Monday, November 28, 2011

The Point Pleasant Phenomena And Other Flying Oddities

I just realized it's been months since I actually did what I meant to with this. Time to fix that. I'm going with a subject I've found really interesting for a long time, the Point Pleasant Phenomena. You may know it as Mothman.

The story of the Point Pleasant Phenomena (I prefer to call it this, because there was more to it than Mothman.) starts right around now, back in 1966 in the small city of Point Pleasant, West Virginia. On the night of November 15, four people driving through an abandoned munitions plant known locally as the TNT Area spotted a bizarre figure in the dark. They would later describe it as a "flying man with glowing red eyes and ten-foot wings." It would be easy at this point to write the incident off as the product of imagination gone wild. But the story is only starting. Sighting reports continued through the week, with reports of the creature terrorizing dogs, flying over houses, and generally harassing everything surrounding the TNT Area. These and other unexplained phenomena kept up for over a year. Connected events include UFOs, encounters with the fabled "Men in Black" detailed here, and the fascinating encounter just prior to the beginning of these events on Highway 77.

The Highway 77 incident is possibly one of the most interesting mysteries I've ever come across. On November 2, 1966, a man driving down the I-77 heading into Point Pleasant was confronted with a strange sight. A large, egg-shaped flying craft descended from the sky, landing near his car. As anyone would do, the man stopped. The craft opened up, and a tall man in an unusual jumpsuit exited it. This figure proceeded to approach the stopped car, and begin what is assumed to be a telepathic exchange. The man identified himself as "Indrid Cold", and asked the driver a short series of questions. What exactly was said is hazy, but once the "conversation" ended, Cold re-entered his craft and left at a high rate of speed. This incident remains relatively unknown outside the unexplained community, and I fully believe it warrants further investigation.

A supposed entity on a bridge, location unknown.
The Point Pleasant phenomena came to a head in late 1967. The sightings tapered off over the summer, but came roaring back in December. On the 15th of December, the Silver Bridge, connecting Point Pleasant to Kanauga, Ohio over the Ohio River, collapsed. This accident cost the lives of 44 people, with an additional 2 never found. That same night, over a dozen unusual lights were spotted above the TNT Area, in addition to a number of Men in Black sightings. There' not much doubt that the Point Pleasant phenomena and the Silver Bridge collapse were related somehow. As for how, that's another matter. I personally think it was some sort of omen.

Believe it or not, this wasn't the first time an avian creature with glowing eyes was seen at the site of a tremendous loss of life, nor would it be the last. Two other incidents seem to relate strongly to this phenomenon, both taking place in Easter Europe, oddly. The headless horrors of the Crimean War, and the Black Bird of Chernobyl.

A flying entity supposedly seen in NYC on 9/11/01.
In April 1986, citizens of the city of Pripyat, Ukraine, reported seeing a creature nearly identical to the descriptions of the Point Pleasant Mothman, a tall, headless winged being. Records of these sightings are somewhat difficult to find for two reasons: one, the wall of silence imposed by the Soviet Union, and two, the catastrophic events of April 26, 1986. Of course everyone is familiar with this event by now, so I'll pare the information down to the barest essentials. On April 26, at 0123 local time, the V.I Lenin Nuclear Power Station, known to all now as Chernobyl, experienced an uncontrolled criticality incident resulting in a core meltdown and breach, caused by a steam explosion. 360,000 people were evacuated following the incident. Among the stories that came to light afterwards is a particularly terrifying one. A number of workers who survived the explosion (only to die of radiation poisoning) reported seeing an enormous black figure flying through the pillars of smoke and steam above the breached reactor. These reports are again difficult/impossible to verify, but they seem as credible to me as anything else.

V.I Lenin Reactor, December 1986.
The creatures of the Crimean War are a different, albeit similar story. The descriptions of it (or  them) are varied, and for obvious reasons, impossible to verify. Some claim it was a headless crow, others immense flesh-eating bats, and still more relate it to Mothman. What's known is that on March 15, year unspecified, a truce was declared between the British and Russian armies. However, a small band of Russian soldiers planned to take advantage of the ceasefire to raid a British encampment at midnight. When the group found themselves approximately halfway between the Russian and British lines, something truly bizarre happened. The skies above them turned pitch black, revealing an immense silhouette that the only survivor would later describe as a massive, headless bird. The leader ordered the rest to keep moving towards the British line, but it seems they'd lost their way and become turned back towards the Russian camp. As they approached, all but one were shot by sentries. At least, this is one version of the story. The other claims that the soldiers were Turks, not Russians, and replaces the single beast with an apparent swarm of bat-like creatures.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Whale Job, Ears and Cold

