Monday, August 31, 2009

Mystery Of The Hidden Pig Discovered In 17th Century Dutch Painting

The hidden image of a butchered pig has been discovered by a restorer in a 17th century Dutch painting 350 years after it was painted. Barn Interior, one of 16 paintings given to Calvin College in Michigan by alumnus Cornelius Van Nuis two years ago, shows a woman and two children inside a barn. It was painted by Egbert van der Poel, who lived from 1621 to 1664.Last summer, Joel Zwart, the director of exhibitions at the college, sent the picture to Barry Bauman, a Chicago-based art conservator, for cleaning. Bauman noticed that a ladder on the left side of the painting had been heavily painted over and the paint was flaking. Underneath, he discovered the pig, butchered and stretched hanging upside down from the ladder. "It was painted over, and the obvious question is, Why was it painted over?" said Mr Zwart. "Well, it was most likely not covered over by the artist.Very likely a wealthy patron bought it. "It's this grotesque scene, this butchered animal hanging in a barn. And quite likely this patron hired another artist to paint it over." Mr Zwart said the restored work "looks a lot different than before, and it looks better. The restoration work also revealed information about the painting's history. It turns out that the work is a "pendant," one of a pair of paintings on a shared theme. Barn Interior's companion painting hangs in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Haunted Railroad Tracks In San Antonio

If you are looking for a different kind of haunted adventure this Halloween, look no further than San Antonio and the mysterious children of the haunted ghost tracks. There are a couple of different versions of this story, but most tell the tale of a horrible accident that occurred in the 1930’s or 40’s, although there is no official record of the event. A school bus full of children stalled on the railroad tracks during a stormy Texas night. The efforts of the train conductor were futile. Train whistle blowing and brakes screeching and sliding on the tracks, the train was unable to get stopped on the wet tracks before colliding with the school bus and killing ten of the children. Now, if you stop your car on those tracks in the same spot the bus was stuck and put your car in neutral, your vehicle will slowly roll off of the tracks. If you inspect the rear of your car or truck, you may see small hand prints and fingerprints from the children that pushed you from danger.Tips: Before you stop on the tracks, dust your bumper with some baby powder. This makes finding those fingerprints easier and much more dramatic! There may be others doing the same thing you are doing there, especially around Halloween. Be respectful and patient. Everyone is there to have fun! For the best and scariest adventure, do this at night! Coordinates: N 29° 19.039 W 098° 26.597 Warning: These tracks are not used very often, but they are still active! The trains are traveling very slow through this part of San Antonio, but still use the utmost caution here!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Frightened Girl Dies After Ghost Prank

A prank turned horribly wrong in a Murshidabad school hostel on Wednesday. A Class V girl suffered a cardiac arrest and died after being frightened by some youths dressed up as ghosts during a power cut in the evening. Five other girls were also taken ill. Police said that around 8 pm, when the area was in the grip of a power cut, five youths scaled the wall of the Itar Santhal High School hostel in Murshidabad's Nabagram. The youths, wearing masks, slipped into the premises and knocked on the door. When the girls did not open the door, they peeped in through a window and made howling noises.Most of the girls were frightened, said sources. Pratima Baske fell unconscious and was rushed to a local hospital. She was declared dead on arrival. Five girls were hospitalised. Probe revealed that Pratima had suffered a cardiac arrest. School authorities suspect the pranksters are local residents. "The boys' and the girls' hostel are divided by a high wall. Such an incident has never happened," said headmaster Arindam Mondal. "The girls were frightened by the masked faces." Police are searching for the pranksters.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Canadian Scientist Says He Can Create Dinosaurs From Chickens

Hans Larsson believes that by flipping certain genetic levers during a chicken embryo's development, he can reproduce the dinosaur anatom. Hans Larsson, the Canada Research Chair in Macro Evolution at McGill University in Montreal, said he aims to develop dinosaur traits that disappeared millions of years ago in birds. Mr Larsson believes that by flipping certain genetic levers during a chicken embryo's development, he can reproduce the dinosaur anatomy, he told AFP in an interview. Though still in its infancy, the research could eventually lead to hatching live prehistoric animals, but Mr Larsson said he has no immediate plans to create dinosaurs, for ethical and practical reasons - a dinosaur hatchery is "too large an enterprise." "It's a demonstration of evolution," saidMr Larsson, who has studied bird evolution for the last 10 years. "If I can demonstrate clearly that the potential for dinosaur anatomical development exists in birds, then it again proves that birds are direct descendants of dinosaurs."The research is funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Canada Research Chairs programme and National Geographic. The idea for the project, Mr Larsson said, came about during discussions with Jack Horner, the American paleontologist who served as technical advisor for the Jurassic Park films. Mr Horner recently wrote a book entitled "How to build a dinosaur", in which he refers to the embryo experiment as part of a quest to create a "chickenosaurus." Mr Larsson's team previously worked to uncover prehistoric animal remains, including eight unknown species of dinosaurs and five new types of crocodile in Niger. He also recently uncovered the remains of a new carnivorous dinosaur in Argentina.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

