Saturday, July 4, 2015

Wearing the Face of a Stranger: Prosopagnosia

Via mysteriousuniverse.org by Martin J. Clemens

You’re standing on the middle of the dance floor of a crowded nightclub, a rather large crowded nightclub. Your friends have deserted you, more or less – they’ve found more interesting people, likely of the opposite sex, with whom to gyrate in time with the pounding, throbbing, and unnecessarily loud music. It’s dark, but the strobe lights are blinding. You scan the throngs of people mingling around you for a familiar face, but each one is twisted by the irregular flashes of light, and even by the boom of the bass thumping through your chest. Are these people real? Have I had too much to drink? Why do they all look so unrecognisable? Am I going crazy?

Would that experience cause you any level of anxiety? Being stuck among a field of faces you don’t recognise? Alone in a crowd, so to speak? Some of you are thinking this is a silly thing to be anxious about, and while others are nodding their heads wildly, some are perhaps even feeling a little sympathetic tension on top.

That scenario isn’t altogether uncommon among people who undertake such activities. But it’s usually the kind of thing that’s easily reconciled either by finding one of those aforementioned friends among the crowd, or by leaving. But what if that experience – of always being alone in a crowd of not just unfamiliar faces, but unrecognisable faces – was something you could never escape? Even if you were in a roomful of friends or family?

You might think I’m talking about some exaggerated social anxiety disorder, and while that would be a fitting diagnosis, I’m actually referring to something far worse: Prosopagnosia.

Also known as face-blindness, prosopagnosia is a serious neurological condition that causes faces, all faces, to become unrecognisable. Your spouse, your children, your parents, your friends, coworkers, anyone who might be part of your life suddenly looks, to your eyes, like a complete stranger. Not only that, but each time you encounter them, they have a different face yet! Even your own reflection betrays you every time you look in the mirror. I bet that crowded dancefloor is taking on a whole new meaning to you, isn’t it?

Animal Mutilation

Via paranormalnews.com by Alexander Popoff

"First, I thought [the cow] had died naturally, and then I got closer to it and I could see it wasn’t natural," the farmer Tom Miller said in an episode of the "The Unexplained Files," the Science Channel was airing. "The eyes were gone, the tongue was gone. The ears were gone. The sex organs were cut out. It was just kind of weird."

In FBI records from 1975, animal mutilations of the of the genitals occurred in 74 percent of cases, mutilation of the rectum in 48 percent of cases, mutilation of the tongue in 33 percent of cases, mutilation of the eye in 14 percent of cases, etc. In most cases, there was no blood at the scene, which led to the conclusion that is was sucked or taken by someone. Mutilation wounds appear to be clean, and carried out surgically.

Reports of scattered animal mutilations concerned many people and in the mid-1970s, the US Federal authorities launched a comprehensive investigation of the phenomenon dubbed "Operation Animal Mutilation." The case was passed on to the FBI. The final report concluded that mutilations were predominantly the result of natural predation, but some cases contained anomalies that could not be accounted for by conventional wisdom. FBI was unable to identify any individuals responsible for the mutilations.

The ATF (the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives) launched their own investigation of the phenomenon. It concluded further investigation was necessary, but was unable to determine what was behind the phenomenon.

The causes of animal mutilations have been attributed to natural decomposition, predators, secretive governmental, military agencies, or cults. The most popular causes suggest that the animals were mutilated by extraterrestrials or cryptid predators like the Chupacabra.

10 People Who Claimed To Visit Other Planets

Via listverse.com by David Tormsen

Over the last couple of centuries, many individuals have claimed to visit other planets through astral projection or through secret, possibly alien, technology. Since the 1970s, most alien stories have been about small gray men abducting humans but usually staying on Earth, which seems a pity. Here are 10 examples of people who claimed to explore other worlds.
 