So the temperature hasn't gotten much above zero since last week, the full skull is sort of on hold. And by that I mean I'm trying to figure out what the hell to do with a foul-smelling chunk of greasy bone for the next 6-8 months. And there's still rebuilding the jaw and filling a few places besides. I did, however, figure out what the two small bits floating around the tub were. I'd assumed they were teeth, but no. Apparently they're tympanic bones, which house the smaller ear bits that you've probably read about in biology class. Sizes vary depending on the species. A blue whale's are roughly the size of your fist. These are about an inch or two long. Asymmetric, which has me wondering if they've been damaged, but from a quick look under peroxide it doesn't look that way. I pulled them out of the ice on the bottom of the tub and soaked them in hot water for a while before dropping them in a plastic thing of 3% hydrogen peroxide.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Whale Job: More Cleaning

This cleaning thing is proving to be really, really not fun. I mean, getting hypothermic the first time I tried to remove the head was more fun than this is. I've been switching the water on it whenever the opportunity comes up, so once every couple days. Starting to be difficult now, as it's nearly November, cold makes the process significantly slower. There's been barely any change in its state since early October on account of it being anywhere from 10°C to -5°C. And snowing. But that's not really relevant. Anyhow, I pulled out the most cohesive bits to scrub today. It was...unpleasant to say the least. On the upside, the braincase is clear, which I was rather concerned about. The downside is that I believe the skull may be spawning an Elder Thing, as it's covered in worm-like protrusions. God, I hope it's an Elder Thing, because otherwise it's some kinda bone maggots, and that's horrifying. The jaw sockets are terrifying as well, infested with whatever the hell the worm things are. What I'm going to do with it...okay, I have honestly no idea at this point. It's a foul-smelling wormy mess of bones that still need to be worked over, degreased and have any remaining flesh removed. And bleaching, but I figure I may just let that go by sunlight. Not like the birds are going to carry it off.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Whale Job, Cleaning

So the ammonia idea was a no-go. Couldn't get enough, and even if I could I'd have needed more. Time for plan B. Extended soaking in water and enzyme-based laundry detergent. Might take a while, but seems to be working so far. But the's quite literally worse than when I was sawing the thing off in the first place. I choked a few times, and had to get upwind from it.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Whale Job, Part 8

Somebody stole my box. What in the name of god would posses somebody to dump whale bones out of a Rubbermaid tub to take it continues to baffle me, but it's gone. Not that I particularly care, because that box was a writeoff from the first moment the head was in it, but I just have to ask why. I bought a new box and decided it was about time I took the whole mess home before anyone got the idea to make off with the interesting bits. Wrapped in garbage bags, the new box with the skull inside it was brought home. It's currently sitting behind the shed, waiting on the ammonia to clean it. Once that's done, I've got to figure out a way to repair one jaw segment that's been gnawed by bears.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Whale Job: Vertebrae And Other Notes

Smells great.
Since I don't have the skull bought up from the prior location yet, this week's entry is a couple side projects to this mess. Specifically, the preparation of a few vertebrae. I had a few requests for smaller bones, and at least one vertebra. So over Labour Day weekend I visited what's left of the carcass where it was found originally. It's half-buried and heavily decayed, and bears a positively uncanny resemblance to SCP-682. I pulled three vertebrae. One for the original request, one for the family, and a spare in case I screw one up, which is probably going to wind up being a personal one.

The boiling rig.

I decided to go with a different method to clean these. Boiling. Bought a few 1-pound propane tanks and went outside on a gloomy Wednesday afternoon to boil them over a Coleman stove. A couple notes about that: 1) heated whale bone smells absolutely awful. 2) Coleman stoves have no heating capability. The water never actually boiled fully. But a bit of dish soap and a couple hours is good enough for me. After that, they were rinsed in cold water. Then came the interesting part. Whitening them up. Most every source I'd read suggested hydrogen peroxide, so I tried that. Results were negative. As in nothing happened. At all. 3% solution apparently isn't the ideal for bleaching. So I decided to try something else.

After a short time in the strong solution.
Now, before anybody gets on me about this, I know it's not the best of ideas. But I don't have the time or resources to get enough 35% peroxide to do this, so I used plain household bleach. A strong solution that was diluted quickly. This did work, quite well in fact. Left to bleach out for a couple hours before I decided they were done enough. They were then soaked out overnight in a bath of warm water that was changed 4 times. This seems to have stopped any possible damage, as they look fine right now. Interesting fact, apparently cats find whale bones very interesting.