'Alien Baby' Stumps Experts

Is this bizarre creature really an alien baby or just part of an elaborate hoax - and was it the cause behind a mysterious revenge death? Mexican TV revealed the almost unbelievable story - in 2007, a baby 'alien' was found alive by a farmer in Mexico. He drowned it in a ditch out of fear, and now two years later scientists have finally been able to announce the results of their tests on this sinister-looking carcass. At the end of last year the farmer, Marao Lopez, handed the corpse over to university scientists who carried out DNA tests and scans. He claimed that it took him three attempts to drown the creature and he had to hold it underwater for hours. Tests revealed a creature that is unknown to scientists - its skeleton has characteristics of a lizard, its teeth do not have any roots like humans and it can stay underwater for a long time. But it also has some similar joints to humans. Its brain was huge, particularly the rear section, leading scientists to the conclusion that the odd creature was very intelligent. But it has seemingly left experts stumped.
And in a further mystery, Lopez has since mysteriously died. According to American UFO expert Joshua P. Warren (32), the farmer burned to death in a parked car at the side of a road. The flames apparently had a far higher temperature than in a normal fire! Now there are rumours that the parents of the creature Lopez drowned were the ones who in turn killed him out of revenge. There are frequent UFO sightings and reports of crop circles in the area where the creature was found. Perhaps it was left behind deliberately by aliens. Mexican UFO expert Jaime Maussan (56) was the first to break the story. He claimed it was not a hoax. Farmers also told him that there was a second creature but it ran away when they approached. The puzzle has caused intrigue amongst BILD’s readers. Some say it is a mutant, others wonder why aliens would leave a baby behind - and one reader asked why aliens don’t wear clothes.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Disc Shaped UFO Videotaped Over Lake Havasu, Arizona

Several witnesses in Lake Havasu, Arizona, watched a disc-shaped object hovering and slowly moving in the sky, according to witness testimony from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database. They first noticed a "tiny black dot" in the sky, but using binoculars, realized it was disc-shaped. The sighting was captured on video. The following is the unedited witness testimony from the MUFON database. It was hovering over lake havasu.
MUFON Case # 18830. At the time I was looking out my back window when I noticed that there was this tiny black dot in the sky. So i went and got my binochlears and I swear it was a flying saucer! At first I just couldnt believe it. It just hovered and kept on slowly moving. I felt like the cartoon where its eyes pop out of the other end of the binochlears. It was amazing. Eventually it was so far away i couldnt see the black dot anymore so i went inside. it was pretty cool I got it on film.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Witch Doctors 'Hunt Children To Sacrifice To Dead Tribal Chief'

