Thursday, October 20, 2016

Consortium unveils space nation 'Asgardia'

Via by Nick Whigham

A group of scientists, engineers, businessmen, and lawyers has unveiled plans for the “first nation state in space” in an ambitious bid to become the guardians of Earth.

Dubbed Asgardia after a mythical city in the sky ruled by Odin in Norse mythology, the country will consist of at least one satellite launched into orbit as early as next year, according to those aiming to create the world’s newest member.

The project’s website states the floating nation “will offer an independent platform free from the constraint of a land-based country’s laws.”

The project is led by Russian nanoscientist and businessman Igor Ashurbeyli who believes the celestial state will one day join the United Nations.

He founded the Aerospace International Research Center in Vienna and is currently the chairman of UNESCO’s Science of Space committee — credentials that no doubt go a long way to allay understandable scepticism of the project, which even he admits sounds a little kooky.

UFO 'expert' found dead days after texting mum: 'If anything happens to me, investigate'


A conspiracy theorist, who was found dead in Poland, had texted his mum to say 'If anything happens to me, investigate' just days before his death.

Max Spiers, 39, was found dead on a couch, where he had gone to give a talk about conspiracy theories and UFOs in July, according to The Sun.

The father of two was ruled to have died of natural causes, however his mother claims there was no post-mortem examination carried out on his body in Poland.

A post-mortem was later conducted carried out by a pathologist in east Kent.

Spiers had launched investigations into UFOs and government cover-ups, which is mother believes could have made him enemies who wanted him dead.

10 Horrifying Recent Stories From The World Of Science

Photo credit: The Telegraph
Via by Mike Floorwalker

The approach of Halloween always gets us in the mood for scary stories. It takes us back to when we were children, huddled around a campfire or staring mesmerized at some forbidden movie, allowing ourselves to wonder if perhaps there were such things as ghosts, demons, and zombies.

But if ghost stories aren’t enough to raise goose bumps or make your blood run cold, allow the wonderful world of science to remind you that real life can be even stranger—and creepier—than fiction.
10. Space Madness

Much has been made of the need for humans to reach and even colonize Mars. President Obama recently announced that the government is working with private aerospace firms to make it a reality by the 2030s. But one study, in which lab mice were bombarded with the type of highly charged particles to which astronauts will be exposed in deep space, reached a troubling conclusion.

The exposure led to brain inflammation which resulted in dementia, loss of cognitive ability, and a deficit in “fear extinction”—a process by which fearful associations are minimized by the brain over time. The lack of fear extinction would lead to a state of constant anxiety.

This “space madness” was still present in the rodent test subjects six months after exposure to the particles. At this time, there is no known method of completely shielding human astronauts from these particles.

9. The Spider Virus

The WO virus has a very specific target—bacteria that live inside spiders and insects. When it suits their mutative purposes, bacterial viruses are known to steal bits of DNA code from the bacteria they infect.

But WO was recently found to have stolen a gene from a place that few viruses of its type ever do—from its host, the black widow spider. Specifically, the virus steals the gene that codes the spider’s famously robust venom.

It is thought that this assists WO in punching through the cell walls of its bacterial victims. The sneaky virus was also found to have co-opted other genes that help it to evade its host’s immune system.

In sum, we have a rapidly mutating, immune system–resistant virus with the recipe for black widow venom and the fact that it isn’t targeting humans yet does not make us feel much better.

Hitler’s Wonder-Weapons: Fact, Fiction and the Nazi UFO Mythos

Via by Micah Hanks

There are an entire host of conspiracy theories that involve the Third Reich, particularly toward the end of World War II, and the supposed technologies the Nazis may have been designing at that time. Ranging from nascent physics and aeronautics innovations capable of producing flying saucers and elaborate underground bases, to the possibility that the Nazis had been planning their own design for a WMD on par with the Manhattan Project, there appears to be a mixture of fact and fiction regarding what, precisely, Hitler and his minions may have had in the works.

