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Archive for June, 2014

The Suicide Forest of Japan is home to 100 deaths a year

Aokigahara_Forest

Welcome to Japan’s Aokigahara Forest, a charming 14 square mile stretch at the northwest base of scenic Mt. Fuji. The quiet forest is filled with gorgeous trees and several icy caverns which are quite a tourist attraction. There’s also a better-than-average chance you’ll find a corpse or two.

No one really knows for sure why this beautiful tract of land attracts so many wishing to end their existence. Some connect it to a 1960 novel “Kuroi Jukai” (Black Sea of Trees) but the suicides pre-date the novel. In fact, the area has long had deathly connotations. It is believed that Ubasute was performed there in the 19th century, the act of bringing the infirm and elderly to a remote location to die, but this may be apocryphal. Regardless, many still believe it is haunted by the angry spirits of those who were allegedly left there.

Despite the uncertain reasoning, there’s no doubt that the woods have become over the decades (centuries?) THE place to go in Japan to end it all. An average of 100 bodies a year are found in the woods, along with all sorts of odd things left behind by those who have ventured there with harikari intentions, although most of the deaths discovered are caused by hanging or drug overdose. In a documentary about the forest that follows a local geologist, Azusa Hayano, who works regularly in the forest, he finds a doll nailed to a tree, suicide notes written on wooden boards, and a number of dead bodies in various states of decay.

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The Suicide Prevention Association has filled the area with signs that say things like, “Your life is a precious gift from your parents. Please think about your parents, siblings and children. Don’t keep it to yourself. Talk about your troubles.” but unfortunately the suicide rate there only seems to increase.

 


The Creepy Mystery of the Blinking Mummy

the-mummy-postersI know we all think of Egypt when someone brings up Mummies, or perhaps of the classic 1932 horror film with Boris Karloff wrapped up in the bandages. But mummies are found all over the world even in the modern age. Case in point: The Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Sicily. The walls are lined by more than 8000 mummies. Originally intended only for dead friars, it eventually became a status symbol to become interred there and the families of rich locals would pay with regular donations to have their loved ones added to the collection.

All kinds of mummies fill the catacombs that are divided up into categories: Men, Women, Virgins, Children, Priests, Monks, and Professionals. Some were posed in unusual positions and the bodies were made accessible so the families could hold their hands and pray with them on special occasions. Artists, doctors, princes and military commanders are interred there, but no one has become more famous than Rosalia Lombardo.

Rosalia was just a little girl who died of Pneumonia in 1920 and is remarkable for how incredibly well-preserved and life-like she still seems after all the decades. But what has drawn attention to her is something that was discovered recently by researchers who were using time-lapse cameras to study the embalming techniques used on her body.

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The time lapse photography showed something that made everyone’s jaws drop. Over the length of a day, the little girl’s eyes would open and close several times. The scientists involved concluded that the blinking was due to the natural humidity in the crypt, but that sounds like not-completely-understood-rationalizing to me. I don’t know about you guys, but this creeps me the heck out. You can check out the time-lapse video yourself below. Sleep tight.


Fox-Human Hybrid at Pakastani Zoo Proves People Really Will Believe Anything

A zoo in Karachi has an odd attraction, the reportedly fox-human hybrid known as “Mumtaz”. With the body of a fox and a human head, Mumtaz will actually talk to his visitors. Of course, it’s not real, but that doesn’t stop a steady stream of visitors from coming.

Murad Ali is the man who has been sticking his head through a table for 12 hours a day for 16 years and he inherited the role from his own father. “The people, who visit here, go away happy,” he said. “And knowing that they feel happy makes me happy too. There is a bond of love between me and them. Life is very short; it should be spent spreading smiles.”

I admit to being sorely tempted to make this article about human gullibility, but it’s hard to argue with Ali’s sweet sentiments. No reports were forthcoming from Rupert Murdoch on what it’s like to be the only other guy who is the head of Fox.