Parents in a remote part of eastern Zimbabwe are keeping their children at home for fear one of them will be abducted and killed as a human sacrifice. The case has opened up debate on ritual killings and witchcraft in this still deeply divided southern African country. Despite denials from local officials, some villagers in Makoni district claim ritual killers have been moving around looking for a victim who will be buried alongside the late tribal chief of the area, Naboth Gandanzara Makoni. "Someone has to be sacrificed and serve as his pillow," sources told the state-controlled Manica Post newspaper. Worryingly, police are not saying a thing. Burial practices for the reclusive Makoni clan are normally shrouded in secrecy. But delays in burying the mummified chief – who is believed to have died more than 11 months ago – and fights over who will succeed him appear to have led villagers to speak openly for the first time. Pupils at St Luke's Primary School have been told to move about in groups for their own safety, the Manica Post has reported. The school is near to where the chief's body is being embalmed. A Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) official said claims a child would be killed were not true. "There is nothing like that," the official, who is from Makoni, told The Scotsman. "But in our culture we do not say when the chief died." The official said the chief would most likely be buried next month.Still, locals are worried. "Please stop these traditional killers," one reader wrote to the Manica Post. Another parent wrote in to say that his 14-year-old daughter had disappeared, though from the central Gweru area and not from Makoni. In the past, Makoni families from whom a child was taken for such sacrifice would be rewarded with land, or one of the chief's daughters would be handed over in marriage to a relative of the murdered child, by way of recompense. With a strong tradition of mission schools, Zimbabwe has a population that is more than 80 per cent Christian. But many also believe in spirits, particularly in the countryside. Witches and goblins make headline news, even in the stuffy, propaganda-riddled official Herald daily. Zimbabwe was kept agog in June by the tale of 21-year-old Regina Sveto, who claimed she had flown naked in a winnowing basket for 75 miles on a supernatural mission to kill her brother-in-law. A Harare magistrate handed her a one-year suspended jail sentence and ordered her to get help to escape a "spell" that had been cast on her. The brother-in-law got away. Witch-hunters are also doing a roaring business, taking cattle and goats as payment from often impoverished villagers as they identify witches in rural communities. A 19-year-old girl from Goromonzi was raped by a so-called witch-hunter. The respected Traditional Medicines Practitioners' Council says the tsikamutandas have to register before they can practise. Last week, stallholders at a flea market in Bulawayo beat up a man they said was having mubobobo or "supernatural sex" with female shoppers.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Strange Sea Creature Dubbed 'Muck Monster'

There's something lurking just under the surface of the Lake Worth Lagoon. Greg Reynolds of recalls, "Channel marker ten is the first time we saw the unknown creature." "I hollered out...and said what is that? We followed it, started taking video." This mysterious creature was caught on tape by the LagoonKeepers. Don Serrano was with Reynolds. "I didn't know what it was….I was like HEY LOOK! And we moved over and saw it. It was different, very different." "Little wakes and just kind of moving like this…real long ones too, just like that." Reynolds remembers, "We sped up on it to catch up to it and we got up on it, it dove down." "Every time we get 10 feet from it, it would just disappear." What could it be? "Who knows? I have no idea, but it was something that’s for sure, without a doubt," said Serrano. Thanks to the LagoonKeepers, until it's identified, it has a name: Reynolds calls it, "The elusive muck monster!"
Thomas Reinert a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Marine Biologist studied the video and said: "This appears to be one animal moving in this direction…nothing's breaking the surface. Typically dolphins break the surface, sea turtles, manatee, a large school of fish, if it were a shark at that level you would see a fin." "I cant definitely say what it is." "I can speculate but we need more evidence to determine the identity of the Lake Worth muck monster," said Reinert. "We spend a lot of time out here on the water and seen a lot of different creatures out here and this is the first time in three and half years that I’ve ever seen anything out here that didn't know what it was," Reynolds said. "We see dolphins out there, sharks, we always see a fin." Whatever it is, it certainly has people talking, and watching. Reynolds jokes "Maybe Nessie’s vacationing in South Florida!"

UFO Experts Investigate Mystery On Twin Cities Lake

The mystery over what's sitting at the bottom of Sylvan Lake in Forest Lake has the attention of UFO investigators. A Forest Lake woman claims she saw large waves rippling out in a swirling motion on the lake. She thought it seemed strange and called police. She told them she thought the churning water came from a helicopter. "There was quite a stir for 5 to 7 minutes, with waves that went out 30 to 40 feet. Not up, but out," said the woman's neighbor Eugene Huerstel. Since the woman's account was credible according to police, Forest Lake firefighters and the Washington County Dive Team went into the lake to look for the unusual and suspicious object.They used a pontoon and an airboat to search to a depth of 26 feet. Washington County Sheriffs Deputies used a side scan sonar. Police said they did not find any debris on the water and no petroleum film from a boat or plane wreck, which they initally suspected. But what took everyone by surprise was the investigator who showed up Friday. "We received several reports on our website about the incident," said Richard Lang from the Mutual UFO Network. During a second water search, the Washington County Sheriff's Office found an object, about the size of a washer or dryer. They plan to pull it out in the coming weeks, though no one could say, what it might be. However, a UFO does not seem likely. "Based on our findings, we don't believe a UFO crashed into the lake," said Lang.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Famed Haunted Hotel On Fire

