Monday, July 30, 2007

Mystery of the Thunderbird: San Antonio

I've written about the mythological Thunderbird before, but it seems people in modern times keep reporting seeing this giant bird in the sky. What's going on? Is it a long-lost relative of the teronadon, thought to be extinct over 100 million years ago?

In San Antonio, Texas, there have been several recent reports of people seeing a gigantic bird.

Guadalupe Cantu III is one such witness. Ten years ago, he was finishing his paper route with a couple helpers as he had done many mornings before. However, he spotted something huge flying over his car. "We were afraid that it would come at us. So we stayed in the car till it passed this way. This thing's all feathers, all black. Much bigger than me. It looked at us. It had very stooped-up shoulders."

Although experts doubt it's a dinosaur, some believe it just might be a teratorn - the ancestors to modern day condors and vultures.

One of the most famous sightings in San Antonio was from 1976. Three teachers travelling on a deserted road had the unfortunate experien
ce of having a massive winged creature swoop down towards them.

Witness testimony is always questionable. Sometimes, the mind can play tricks on you. I offer up my explanation for all these sightings. Here is what I believe people are seeing in San Antonio:

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Feline Fortune Teller

Oscar, a cat that resides at the Steere House hospice in Providence, R.I. has a very uncanny and amazing ability. Dr. David Dosa has submitted an article to The New England Journal of Medicine describing how Oscar is somehow able to predict when a patient is near death.

Without any help, Oscar will enter the room of a resident. He will then jump on the bed, curl up, and purr. If the hospice staff sees this, they know to call the resident's family...because they know the patient's time is nearing an end. Oscar only exhibits this behavior to patients that are nearing death.

And the cat is 25 for 25. 100% accuracy.

Oscar has been observed doing his "terminal ritual" hours or half a day before a patient passes away. He doesn't do this with patients that are NOT dying soon.

How does he do this?

Many doctors and scientists believe that Oscar is somehow able to smell a certain chemical that is released by a person that will soon expire. Others also think that maybe the cat is mimicking typical nurse behavior. He's been living at the hospice since he was a kitten, for two years. Maybe he sees how a nurse attends to a patient that is dying and is alone. He sees the nurse giving comfort, and he has simply learned this behavior.

Another theory is that maybe Oscar notices that patients that are gravely ill don't move around as much, and he associates that with death.

Regardless of whichever hypothesis is correct, Oscar is one amazing cat.

I just hope a patient suffering from dementia and denial doesn't beat the hell out of the cat thinking it's a modern day Grim Reaper.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Phoenix Podcast - Episode 9

Episode 9 covers the very basics of the UFO phenomenon by covering three landmark cases involving unidentified flying objects. In this episode, I discuss:

The 1947 Roswell Incident
The 1975 Travis Walton Abduction
And the 2000 Illinois UFO Police Chase

I also do a little spoof of the BudLight "Real Men of Genius" commercials. (And yes, that is me singing).

Interesting Links:
Got Fart Problems? Get Flat-D.
The Roswell Witnesses
Travis Walton's Website
St. Louis Post Dispatch Article on Illinois UFO

You can hear the podcast on Toginet at 7 pm Central (Prime Time Baby!), or you can stream it directly from my podcast page HERE. For you iPod owners, it'll download once you open iTunes if you've subscribed to my podcast.

Music by Podsafe Network

Phoenix by Nijole Sparks
Ource by 3vr3n
The Lost Memory by Ambient Light
Spacy Odyssey by Dokapi
Airwaves by Guy David

Monday, July 16, 2007

Don't Spank This Monkey

I remember reading comic books as a kid, and I was fascinated by the plethora of amazing proudcts one could order: X-ray glasses, plastic army men, and booklets that would teach you how to obtain large muscles or be the deadliest man alive. All of these things sounded so great to a 10 year old, but what captured my imagination the most were...

Sea Monkeys.

In the comic books, they were advertised as humanoid-ish creatures, with three horns on their heads, and they looked so damn happy. For a mere $1.25, I would somehow get these creatures in the mail. I wanted my very own "bowl of happiness."

Alas, I never ordered them. Nor did I get the X-ray glasses. But the question remained...

What the hell are Sea Monkeys anyway???

After doing some research, I was astounded to learn that Sea Monkeys are real organisms. Their scientific name is Artemia salina. These things are a type of brachiopod...sorta like brine shrimp. This specific creature is actually patented - U.S. Patent 3,673,986. They were engineered, actually. Sea Monkeys are a hybrid - part brine shrimp, part non-brine shrimp (salty and fresh water shrimp).

But how did kids get living creatures via the mail? Were they frozen in carbonite or something?

The Sea Monkeys were prepared and put into a state of cryptobiosis - or suspended animation. You get the eggs in a little packet, where they're covered with "life crystals." And when you put them into a little tank filled with clean, non-chlorinated water, they begin to hatch and come to life.