In 2010, the Daily Mail reported on the alleged sighting of a “mysterious flying disc” seen in 1944, observed as it flew at low altitude over the River Thames. The incident was reported in numerous credible sources that included the New York Times, though perhaps most tantalyzinf of all had been that there were said to be photographs that accompanied the Times story, detailing the craft’s path as it proceeded “at high speeds over the city’s high-rise buildings.”

Arguably, it wouldn’t be very difficult to recover such images from the Times own archives, if such images did exist. The fact that they haven’t surfaced yet is, perhaps, the best evidence that the story may be based entirely in rumor. But could such strange technologies really have been utilized by the Nazis prior to the end of the War?

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

12 Million-Year-Old Vehicle Tracks Found in Stone, Claims Geologist

Via by Tara MacIsaac

Petrified wheel tracks found in various locations, including parts of Turkey and Spain, were left by heavy all-terrain vehicles some 12 million to 14 million years ago, according to Dr. Alexander Koltypin, a geologist and director of the Natural Science Research Center at Moscow’s International Independent University of Ecology and Politology.

This is a controversial claim, since human civilization is only thought by mainstream archaeologists to extend back several thousand years, not millions of years. That’s not to mention the idea of a prehistoric civilization advanced enough to have such vehicles.

The wheel tracks cross over faults formed in the middle and late Miocene period (about 12 to 14 million years ago), suggesting they are older than those faults, Koltypin said on his website.

At the time, the ground would have been wet and soft, like a malleable clay. The large vehicles sank into the mud as they drove over it. Tire ruts at various depths suggest that over time the area dried out. Vehicles were still driving over it as it dried, Koltypin said, and did not sink as deeply.

The vehicles were similar in length to modern cars, but the tires were about 9 inches (23 centimeters) wide.

Chi Whiz! Energy Exchanges Between People

Via by Bernard D. Beitman, M.D.

Can people really experience the pain of a loved one at a distance? Yes they can!

I call this category of coincidences, simulpathity, which is derived from the word Latin word simul (the same) and the Greek word pathos (suffering, feeling). The existence of simulpathity is supported by data from the Weird Coincidence Survey, published cases from psychiatrist Ian Stevenson and the collection of stories in my book Connecting with Coincidence as well as several other sources.

I think that simulpathity can be better understood by examining interpersonal energy between people in the same space?

Does interpersonal energy exist?

I don’t need a scientific measuring device to tell me when the sun is warm. Or to know the coolness of an icy wind. I register the warmth and the coolness by differences in sensation. Similarly, I don’t need a scientific measuring device to tell me that interpersonal energy exists. I feel the energy itself, especially with my patients during psychotherapy. I feel it on the skin of my face and body and the up and down sensation waves in my heart and the general glow and darkening of the energy surrounding me.

Scientists are studying the one way movement of energy from healers to patients. No one has developed a device that can measure the ebb and flow between people.

Interpersonal energy is distinct from nonverbal communications like facial expressions, body language and modulations in voice tone. Most people do not consciously register it, but are nevertheless affected by it. The four basic responses to the energy of another person are: feeling energized, rattled, neutral or drained.

10 Ancient Finds That Reveal Fascinating Mystical Beliefs

Photo credit: Hills Quarry
Via by Ivan Farkas

Throughout the majority of anthropological history, a council of gods and divine forces dictated the affairs of humankind. The following items capture life as it was when the world was mystical and magic still real.
10. Scrolls For Tortured Souls

Surveyors in the Serbian city of Kostolac have discovered a forgotten burial ground that harkens the former glory of Viminacium, a Roman outpost from the fourth century BC that at its peak boasted 40,000 inhabitants.

The site belched up a few 2,000-year-old skeletons and also two mystifying leaden amulets. Inside the amulets, they found adorably tiny scrolls of gold and silver. Commonly referred to as “curse tablets,” such spells generally invoke otherworldly powers to affect or afflict the caster’s friends, family, or foes.

The mere presence of magical scrolls suggests the amulet bearers died grisly deaths. Such arcana are buried with the violently murdered, as it’s believed that tortured souls are most likely to encounter the demon middle-men that pass messages on to higher after-worldly offices.