See what I have to deal with?
Once they'd soaked out overnight, the next issue is drying and sealing. That was relatively simple, actually. Drying was accomplished by leaving the specimens on an outdoor table for a few days to air-dry. Sealing was slightly more difficult, meaning I actually had to buy something. A can of spray-on lacquer. That was applied today, with what I'm guessing are good results. I may put another coat or two on, I'm not sure yet. Either way, it was quicker than I'd expected.

Now, about the rest of the operation. The skull is still where I left it, because I need a couple things before I pick it up. Most specifically, a few gallons of ammonia. Planning to contact an industrial supply house for this, because 10-15 gallons of ammonia would be a difficult thing to find otherwise. Once that's been acquired, I'm going to soak the bones in a water/ammonia solution for a few days or weeks to draw out as much grease as possible. As for whitening the skull itself, I don't plan on using bleach, as it's too risky. Another trip to the industrial supply place for a load of peroxide. When all that's been done, the hard part is mostly over. From there, I'll need to fix the damaged jaw segment, articulate the whole mess, and mount it. If all goes to plan this will be done in time for Christmas.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Whale Job, Episode 7

Bears. It had to be bears, didn't it. First we run a Toyota into one, and now they're around the skull. Well, they've always been around it. But I actually saw one in the process of fleeing today. Apparently they got to it more than I'd thought, because the left jawbone segment is in about four pieces with gnaw marks on it. Figure I'll bolt it back together with some 1/8 steel or something. Aside from that, it's doing great. Gathered up all the bits I could find and put them back in the box. No teeth, though. Going to haul it up next time I get a chance and start the degreasing process, which should be really fun. I'm thinking I'll take the tub and fill it 50/50 with water and ammonia, and leave it for a while.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Whale Job, Part 6

So I missed an interval because of vacation. Technically this is the 7th two-week period, but whatever. All I care about is how well it's progressed. And by that I mean it's going great. I'd give it another month before I can bleach it and seal it.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

An amusing side-note to the Whale Job

So I've been trawling the usual sources, and I come across a picture of a "sea monster" that washed up in Aberdeen, Scotland. So of course I check it out a bit further. Apparently this isn't the only place that's had a dead pilot whale wash up and make life strange for the local population. Only thing is that the response of the couple who found this one was "what the [EXPLETIVE DELETED] is that", not "hey look a dead whale, I'm going to decapitate it." Looks like I know where I'm going for vacation. Only thing is that this one's a bit bigger than the one I worked with, given at 30 feet long, although I'm doubting that from the comparison pictures . But given the state of decay, I'm thinking it'd be a good bit easier to take the skull off this one. Could also be a killer whale, they look rather similar to pilot whales, but to me at least it looks a good bit smaller than a killer whale would be.

Thirty feet, yeah right. No bigger than the one I found.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Extraterrestrial Life

Actually, I already do, but this is still a great poster.
Yeah, it was bound to come up sooner or later. Call it what you want, but humans have always been fascinated with the idea of intelligent life that isn't us. Scientifically speaking, it's practically guaranteed that there are more intelligent civilizations in the universe than us. Hell, there are probably more in our own galaxy. Only problem is finding them. So far we've really not got much proof of alien life, let alone sapient aliens. Sure, there's the Wow! Signal, and the Viking lander results, but none of that's conclusive.

Coming from a purely scientific viewpoint, it's given that there are other intelligent civilizations out there. I refer you all to a terrifying-looking mathematical bit called the Drake Equation. N=R•Fp•Ne•Fl•Fi•Fc•L. Nasty-looking, innit? It's actually really simple if you break it down. The full explanation is this: The number of civilizations we can detect = The rate of star formation • stars that form planets • number of planets capable of supporting life • planets that develop life • planets that develop intelligent life • life that can communicate on an interplanetary scale • period of time the civilization exists for. Example: so far Earth is the only planet known to support life. Humans have been knocking around this dirtball for millions of years, but we couldn't really communicate with (theoretically, at least) an extrasolar civilization until the 1950s. And since then we've come damn close to eradicating ourselves more times than I care to think of. Say the Cuban Missile Crisis turned into a full nuclear war. That's 20 years from the development of nuclear weapons to our extinction, and about 10 years of blasting signals out into space. There's no way we're the only civilization to do something like that.

Now, the harder part about alien life is whether or not we've talked to them, so to speak. The number of phenomena associated with alien life is positively stupid. UFOs, Roswell, "telepathic communication", alien abduction...the list is ridiculously long. I tend to cut that down quite a bit. I figure most UFO sightings are either atmospheric anomalies or military test craft (that's not to say there haven't been aliens over Earth, but they're not as common as you might think). Telepathic communication is a load of bunk as far as I'm concerned. I've got a few ideas on Roswell I'll mention later. As for abductions, I think a race advanced enough to travel between solar systems probably have better things to do than go around probing us primates. Now, that's not to say I don't think that someone somewhere knows the truth about alien life, but there are too many idiotic conspiracies out there to get into on that.