So once you get your Sea Monkey colony going, do they reproduce? Oh, you betcha! They can do it sexually or asexually. Imagine what fun kids can have while watching the entire circle of life occur in their little plastic aquariums!

Although I no longer partake in the joy of comic books as an adult, there's something about these Sea Monkeys that still manages to fascinate me. Maybe it's time for me to buy them. Maybe it's time to satisfy that little 10 year old scientist inside of me.

Maybe it's time for me to fulfill my Sea Monkey destiny.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

60th Anniversary of The Roswell Incident...Recent Twist

In July of 1947 something happened that has haunted Americans for 60 years...The UFO Crash at Roswell, New Mexico. For decades, there's been much speculation, rumors, studies, and interviews done to get to the bottom of this mystery.

It all began with a press release on July 8th, 1947 by the Roswell Army Airfield. It began with: "The many rumours regarding the flying disc became a reality yesterday when the intelligence officer of the 509th Bomb Group of the Eighth Air Force, Roswell Army Air Field, was fortunate enough to gain possession of a disc."

This press release originated from Col. William H. Blanchard, commanding officer of the 509th, who dictated it to a Lt. Walter Haut (pictured right). This press release hit the AP wire at noon. Needlesstosay, the shit hit the fan.

Immediately, the military back-peddled and said that the debris from the crashsite was from a very ordinary weather balloon. The following day, the military states that the debris found was nothing but tinfoil and balsa wood from a weather balloon.

Regardless of where you stand on this topic, you'll find the latest twist to the story pretty amazing, if not timely. Lt. Walter Haut, the one that took Col. Blanchard's dictation for the press release, had written a sworn affidavit. It was to be opened only after his death.

Haut passed away last year, and the affidavit was finally opened. Here it is:


DATE: December 26, 2002
WITNESS: Chris Xxxxxx
NOTARY: Beverlee Morgan

(1) My name is Walter G. Haut

(2) I was born on June 2, 1922

(3) My address is 1405 W. 7th Street, Roswell, NM 88203

(4) I am retired.

(5) In July, 1947, I was stationed at the Roswell Army Air Base in Roswell, New Mexico, serving as the base Public Information Officer. I had spent the 4th of July weekend (Saturday, the 5th, and Sunday, the 6th) at my private residence about 10 miles north of the base, which was located south of town.

(6) I was aware that someone had reported the remains of a downed vehicle by midmorning after my return to duty at the base on Monday, July 7. I was aware that Major Jesse A. Marcel, head of intelligence, was sent by the base commander, Col. William Blanchard, to investigate.

(7) By late in the afternoon that same day, I would learn that additional civilian reports came in regarding a second site just north of Roswell. I would spend the better part of the day attending to my regular duties hearing little if anything more.

(8) On Tuesday morning, July 8, I would attend the regularly scheduled staff meeting at 7:30 a.m. Besides Blanchard, Marcel; CIC [Counterintelligence Corp] Capt. Sheridan Cavitt; Col. James I. Hopkins, the operations officer; Lt. Col. Ulysses S. Nero, the supply officer; and from Carswell AAF in Fort Worth, Texas, Blanchard's boss, Brig. Gen. Roger Ramey and his chief of staff, Col. Thomas J. Dubose were also in attendance. The main topic of discussion was reported by Marcel and Cavitt regarding an extensive debris field in Lincoln County approx. 75 miles NW of Roswell. A preliminary briefing was provided by Blanchard about the second site approx. 40 miles north of town. Samples of wreckage were passed around the table. It was unlike any material I had or have ever seen in my life. Pieces which resembled metal foil, paper thin yet extremely strong, and pieces with unusual markings along their length were handled from man to man, each voicing their opinion. No one was able to identify the crash debris.

(9) One of the main concerns discussed at the meeting was whether we should go public or not with the discovery. Gen. Ramey proposed a plan, which I believe originated from his bosses at the Pentagon. Attention needed to be diverted from the more important site north of town by acknowledging the other location. Too many civilians were already involved and the press already was informed. I was not completely informed how this would be accomplished.

(10) At approximately 9:30 a.m. Col. Blanchard phoned my office and dictated the press release of having in our possession a flying disc, coming from a ranch northwest of Roswell, and Marcel flying the material to higher headquarters. I was to deliver the news release to radio stations KGFL and KSWS, and newspapers the Daily Record and the Morning Dispatch.

(11) By the time the news release hit the wire services, my office was inundated with phone calls from around the world. Messages stacked up on my desk, and rather than deal with the media concern, Col Blanchard suggested that I go home and "hide out."