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Woman Gives Birth to Bouncing Baby Gecko

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We movie goers already know life is kinda weird (and possibly short) in Indonesia right now, as evidenced by recent cinema like the OUCH-inducing “Raid” movies (go….see…them). But when it comes to this story…I got nuthin’.

Here’s the long and the short of it: Debi Nubatonis went to see a midwife, to all signs eight months pregnant and going into early labor. Prepped and ready, with all the expected ick coming out, there didn’t appear to actually be any baby up in there. But there was a lizard.

So, the assumption is that this woman was experiencing pseudocyesis, or phantom pregnancy, and an extremely rare case of it at that, advancing all the way to the birth stages. And one would assume that this gecko just managed to dart up on the table in the middle of all the confusion. But the midwife didn’t think so and apparently authorities there aren’t too sure themselves, as they have launched an official investigation. I’m not entirely sure how you run that sort of investigation. What, do you interview men she was intimate with to make sure none of them were actually Willie from the original “V” miniseries or one of David Icke’s Alpha Draconians?

As the Chief Medical Officer of nearby Kupang City, Indonesia said, “Childbirth of another species has never been reported in science”. This hasn’t stopped neighbors of poor Debi from claiming that she and her family are ‘witches’. Is that generally an end goal for magic users? I mean, even supposing you’re up to no good and Satan (or whatever) is totally backing your plays, what possible use would having a gecko child instead of a regular one be? Oh, sure, it’s a lizard, BUT IT’S AN EVIL LIZARD, BWA HA HA! I’m thinking the Willie theory has more weight to it. Or, you know, human error and a typically fast gecko. Whichever.

 


The Ghost of Alcatraz Poses for a Tourist Pic

Aerial View of Alcatraz

 

Alcatraz. The most notorious prison in the world. Sure, largely because of movies like “The Rock” and “Escape From Alcatraz”, but still, the island has housed some pretty vicious criminals, such as Al Capone, Machine-Gun Kelly, Mickey Cohen, Whitey Bulger, and many more. Part of its legend and lasting appeal in the imagination of its 1.5 million yearly tourists is due to the claim that during its 29 years running, no one ever successfully escaped.

Note: I said “successfully”. Multiple felons died during the attempts which is probably part of why so many supernatural legends have sprung up around the location. The other part being the Native Americans who used to deport and bury their criminals and psychologically unstable tribe members there who claimed it was full of evil spirits. Either way, serious fodder for ghost stories.

Despite officials claiming the place is all just brick and mortar with nary a trace of ectoplasm in sight, there have been no shortage of ‘ghostly’ experiences reported over the years by rangers, prisoners, and tourists. Claims of strange occurrences run into the hundreds; the tales of spectral whispering, floating lights, cold spots, glowing red eyes in the dark and many more will almost certainly send a chill or two down your spine. But no one has gotten a snap-shot of any spectral visitors…until now.

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Sheila Sillery-Walsh, a British tourist visiting the island with her partner, was snapping shots inside the prison (as ya do). When she took a shot of the empty visitation window, this (above) is what showed up on her camera. “When I glanced at the photo on my mobile, I saw this dark female figure in the picture. I looked at the window again and there was no-one in the room. I knew straight away that the woman in the photo was a ghost and showed the snap to Paul. From that point onwards, I wasn’t interested in the Alcatraz tour anymore. I just kept looking at the picture over and over again!”

Of course. my first instinct was to say it was just her own reflection. But that was her friend’s reaction as well, “When I first saw the photo, I tried to rationalize the female figure away by saying it was just Sheila’s reflection. But with closer inspection, it’s obvious that this is not the case at all. The woman’s hair and clothing is from a different era – it looks like she’s from the 1930s or 40s. I have no logical explanation for the girl in the picture – I’m baffled by her! It’s funny because she’s staring right at the camera, with a knowing look. I was really skeptical about ghosts before but I’m a bit more of a believer now. I do think that the woman in the photo is a ghost.”

