want to talk about this the others don't. If we can talk i know the oters will talk also.
CAN YOU PLEASE HELP!. Please Contact!
Highly Contagious AIDS-Like Disease Spreading in China
theepochtimes - In a small hotel across from the Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention, a reporter from New Express Daily, dressed in an isolation suit, interviewed a dozen “unusual” patients from different areas of China. Their symptoms are painful and debilitating, and AIDS-like, but repeated tests for HIV have come up negative.
Lin Jun, one of the patients interviewed in the March 24 New Express Daily report, said he used to be chubby, but now he is skin and bones, and his joints have become all deformed.
Lin is referred to in the group as “big brother” for his kindness and giving fellow patients hope when they feel hopeless, with some having considered suicide.
In 2008 Lin’s mother received a blood transfusion at a hospital. Afterwards, she experienced frequent night sweats, numb limbs, aches all over, creaking joints, rashes on her hands, and weight loss.
In May of that year, Lin accidentally became infected through contact with his mother’s blood. Fourteen days later, he fell ill with swollen lymph nodes on his neck, sore knees that made clicking sounds, and pain all over his body. He also started vomiting after every meal, and the left side of his face swelled up. In half a year, his weight dropped from 82 kilograms (181 lbs) to 52 kilograms (115 lbs).
Three months later, his wife and child developed the same symptoms.
Lin said he went to every major hospital in Shanghai, but could not get a definite diagnosis. He has taken the HIV test eight times, and each time the test turned out negative.
Then he found an Internet blog called “The Negative Group,” which he learned stands for “HIV negative.” He realized that writing on this blog were all people like himself, with the same kinds of symptoms, desperate to find a cure.
Several Chinese media have recently reported that the Department of Health of Guangdong Province has confirmed that people in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangdong have fallen ill after being infected with an unknown virus. The patients think they have AIDS, but they test negative for HIV.
Guangdong has organized clinical experts, epidemiologists and psychologists to work together on these cases. The Health Ministry has also selected six provinces with more patients, including Beijing, Shanghai, Zhejiang, Hunan, Jiangsu and Guangdong, to conduct epidemiological studies, but there are no results yet, the reports said.
In most of the 30 cases investigated by New Express Daily for its March 24 report, people said their relatives and friends are also infected. Most of the 30 patients were infected through sexual contact. Some experts diagnosed them as having AIDS phobia.
However, the disease seems to be highly contagious and can spread by contact via any bodily fluid—through kissing, shared utensils, sweat, and even protected sex. Once infected, the immune system appears to be attacked, which results in a decrease of white blood cells and the body’s ability to defend against infectious disease and foreign materials.
In the past, official health agencies have only conducted HIV tests on these patients and have not checked for other, similarly pathological viruses. With HIV results coming up negative, many patients then stopped taking protective measures with their relatives. Subsequently, all their relatives and friends were infected, many have said.
One infected man told The Epoch Times that the disease is highly infectious and hard to prevent. His wife and two-year-old child both appear to have it. The child has lip and skin blood spots, he said.
A retired officer in his 40’s told The Epoch Times for a previous June 16, 2010 report that he had been infected with a disease with similar symptoms in 2009, at a get-together at a friend’s house. “I thought it was just a cold at the time, so I still participated in all kind of gatherings. Consequently, over 100 of my comrades in the army, relatives and friends were infected by me,” he said.
Indian 'living god' in critical condition
yahoo - One of India's best-known spiritual leaders, famous for his apparent miracles and long list of influential followers, is on life support in a southern hospital, officials said on Tuesday.
Satya Sai Baba, 85, who has devotees in more than 100 countries, was admitted to a hospital funded by his organisation in the town of Puttaparthi with lung and chest congestion on March 28.
His condition has since deteriorated and he is now on a ventilator and is receiving kidney dialysis, the most recent health bulletin from the hospital said on Tuesday.
He remains "critical," although his "level of consciousness has considerably improved" and his vital systems are "stable", said the update from the Sri Satya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences.
Thousands of followers have begun arriving in Puttaparthi, home to Sai Baba's ashram in the southeastern state of Andhra Pradesh, with many agitated by conflicting information given out by local authorities.
Government officials have sought to play down the seriousness of his condition, while police are preventing groups from gathering in the town, according to local reports.
The wild-haired leader has a following of millions in India and abroad, many of whom believe him to be a living god, and the reincarnation of the great spiritual guru, Sai Baba of Shirdi, who died in 1918.
The guru, who claims to have performed several miracles including bringing men back to life, counts former Indian prime ministers, top businessmen and even the country's cricketers among his devotees.
His organisation funds health and education projects in India, including a string of hospitals that claim to be able to cure ailments beyond the capabilities of mainstream medicine.
He and Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, the so-called "hugging saint" of Kerala, are the best known of thousands of Hindu ascetics.
The swami's birth in Andhra Pradesh is shrouded in mystery.
One hagiographical account by a biographer claimed the mysterious sounding of drums signalled his impending birth.
In his teens he is said to have begun singing verses in Sanskrit, a language of which he had no prior knowledge, and then became able to materialise flowers and sweets to the astonishment of observers.
His devotees also credit him with an ability to remember his past lives, a frequent claim of Indian holy men, and he is believed to produce sacred ash every day.
His work in education and health have won him widespread acclaim and respectability, but his reputation has also been damaged by allegations of sexual abuse and paedophilia.
A BBC programme in 2004 called "The Secret Swami" featured interviews with former followers who claimed Sai Baba took advantage of them. The allegations were denied by the spiritual leader's organisation.
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