(12) Before leaving the base, Col. Blanchard took me personally to Building 84 [AKA Hangar P-3], a B-29 hangar located on the east side of the tarmac. Upon first approaching the building, I observed that it was under heavy guard both outside and inside. Once inside, I was permitted from a safe distance to first observe the object just recovered north of town. It was approx. 12 to 15 feet in length, not quite as wide, about 6 feet high, and more of an egg shape. Lighting was poor, but its surface did appear metallic. No windows, portholes, wings, tail section, or landing gear were visible.

(13) Also from a distance, I was able to see a couple of bodies under a canvas tarpaulin. Only the heads extended beyond the covering, and I was not able to make out any features. The heads did appear larger than normal and the contour of the canvas suggested the size of a 10 year old child. At a later date in Blanchard's office, he would extend his arm about 4 feet above the floor to indicate the height.

(14) I was informed of a temporary morgue set up to accommodate the recovered bodies.

(15) I was informed that the wreckage was not "hot" (radioactive).

(16) Upon his return from Fort Worth, Major Marcel described to me taking pieces of the wreckage to Gen. Ramey's office and after returning from a map room, finding the remains of a weather balloon and radar kite substituted while he was out of the room. Marcel was very upset over this situation. We would not discuss it again.

(17) I would be allowed to make at least one visit to one of the recovery sites during the military cleanup. I would return to the base with some of the wreckage which I would display in my office.

(18) I was aware two separate teams would return to each site months later for periodic searches for any remaining evidence.

(19) I am convinced that what I personally observed was some type of craft and its crew from outer space.

(20) I have not been paid nor given anything of value to make this statement, and it is the truth to the best of my recollection.

Signed: Walter G. Haut
December 26, 2002

Signature witnessed by:
Chris Xxxxxxx

[Source: Tom Carey & Donald Schmitt, Witness to Roswell, 2007]


Some personal notes:

(6) Maj. Jesse Marcel is the officer shown in the famous picture, holding pieces of a weather balloon. He was Roswell's scapegoat and was portrayed as an idiot that couldn't tell the difference between tin foil and balsa wood and wreckage from a UFO.

(8) Holy conspiracy, Batman! This section is a huge revelation. Two things: #1 - There was a SECOND crash site. #2 - Haut testifies that he handled some of the "metal" from the wreckage.

(12) Incredible. Here, Haut said that Col. Blanchard took him to see the actual craft.

(13) And Haut saw the bodies!

(19) Haut truly believes what he saw was not of this Earth.

You can believe what you want to believe. Is this yet another piece of the puzzle? Or is it a hoax? Regardless, you have to agree that the fact that Haut didn't want this sworn and notarized statement to be made public until AFTER his death makes his statements very compelling.

More to follow, folks...

60th Anniversary of The Roswell Incident...Recent Twist

On July 2nd, 1947 something happened that would change

Sunday, July 1, 2007

The Rubber Duckies Are Landing!

15 years ago in 1992, rubber ducks - known as Friendly Floaties - were being shipped from Hong Kong to the US when three 40 foot containers fell into the Pacific Ocean after a storm. It sent nearly 30,000 rubber duckies out into the perilous waters.

20,000 of them went southward...washing ashore several months later in Australia, Indonesia, and even South America.

For the remaining 10,000 Friendly Floaties, their journey was just beginning. This Rubber Armada went north, lazily floating towards Alaska and the Beiring Strait. There, they met the harsh Arctic Ice. Incredibly, they managed to move a mile per day while frozen in ice, continuing their amazing North-West route towards the Atlantic Ocean.

Curtis Ebbesmeyer, (pictured left) an oceanographer based out of Seattle, has been tracking them from the very beginning. He and other scientists have been very interested in the Friendly Floaties' journey, tracking their route and using that information to learn more about global ocean currents.

“They are a nice tracer for what the currents are doing as they travel around the world, and currents are what determines our climate, and cycles of carbon," said Simon Boxall, of the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, UK.

After the ducks survived the Arctic Ice, it was in 2000 when they were tracked in the North Atlantic. In 2001, they were found to be floating right over the area where the Titanic sank. Seems like the mighty vessel has nothin' on these rubber ducks!

They continued to float, and in 2003, scientists thought the Rubber Armada might make shore on America's Atlantic coast. The manufacturer, The First Years Inc. then put a bounty on each duckies head worth a $100 savings bond! (Only for those found in New England, Iceland, and Canada). Many scientists that this was going to be the end of the Rubber Armada's odyssey.

They were wrong. The rubber duckies that didn't wash up in the US have continued to travel in the Atlantic, and 17,000 miles and 15 years later are now heading towards Britain. They have lost their color, but these tough little ducks are still going strong.

Will they indeed hit the British beaches in the coming days? Computer models say it will happen. How about those Friendly Floaties that don't come ashore?

Their amazing voyage will continue...
Unless another certain cute toy gets jealous and manages to sabotage the trip...