Add this pic and story to the many ghost photographs that have surfaced over the years. Even the Museum of the Weird has had its own ghost pic that was taken over the skeleton of a young woman, which you can see displayed during our ghoulish tour. Whether or not these images display evidence of spirits is an argument that won’t be solved anytime soon. But there’s no question they fuel the imagination.

 

 


Sheep Getting Slaughtered by Laser-Happy UFOs

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Well, now we know why the sixth sheik’s sheep got sick. That is, if his situation is anything like that happening to the farmers in the English county of Shropshire. 

Farmers there report their sheep are being “lasered” by lights coming from UFOs. Which would be fine if the aliens thought they were cats and were just trying to get them to play. But no, these lasers are causing “neat holes” in the animals and their brains, eyes, and other internal organs are being removed.

The UFOs in question have been witnessed by multiple members of the Animal Pathology Field Unit who described the experience as, “For a short while it looked more like a Star Wars battle.” No reports are forthcoming as of yet as to ewe shot first.

 

 


Boy walks into abandoned house, finds hanging body

I, like most other kids in my neighborhood, liked to test limits. The more we were not supposed to do things, the more tantalizing those things became. Nothing held our attention so much as a huge creepy and seemingly abandoned house down the road from us. We circled back and forth on our BMXs, frightened and fascinated…who among us would have the cajones to defy the parental ban, and our own ghoulish imaginations, to venture within past the overgrown lawn, broken front door, and “No Trespassing” warning signs? After these occasional sojourns escalated to questioning each others possession of gender-specific anatomy, we all ventured within to find….well, nothing. Broken floorboards, water stained drywall, and lots and lots of spiders.

Not so lucky (unlucky?) was a 12 year old boy from Dayton, Ohio who ventured within his neighborhood’s creepyhouse, only to find the stuff out of a kid’s nightmares.

mummified-body

The adventuresome tyke poked around the empty decaying residence only to find hanging in a closet the mummified corpse of the house’s former resident, Edward Brunton. I can’t help but imagine that it’s going to have a bit of an impact on the poor kid for some time to come.

Apparently, Brunton had been hanging in the closet for 5 years. He bought the house in 2009 and died, presumably taking his own life, shortly after. Neighbors said they didn’t even realize anyone was living there and never remember even seeing Ed. As to the corpse’s mummified condition, the town’s coroner said that the closet protected him from decomposition, animals, insects, and sunlight.

I realize it’s because of my own fascination with the macabre that this seems more like fun to me (I know, I have a problem) but I suspect this kid will grow up to be a horror fan. Or a serial killer. Either way, a horror movie’s gonna get made.


Ancient Necropolis Discovered to have Mind-Altering Acoustics

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A 5,000 year old mortuary temple on the Mediterranean island of Malta has a room called the “Oracle Chamber” known for its odd and consciousness-altering sound qualities. Researchers have discovered a strong double resonance frequency at 70Hz and 114Hz in the room, and when a deep male voice is tuned to those frequencies, it produces unforgettable effects.

Archaeologist Fernando Coimbra reported it felt like the sound was crossing his body at high speed, making an unexpected relaxation effect and that it felt like the sound was reflected from his body to the old paintings on the walls. In a publication from the conference on Archaeoacoustics (that’s a thing?) it was reported that, “…each volunteer has their own individual frequency of activation, …always between 90 and 120 hz. Those volunteers with a frontal lobe prevalence during the testing received ideas and thoughts similar to what happens during meditation, whilst those with occipital lobe prevalence visualized images.” Also, under the right circumstances, “Ancient populations were able to obtain different states of consciousness without the use of drugs or other chemical substances.”

It was concluded that the effect was intentionally enhanced by the ancient architects of the room in the cave, using techniques to boost the “super acoustics”. Undoubtedly these effects were used to imply divinity and after being in it, it’s easy to see that it probably worked like gangbusters.

