Archive for the ‘controversial’ category

Mountain Monsters: Secrets of the Dark Forest

April 26, 2017

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There’s a lot of repetition and drawing out of story lines in this bargain basement reality show, and if you were hoping to see “the Black Wolf” or “The Woman of the Woods” in this episode, you were likely to be disappointed…

Team researcher Jeff had been acting vaguely as if possessed recently, showing the others a video with a creepy voice recording, and relating how he had awoken in the Dark Forest alone with his clothes beside him.  The team in response followed GPS coordinates to the Dark Forest in Lee County, Virginia.  There they found Bigfoot signs such as broken branches, and ran across a reticent man they questioned who denied knowledge of anything but advised them not to go into the woods.  Of course they did (at night, no less), finding a deer head hung in the woods and perceiving something to run past them.  At that point, Jeff inexplicably got a nosebleed, and the evening’s festivities were called off.

Meanwhile, team members Willy and Wild Bill had been building a base camp shelter.  In the daytime, the team heard a high-pitched squeal, and pursuing it found what appeared to be wolf tracks by a river.  A tree-structure sign marker (pictured) was found near their camp, with Jeff later collapsing and being termed a security risk by team security member Huckleberry.  

Looking in the woods for additional marker-type signs, the team found sharpened branches and multiple trip lines.  Headlights were seen, causing the team to hunker down, at which point Jeff wigged out further, running off and leading them on a merry chase.  They found him in a trance-like state being pointed at by a small girl, who then conveniently ran off.  Jeff became combative when they tried to bring him around, but eventually came to himself.  Another strange noise was heard, and the team headed back to their base camp, finding someone sitting there who said that the noise they had heard was the Black Wolf.  The episode ended on this note, presumably with more to follow on the big bad wolf in the upcoming installment…

The Rogue Team Rises: Part 2

April 18, 2017

As Part 1 of the confusing and muddied Rogue Team episode ended, team members Buck, Huck, and Jeff were roughly thrown into a van by the Rogue Team, winding up in Part 2 (S5/Ep2) in an interrogation room in a cabin deep in the woods.  Things became surreal when the masked head of a figure became visible through a window in that room, ordering the boys to capture “The Woman of the Woods,” a witch-like figure last encountered in Lee City, VA.  In return for doing this, the captor promised to deliver the identity of those who had killed “the Stonish Giant,” a Bigfoot variant.  When their captor had left, a boot knife was produced by which the trio freed themselves.  Buck threw a chair through the window where their host had appeared and found a decapitated hog’s head on a stake…eww!

Reunited with Willy and Wild Bill, the team went to team leader Trapper’ s house, and found it ransacked.  In a secure safe was found a note and cell phone video from Trapper, detailing that he was going by invitation to a cabin of the Rogue Team; GPS coordinates were found.  Going to this location the team failed to find Trapper, but rammed around the neighboring roads a bit until they found his truck.  Also finding blood in the area, police were summoned.  With a canine unit brought in, the trail led to another cabin where a bloodied Trapper was found inside.  The blood stemmed from a reopened surgical wound rather than foul play.  On the walls of the cabin were pictures of the AIMS team illustrating things that they had missed in their investigations.

Going back to the cabin where three of them had been held captive (pictured above), the gross hog’s head was examined, and coordinates were found secured in a shotgun casing found in the hog’s mouth; so glad that I wasn’t eating for this segment!  The coordinates were to a location in “The Dark Forest,” with team researcher Jeff sharing that he had gone alone to the Dark Forest, but didn’t know how he had arrived there: presumably the “Woman of the Woods ” was influencing Jeff from a prior encounter.

And what is to be found in “The Dark Forest?”- – Why, that’s where “The Black Wolf” lives, a creature to be revealed in an upcoming episode called, “Secrets of the Dark Forest.” – – Are you not entertained?!

Churchill and the Aliens…

February 16, 2017

Now this is kinda cool, especially if you’re a bit of a history buff as many nerds like myself are.  The history and science fiction nexus gets thick at times over World War II, what with the insane speculation that Nazi Germany was scientifically advanced due to alien “assistance.”  So it really floats my boat to hear that a lost essay has been discovered by none less than Winston Churchill in which he supports the existence of alien life…

…I swear that I am not making this up!  The unpublished essay from 1939 by Churchill was discovered in of all places a Missouri museum to which the paper had been donated and then forgotten.  Now Winnie was a remarkable guy; a politician, statesman, writer, and even a friend of the sciences who while prime minister of England appointed a science adviser, and regularly met with scientists.  Radar was developed during his watch, and may have kept England afloat when the Nazis came calling.  Anyways, Churchill in this essay ponders the timeless question of alien life, and concludes that we are not alone

…remarkably, Churchill’s reasoning even from over seventy years ago mirrors scientific thought even today, proving that the cigar-smoker was both broad-minded and a man ahead of his time.  Churchill and Carl Sagan probably would have liked each other.  The best politicians are scientifically friendly; if only such could be said of Mr. Trump…

“Life After Life” on Monsters and Mysteries Unsolved

October 20, 2016

 

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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

October 10, 2016

 

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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…

October 6, 2016

 

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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!

“Chupacabra” on “Monsters and Mysteries Unsolved”

September 6, 2016

 

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A number of series have previously dealt with the subject of the Chupacabra, and Monsters and Mysteries Unsolved in their S1/Ep07 episode also gave the topic a go.   Attacks of the “goat sucker” reportedly first started in Puerto Rico in the mid-1990’s.  Since that time, reports of the creature have come from Cuero, Texas where rancher Phyllis Canion found exsanguinated chickens and reported sighting a hairless animal with a long snout and a strange gait.  An area sheriff in August of 2008 also recorded a strange creature on his dash cam that matched that description.  Other ranchers have found dead cattle on their ranches, and one had a video of a canid-like animal with short front legs, a long snout, and gray hairless skin.

Cryptozoologist Ken Gerhard has interviewed eyewitnesses of the creature, and examined the rotting remains of an unidentified animal hit by a car; some people seem to have all of the fun at their jobs!  This corpse was taken to Texas Tech, where it was examined by anthropologist Eileen Johnson, who pronounced it neither a wolf nor a dog, and found it to be more like a coyote.  

In that a living specimen can yield better and more complete information, a group assisted by a vet was covered in their efforts to hunt and trap a Chupacabra at night.  They set up motion camera traps baited with rotted deer meat and a hapless living chicken.  The motion detector camera detected nothing unknown, and even the chicken survived to see the morning.  

Now a neighbor of the previously mentioned rancher Phyllis Canion conveniently had another carcass of an unidentified canid, and part of its tongue was sent in for DNA testing while the bulk of the carcass was taken to a vet.  The biologist who tested the sample’s DNA found that the animal was a coyote/wolf hybrid.  

Other far out theories were also touched on, including the legend as mentioned by writer Nick Redfern that the Chupacabra was some kind of alien creature.  A supposed connection between the Chupacabra and UFO sightings was brought up.  A more mundane explanation was also offered that the Chupacabra was actually a case of mistaken identify, with a Rhesus monkey on the lam thought to be the cryptid.  Dr. Robert Baker, a wildlife geneticist, seemed skeptical of the notion that the Chupacabra was capable of living on blood, saying that they would have to have specialized organs to accomplish this.  

As with other unidentified and sought after but elusive creatures, people want to believe in them.  For some, the mystery lives on…