“Life After Life” on Monsters and Mysteries Unsolved

Posted October 20, 2016 by vulpesffb
Categories: controversial, psychology, television, unexplained

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In another “mystery” episode, S1/Ep13 of “Monsters and Mysteries Unsolved” touched on the near death experiences of three individuals.  

One case was that of 19-year-old Christine Stine in Germany who when broadsided by a truck wound up near death in a hospital emergency room. Her heart stopped, and she later reported perceiving herself to be hovering near the ceiling, observing the medical team frantically working on her body below. Following this she perceived herself to be walking barefoot in a brightly colored and friendly heavenly realm where she was greeted by grandparents whom she had previously only seen in photographs. She also met happy and healthy appearing acquaintances who had also passed on. Her grandparents then kind of guided her back to life, where she was reunited with her body and survived. The woman remained very convinced of the reality of her experiences.

A second case involved that of Dr. Eben Alexander, a Virginia neurologist. Suffering bacterial meningitis, he went into seizures and wound up in deep coma. With even his pupils non-reactive to light his survival seemed questionable, but after five days his consciousness returned, and he recounted first having disturbing afterlife experiences, then being in a better place.

A third case was that of Anita Moorjani, a woman in Hong Kong who suffered from Hodgekin’s Disease.  One day in February of 2006, she didn’t wake up and appeared lifeless although she reported later that her mind was churning.  During this interval, she experienced vivid memories of seeing the afterlife, where she met a deceased friend.  She later came out of her coma, but claimed awareness during the comatose state.  Tumors associated with her condition vanished after about three weeks.

Now end of life experiences are not well-researched, but a critical care physician named Dr. Chawla was profiled who noted that EEG spikes of two to three minutes duration occur after clinical death when the blood pressure drops to zero.  Near death experiences would appear to occur during this time.  About 20% of people who suffer cardiac arrest describe near death experiences (NDE’s).  Death is a process, not a moment in time, and it would appear that some electrical activity occurs in the heart and brain even after blood pressure drops to zero.  During this time, we may draw upon deep memories and cultural conditioning to determine what visions we see.  In that the three cases portrayed were convinced that they had a glimpse of life after death, near death experiences may have real life effects…

“Psychic Powers” on Monsters and Mysteries Unsolved

Posted October 10, 2016 by vulpesffb
Categories: controversial, speculation, television, unexplained



An episode on psychic powers is not really something I expect to see on a show like Monsters and Mysteries Unsolved, but then again, the earlier episode on ghosts didn’t really seem to fit the mold well, either.  This S1/Ep12 installment again ran far afield, focusing on several psychics, two of which have reportedly used their abilities to advance police investigations.

Psychic Laurie McQuary believes that she gained her psychic abilities following a fall from a horse at the age of 18. She assisted police in Wheeler City, Oregon in 1994 on the “case of the missing cowboy.”  The man in question left his ranch on horseback and failed to return, although his horse did.  The psychic believed that the cowboy was murdered, and sure enough his gunshot body was later discovered.  Holding a fragment of the bullet retrieved, the psychic received impressions from it, and felt that the murderer was female.  The case, however, remained unsolved.

A second psychic, Nany Orlean Weber, was also profiled.  She assisted police in New Jersey in the case of a missing girl, and was reported to intuitively perceive facts about the case that police didn’t disclose to her.  This psychic felt that she was born with her psychic abilities, and reports receiving her insights in visions.

In Dunstable, England, Chris Robinson is called the “dream psychic” or “dream detective.” He reportedly has dreams that foretell the future, most notably about large scale disasters such as the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Most interesting to me was a segment on the “Stargate” project during the Cold War, when 20 million dollars were spent in a government project over a period of 25 years investigating “remote viewing,” a phenomena where people not physically present were thought to extend their consciousness to other locations via astral projection to perceive what was going on there.  However, tests revealed that psychics were not successful in discerning concealed information any more often than simple chance would indicate.  The study was abandoned when it was determined that no useful information came from it, and no “psychic spies” have ever been fielded; your tax dollars at work, folks…