Unfortunately, it’s unlikely these particular scrolls will be deciphered anytime soon. Thanks to an inconvenient confluence of culture, the alphabet is Greek but the language is Aramaic, offering a seemingly uncrackable linguistic nut.

9. Galilean Tomb Magic

Tomb robbing has plagued humanity throughout its history of entombing. Hollywood-style booby traps are infeasible, so the denizens of Southern Galilee inscribed curses onto the surfaces at the Beit She’arim necropolis.

Dating to the early centuries AD, the catacombs bear markings in a variety of languages, including Greek, Hebrew, Palmyrene, and Aramaic, the universal lingo of the Near East. Roman and pagan influences are present as well, like the sarcophagi that populate a burial trove known as the Cave of Coffins, a practice borrowed from Romans.

The messages throughout wish the dead an agreeable resurrection, yet another tradition not inherent to Jewish beliefs. Magical spells in Greek adorn the walls and tombs, preferring protection and peace to the reposed and invoking poxes on any who disturb the sacred bones.

Bizarre Tales of Real Inter-Dimensional Travelers

Via by Brent Swancer

The idea that our universe is not alone, that other dimensions exist that brush up against our own, is nothing new. It has been fuel for science fiction for years, and in modern times science has grown to accept that indeed there very well may be other parallel universes existing beside our own. The implications of such possibilities open up the inevitable question of if alternate universes do exist, then is it possible to travel to them? While the basic premise of other universes beyond our own has theories that point to the possibility, crossing over that veil between them is murkier territory. Yet, there are cases of enigmatic people who claim to have done just that, pushing through the boundaries of different realities to jump from one universe to the next. In this article I am not going to pretend to understand how such a process might work, how it would be possible, or how the known laws of physics would allow for it. I am not going to lay down complicated theories of inter-dimensional travel or the intricacies of what it might entail. What I am going to do is present to you the most bizarre tales of those who claim to have done so. These are cases that cover the full spectrum of the weird, ranging from the slightly odd to the downright absurd, and whether they have any basis in fact or not, they are still titillating glimpses into the possibilities of reaching out into dimensions and universes beyond what we consider to be the real.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Do Pets and Other Animals Go To Heaven? The Idea of Animal Reincarnation

Via by Gary Nguyen

Study says the majority of Americans believe in animal afterlife. 

In Christianity, Islam and other major religions, there’s the concept of heaven or a paradise where the souls or spirits of the dead will eventually go to spend eternity. Members of these faiths believe that it is true for animals as well. But other religions like Buddhism and Hinduism have another option for the animal soul, that is, reincarnation.

Buddhist literature mainly tackles human spirit or soul reincarnation. Most Buddhists believe the Dalai Lama of today is the reincarnation of the previous Dalai Lamas. But the most interesting concept of all is Buddha’s reincarnation (Emanation Body). Members of the faith believe the Enlightened One had three emanation bodies: in the human form or Buddha himself; in an artistic form appearing as intellectuals, artists, craftsmen, etc; and the incarnate form which includes all other living and non-living forms like animals, plants, rivers, bridges, etc.

Buddhists additionally believe that the cycle of death and rebirth is associated with the concept of karma. In fact, early Buddhists believe negative karma can reincarnate someone into a lower form of being like an animal. Hindus on the other hand widely believe in both human and animal reincarnation. Many also believe than a human or even their deities can reincarnate and take the form of an animal and vice versa.

She Brings Wicca to Psychotherapy With Tangible Results

photo by: Kali Bardi
Via by Alex Tsakiris-- full podcast available via source website (click "source" at the bottom of this article)

On this episode of Skeptiko, I’m joined by Dr. Jane Kent to talk about her new book, The Goddess and the Shaman: The Art & Science of Magical Healing:

Alex Tsakiris: …when I talk to people who are deep into magic, Wicca or any of those things… and I’m not a Christian, I’m not a Buddhist, I’m not a religious person, but if a Christian comes to me and says, “Hey, you know what? It’s all about love and it’s all about selfless service.” I get that.

Dr. Jane Kent:
Nothing wrong with that.