10. The Denton Family

Nineteenth-century Englishman William Denton claimed that the power of psychometry (divining facts about an object or its owner through physical contact) allowed members of his family to visit the various planets of the solar system. His first psychometric experiments involved the use of geological samples to view images of the Earth’s distant past. His wife, Elizabeth, reportedly saw a vision of a giant prehistoric insect after touching a piece of quartz. His sister, Anne Cridge, envisioned an eruption into the sea after touching a fragment of volcanic lava. The family would later turn their psychometric powers to the heavens. Denton’s son, Sherman, reportedly visited Venus and described giant trees shaped like mushrooms filled with sweet jelly and a creature resembling a cross between a fish and a muskrat.

He visited Mars, peopled by a race with four fingers, yellow hair, and wide, blue eyes who flitted around in aluminum flying machines. Mrs. Cridge and Mrs. Denton also visited Mars and described their art, culture, and religion in detail. Jupiter, meanwhile, was also peopled by blue-eyed blondes, but these people could float in the air, and their women wore braids down to their waists.
 
9. Emanuel Swedenborg

The Swedish philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg believed the universe was filled with other planets inhabited by humans (though spiritual beings). He claimed to have been guided by God and an angel through spiritual tours of Heaven, Hell, and the cosmos. Through the Lord, he was able to commune with spirits, not just of this world but also of others. Swedenborg’s voyage through the solar system was a spiritual journey, but he came back armed with knowledge of our neighbors. Men of the Moon were described as dwarfs about the size of a seven-year-old boy, though stouter in stature and with thunderous voices. Mercurians resembled Earthlings and wore tight clothing. They were also hungry for knowledge, able to read memories from approaching individuals, and counted Aristotle as one of their population. The inhabitants of Venus were divided into two groups, one peaceful and gentle, the other fierce thieves.

Martians resembled humans of various hues without facial hair, lived in perfect communes (wrong thinkers being exiled), wore clothes made from tree bark, and were apparently the best people in the universe. The inhabitants of Jupiter were upright, soft-spoken, happy, and family-oriented people with an obsession with washing their faces and a tendency to walk on their hands. Finally, Saturnians were restrained, humble people with low self-esteem. They had little interest in food and clothing. Rather than burying their dead, they would cover them with leaves. Swedenborg never got around to visiting the other planets of the solar system through the angels, perhaps because they hadn’t been discovered yet by other Earthlings.


Is the Ouija board dangerous?

Via paranormal.about.com by Stephen Wagner

Question: Is the Ouija board dangerous?

Answer: Most paranormal researchers advise against the casual use of the Ouija board, suggesting that it can be a doorway to unknown dimensions. “The board itself is not dangerous, but the form of communication that you are attempting often is," says Ghost researcher Dale Kaczmarek of the Ghost Research Society. "Most often the spirits whom are contacted through the Ouija are those whom reside on 'the lower astral plane.' These spirits are often very confused and may have died a violent or sudden death; murder, suicide, etc. Therefore, many violent, negative and potentially dangerous conditions are present to those using the board. Often times several spirits will attempt to come through at the same time but the real danger lies when you ask for physical proof of their existence!

You might say, 'Well, if you're really a spirit, then put out this light or move that object!' What you have just done is simple, you have 'opened a doorway' and allowed them to enter into the physical world and future problems can and often do arise."

Friday, July 3, 2015

Telepathy with Animals

Via paranormal.about.com by Stephen Wagner

Animal communicators -- specialized type of psychics -- believe that meaningful telepathic communication is possible with your pet. They say even you can do it.

"I broke my ankle in five places," writes the unnamed author at Interspecies Telepathic Communication. "I was lying in bed in a great amount of pain when I heard, 'I know we come from different cultures, and maybe you don't think I can help you, but if you just pet me, I will take away your pain.' I heard these words in my head as clearly as someone speaking to me.

I opened my eyes to find my angel cat Kisa on my pillow and looking right at me. I knew it was her. I did pet her and my pain did go away! I slept comfortably for the first time since the accident."