The Brookdale Inn, the famed haunted hotel and restaurant, is ablaze with flames shooting high into the sky. Firefighters in the area say a heavy column of smoke can be seen coming from Brookdale. Cal Fire has a full wildland response in the area because of the Lockheed Fire though there are no aircraft available for that incident. Aircraft are on order but have not arrived. Sherri Hutchinson, a Brookdale resident, said there are big plumes of black smoke rising from the building and the flames are as high as the trees around the inn. "The whole backside of the building is engulfed in flames," Sherri Hutchinson said. The lodge was bought in 2007 for $5.3 million by Sanjiv Kakkar and has 46 guest suites. Kakkar has a lot of renovations on the property and has run afoul of the county for mounting garbage and construction debris, as well as his failure to secure the proper permits for reconstruction in the past.A 2008 MediaNews investigation also uncovered a similar history concerning a hotel Kakkar owns in San Francisco. The San Francisco environmental health agency has recorded at least a dozen uncollected garbage violations stemming from unpaid disposal bills at the Abigail Hotel since Kakkar bought the Tenderloin District property seven years ago. The building inspector has forwarded to code enforcement officials a March 2007 permit violation that has not been resolved. Kakkar said in 2008 he did not believe the ongoing problems with the Abigail should reflect on the work he is undertaking at the Brookdale, which he renamed the Brookdale Inn & Spa after buying it in October from a retired Bay Area police officer who had owned it for 17 years. The original lodge was built in 1890. The dining room with the brook running through it was added in the early 1920s. A feature in "Ripley's Believe It or Not" brought the lodge worldwide fame, and it's played host to a number of notable guests, including Marilyn Monroe and President Herbert Hoover. The 1940s and '50s ushered in a period of gangsters and other shady characters at the lodge, according to Halloween and harvest season event Web site Haunted Bay. Secret passageways and hidden rooms were installed throughout the lodge, and rumors of buried bodies under the floor began to circulate. Also during that time, Sarah Logan, 6, the niece of the lodge owner, drowned in the dining room creek. Her ghost is the one reportedly seen at the Brookdale.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ghosts Roaming NSW's Haunted Parliament House

Anyone who claims there is no spirit left in the New South Wales Parliament should try spending a night there alone. There is the ghostly man who walks through the floor, a silent horse drawn carriage out the front and, down the road, a phantom baby cries at night. Once a hospital complete with a morgue, NSW Parliament House is giving up its ghostly secrets for a new history project. Most staff have a tale of a shadowy figure in the corridor, lights flickering or a strange tap on the shoulder out of thin air. And down the road at Government House the stories are even more terrifying. The most common include a baby that cries in the night from under the building, shadowy soldiers out the front on misty mornings and an old woman in a rocking chair in one room. The old morgue under the theatrette at Parliament, which is preserved but bricked up, is considered by some to be the source of the ghosts. Education staff will compile the tales in a new bulletin named The Ghosts And Ghost Stories of Parliament House.One parliamentary staffer said: "A guy was here late one night and there was a hand on his shoulder, he turned around and there was no one there. "The ghost stories are worse at Government House, the most common one is that a baby cries and no one can find the baby." Another said: "You hear about people in old fashioned garb mysteriously appearing, walking down stairs or even walking through the floor." Parliament education officer Daniela Giorgi wrote in the latest Legislative Assembly newsletter that the bulletin would "explore the strange phenomena that have been reported throughout Parliament for many years". "The building has housed the legislature for over 150 years but disembodied spirits nursing unrequited civil passion are not the only ghosts that wander these corridors of power," Ms Giorgi said. "Once the building housed the Rum Hospital and morgue." Long-serving MP Chris Hartcher said ghosts included a man who died in his office. Mr Hartcher and fellow MP Paul Gibson said they had never seen a ghost.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Ghost Encounter At Dalhousie Castle

See what made Helen Parker launch into a terrifying barrage of expletives at 2am in a haunted Scottish castle.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Mermaid Sightings In Israel

