Sunday, February 1, 2015

Discovery of Hammer of Thor Artifact Solves Mystery of Viking Amulets

The discovery of a 10th century Viking artifact resembling the Hammer of Thor has solved a long-running mystery surrounding more than 1,000 ancient amulets found across Northern Europe, according to a report in Discovery News.

The relics, known as the Mjöllnir amulets, appear to depict hammers, which historians have linked to the Norse god Thor. However, this could not be concluded with certainty as their shapes are not conclusive, and none of them contained inscriptions revealing their identity.

However, another similar pendant has been found in Købelev, on the Danish island of Lolland, which is the first one to be discovered with an inscription. The runic text reads “Hmar x is”, which translates to “this is a hammer”. Cast in bronze, and likely plated with silver, tin and gold, the 1,100-year-old pendant shows that Thor’s myth deeply influenced Viking jewellery.

“This is the only hammer-shaped pendant with a runic inscription. And it tells us that (the pendants) in fact depict hammers,” Henrik Schilling, a spokeperson at the National Museum of Denmark, told Discovery News.

Ching Shih – from Prostitute to Pirate Lord

Ching Shih (or Zheng Shi) was a Chinese prostitute who became a powerful female pirate, controlling the infamous Red Flag Fleet. The fleet grew under her command, with expanding reserves of loot, and an organized system of business. Eventually, Ching Shih sought amnesty when offered by the Chinese government, but not without first negotiating to maintain the riches and power she earned as a pirate lord.

Little is known about Ching Shih’s early life. She was born in the Guangdong province of China in 1775, and her birth name was ShiI Xiang Gu. She became a prostitute who worked in a floating brothel in Canton. In 1801, Pirate Zhèng Yi, who commanded a fleet of ships called the “Red Flag Fleet,” noticed Ching Shih’s beauty, and wished to be with her. There are varying accounts of how they actually came to be together. According to some, Zhèng Yi sent a raid and ordered them to plunder the brothel. He asked that they bring him Ching Shih, his favorite prostitute. The men did as they were ordered, and Zhèng Yi and Ching Shih were married. By other accounts, Zhèng Yi simply asked Ching Shih to marry him. She agreed to his proposal so long as she would have some power within his organization, and would receive an equal share of his plunder. While the accounts vary as to how they actually came to be together, Ching Shih and Zhèng Yi began to run the Red Flag Fleet together.

With Zhèng Yi and Ching Shih side-by-side, the Red Flag Fleet quickly grew from 200 ships to more than 600 ships, and eventually to 1700-1800 ships. Their fleet was “color-coded,” with the lead fleet being Red, and the remaining fleets Black, White, Blue, Yellow, and Green. They formed the Cantonese Pirate Coalition with pirate Wu Shi’er. Zhèng Yi died in 1807, only 6 years after marrying Ching Shih. At the time of his death, the Red Flag Fleet included approximately 50,000 – 70,000 pirates. Ching Shih, wishing not to go back to a life of prostitution, knew that this was her opportunity to rise to become a powerful pirate lord. She could have simply stepped down from the organization, allowing Chang Pao, Zhèng Yi’s second in command, to take over. Chang Pao had been adopted as a son by Zhèng Yi and Ching Shih. However, Ching Shih craved the power and glory of being the leader of the Red Flag Fleet. With Chang Pao’s support, Ching Shih took charge.

Top 10 Mysterious Police Cases Solved By Psychics

Some police officers and law enforcement agencies seem to have trouble acknowledging the contributions of psychics to the solving of crimes. Mean spirited and cheerless skeptics appear to take pride in underlining the occasions when the work of psychics is inaccurate or duplicates information already discovered.

But there are cases where there can be no doubt that the contribution of psychics to the solving of a case was beneficial or even vital. Bodies found that would never have been located without the advice of a psychic, suspects described and even identified through the gifts of people with special insights; these are the mysterious, but essential pieces of the puzzle that psychics can bring to investigators.

10. Maria Scott

A number of matters contributed to the difficulty police had in finding the truth of the murder of Maria Scott. A prostitute of indigenous background, Maria’s mother claimed that these facts led the police to quickly lose interest in the case. But the police pointed out those malicious accusations by members of the Port Kembla community cluttered the investigation.

Maria Scott’s badly decomposed body was found seven months after she was reported missing. Originally police had suspected murder, but it was when the body was discovered and had five separate stab wounds that they knew they were looking for a killer.

Of the twenty-nine persons of interest, the police had worked the list down and believed that Mark Brown, a man Maria had met in a rehabilitation facility, was the culprit. But Brown had left the area and moved to Queensland.

Four and a half years after Maria Scott died Detective Senior-Constable Jeffrey Little invited psychic Debbie Malone to give her impressions of Maria’s case. He was astounded at the results. Although he knew the psychic’s evidence would never hold up in court, the detail of Debbie’s knowledge of the case was amazing.