Although neuro-scientist and psychiatrist Diane Powell has found some similarities between the brainwave activities of psychics and epileptics, the scientific community in general has taken a dim view of psychic powers. Professor and psychologist Chris French, for example, notes that there is simply no good or convincing evidence of psychic abilities, although he wishes that there were, as such people would be handy to have around in some applications…

Of Blood Rain and Star Jelly…

Posted October 6, 2016 by vulpesffb
Categories: aliens, anomalies, controversial, environmental, mysteries, television, unexplained

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Every day, about 100 metric tons of material rains down on Earth’ s surface.  Episode 11 of Season 1 of Monsters and Mysteries Unsolved ventured into the sticky, perhaps revolting question of what exactly was “star jelly” and “blood rain.”  Please be advised that frog spawn will probably be discussed in the post, so if this offends or disgusts you, read no further.– You have been duly warned!

Now references to star jelly and blood rain date back to medieval times, with an account presented as far back as the year 1176.  Modern references are numerous; in November of 2001, for example, a gelatinous blob was found in Manchester, England that emanated a smell of rotten eggs, and dissolved when touched.  In 1950 in southern Philadelphia, two police officers saw a “dissolving UFO” that gave off a purplish glow, and inspired the 1958 Steve McQueen movie, “The Blob.

In Oakville, Washington in 1994, a gelatinous rain fell during a meteor shower that covered tree branches and made some individuals sick.  Two bacteria were found in samples tested by the Washington Dept. of Health that were capable of causing urinary tract infections and septicemia.  Conspiracy theories then blossomed as black planes and helicopters were later seen over the area. – –  Was Oakville chosen as a military test site? – – Was Fox Mulder summoned?  Alas, the remaining samples disappeared, and department scientists reported being told not to say anything about it.  Fortunately, an area resident kept a sample in her refrigerator (“Don’t eat the jelly, Honey!“), and it was taken to an independent lab that found bacteria present and a eukaryotic cell.  This sample then also disintegrated.

Now in India in 2001, a blood red rain fell to Earth, freaking out the residents.  Originally told that the rain was colored red by dust, it was later disclosed that the rain contained biological cells that strangely matched no known DNA.  The question was raised if these unknown cells were possibly of extraterrestrial origin.

Now Scotland has had numerous reports logged of luminous jelly falling from the sky.  Clarkson University specialist Dr. Langen feels that many of these samples are of terrestrial origin, did not fall from the sky, but are in reality…frog spawn (remember, you were warned)!  Langen exposed frog spawn to freezing and heating, and found that it could dehydrate and rehydrate in a manner similar to “star jelly.” Other creatures such as tardigrades can also survive extreme conditions of heat, cold, and even the vacuum of space.

The panspermia theory holds that life originated someplace other than Earth, and was seeded here by meteorites and comets.  While some scientists and researchers believe that Earth was “pollinated” by outer space, others do not.  At any rate, should you find any star jelly lying around, don’t eat it…you don’t know where it’s been!

“Animal Apocalypse” on Monsters & Mysteries Unsolved

Posted September 27, 2016 by vulpesffb
Categories: animals, anomalies, environmental, events involving animals, furry, species survival, speculation, television

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Episode 10, Season 1 of Monsters and Mysteries Unsolved looked  at a global increase in animal die-offs, a phenomena referred to as the “Animal Apocalypse.”  Several examples of this were then investigated.

On New Year’s Eve 2010 in Beebe, Arkansas, blackbirds swarmed all over the town, impacting with buildings and other objects, and dropping dead on lawns and streets.  The next morning, residents found 5,000 dead birds in the city.  In a scene reminiscent of The X-Files, crews in Hazmat suits were called in, collecting the birds and taking them to a wildlife health center in Madison, Wisconsin where experts examined the bodies and found that birds were not ill but had impact injuries, dying from blunt force trauma.  The question was why had blackbirds bruised and battered their bodies in Beebe; nothing like a little alliteration to liven things up!  The best answer was that New Year’s Eve fireworks displays had scared hundreds of thousands of birds, forcing them into flight at night when the species couldn’t see, causing them to simply fly into things, which did not go well for them.  