The exact biology of extraterrestrials is also rather contested. The most common reports are, of course, the Greys, as made popular in dozens of sci-fi movies and TV shows. About four feet tall, big eyes, no nose, tiny mouth, and grey to greenish skin. Associated with the abduction phenomenon quite often. Another popular one (thanks to that maniac David Icke) is the Reptilian. Standing anywhere between 6 and 10 feet tall, covered in scales and looking distinctly lizardy, the Reptoids as they're also known are said to be carnivorous and may eat human flesh. Bit of a stretch of the imagination far as I'm concerned. Next up are the Nordics, known by about a dozen alternate names. Tall humans with blond hair and blue eyes. Of course, there are probably more types of alien than we can imagine, but those three are the most common.

A Grey. Not that I need a picture for these guys.
The Greys are quite popular, and are often mentioned in conjunction with the star system Zeta
Reticuli, a binary solar system approximately 39 light-years from earth. There's no actual evidence that there are any planets in the ζ Reticuli system, but that doesn't stop anyone. Many reports put them as either one of two archetypes: sadistic researchers with a deep interest in probing human bodily cavities, or "saviours from the stars", here to save mankind from ourselves. A lot of reports put them as being able to communicate telepathically. I've got a theory on this. The large eyes and heads that define this race point to one of two things: a semi-aquatic nature, or evolution in a dark environment. Large eyes with immense pupils (assuming they even have pupils), and a bulbous head housing a sonar organ would both help immensely in navigating a dark world, one of mostly water, or an underground habitat. Sonar/echolocation abilities could also explain the tendency to communication without a familiar (to us, at least) vocal method.

A Reptilian. Or a bad acid trip, you decide.
Next up we've got the Reptilians, or Reptoids if you want to believe the ramblings of David Icke (can you tell I hate him yet?). The only reference to a "home" I can find for them is orbiting Thuban, but I suspect Icke picked that due to its alternate name, Alpha Draconis. Either way, they're supposedly huge, in the 7-12' range, green, and scaly. Some are reported to have small vestigial wings. These turn up in the much-maligned (for good reason) "Dulce Papers". This report (actually a series of interviews with a man claiming to have been a security officer at an underground base in Dulce, New Mexico) also suggest that they're carnivorous, with a taste for human. Others put them as being from the "inner earth", also home to Nazis, flying saucers, and any number of things that should be extinct. Either way, tall and scaly is the way to go. That dimwit Icke figures they've been controlling civilization for a long time. Also, they can shapeshift. Notable on his list of figures who are actually giant lizards are the Queen (and most of the royal family), Dick Cheney (now that one I can almost believe), Donald Rumsfeld, and anyone else with any kind of power. I personally think he's nuts, but whatever. Anyways, on to what I figure they are. The idea of the earth being hollow is utterly absurd, and I discount anything David Icke has ever supported, so onto my own crazy ideas. I go with the theory that there are an infinite number of parallel universes. Apparently in one the K-T event never happened, and the rather large lizards that once ruled our planet didn't go extinct. From there you've got two possibilities: either they invented inter-dimensional travel with that 65 million year headstart on us, or there's some leakage between dimensions. Either way, chances are they don't run the world.

An entity whose name I'm not typing out.

Finally, we come to the Nordics. Supposedly coming to us direct from the Pleiades, a rather massive star cluster around 130 parsecs from earth. They basically look like anyone you might meet while touring the northern bits of Europe. Tall, blond hair, blue eyes, and considered to be our "space brothers" in many strange New Age religions (or what passes for a religion in that heap of mental slag). Sound pretty much like the idealized "Aryan race" Adolf Hitler and his merry band of madmen were aiming for to me, so I really don't want to get into that garbage. Ever. If you choose to go that way, chances are the Pleiadeans are the ones who seeded earth with life. Another idea I've head that's rather interesting, or would be minus the hollow earth/Antarctic Nazi survival ideas is that they're actually humans in advanced aircraft. Specifically,  the first reported alien abduction may have been them, as Barney Hill described them as "Nazis in uniforms". I like to think it's just a cabal of Scandinavian geniuses who like messing with the rest of us, but since that's utterly ridiculous, I guess I'll just go with the space explanation.

So that's that. A general overview of my theories on the top three alien races. And no Star Wars references, how much better can it get? And as someone (I think it was probably Leonard Nimoy) once said, keep watching the skies!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Whale Job, Updates 4 and 5

Yes, I'm behind. Deal with it. So today it's a two-parter. Doing the pre-mentioned two-week checks. This one's for the June 30th, and July 16th.