Locals and tourists in the Israeli town of Kiryat Yam have been flocking to the coast in hopes of glimpsing a creature that most people believe only exist in fairy tales. An alleged mermaid, said to resemble a cross between a fish and a young girl, only appears at sunset. It performs a few tricks for onlookers before disappearing for the night. One of the first people to see the mermaid, Shlomo Cohen, said, "I was with friends when suddenly we saw a woman laying on the sand in a weird way. At first I thought she was just another sunbather, but when we approached she jumped into the water and disappeared. We were all in shock because we saw she had a tail." The sightings apparently began several months ago. The town's tourism board is of course delighted with their newfound fame and local mystery fauna. Taking a cue from the town of Inverness, Scotland (on the shore of Loch Ness), the Kiryat Yam government has offered a $1 million reward for the first person to photograph the creature. Town spokesman Natti Zilberman thinks the reward money is well-spent. "I believe if there really is a mermaid then so many people will come to Kiryat Yam, a lot more money will be made than $1 million.”Of course, if the mermaid does not exist -- perhaps it is a hoax, an optical illusion, or a simple misperception of a known animal -- then the town's reward money will remain safe and unclaimed, while the economy benefits from the influx of tourists vying to get a photo that will leave them set for life. It's not clear what people are seeing, though the power of suggestion and imagination can be strong. Identifying animals in water is inherently problematic, since eyewitnesses by definition are only seeing a small part of the creature. When you add in the factor of low light at sunset and the distances involved, positively identifying even a known creature can be very difficult -- to say nothing of a mythological one! Mermaids have long held fascination for seafaring peoples. There are a few dozen significant historical claims of actual mermaid sightings. Most of them are clearly myths and legends, such as "true" stories about lovely young women who married sailors but were later discovered to be shape-shifting mermaids (such as in the film "Splash"). Other reports date back centuries, and offer no proof or evidence other than a curious story. For example, a Capt. Richard Whitbourne claimed he saw a mermaid in Newfoundland's St. James harbor in 1610. Another story, from 1830 Scotland, claimed that a young boy killed a mermaid by throwing rocks at it; the creature looked like a child of about 3 or 4, but had a salmon's tail instead of legs. The villagers supposedly had it a funeral and buried it in a small coffin.

Documentary Maker Looking For Haunted Cars

Just when you thought only homes and properties were haunted - an upcoming documentary sets out to prove that cars can also be haunted. A YouTube video from bandspirits introduces the idea and is seeking haunted automobile stories. If you have a story, call 216.759.8170. Enjoy the short video.
We do know that the my research on the haunted Hinsdale House property, there are stories of a "ghost" car that approaches the property. Stephen King, of course, created the ultimate haunted car story with "Christine," and a second title I cannot recall now that involves a mysterious Buick that a police department keeps under wraps. Anyone know that title? The photo with this story is a 1940s Desota housed at Chicago's Navy Pier. A sign alongside tells a horrible tale of a young couple in Bermuda who got married, and following their reception, decided to catch the last ferry departing that night - but something went very, very wrong - and the car - and bodies - were found at the bottom of the ocean. Rumor has it the car's brake lines were cut. I'd say it's the perfect candidate for a haunted car.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Woman Attacked By Otters

An Austrian woman on vacation in Wisconsin is getting rabies shots after she said she was bitten by otters while swimming in a lake. Brigitte France, 51, told the Duluth News Tribune that she was swimming on Lake Owen near Drummond last Wednesday when three otters suddenly appeared. Feeling concerned, she swam to shore.Just as she got there, she said, "there they were - one on the right leg and one on the left leg." She said they swam off when she shook her legs, but not before biting her eight or nine times. Although France said the bites didn't hurt much, she did go to a hospital, where doctors started a series of rabies shots. France lives in Altach, Austria. Her husband is from Duluth, and they visit Lake Owen each summer.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Multiple Witnesses Watch Black Triangle UFO Low Over Medfield, MA

Two Massachusetts witnesses watched a black triangle UFO low flying over Medfield, according to testimony from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database. The object was described as having three "brilliant white lights configured in a triangular pattern." The reporting witness said the slow moving object was about the size of "a medium-large cargo plane" and flying at between 1,000 and 2,000 feet and traveling at about 50 mph. The 21-year-old female and 23-year-old male were driving north on South Street near the Phillips Street intersection when they noticed the object made an abrupt turn "from WSW to NNW."They pulled over at this point at Medfield High School to get a better look, where they noticed a man walking his dog who was also staring at the object. As the object moved over the high school, they decided to follow it and drove along "the bus route along the west side of the building. As we began to approach the main door-entrance to the high school, the lights suddenly switched direction rapidly again, now heading directly east towards Mt. Nebo (a 200-foot tree covered hill with a large watertower on top)." At this point, "the lights went dark and all that appeared was a single, pulsing red light, almost like an aircraft beacon but much weaker and unlike a typical strobe." They then watched it "cruise towards Mt. Nebo yet as the single light began to pass in front of a cloud illuminated by the moonlight, it seemed to disappear into the night, likely just dropping out of visibility."