The author is a self-professed "animal communicator," one of a growing number of people who say they have the psychic ability to communicate telepathically with various animals. "Anybody can communicate with animals," the author claims, and says it's done through imaging. "Animals communicate in pictures, feelings, emotions, and concepts. Sometimes you get a picture of what the animal is trying to communicate, but many times it is an emotion or concept that you pick up."

The Exorcism of Anneliese Michel: The Real Emily Rose

Via paranormal.about.com by Stephen Wagner

Exorcisms are in vogue again. Evangelists like Bob Larson roam the country performing "deliverances" on (and profiting from) gullible members of his audience that he convinces have demons in them. Similar deliverances are conducted in churches and by ministries around the world - including Russia, on which I reported in the article "Exorcism in Russia." Even the Catholic Church, which for decades kept exorcism in the closet, is once again bringing it out into the open. In early 2005, about 100 Catholic priests signed up for a Vatican-sanctioned course on exorcism, and today the Church's ranks of official exorcists has swollen to more than 400.

No doubt about it. The interest in expelling demonic forces is high and growing.

And when a film like The Exorcism of Emily Rose becomes popular, fascination increases -- especially when it is promoted as being based on a true story. The same thing happened when The Exorcist shocked viewers back in 1973, a story also said to be inspired by true events.

What's going on? Is there really an increase in demonic activity and possession of humans? Or are we becoming increasingly superstitious, blaming extraordinary psychiatric and physical ailments on the Devil, much as people did in the unenlightened Middle Ages?

Eating Human Brains Saved Tribe From Developing Dementia

Via mysteriousuniverse.org by Paul Seaburn

Brains … it’s what’s for dinner. Or at least it used to be at funerals in Papua New Guinea where members of the remote Fore tribe consumed the brains of the deceased. While this grisly cannibalistic practice has largely disappeared (although not completely), the study of it hasn’t. Researchers have recently discovered that, while some tribe members contracted fatal brain diseases from eating the brains of the dead (ironically), others developed a resistance to the mad cow-like disease that killed them and to dementia and other brain conditions.

According to a report on the research in the journal Nature, before giving up funeral brain feasting in the 1950s, up to 2 percent of the Fore tribe members died annually from kuru prion disease. Prions are infectious proteins that can cause mad cow disease in cattle and the similar Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. These prions can also cause dementia.

Devil Worshipers and the Ashes of Nikola Tesla

Via mysteriousuniverse.org by Paul Seaburn

Are devil worshipers in Belgrade using the ashes of Nikola Tesla in a satanic ritual? That’s the claim being made in Belgrade city council meetings where the president revealed that high officials in the Serbian Orthodox church want the scientist’s ashes moved from the Nikola Tesla Museum to a nearby church where they can be better protected from satanists. Is it true?

Nikola Tesla died in New York City on January 7, 1943. His body was cremated and stored along with a death mask in New York until 1957 when they were sent to Belgrade where the ashes were put on display in a gold-plated sphere on a marble pedestal in the Nikola Tesla Museum.

Until now. At a Belgade city council meeting on June 8, council president Nikola Nikodijevic revealed he received a request from high in the Serbian Orthodox Church for Tesla’s remains to be moved out of the museum. Why, Mr. Nikodijevic?

If you really want me to tell you the truth, this is an initiative by Patriarch [Irinej], who came to the city council and begged us to remove the ashes because of the satanic rituals that are taking place in the museum.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Profiling the Jersey Devil

Via mysteriousuniverse.org by Nick Redfern

The story of the so-called Jersey Devil is almost as legendary as the tales that surround such famous monsters as Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and the Chupacabra. It’s a very strange saga that dates back to 1735 and to the heart of New Jersey’s Pine Barrens, which run to no less than 2,000 square miles and that are dominated by masses of conifer trees. Monster-hunter Ken Gerhard says: “Like most remote and uninhabited ranges, the Barrens are also steeped in mystery, with many colorful stories about its history and lore.”