June 30: went down mid-afternoon.  It's been flipped over again, now back to left side down (point of reference being looking at it front to back, with the cut point at the rear). Looks like one of the mandible sections has been detached, probably from where it was rolled. Gotta be bears, what else is going to touch this thing?

The mandible fragment (I think)

And today, July 16th. Warm temperatures seem to be speeding the process up quite well. The oil-filled sonar organ (melon) seems to have deflated significantly, and a number of bones are showing. No movement that I can see. Black stain of various decay fluids noted around object, about three feet in diameter.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Whale Job, Episode Three

Checked on it again today (June 19 in case the date function breaks). Real improvement over last time, bone showing all over. And man does this thing stink. Aside: I learned that the road into it is utterly painful on foot.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Men In Black

No, not the movies. I'm talking about a number of bizarre phenomena reported from all over the world, in a number of situations. There are three classifications that I can see. One is the "men in black" reported occasionally in conjunction with UFO reports. They're human-looking, if a little odd, drive late-model, brand new black Lincoln Town Cars, and often sound robotic or otherwise unusual. Second are what are currently referred to as the "Slender Man", tall humanoids with unusual features (exceedingly long limbs, lack of facial features, etc...). The third has a much deeper history, a number of names, and not many substantiated reports: the Grinning Man.

I'll start with the familiar ones. The Men in Black. The general story for them is that their mission is to harass and threaten UFO witnesses to ensure their silence. A lot of people peg them as government agents, but I'm a bit hesitant to accept that. Back in the 1950s I could see government interviews of witnesses under Project Blue Book and the Condon Committee, but that wasn't the "keep your mouth shut or bad things are gonna happen" sort of thing. Back then the US government were actively interested in the UFO phenomenon, and gathered reams of top-secret data on it. Since then they've really dropped out of it. And if you think about it, what do world governments have to gain from suppressing UFO reports? I favour a somewhat different approach. The only "people" with something to gain from keeping UFOs quiet would be whoever is flying them. Now, that doesn't mean that all UFO reports are alien craft, but about 100 gathered by Project Blue Book have yet to be explainable. Add to that the unusual manner of the MIBs, and there's a definite basis for them being affiliated with extraterrestrial life, or even being some form of alien themselves.

A possible Slenderman ritual site
Next up is what inspired this post. The Slenderman phenomenon. I use that name, originated on Something Awful, because it's recognizable, and descriptive. Tall, lanky, strangely-formed, and quite often considered an urban legend, beings of this description are fairly common through history. A good starting place would be the skeletal beings depicted as personifications of Death in the medieval "danse macabre" woodcuts. From the plague years, the "doctors" who attempted to treat the Black Death bear a striking resemblance to it. Between then and now things get a bit fuzzy, historical accounts being what they are and all. It seems, however, that in recent years the sighting of similar beings have been on an upsweep thanks to the availability of information on the internet. Of course, some of these can be attributed to wanting a good story to tell, but I figure there's something out there, and whatever it is, it's tall. I really don't have much to go on for a theory here. Best guess is either interdimensional or some sort of human sub-species.

Finally, there's the Grinning Man. This one gets a bit creepy. Reports of an eerie grinning figure go back to the beginnings of human history, possibly coming from the alternate meaning of what we consider a smile. What's considered an expression of happiness is construed as a threat by most primates, and you can see a similar baring-of-the-teeth response in frightened animals such as dogs and cats. Of course, there's also the resemblance of a pale, grinning human to the familiar Death's Head skull, or Totenkopf. For the purposes of this, I'm going to focus on a single report of the Grinning Man, the 1966 "Indrid Cold" incident. This one's become heavily associated with the Mothman sightings in the same area, culminating in the Silver Bridge collapse. On November 2, 1966, a man driving down the I-77 near Point Pleasant, West Virginia. An unusual flying craft appeared near his car, and the Grinning Man proceeded to exit it and "speak" to him via telepathy or some other nonverbal communication. A short exchange followed, in which the "man" identified himself as Indrid Cold. The exact details of what transpired there are rather sketchy, but suffice to say it was distinctly unnerving for all involved. This is one of the few times I don't think there's what you'd call a "terrestrial" explanation for what happened. Given the history, and the events afterwards, I'm inclined to consider Cold and the Mothman (that's another post there) to be connected, and a sort of omen or token.