Elsewhere in Ozark, Arkansas 80,000 drum fish were found dead along the Arkansas River. No abnormal toxins were found in the water, but examination of the fish revealed that they had over-inflated swim bladders, a condition referred to as gas bubble disease.  This condition was felt to have been caused by an abnormally high number of gate openings at a dam on the river.

Some entire species of bees are disappearing at a furious rate in a phenomena referred to as “Colony Collapse Disorder .”  Such things could pose a direct threat to the world food supply of fruits, nuts, and vegetables where pollination by bees is critical.  The mystery of the vanishing bees remains unsolved.  “White Nose Syndrome” has also ravaged bat populations in the eastern U.S., causing strange behavior such as bats flying out during the day and in winter.  Five to seven million bats were lost during the winter of 2008, with the afflicted bats showing a fungus which eroded through tissues and made them thirsty during normal hibernation times.

Time was given to a Pastor Wohlberg, who felt that species die-offs were part of Biblical end times prophesy.  By this viewpoint, it’s all a reflection of corruption of the Earth due to human immorality…

Wildlife die-offs have been noted globally, in countries that have included England, Brazil, Italy, the Philippines, and Peru.  Pandemics are likely to happen as animal diseases jump to human populations.  This occurred with the Black Death that ravaged medieval Europe, as well as with the 1918 Influenza epidemic, the West Nile virus, the Swine Flu, and others.  Pathogens getting into the human population increases every year, so we can reasonably expect more of the same in the future, with animal populations providing an advance warning.  

“Bermuda Triangle” on Monsters and Mysteries Unsolved

Posted September 18, 2016 by vulpesffb
Categories: anomalies, environmental, speculation, television, unexplained



Ships go missing!- – Planes vanish without a trace! – – Are strange forces at work, or is the Bermuda Triangle just a myth?  In another episode focusing on the paranormal and mysteries rather than cryptozoology, Monsters and Mysteries Unsolved on their S1/Ep09 installment dealt with such questions.  Most of the segments again covered familiar territory and occurrences in an uneven fashion.

There was pilot Bruce Gernon, who in 1970 while flying from Palm Beach to the Bahamas encountered a lenticular cloud which ascended and expanded, trapping him.  A kind of tunnel with strange lines formed, his instruments went haywire, and the pilot could not ascertain his position, but reported the sensation of zero-gravity and hydroplaning.  He arrived at his destination earlier than otherwise would have been possible given the capabilities of his small plane.  At least this pilot had a positive outcome…

…not so the legendary Flight 19, a group of five American Navy Avenger bombers which a quarter century earlier disappeared while on a training flight out of Ft. Lauderdale.  Compass deviations were reported, with the final squadron transmission occurring two hours into the flight.  Despite a massive search, no trace of the planes or their occupants were ever found.  The ill-fated Fight 19 was termed the single most important event perpetuating the myth of the Bermuda Triangle.

On the sea itself, the USS Cyclops disappeared in 1918 on route to Baltimore out of Barbados.  A massive ship for its day, no wreckage, oil slick, or any trace of the vessel was ever found.  The ship went down over the Puerto Rico Trench, a deep part of the ocean.  A rogue wave was advanced as the leading theory for the disappearance.  Other oceanic disasters have included the sinking of the Ocean Ranger oil rig in 1982.