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Scientists Stunned As Creature Is Washed Up On Beach

An enormous mound of moving crustaceans has been washed ashore on a Gower beach. Spectators gathered at low tide to examine the thousands of Goose Barnacles on Oxwich Beach. Rebecca Porter said they were moving and opening like "a large living sea monster". She said, "The stalk on which the puffin-shaped head sat on was soft and rubbery and moved like a snake." "They appeared to be attached to a piece of drift wood but it could hardly be seen as it was densely covered with these huge barnacles that opened and closed thrusting out fronds like uncurling ferns," she said.The barnacles are normally found in large groups in quite deep water and feed on plankton and small crustaceans, but are generally blown in during stormy weather. Tim Hall is Marine Campaigns and Advocacy Officer for Wildlife Trusts Wales said, "They also like driftwood, hulls of wrecked ships, etc and this is when most people see them after they are washed ashore.""The fronds described are used for feeding (there are six pairs of very thin, feather like cirri) and I imagine that hundreds of those moving in and out must be quite a site, hence looking like a large sea monster." "Just another example of the wonderful wildlife that thrives in our seas and certainly something different for the holiday makers in Oxwich bay to see." Dr Nova Mieszkowska is a research scientist with the Marine Biological Association of the UK, which records sightings such as this one. She said that when feeding these creatures can look almost as if they are waving and so give the impression of movement, which may have been what visitors to the beach noticed.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Dalit Woman Beaten Up After Being Branded A Witch

Branded as a 'witch', a 57-year-old dalit woman was beaten up, forced to wear a skirt made of broomsticks and paraded through the roads in a village in Palamau district, police said on Saturday. "We have information that the woman, Wasia Defi, was subjected to beating and humiliation by some residents of Ledki village," about 30 km from here yesterday after they branded her as a witch, Palamau Superintendent of Police, Mohit Bundus, told reporters in Medininagar.Accusing Devi of practicing 'witchcraft', the villagers not only humiliated the woman but also imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on her, Bundus said. Unable to watch his mother's plight, her son Gajendra Chauhan paid Rs 17,000 to the villagers and pleaded them to free her. Bundus said a police team had already reached the village to probe the incident and book the culprits.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

'Caught On Film' – Image Of Airfield Ghost

Paranormal investigators say they have captured on film the ghostly image of a young Lincolnshire airwoman killed in a motorcycle crash during the Second World War. The spectre of Catherine Bystock appeared on a road near the former RAF base at Metheringham, near Lincoln, which she is said to have haunted for over 60 years. The base closed after the war but the tale of the ghostly woman, has become famous and even today villagers avoid the road where she is said to appear. Catherine Bystock was a 19-year-old WAAF – a member of the Women's Auxiliary Air Force – engaged to a flight sergeant when she was killed while riding pillion on his motorbike in an accident on the bomber base. Since then, her ghost has made regular appearances, frightening the life out of motorists using the dark country lane that now runs across the former airfield.Over the years, some have reported a young woman dressed in an RAF uniform flagging them down and asking them to help her injured boyfriend. But those who have gone to investigate found no trace of the injured motorcyclist and the girl then vanished in front of them. The ghost traditionally appears in the summer months usually at around 9.30pm – the time when she died – and always after dusk starts to fall. Now her image has apparently been captured on film by members of a local ghost-hunting team, Mark Stretton, leader of the Spalding Paranormal Investigations team, said "It's by far the best ghostly image we've ever caught on camera. The 43-year-old schoolteacher added "The area has quite an atmosphere at night time."