Dedicated to and written for a friend.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Whale Job, Update 1

 Site checked out again as of June 5 2011. Decay very evident, but no movement noted. The box has been flipped upright, however. No insect larvae noted. Decomposition seems to be proceeding as planned.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Whale Job, or I Am Ahab

A break from the usual fodder for a while, since I'm slightly out of ideas. Don't worry, the usual supernatural schedule will return in due time. And this is pretty weird as well.

The specimen, as found.
 So, back in mid-April, around the 23rd by my records, I found something weird floating in a stream on North Side Beach, approximately halfway between the towns of Eastport and Clay Cove. Looked like a log at first, but closer examination revealed it to be some kind of biological thing. After the thought of it being a monstrous trout crossed my mind (and was summarily dismissed), I came to the conclusion that it was some kind of whale or dolphin. After a bit of examination, and some searching of references, I determined it to be a long-finned pilot whale (Globicephala melas), locally known as a pothead whale, a fairly common species of dolphin. How it wound up in a freshwater stream continues to baffle me, but I Occam's Razor would dictate that it washed ashore on a high tide and was pushed down into the brook. The first idea to cross my mind was that I'd love to have the thing's skull, which means waiting for a while as it rots away and hope the thing is still there. After some thought, I decided to...uh, retrieve the head myself and keep it safe. On the 26th of April, we went to give it a shot.

The kit.
The first attempt at retrieval was a mess. Both literally and figuratively. Done on a budget of approximately $60, with exactly zero knowledge (practically at least) of what I was doing, I set out on a quest to decapitate the thing. That didn't go so well. The thing proved to be a bit bigger than I'd bargained for, and the tools I'd chosen were not really that great. Specifically, a dull skinning knife and a 21" bow saw were some bad choices. The saw, while preforming quite well on the fleshier bits, snagged as a result of the design on the bone. The knife just sucked. Compounding the issue was the weather. Specifically, it was cold, with a heavy wind off the water, and driving rain. And of course my plans to seal my gear with duct tape failed miserably, so I wound up with half the stream in my gloves and boots. Oh, did I forget to mention the smell? For something that's been sitting in a clean, icy cold stream it stank like...well, like a dead whale. After much sawing and more blubber than any man should ever have to deal with, I struck a problem. The thing's spinal column. The saw wouldn't cut it, and with hypothermia setting in (no, I'm not exaggerating, I actually was mildly hypothermic), I gave up, rather dejected. A second expedition was planned for some time in the future, once I defrosted.

A wonderful glamour shot.
The second try went a lot better. First off, I was better equipped. Saw with unidirectional teeth to reduce snagging, a full suit of chest waders to stay dry, various ropes and grapples, and a V8 pickup truck. We decided that it would be a much better idea to tow the forequarters of the specimen ashore and do the cutting there. A length of braided nylon rope was run through the original incision, as can be seen in the provided image. I managed a crude slipknot into the rope, and by some miracle it didn't snap under 245 horsepower. Of course, all cameras were forgotten on the expedition when we actually got the damn thing. Anyhow, we got it ashore with relative ease, and I went to work. Oddly enough it didn't smell quite as bad. With a significant amount of effort, cutting of a vertebra, and more application of horsepower, we detached the head. Another problem soon presented itself, however. The damned thing weighed over 200 pounds, and all we had was a big Rubbermaid box. Keep in mind this had to be moved from the ground four feet up into the pan of a truck. Lifting it directly in would've been possible, but the box would've split open. Improvisation time. Using locally-available materials (AKA a big stick), we fashioned a crude ramp and grunted it aboard.

The head, as of mid-May.
The next problem was what to do with it. We discussed a number of ideas, but most of them proved rather unfeasible due to the thing's size and horrific smell. We eventually settled on the time-tested trick of "dump it the hell out of the truck, drive like scalded apes, let nature take care of it and hope nobody makes off with it". We picked a location in the absolute middle of nowhere, a nameless woods road halfway between Northern Arm and Point Leamington, a half mile off the highway. Current plan is to allow it to decay naturally for a time, and dose it with quicklime at some point. At present, it's on location. There's been some noted animal activity in the area, including something, likely a bear, rolling it over and away from the box. Checks planned every two weeks, give or take. Updates when I get'em.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Bermuda Triangle

A lot has been written about the mysteries surrounding the famous Bermuda Triangle, and I'm not going to get into all of it here. There's simply not enough space or time to cover every insane theory or what-have-you out there. I'm going to be focusing on the epicentre of the phenomena, which seems to be located around the island of Bimini in the Bahamas.