The neolithic cultures were characterized by invention and innovation which is surprising since these ancient builders were creating wonders like this 1,000 years before the Egyptians started their pyramids. It all just goes to show that there often is a scientific explanation for mysterious phenomena; even ancient man knew and exploited it. But knowing that doesn’t by any means take away from the wonder of experiencing it.


The ‘Real’ Dracula’s Grave is found…AND WE’RE GOING TO OPEN IT!?!?

Dracula

I hope I don’t need to explain that I don’t mean the iconic DRACULA dracula. Not Bram Stoker’s creation, famously played by Bela Lugosi, Frank Langella, Christopher Lee, Gary Oldman and many others. And I CERTAINLY don’t mean the sparkly Cullen family members. As fun as it is to imagine that Bram’s flourishy caped creation is lurking out there in the shadows, I’m afraid he was based on a more conventional human, although one with probably a bigger body count to his name.

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I’ll admit to being a bit startled in this day and age when ANYBODY doesn’t know that Dracula was based on a real jerk of a 15th century Eastern European warlord and ruler, Vlad Dracul Tepes, who was affectionately titled “The Impaler”. Aside from his penchant for impaling his enemies on big stakes outside his castle, his murderous activities pretty much ran the wincingly imaginable gamut, and he was rumored to drink the blood of his victims to boot. As “defenders of Christianity” go, Vlad was pretty much on the ‘we wish people would quit asking about it’ list for the church. But ol’ Bram just HAD to write one of the most popular characters in literary history…

The upshot is, Vlad was a pretty bad dude. To say the least. Add the “Dracula” myth to his legend, and the fact that no one actually knows what happened to him and you’ve got something that is gonna fuel speculation. He ‘disappeared’ during battle; some reports have him dead, some led away in chains, but no one really knows for sure. Until possibly now.

Some Estonian researchers think they’ve found the final resting place of The Count in a church in Naples. The tomb in question is covered with Transylvanian symbols and images of the dragon (what the ‘dracul’ in Vlad’s name meant) and two opposing sphinxes which represent the city of Thebes (also called ‘Tepes’). Considering everyone else in the tomb is a regular Italian nobleman and that some rumors say Vlad was ransomed off to his daughter who lived in Naples, it looks like they’ve got a solid case.

But they want permission to open it…

Doesn’t seem to matter how much we recognize the fictional differential between Count Dracula and Vlad Tepes, it still makes one want to run screaming NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE!


Forget about “Christine”, this car has murdered at least 14 people…and counting

With the car being part of America’s obsession with identity, the way it pretty much has been since Henry Ford wheeled out the first affordable model (probably while saying something racially disparaging), it’s no big surprise that Hollywood has often seized on it as a suitably innocuous part of our everyday lives to make terrifying instead. From Stephen King’s “Christine” to “Maximum Overdrive”, from “The Car” to “The Hearse”, there’s a little fear hidden inside all of us that our commute to work might be on the highway to hell. But we still can feel safe knowing that these demon vehicles are nothing but the product of screenwriter’s imaginations….

demon car

Or maybe not…

Meet the “Golden Eagle”, a 1964 Dodge 330 Limited Edition. GE started its public life as a police cruiser, but all three officers who drove it died in murder-suicides, first killing their families, then themselves. Two children were hit and killed by other cars, but landed either under the bumper or on the hood of GE. Just in 2008, a kid was dared to just TOUCH the car, and a couple of weeks later he killed his entire family (dog included).

It doesn’t stop there. In the 80’s and 90’s some folks decided to vandalize the cursed car and each of the lead vandalizers died from car crashes where they were decapitated. The current owner claims that all 32 members of the two church groups that committed the acts have died mysteriously, 4 being STRUCK BY LIGHTNING.