Friday, August 7, 2009

Speeding Stars Confirm Bizarre Nature Of Faraway Galaxies

Stars in a distant galaxy move at stunning speeds — greater than 1 million mph, astronomers have revealed. These hyperactive stars move at about twice the speed of our sun through the Milky Way, because their host galaxy is very massive, yet strangely compact. The scene, which has theorists baffled, is 11 billion light-years away. It is the first time motions of individual stars have been measured in a galaxy so distant. While the stars' swiftness is notable, stars in other galaxies have been observed to travel at similarly high speeds. In those situations, it was usually because they were interlopers from outside, or circling close to a black hole. But in this case, the stars' high velocities help astronomers confirm that the galaxy they belong to really is as massive as earlier data suggested. The compact nature of this and similar galaxies in the faraway early universe is puzzling to scientists, who don't yet understand why some young, massive galaxies are about five times smaller than their counterparts today. "A lot of people were thinking we had overestimated these masses in the past," said Yale University astronomer Pieter van Dokkum, leader of the new study. "But this confirms they are extremely massive for their size. These galaxies are indeed as bizarre as we thought they were." Scientists used the new velocity measurements, conducted with the Gemini South telescope in Chile and the Hubble Space Telescope, to test the mass of a galaxy identified as 1255-0.The same way that the sun's gravity determines the orbiting speed of the Earth, the galaxy's gravity, and thus its mass, determines the velocities of the stars inside it. The researchers found that indeed, the galaxy is exceptionally dense. Given its distance of 11 billion light-years, galaxy 1255-0 is seen as it existed 11 billion years ago, less than 3 billion years after the theoretical Big Bang. Among other galaxies we can observe from this time period, about 30 to 40 percent are compact like this one. But in the modern, nearby universe, astronomers don't find anything similar. Somehow, high-mass galaxies from the young universe grow in size but not in mass – they spread out but maintain their overall heft – to become the high-mass galaxies we see today. "It's a bit of a puzzle," van Dokkum told "We think these galaxies must grow through collisions with other galaxies. The weird thing is that these mergers must lead to galaxies that are larger in size but not much more massive. We need a mechanism that grows them in size but not in mass." So far, such a mechanism is elusive, but astronomers have some ideas. Perhaps these galaxies expand their girth by merging with many small, low-mass galaxies. Or maybe these galaxies eventually become the dense central regions of even larger galaxies. "It could also still be that we are doing something wrong," van Dokkum said. "But I think at the moment you could say that the ball is somewhat in the court of the theorists. Hopefully they can come up with some kind of explanation that we can test further."

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Creature Of Lead Island

Mississippi River charts show it as an island a quarter mile wide and two miles long, located near the Iowa shore at mile 387, just above the Lost Creek about two miles above the Santa Fe Bridge. The place's name, Lead island, goes far back into history. When the Indians first gave Julien Dubuque the right to mine their lead in 1788 it created a regular flow of keelboat traffic carrying the precious cargo down the river from the Mines of Spain at Dubuque to St. Louis. One of those heavily laden boats was blown ashore on the island during a sudden storm. The massive weight quickly settled in the mud, and it kept right on sinking. With no way to raise the boat, and no other craft to transfer cargo to, the crew abandoned both the boat and cargo. As far as can be documented, the boat and cargo are still there, giving the island a name that stuck to this day. Lead Island next made news in the 1890's. One night a farmer named Alley, who lived nearby, heard his big Newfoundland dog barking furiously near the river and went to investigate. As he neared the dog, a wild howl of terror and pain came out of the darkness, followed by a violent splashing, then complete silence. Alley could find no trace of his pet, then or in the light of morning He was sure that something must have dragged the huge dog into the water. When the incident was reported by local news, the editor received a letter from a Keokuk traveling man who had been skating on the ice near Lead Island the previous winter. It told of the man being chased by a monster 20 feet long with a shiny black body, a huge gray head, and four short stubby legs. He claimed that when the creature could not catch him on the ice because of its short legs, it slithered back into the water and pursued him under the ice, trying to break through to get him. The terrified fellow skated to shore and ran down the railroad tracks to get away.The letter was published, but given little credence, as it was considered a practical joke. But that wasn't the last report of a monster on Lead Island. The next winter, a hired man working on the nearby Wenke farm was prowling the riverbank opposite the island gathering driftwood for his stove. He heard a growling like that of a dog coming from the island, and looking up to see a long black animal with stubby legs sitting on the island mud. It appeared to be about four feet long and slipped quietly into the water when seen. Since the creature was considerably smaller than those previously sighted, the man figured it had to be the offspring of bigger ones living in a hole or cavern under the island. No one really cared to dispute him for fear of being challenged to go diving to look for the cave. These stories eventually died out and there were no more reports of monsters. But another strange event did occur on Lead Island years later. Early one spring, two hunters were working their boat up through the chute beside the island when they spotted a big chunk of ice with something on it wedged against the shore of the island. That something turned out to be the body of a young woman, lying with sightless eyes staring at the sky and one hand trailing in the icy water. After recovering from their shock, the men tied a line to that hand, towed the ice cake to the Iowa shore and ran for help. The body was found to be that of a women about 35 years old with fine features and rich auburn hair. There were no signs of violence and nothing to help identify the body. The doctor who had examined the body testified before a grand jury that she had died during, or just after the birth of a child, but her identity was never resolved. In recent times the only stories about the island center around the huge mushrooms that can be found there in the spring. Although, with the invention of metal detectors and other electronic gadgets that have revolutionized treasure hunting, there is no doubt about a renewed interest in the buried boat and its treasure.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Permanent 'Ghost' For Lighthouse