Alex Tsakiris:
Right. But here’s the thing, I may think that their knowledge of history is pretty lame and I’d probably push them on the historicity of Jesus. And I may think they’re kind of closed-minded about how their sacred text have been twisted by institutions for control and manipulation, but what they’re saying speaks to my heart. Versus, if I speak to someone and they practice magic, and the first thing they tell me is about Aleister Crowley and “do what thou wilt” — I don’t get it. Love, selfless service speaks to my heart. “Do what thou wilt”, I can’t get there. It comes back and it starts sounding a lot like power, control…

Dr. Jane Kent:
Self-indulgence. I do talk about that in the book, about Crowley’s approach to things. I go into quite a lot of detail about that. But yeah, love is at the basis of spiritual reality, so I think people who focus on that, good on them. That’s fine. But Huhn says that the whole Jesus story, the whole basis of Christianity is actually taken from the Egyptian text and that in Egypt and Greece, that the mystery plays and the mystery tradition were all about understanding that coming into the physical world is coming into really like death. What we think about death as death is not how those people saw it. The physical world is death and the spiritual world is life.

Read Excerpts:


10 Horrifying True Stories From The Lost Roanoke Colony

Via by Mark Oliver

The first English colony in America was abandoned without a word or a trace. When a ship arrived with supplies, they found it deserted with no signs of a struggle. Only one clue was left behind—the word “Croatoan” etched in a tree.

The story of the lost Roanoke Colony has lived on as one of the greatest American mysteries, but the disappearance is far from where the story begins. That story is full of some absolutely horrible atrocities; it’s also one that just might hold some strong clues about the colonists’ fate.
10. The Colonists Burned Down a Native Village Because Someone Stole A Cup

The Roanoke settlers weren’t good people. They viewed the natives as savages, and they treated them like savages, too.

From the moment the colony was established, they built bad blood with the people around them. Shortly before their fort was built, a colonist discovered that one of their silver cups had gone missing. They quickly became convinced that a native man had taken it—and they weren’t going to let him get away with it.

By English law, the penalty for theft was usually whipping, but English law didn’t apply for the natives. Instead, the Roanoke settlers burned every inch of the native man’s hometown to the ground, all because they’d lost a single cup.

9. The Natives Tried To Involve The Colonists In Their Wars

The colony was not a success; they were almost immediately hit by famine and started to starve. The only food they could grow was corn. They had to rely on the help of natives to stay alive.

A tribe called the Secotans gave them food—but they didn’t do it for free. They’d seen the Europeans’ weapons and technology and knew that whoever managed to team up with them would have a major advantage when the next tribal war broke out. The Secotan chief, Wingina, vied for the colonists’ sympathy. An enemy tribe, he told them, had invited some of his people to a peace talk and then massacred them during the feast. He wanted revenge.

The English didn’t want to get involved, so Wingina’s attitude changed. He stopped sharing food with the settlers and told them that he didn’t have enough to spare. Wingina told the colonists that it wasn’t his fault the colonists were starving to death. There was simple reason why: “Your Lorde God is not God.”

Profiling The Congo’s Deadly Monster

Via by Nick Redfern

For centuries, there has been talk of a deadly and violent monster lurking in the waters of Africa, and particularly so in the Congo River basin. Lakes, rivers, and swampy environments are those most preferred by the monster that has become known as Mokele-Mbembe. In English, it means “the one who stops the flow of rivers.” It is a most apt name, since the Mokele-Mbembe is said to be around the size of an elephant – and maybe even bigger – and has a long, muscular neck.

Although, at a local level, the existence of the beast has been known for generations, it was not until 1980 that the rest of the world, thanks to mainstream media sources, got to hear about this mysterious animal and its exploits. It must be said that it sounds not unlike some surviving relic from the Jurassic era – although it probably isn’t. It was in that year that Dr. Roy P. Mackal headed off to Africa to try and determine the true nature of the Mokele-Mbembe. It’s important to note that Mackal was no amateur. He was a biologist and a biochemist, and someone who spent much of his time working at the University of Chicago.