The tale begins with a certain Mother Leeds. She was a sinister figure who lived in the Pine Barrens and who, when pregnant for the thirteenth time, essentially placed a curse on the unborn child, something which ensured that it took on a hideous form. It was highly appropriate that on the night Mother Leeds went into labor, a wild storm bruised and battered the area, shaking the trees and filling the skies with crashing thunder and huge lightning bolts.

The storm proceeded to get worse and worse, and reached its peak as the demon baby was born. Although “baby” is hardly an apt term to use. The hideous child was described as having leathery wings, a horse-like head, and hooves instead of feet. The Jersey Devil wasted no time in making good its escape: it opened its wings, took to the air, and shot out of the chimney of Mother Leeds’ home, and quickly making a new home for itself in the dense and mysterious Pine Barrens.

What happens when an entire country becomes infested with demons?

Via patheos.com

Can a country with deep Christian roots like Mexico find itself at the mercy of demons? Some in the Church fear so.

And as a result, they called for a nation-wide exorcism of Mexico, carried out quietly last month in the cathedral of San Luis Potosí.

High levels of violence, as well as drug cartels and abortion in the country, were the motivation behind the special rite of exorcism, known as “Exorcismo Magno.”

Cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez, the archbishop emeritus of Guadalajara, presided at the closed doors ceremony, the first ever in the history of Mexico.

Also participating were Archbishop Jesús Carlos Cabrero of San Luis Potosí, Spanish demonologist and exorcist Father José Antonio Fortea, and a smaller group of priests and lay people.

The event was not made known to the general public beforehand. According to Archbishop Cabrero, the reserved character of the May 20 ceremony was intended to avoid any misguided interpretations of the ritual.

But how can an entire country become infested by demons to the point that it’s necessary to resort to an Exorcismo Magno?

Abducted by aliens? Neurologist finds similarities in alleged victims

Via hawaiitribute-herald.com by Colin M. Stewart

Neurologist Dr. Michael B. Russo says that he initially didn’t know what to make of the first few patients who told him they’d been abducted by aliens from outer space.

“Their doctors sent them to me because they had headache pain or some sort of neurological problem,” he said. “Their primary physicians didn’t know they were having the problem due to abduction. But I would find out as part of my interview when I would ask how long they’ve had the problem, when did they first notice it. … Then they’d tell me.”

As part of his regular testing of patients, Russo used his $200,000 dense-array electroencephalography, or DEEG, machine — the only one of its kind in Hawaii — to map the electrical activity in the brains of his patients.

New patients, including several from the Big Island, came in with similar complaints about being abducted, leading Russo to wonder if there was anything the patients shared in common when it came to brain wave activity.

“The patients were just coming to me, and I started noticing patterns across the patients. I’ll see three or four patients with something that’s similar, and then I’ll try to find an explanation for what it is I’m seeing,” Russo said.

Lovecraftian School Board Member Wants Madness Added To Curriculum

Via theonion.com

ARKHAM, MA—Arguing that students should return to the fundamentals taught in the Pnakotic Manuscripts and the Necronomicon in order to develop the skills they need to be driven to the very edge of sanity, Arkham school board member Charles West continued to advance his pro-madness agenda at the district's monthly meeting Tuesday.

"Fools!" said West, his clenched fist striking the lectern before him. "We must prepare today's youth for a world whose terrors are etched upon ancient clay tablets recounting the fever-dreams of the other gods—not fill their heads with such trivia as math and English. Our graduates need to know about those who lie beneath the earth, waiting until the stars align so they can return to their rightful place as our masters and wage war against the Elder Things and the shoggoths!"

The controversial school board member reportedly interrupted a heated discussion about adding fresh fruit to school lunches in order to bring his motion to the table. With the aid of a flip chart, West laid out his six-point plan for increased madness, which included field trips to the medieval metaphysics department at Miskatonic University, instruction in the incantations of Yog-Sothoth, and a walkathon sponsored by local businesses to raise money for the freshman basketball program.