Debbie was taken to the cabin where they thought Maria Scott had met her death and, despite the fact that much of the cabin had been changed, Malone identified the layout as it was when Scott died. She was able to locate where the knife was found, even though the drainpipe it was hidden in had been moved with the sink during the renovations.

Malone pointed out many details of objects and events that occurred in the course of the murder, some confirming the facts known and others explaining how events took place. Most startling was her confusion as she felt the murderer walk through her while she stood in the space. She explained that only ghosts could have such an effect. This was before Detective Senior-Constable Little told Debbie that Brown had committed suicide a few weeks after relocating to Queensland.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Psychics say they offer legitimate, valuable services

Most perceive psychics as scammers, vultures who feed off the vulnerabilities of the desperate and gullible.

But according to the spiritualists who practice such arts, they are simply regular people with different beliefs and sometimes inexplicable abilities.

There is a strong stigma associated with being a psychic. When asked how he would reassure someone who might be skeptical, Joseph Graham, a practicing psychic in Jacksonville replied, “I don’t know. A year ago, I would’ve told you that they’re all scams.”

“I’ve seen tarot readers and mediums do some despicable things,” he added.

In fact, Graham says that sketchy practices are what prompted him to quit the industry for two years.

Though there is a negative connotation associated with psychic services, it is still a prominent industry. In a September 2014 report, IBISWorld, a marketing research company, reported that psychic service is a $2 billion industry.

Readings with a top psychic can cost more than $10,000. In Northeast Florida, however, the cost of a reading varies depending on time and services and can be as little as $35.

Graham is well aware of how pricey a reading can get and why people are willing to pay it.

Do Some People Sense the Unseen?

Emily is a travel writer who believes she has a special sensitivity to places that are supposedly haunted. She says she’s been “overly empathetic” her entire life, such that if someone with a bad headache walks into a room she’s in, Emily may get a headache herself, or if someone has pulled his back, her back will begin to ache the moment she makes eye contact. Emily used to suffer from irritable bowel syndrome and now suffers from fibromyalgia. When her chronic pain is flaring, she says, that’s when her psychical sensitivity is highest. She feels emotional energies in houses she’s never been to before, has witnessed radios and other objects moving about in her presence, and believes that she’s encountered spirits. Could there be a connection, Emily wonders, between her longtime sensitivity and these bizarre experiences?

Hank owns a small business. When he was 5, he was hit by a car and suffered head trauma. From that time on, he claims, he’s had an affinity for sensing what other people are feeling. Hank didn’t realize this was not “normal” until he met someone he considers telepathic, who helped him to hone the ability. Today, Hank has a circle of such friends, many of whom say they have problems with wristwatches, computers, and other appliances malfunctioning in their presence.

Sally is divorced with three grown children. She’s had allergies most of her life, as have others in her family. She considers herself to be sensitive to electricity and reports that her local librarian wishes she’d stay away as the online catalog seems to go down when she’s near. Sally will sometimes feel a presence when no one is around or hear a voice with no apparent source. These perceptions have occurred throughout her life but especially when she was going through a trying time in her marriage.

Edward is a medical doctor, athletic and health conscious, though he’s lived for the past 15 years with a condition known as multiple chemical sensitivity. Now he limits his exposure to cleansers, paints, pesticides, air fresheners, and colognes, and runs a clinic for other people who seem to be similarly afflicted. Sometimes, Edward relates, he feels an unseen presence or sees an apparition. Some of his patients volunteer similar experiences.

These four people are typical of scores of individuals I have interviewed or corresponded with in an ongoing study of anomalous perceptions conducted over the past fifteen years.

Respondents typically report having one or more of the following: allergies, chronic pain, chronic fatigue, migraine headache, sleep difficulties. They also report having extreme sensitivity to lights, sounds, smells, textures—and feelings. In almost all cases, they come across as friendly, self-aware, and well adjusted. Their perceptions, however, beg the questions: What is going on? Are these people simply delusory? Fantasy-prone? Hypochondriacs? All of the above?

Bizarre Phenomenon: People Seem to Turn Off Streetlights With Their Bodies

People all over the world have noticed that streetlights turn off when they get near them and turn back on when they’ve passed.

A 53-year-old American housewife told Hilary Evans, a lead researcher of this phenomenon: “I couldn’t believe this was a phenomenon that others shared with me. I just thought I was nuts and so did those I told. … I first noticed street lights going off when I began taking college classes at [night] … Several times when I would turn into my street to come home, the streetlight outside our home went out. I didn’t say anything thinking something was wrong with it.

“Then it began going off when I would step out onto the porch. For a while, I thought it was coincidence, then I began noticing lights turning off in other places.” For example, one night when she was walking with a friend, four lights went off as they passed and turned back on after she was clear of them.