 I'm going to assume you've all heard something about the Bermuda Triangle, since it's one of the most publicized paranormal phenomena out there. But a quick rundown: the Bermuda Triangle is a rather large area, encompassing most of the Bahama region, with the "points" generally given at Miami, the city of San Juan in Puerto Rico, and the island of Bermuda. Some reports extend it inland to connect with the Mapimí "zone of silence" in central Mexico. In any case, the area is littered with wrecked ships, crashed aircraft and mysterious disappearances. Explanations have ranged from exaggeration by authors, to methane bubbles, to alien abductions. Some of the more famous cases linked to it are the Flight 19 disappearance in which 5 Avenger torpedo bombers disappeared without a trace, and the USS Cyclops disaster of 1918 in which a coal ship carrying 306 crewmen vanished during a crossing bound for Saint-Nazare, France.

 My focus for the purposes of this article will be the islands of Bimini and the surrounding area, a hotspot for anomalous energy fields, strange lights and wrecks (some of which can be attributed to the reefs ringing the island). It's also home to the famous Bimini Road, an unusual underwater formation bearing more than a passing resemblance to a paved road. A significant portion of the island of South Bimini is undeveloped tropical forest, surrounded by unusual magnetic and electrical anomalies. It's eminently possible to get lost in this forest even if you have a compass and knowledge of the area, as compasses spin out of control and the very forest seems to turn on itself in a great labyrinth. The reason for these anomalies is currently unknown, but I believe there is a correlation between the Bermuda triangle, the Devil's Sea in the Pacific, and the so-called "lost continents" of Mu, Lemuria and Atlantis.

Specifically, I believe all the legends refer to a single location or civilization, spanning from approximately 15,000 BCE to 9000 BCE. What wiped out this civilization is unknown, and nothing truly confirms it yet, but widespread evidence and legend support a highly-advanced group (or groups) on Earth prior to the standard date of civilization's foundation, approximately 4000 BCE in southern Mesopotamia (the city-state of Sumeria, in what is now Iraq). Evidence has been found all across the world of some form of Tier-1 civilization between the modern-day Tropics. Examples include the Olmec stone heads, the Pyramids, a number of technologies referenced in the Indian Mahabharata, and the Annunaki in Sumerian myth. This civilization may have been extraterrestrial in origin, as posited by many ancient astronaut theorists, but I'm inclined to believe in a primarily terrestrial origin. That's not to say we've not had contact with alien intelligences in the past (and even to today), but I think it's completely possible that somewhere humans advanced to a point beyond our technology level today in the period between the first evolution of Homo sapiens  and the birth of civilization. How they achieved this is unknown, but I do believe in some form of external intervention, be it intentional or not.

This is where my theories start to diverge from both conventional science and paranormal research. The world's tropical regions seem to be a hotbed of unexplained phenomena, as well as immense breakthroughs in science (see: the Maya, discovery of the Chicxulub crater). I figure there's something to this. To cut straight to the point, I think that there have been either landings of extraterrestrial craft (or crashes) along the equator, or the intentional placement of relics from an as-yet unknown ancient civilization. Either way this would mean the remnants of advanced technology buried deep beneath our planet's surface. I personally favour the crash theory. The energy on impact of an extraterrestrial craft travelling at the immense velocities required for interstellar travel could easily embed a metallic vehicle into the bedrock, and this is assuming the thing was conventionally propelled. The force of the impact would have thrown any and all systems aboard the craft out of alignment or what-have-you, and something this advanced could easily present as an electromagnetic anomaly. Assume the involved craft was absolutely massive, and struck at a sharp angle. For all we know, the disappearances could be a malfunctioning wormhole system (or any other reality-warping device).  Detecting anything buried could be difficult, however. Unless there's a significant difference in density or other physical properties between the craft and the surrounding stone, it would be almost intangible. Getting to it (assuming that's an option, and not a madman's plan) is another story entirely. If we knew exactly where to begin, excavating the craft would be (from a technological standpoint), eminently feasible. It would be immensely expensive and would require the cooperation of many nations, but the payoff would be immeasurable. I'm almost sure this was in a movie at some point, but realistically all that would need to be done is locate the craft, drill a hole down to it, and work up.

As an extension to this, I believe that there are a number of locations around the world where objects of great value historically and technologically are deeply buried beneath the earth. It would certainly explain a lot.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Der Riese

A sketch of Die Glocke in its mounting
The WWII era has often been called the fastest period of technological advancement in human history. In the space of a decade humanity went from aircraft powered by propellers that could barely exceed 500km/h to turbojet fighters capable of doing over 900km/h. Surprisingly, many of these innovations were pioneered by researchers working under the Nazi regime. Termed "Wunderwaffe", or Wonder Weapons, these projects ranged from the relatively standard (various U-Boat designs, etc...), to the outlandish (the Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte tank weighing over 1000 tons), to the positively ridiculous (an orbiting parabolic mirror to focus sunlight on concentrated points on earth). But nothing I've come across can top what was (supposedly) done in the Wenceslas Mine in southern Poland.