These are but a few of the best known Bermuda Triangle disappearances, with author/researcher Michael Preisinger reporting over fifty unsolved cases.  Even Christopher Columbus reported compass malfunctions.  David Pares believes that bad weather accounts for most of the disappearances, noting that converging storms can form a hole between them, possibly like that experienced by pilot Gernon in 1970.  Efforts to recreate his experience, however, have not been successful.  Other explanations briefly and weakly advanced included the possible association of gamma rays with thunderstorms, and the weakening of Earth’s magnetic fields, especially in association with an area called “the South Atlantic Anomaly.”  Ultimately, the show concluded that the Bermuda Triangle is felt to be founded more on myth than on facts…


“The Haunted” on Monsters & Mysteries Unsolved

Posted September 14, 2016 by vulpesffb
Categories: mysteries, paranormal, speculation, television, unexplained

Tags: , , ,

Ghosts and hauntings are not my usual stomping ground in this blog, and I have no intention of making such topics a routine consideration…but Halloween came a bit early to Monsters and Mysteries Unsolved in their S1/Ep08 installment called “The Haunted,” an investigation of ghostly phenomena that likely comes under the broad category of mysteries, so we’ll cover it as we have other considerations of the series.  I’ll try to organize the key segments presented, as the series usually bounces back and forth between one incident and another without presenting each to conclusion in a linear fashion, which I find frustrating.
A cornerstone of the hour was an investigation of a haunting in Mansfield, Connecticut where a woman called Amy Moore in 1989 got a bargain buy on a run-down house.  It turned out not to be such a bargain as there were reports of the walls vibrating, doors slamming, unexplained footsteps, and a door with a hook and latch leading to a third floor opening by itself.  House guests also reported unexplained sights and sounds such as growling and a flying water bottle.  When these incidents intensified over time, paranormal investigator Joe Gallant was called in.  Using multiple cameras and an EVP detector, the investigating team captured some EVP’s, but they were of poor quality.  

A second segment involved an investigation of a supposedly haunted “island of the dolls” in Xochimilco, Mexico.  The original owner of the island collected dolls to ward off spirits.  Following the drowning of a girl there, the haunting is said to have started with the dolls moving and emanating sounds.  An investigation was made by paranormal researchers, with their EMF detector showing that some of the dolls registered magnetism. While the dolls hanging everywhere were creepy, it was felt that their movements were more due to thermal changes and changes in water and moisture.  Beyond that, the power of suggestion takes over.  Sounds could come from intermittent battery operation of voice units still operative in the dolls, or be misinterpreted cries of passing cats and other animals in the environment.

England is reputed to have considerable hauntings, and so Muncaster Castle was profiled, reputed to be known for door handles inexplicably turning, and the cries of unseen children audible.  A team led by cognitive psychologist Dr. Jason Braithwaite positioned volunteers for a night in separate bedrooms of the castle, only one of which was reputedly haunted.  The volunteers, however, didn’t know which of their number was assigned to the “haunted” bedroom.  Only a third of the sample subjects reported feeling uneasy during their nocturnal stay.  Dr. Braithwaite expressed his belief that haunted experiences are all in the mind, and that the physical environment can trigger bodily reactions.

The overall tone taken by the hour was skeptical, with researcher Dr. Christopher French offering scientific explanations of paranormal experiences.  According to Dr. French, expectation is all, and ghostly experiences are essentially hallucinations, although they appear real to people having them.  The perspectives of Dr. Braithwaite were similar to this, holding that the power of suggestion can predispose haunting or ghostly experiences in the susceptible.

So there you have it…but you may want to keep the Ghostbusters in mind, just in case…

Kraft’s “Assume Nothing” Lobster Commercial

Posted September 11, 2016 by vulpesffb
Categories: absurdities, animal presence, anthropomorphic, Brilliant but twisted, furry, furry commercials, Invertebrates, strange, television

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In a brief surreal commercial for Kraft Foods, we are introduced to Bill, who assumed that an event was a costume party, attending it in a full lobster suit. – – Don’t you hate it when that happens?!  Hapless Bill even inadvertently clouts a woman with a claw when he turns; wouldn’t that make for an interesting lawsuit?  Like Bill, I can relate to social embarrassments, being a fox out of the woodlands myself; the faux pas is my life.

Bill also assumed that his mayo was the best, when Kraft olive oil mayo delivers the taste with half the calories of the competition.  “Assume Nothing!,” we are counseled by the advertiser.  While these are words to live by, this is not to advocate unconditional buying into conspiracy theories despite the fact that it’s an election year…