“It continues to happen to me, and I continue to try to make others believe me,” she wrote. Evans received many such testimonies from people of all walks of life. Evans also noted in his book “The SLI Effect,” that unlike some other paranormal phenomena, this one does not relate to any greater belief systems or carry with it the benefits or merit of other supernormal abilities. People thus have less reason to make it up.

Britain’s Atlantis, Lyonnesse: The Sunken Land of Arthurian Legend

Off the coast of Cornwall, at the southern tip of the UK, on a clear day, the Isles of Scilly can be seen at some distance. Those islands, some say, are the peaks of a sunken land that was a prosperous kingdom in the days of yore.

Others say this legendary kingdom, known as Lyonnesse, was not in the location of the Scilly Islands, but rather between those islands and the mainland—a bridge of land connecting the two. Still others say Lyonnesse was actually a place in France, directly across the English Channel from Cornwall, known as Saint-Pol-de-Léon in Brittany.

Lyonnesse was first mentioned in Sir Thomas Mallory’s 15th century work, “Le Morte d’Arthur.” In this famed and influential rendition of the Arthurian legends, Mallory named Lyonnesse as the homeland of Tristan. Embroiled in a tragic love affair with Iseult, the wife of his kin and king, Mark, Tristan never had a chance to live out his days in Lyonnesse even if it didn’t sink. King Mark killed him, according to Mallory’s version of the tale.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Newsham Park Hospital ghost hunters haunted by voices, disappearing circles and white mist

When a team of French film-makers spent a night at Newsham Park Hospital they hoped to capture something ghostly on their night vision cameras.

But the abandoned former orphanage put on more of a spirited display than they’d expected ... with children’s voices, a disappearing chalk circle and a mysterious white mist.

Parisian paranormal investigator Sandy Lakdar says their 24-hour stay in the eerie Victorian building proved its status as one of the ultimate ghost hunt locations in the world.

“Me and my partner Jonathan, who is the director of the documentary, have already been to England before and we wanted to come back because we liked it so much,” she explains. “So we were looking on the internet for a place and we found Newsham Park Hospital.

“We came over and met up with our English collaborator Leslie Corney, who is from Newcastle, and his dog Shey. She is also trained in investigating and she is very good at detecting stuff.

“I contacted one of the paranormal teams from Liverpool, too, who have been to the hospital before and we interviewed them and they came with us for part of the time.”

Law Enforcement Guide To Satanic Cults [1994] [VHS]

Former Walking Corpse Credits Disney With Return From Dead

An American teenager from Alabama who lived for three years believing she was a zombie says she was able to return from this walking dead state by watching Disney movies.

Seventeen-year-old Haley Smith says she’s gone public with her bizarre story to help others who might be suffering from what she had – an extremely rare disease called Cotard’s Syndrome, also known as Cotard Delusion or Walking Corpse Syndrome.

Haley noticed feeling very strange three years ago after her parents divorced.
 … one day when I was sitting in an English class I had this really weird sensation that I was dead and I couldn’t shake it. As I walked home I thought about visiting a graveyard, just to be close to others who were also dead … I’d fantasize about having picnics in graveyards and I’d spend a lot of time watching horror films because seeing the zombies made me feel relaxed, like I was with family.

Ghost possessed girl causes uproar in Essikado

The ghost of a 29-year old man, Eugene Nana Asamoah is said to have possessed a 12-year girl only named as Jennifer at Essikado, and using her to cause uproar and anger in the community.

The deceased is said to have died a few months ago under mysterious circumstances. The ghost of Asamoah reportedly possessed Jennifer and changed the accent of the girl to reflect his.

She mentioned four persons, who happened to be the relatives of the deceased, as being behind his death. After the ghost-possessed girl mentioned the names, the father of the deceased was said to have lodged a complaint at the chief’s palace for them to be summoned to be questioned.

10 Terrible Things People Can Do To Your Body After You Die

Death is the end of life but not of the body. Corpses are sources of fascination for some and revilement for others. They can even be a source of life.
10. Corpse Wax

Adipocere, or corpse wax, is a fatty substance that occasionally forms during the decomposition of humans and animals. When a corpse is left in moist, airless conditions, corpse wax can encase the remains in a brittle shell. Corpses encased in adipocere are quite a hassle for the owners of graveyards because it prevents recycling grave plots. On the other hand, it can aid forensic scientists and archaeologists during autopsies of very old remains.

In 1825, Italian physician Augustus Granville autopsied the well-preserved remains of a woman called Irtyersenu. His autopsy was as much a theatrical event as it was genuine science. To enhance the mood, Granville lit the lecture hall with candles made from what he believed to be a form of beeswax or bitumen used to preserve the body. Later studies showed that the wax was nothing of the sort. It was part of the remains of the unlucky corpse itself.