Which brings us to that aforementioned current owner. Wendy Allen bought it a few years ago, and even had to track down some pieces of it that had been chopped and sent to different junkyards by another terrified church group, but she’s had it in one piece for a few years now. The only problem she’s had so far is that it likes to randomly fling its doors open on the highway (!) but no injuries have occurred so far. Wendy says, “it’s just a car that’s been passed down in my family for years, and people are reading too much into the things that have happened to people around the car, because: look at me, my family, my friends, we are fine, aren’t we? If the car was hell bent on killing everyone, well, why isn’t everyone dead?“.

Good luck, Wendy. Remind me not to carpool with you.


Music Mondays at Free +1 at Museum of the Weird

It’s Monday, so that means the Alamo Ritz will be featuring their specialty event “Music Mondays” where at 10 pm for 5 bucks they show a music-related feature, along with weekly food and drink specials. Why are we posting about this on Museum of the Weird? Because we’re just down the street, and if you show up early (make sure you’ve got at least an hour to kill), pick up your ticket, you can show it to the staff and if you buy a ticket to the museum, a friend can get in for free with you!

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This week’s film is “The Past is a Grotesque Animal”, a documentary about the front man for the band “Of Montreal”.

 


Latest UFO hotspot is in Hinckley, England

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Area 51 is SO two decades ago. Where does a dedicated UFOlogist go to catch sight of a saucer or two these days? According to a flurry of recent sightings, it appears the place is the rural market town of Hinckley England.

A number of citizens on different evenings have spotted oddly behaving lights in the sky. Earlier in May, witnesses described “an extremely bright red pulsating light hovering low in the sky”and that “at the rear of the main red light, there appeared to be a tail of some kind that was apparently being illuminated by the main light”. A local UFO investigation network volunteer Graham Hall said, “there were no flashing lights seen, or any other colors as on a normal aircraft”. It reportedly appeared to “swim through the night sky, giving the impression of a jellyfish as it moves through water, varying its appearance as it went, before moving very fast, and finally disappearing over rooftops.”

More recently, two different people have observed oddly behaving yellow and blue lights maneuvering in seemingly impossible patterns in the sky. One witness said, “I spotted a blue light traveling at speed. It moved across the sky very quickly at first, and then hovered from side to side before disappearing.”

There of course is a fine line with these sorts of sightings, based entirely on eye-witness testimony. With so many things to rule out, it’s very difficult to assign anything like ‘proof’ to these claims, but it’s certainly fun to speculate nonetheless. But it does beg the questions posed by legendary comic Bill Hicks, “the fact that they cross galaxies or universes to visit us, and always end up in places like … Fyffe f*%$ng Alabama. Maybe these aren’t super-intelligent beings, you know what I mean? “Don’t you wanna go to New York or LA?” “Nah, we just had a long trip, we’re gonna kick back and whittle some.” Oh my god, they’re idiots. We’re gonna enter our mothership in the tractor pull!” Last thing I wanna see is some flying saucer up on blocks in front of some trailer, bumper sticker on it, “They’ll get my raygun when they pry my cold, dead, eighteen-fingered hand off it!”


Giant Great White Shark Eaten by Mystery Alpha Predator

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Sharks. Great…white…sharks. Ever since watching Steven Spielberg’s monumental flick “Jaws” as a kid, swimming in the ocean has taken on a decidedly tense flavor for me. Alpha predators swimming out of sight, MADE of teeth (or at least, that’s how I see it), hunting around for a ME buffet. Nope, don’t like it. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, how does one deal with this new information:

The tracking device on a  tagged nine foot long great white shark washed up on shore in Australia. Data on the device showed that the shark had a rapid temperature rise and then a sudden 580 degrees plunge. The working theory by researchers is that the shark was eaten by a MUCH bigger animal, which accounted for the temperature rise as it entered its digestive system. Then it presumably went back down to the considerably lower and darker depths which it lives, waiting for the next time I dip a toe in the ocean.