In 1943, the Schlesische Industriegemeinschaft AG (Silesian Industrial Company) was established as a front or operating name for an immense tunnelworks project beneath the Lower Silesia region. Miles of shafts and caverns were excavated, and narrow rail lines were installed, along with telephone lines and other amenities. This undertaking was preformed by slave labourers from various concentration camps, and later renamed Project Riese (Giant). Not much is known about this project, or what the caverns were used for. Many still have massive pieces of equipment like dams, culverts and immense hydraulic devices whose purposes remain unknown. Project Riese consisted of 7 subterranean complexes, some mapped and explored, many collapsed and completely unexplored.

Of these, the facility within Wenseclas Mine (Wencezlaus, in Polish) has proven to be the most enigmatic. The Mine was not, in itself, a construct of Project Riese. Instead, it had been constructed as a mine prior to the war and was taken over by the SS. Located roughly at 50°37'4"N 16°29'40"E, the complex housed an ammunition plant aboveground, and a large mine works below. What happened in these tunnels is still primarily a matter of conjecture. Polish journalist and historian Igor Witkowski claims to have had access to transcripts of the interrogation of SS Gruppenführer Jakob Sporrenberg. He claims that these documents, shown to him by an anonymous Polish intelligence operative, tell of a device called Die Glocke (The Bell). This device was supposedly very powerful, and caused the deaths of many researchers and test subjects.

Die Glocke was reportedly a bell-shaped object (hence the name), roughly 9 feet wide and 15 feet tall. Within it were two counter-rotating cylinders filled with a mysterious compound known as Xerum 525. This compound was a violet metallic fluid, similar to mercury, carefully stored in lead-lined flasks a meter high, compared to a thermos bottle, which I assume means they were also vacuum-sealed. When the device was activated, a curious blue glow could be seen, and a loud buzz would be heard. Massive quantities of electricity were fed into the Bell from enormous trunk cables dropping into it from above. This comes up again in the discussion of a structure known as the Henge, or specifically a large vent supposedly located by researchers Nick Cook and Igor Witkowski. That will be covered later. Some reports mention an unusual metallic taste in the mouth, headaches and neural disruption among workers. This, along with reports that the device was covered in ceramic insulation, has lead to speculation that the Bell emitted large amounts of ionizing radiation. Cook goes on to say that in 1944 tests were preformed on organic tissue. These tests resulted in "crystals" forming within tissues, with fluids gelling and separating. This would not be consistent with ionizing radiation or any other naturally-known phenomenon.

The Henge
Another site is often referred to along with Die Glocke. Near the facility, which is commonly called Der Riese, there is a large concrete structure, often called The Henge or the Fly Trap. It is a large concrete ring, supported by 12 concrete pillars, with traces of camouflage paint still visible. The estimated diameter is 90 feet. Nearby, a vent shaft containing massive cables snakes upwards from underground. Speculation abounds to the purpose of this structure. Some believe it to be a cooling tower, others a testing facility for vertical take-off vehicles, and many think it was connected to the Bell somehow, possibly for anti-gravity devices.

Not much hard evidence exists as to what happened to Die Glocke after the war. It may have gone to the United States as part of a deal with the SS. It could have gone to a Nazi-friendly nation in South America with escaping officers. Many (myself included) believe it lies at the bottom of an abandoned, collapsed mine shaft in southern Poland. One solid fact that has been learned from captured documents about the project is this: Reich High Command had designated the project as Kriegsentscheindend, or decisive to the war. Most other secret projects, notably the V-series rockets were classed as Kriegswichtig, or important to the war. The fate of the researchers assigned to the project is unknown as well, with some claiming all 62 were executed by the SS to avoid their secrets falling into Soviet hands.

What Die Glocke actually did is highly contested. Nick Cook speculates that it was designed to harness "zero-point energy", which is incredibly complicated in explanation, but in practice essentially means free energy. I personally favour a theory tying it to the well-known Nazi nuclear program. It is thought that relativistic physics, as described by Albert Einstein, was "unclean", as Einstein was a Jew. Instead, the Nazis would likely have sided with quantum physics as originated by native German Max Planck. Following this pattern, any research into relativistic theory would be considered inferior to quantum. This leads some to believe the nuclear weapons program was a "detonator" of sorts for a far more powerful quantum weapon. This could also explain why all files relating to Operation Alsos are classified until 2045. Speculation among some communities states the the Bell was a time-travel device, or an anti-gravity generator, and link this to sightings of UFOs over Poland during the war.