The owners of Point of Ayr lighthouse off the Flintshire coast have applied to erect a "human sculpture" inspired by sightings of a ghostly figure. The idea for the 2m (6ft 5in) stainless steel statue came after repeated reports of a man wearing an old-fashioned keeper's coat. The lighthouse has been locked and out of service for more than a century. Flintshire-based owners, Talacre Beach Leisure Group, said it would be a "serious art installation". In recent years, several people have reported seeing the figure at the lighthouse, which is known locally as Talacre Lighthouse. One woman told BBC Wales: "My husband and I were on Talacre beach a couple of years ago and saw a lighthouse keeper at the top of the lighthouse, in front of the glass dome. "He was wearing an old-fashioned dark worsted lighthouse keeper's coat and hat. The lighthouse was locked and chained." She said the figure was "there for quite a while," on a "sunny day" with no mist. She added: "My husband and I can't see how anyone could get there unless they were dropped by helicopter and we would have heard that. "If the person was meant to be there surely they would have had a hard hat on and a fluorescent jacket."The chain round the door was very strong and the padlock was a large one." The lighthouse's owners, Talacre Beach Caravan Sales Ltd, have submitted an application to Flintshire County Council for permission to erect a "2m stainless steel human sculpture affixed to the external balcony and railing of Talacre Lighthouse". The company is seeking planning permission which would need to be renewed every five years. David Middleton, agent for the owners, said: "Because the lighthouse is listed, we have had to make a planning application. "The planning people seem very on board." Mr Middleton said a local artist approached the lighthouse's owner, James McAllister, who agreed to commission a sculpture. He said: "There's been anecdotal evidence over the years of people having seen some sort of figure. "But this will not just be something quirky and short-term, it's a serious art installation off the back of those sightings." He said the sculpture would have a "similar element" to Anthony Gormley's "Another Place" collection of figures on Crosby Beach.

Monday, August 3, 2009

African sorcerer caught

An “African sorcerer” was ambushed and caught on Sunday, the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice announced. The commission said in a statement that members of the Al-Siddiq branch in Jeddah caught the man exploiting the superstitions of a woman after her brother called them. The woman was duped into believing that the man could cast magical spells to get her husband to come back to her after he married a second woman and went to live with her.Narrating the details of the incident, the spokesman of the commission in Makkah province Salim Al-Sarwani said that the sorcerer asked the family to prepare the setting for him at their home so as to come and do the needful checks prior to completing the job. The man asked for SR2,000 to undo the magic the new wife had cast on the husband. Al-Sarwani also said an Asian sorcerer was caught in Makkah while practicing black magic. He did not reveal the name of the sorcerer but said he is an employee of a private company and he has made more than SR250,000 from his confidence racket.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Ghost Scares Students Away From School

Students of a high school in Balasore district on Saturday refused to attend classes, claiming that the building was haunted by a ghost. The students' claim came after 18 girls taken ill at Hidigaon Panchayat High School on Friday just after prayers. The girls were taken to the district headquarters hospital. Doctors said the condition of four students was serious but they are showing signs of improvement. "Manasi, a student of Class IX, was the first to get frightened and started behaving in an erratic manner.Within minutes, two other girls followed suit. They started trembling and vomited before falling unconscious. Later 15 others behaved in a similar fashion forcing us to seek medical help," headmaster Gadadhar Jena said. Describing her ordeal, Ranjita Behera, a student, said, "We had entered the class room after prayers. Suddenly, I experienced a strange sensation in my body and started trembling. I felt as if someone within my body was forcing me to behave erratically." Doctors, however, refused to buy the "ghost theory" and said the students were victims of mass hysteria.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Two-Headed Cow: Freaky Creature Born In Colombia

A cow in the central Colombia Huila department gave birth to a two-headed calf, international media reported. The abnormal calf was born in a village called Rivera in the Huila department. The cow's owner, farmer Marino Cabrera, claims he never saw anything like Jennifer in his life. "She's a very cute thing, beautiful, I see her as a pretty thing that God sent, he sent her as she is," Rosario Leyva, the wife of the farm's caretaker, told local television reporters. Scientists however, doubt a divine intervention and call the special condition Polycephaly. The farmer built a special hammock for the calf to rest it's twice-as-heavy head.