WHAT THE HECK EATS A 9 FOOT GREAT WHITE SHARK???

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Barring Godzilla (which sadly, the researchers have done) their belief is that it was eaten by a “colossal, cannibal great white shark”. Does anyone else think that we might be dealing with a cryptid situation here? Perhaps the titanic prehistoric shark, the Megalodon, isn’t as extinct as we thought? These things grew to be 50 feet long (possibly even bigger) and are considered to be one of the largest and most powerful predators in vertebrate history.

….

I’m not even going to take a bath for six months after this, much less get in any large bodies of water.

You can check out “The Hunt for the Super Predator”, an upcoming Smithsonian Institute documentary on June 25th if you want to get even more freaked out.

 


The Bizarre Anatomical Machines of a Prince

I can’t say I was familiar with Raimondo di Sangro, who was a noble and Prince of the city of San Severo in Italy back in the 18th century. Considering how cool (crazy?) this guy was, I’m now officially amazed he’s not as well known as folks like Nikola Tesla. As an inventor he created a waterproof cape, a hydraulic device that could pump water to any height, an ‘eternal flame’ made from chemical compounds he created, a carriage with wooden ‘horses’ with an internal mechanical structure that could travel on land and water, colored fireworks, a printing press that could print different colors in one impression, and quite a few more things. He was also a writer, a mason and was excommunicated by the church for some of those masonic activities. But none of that is half as interesting as what ELSE he was into…

Raimondo was also an alchemist and rumors swirled of a variety of feats he had achieved in the discipline, as well as darker rumors as to how he achieved some of them. One of the things we DO know he did, although we still don’t know how he did it, was to create elaborate anatomical models. Two of them, now on display in the Museo Capella Sansevero in Naples, are of a man and a woman which detail all the blood vessels in the body in a spectacular and gruesome fashion. Apparently they were created using a process called “anatomical injection’, but we don’t know with what and to who. Rumors (once again, those pesky things) say that they are of his servant and a pregnant woman, but since Raimondo destroyed all his scientific writings before he died, we’ll never know. But there’s no denying these things are incredibly creepy and cool.

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The Jackalope actually based on science…and it’s kinda gross

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The Jackalope: America’s own portmanteau cryptid. Except I didn’t think anyone actually believed these things were out there for real.

The modern beginnings of the creature’s popularity goes back to the 1930s in Wyoming where a hunter used his taxidermy skills to attach antelope horns onto a jackrabbit. And from there, a pocket industry began selling the things to bars, curio shops, etc. However, the legend of the beastie goes much further back to legends shared around campfires in the old west, the indigenous Hulchoi people of Mexico, and even the alpine and Scandinavian areas of Europe. How did this stories of this silly thing get started? Was there an actual Jackalope at some point that the legends stemmed from?

Sort of.

Basically, they’re rabbits with HPV (human papillomavirus). So, no, this isn’t a crusty dudes with STDs having sex with bunnies story (thank god), as the virus appears in animals as well. Only instead of creating cancerous tumors in the cervix, like with humans, in rabbits the papillomavirus manifests as manifests as horns. Basically, these ‘jackalopes’ seen were deeply diseased creatures, usually reaching the end of their existence. The virus horns don’t just manifest on the head, sometimes blocking their mouths causing them to starve.

Seriously, ew.

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Of course, this won’t stop our fascination with them. Here in Austin, the home of The Museum of the Weird, we have The Jackalope Bar (which presumably has lots of HOPPY beers…*ducks*), they appeared in the popular video game Red Dead Redemption, have an ice hockey team (the Odessa Jackalopes), were the main character in a Pixar short animated film, and, well jeez, just about everywhere.

Learning their origin story now takes away a good deal of cute factor, to be sure. Sorry to rain on your parade. Next thing you know, they’ll tell us Bigfoot’s giant feet are actually herpes growths. PLEASE don’t tell us that.


Golf Course Discovered to have been built over Cemetery

“You son of a bitch! You moved the cemetery, but you left the bodies, didn’t you? You son of a bitch, you left the bodies and you only moved the headstones! You only moved the headstones! Lies! Lies!

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Although I don’t believe this golf course in Atlanta has been sucked into another dimension by angry spirits (yet) I’d probably think twice about playing all 18 holes. You see, what happened was, the city built this course in 1930 WELL aware that they were covering the graves (much like the guy Craig T Nelson is yelling at in the pic above from “Poltergeist”). But all this information was lost over the years until just recently when a map was uncovered confirming what were believed at this point to be nothing but spooky rumors.

The city doesn’t currently have plans to move the course and restore the graveyard, but I know I’d feel a little weird about playing there; especially since the graves are believed to be those of very poor who probably would look at a bunch of rich dudes playing GOLF on top of their final resting places to be A BIT insulting. Playing one stroke over par there might earn you a BogeyMAN.


New Documentary “Mirage Men” exposes UFO hoaxes

UFO folklore is filled with any number of wild stories. It’s always been hard to not take the whole kit and kaboodle with a big grain of salt. Well now, many of the discrepancies and contradictions have been explained in this new documentary, out on DVD this week, “Mirage Men”.

The film follows Richard Doty, a retired special agent for the United States Air Force Office of Special Investigation whose job it was to engage with ‘believers’ and feed them misinformation. But not to cover up UFO sightings, but to encourage them.

Asserting that he was tasked with creating and encouraging more alien lore to lead astray investigations into strange lights and craft (that turned out later to be early tests of stealth planes and drone tech), he drove at least one poor guy to the brink of insanity with his manipulations. These misinformation campaigns for his benefit went so far as to equip black unmarked helicopters with unusual light arrays and plant faked downed space crafts.

Regardless of all of this, “Mirage Men” doesn’t seek to deny the existence of UFOs, just to explore how much of the common lore was in fact misinformation from Doty, the NSA and other government agencies. Doty himself says in the film that he believes Roswell was for real, and that he can’t explain a good deal of the mythology. He even regularly attends UFO conferences as he, in his own way, is indeed a believer. Whether or not you will be after viewing the film will at the very least be tempered by this new and frightening information into the ways the government has in the past sought to manipulate perception and media.

You can buy the film now on Amazon.com right here.

Mirage-Men

 


Go see a special event at the Alamo Ritz, get a friend in free to the museum

Are you going to the Alamo Drafthouse to see a Music Monday, Terror Tuesday, or Weird Wednesday event? You should get down to 6th an hour or so early and take advantage of a special deal at Museum of the Weird.

It’s like this: go pick up your tickets from the Alamo for one of those special movie nights and if you bring them to the Museum (same day only), and you buy a ticket to the Museum tour, you can bring one friend with you on the tour for free! Spread the word!

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Harvard discovers that one of their books is bound in human skin

It probably speaks volumes (Ha! Get it?) about one whether your reaction to this is EEEEWWWW or COOL! We decline to say what our reaction was.

Experts at Harvard University have tested a 19th century volume in their library, “Des Destinees de L’Ame” and discovered that it is indeed bound with human skin tanned with sumac. The book, according to its author as “a meditation on the soul and life after death” was bound by a friend of the writer, a doctor, who bound the book “with skin from the unclaimed body of a female mental patient”. Although an earlier claim by the college newspaper claimed at least three books in their collection had this frightening fastening, the library claims after testing the books in question, this is the only one so bound. I guess if you’re still hunting for that copy of the Necronomicon, you might want to move onto Yale.

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Godzilla Shark Found in New Mexico

No, it’s not a movie on the SyFy channel (not yet, anyway). A paleontologist has found the fossil remains of a 300 million year old shark in New Mexico that looks enough like Godzilla, that they’ve named the thing after the iconic movie monster. Isn’t this how at least one of the Godzilla movies began?

Godzilla Shark