Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Weird News of the Week

Let Space Mining Commence

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The Bulldog Skateboard Champ

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A Prickly Debate

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Creature of the Month: Living Dragons by Oberon Zell-Ravenheart

Th’old Dragon under ground
In straiter limits bound,
Not half so far casts his usurped sway,
And wrath to see his Kingdom fail,
Swindges the scaly Horrour of his foulded tail.
—John Milton, On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity
The Dragon is the primordial and archetypal monster of Western mythology. Dragons rule each of the four Elements: there are wingless cave Dragons, flying Dragons, sea Dragons and fire-breathing Dragons. Males are called “drakes,” and females, “queens.” All have been depicted in occidental legend as ancient, ferocious, and terrifying reptiles, symbolic of the raw, untamable, even hostile power of Nature. Dragons are intelligent, crafty, cruel, and greedy. They have a passion for collecting vast hoards of treasure: gold, jewels, arms, and fabulous relics. These they pile together and sleep upon, guarding them jealously, as with Smaug in The Hobbit.

Fix. 1. Smaug by the Brothers Hildebrandt

Dragons know the speech of all living creatures (including humans), and a drop of Dragon’s blood tasted by the Teutonic hero Siegfried enabled him to understand the language of birds and animals. Possessing strong individual personalities, Dragons have distinctive and magickal names that give power to those who learn them. Such names as Fafnir, Vermithrax, Draco, Kalessin, and Smaug have been given to Dragons in stories. But Velociraptor, Tyrannosaurus rex, Carnotaurus, Deinonychus, and Spinosaurus are other Dragon names in Greek.
Winged Dragons are of two basic types: the four-legged variety, with additional wings like those of bats, or fins supported on extended ribs; and the two-legged Wyvern, whose bat-like wings are formed from its forelimbs. These bear such a striking resemblance to prehistoric pterodactyls that they invite speculation as to the survival of such creatures into historic times. There have been some excellent flying Dragons in movies. Dragonslayer (1981) depicted a Wyvern, and Dragonheart (1996) featured the four-legged variety. Smaug the terrible in The Hobbit has been depicted both ways in illustrations and movies.

Fig. 2. Vermithrax Pejorative from the movie Dragonslayer

Fossilized Dragons

      Although Dragons are considered to be the quintessential creatures of myth and fantasy, they should not be thought of as purely imaginary. In fact, the legends of Dragons have many firm bases in actual animals, both living and extinct (or at least, commonly presumed so).
      Certainly the first true Dragons were the prehistoric monsters that English paleontologist Richard Owen decided in 1842 to call Dinosaurs (meaning “terrible reptiles”). He could just as well have chosen the term Dragons, as this is what they had been called for millennia—and what they are called today by Chinese paleontologists. Ranging in size from no bigger than a chicken to more than 100 feet long and upward of 100 tons (Argentosaurus), they held undisputed reign over the entire Earth for 150 million years, until nearly their entire Order (Archosauria—“ruling reptiles”) was exterminated 65 million years ago in a great cataclysm. Their immense fossilized bones have provided indisputable confirmation, throughout the brief span of human existence, that real Dragons once walked the Earth.

Fig. 3. Allosaurus skeleton in rock

      Perhaps the most intriguing example of this is a 6th century BCE Corinthian vase in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, which portrays a monster with what is very obviously a dinosaur skull as a head.1 Similarly, other monsters of legend, such as Gryphons and Cyclopes, have been identified as being based upon fossilized remains of actual prehistoric beasts—such as Protoceratops and mammoths.

Fig. 4. Dino/dragon on 6th century BCE Corinthian vase

But such powerful spirits and intelligences that had existed for so long are not simply exterminated overnight. Just as the long-gone Elves and Little People live on as spirit-beings of Faerie, so the souls of Dragons continue their ancient lineage in the Dragonlands of the Dreaming, holding sway, in our collective memories, over the entire span of mammalian existence.2

Historic Dino-Dragons

Fig 5. Mokêle-M’Bêmbe

      And perhaps some dinodragons still survive even today. From the time of the earliest European explorations of “darkest Africa,” rumors and reports of living dinosaurs have continually trickled out from the vast equatorial swamps of the Congo River basin. Referred to in fearful tones by various local names, monsters such as Mokêle-M’Bêmbe, Chipekwe, Emela-Ntouka, and Muhuru are variously described as having thick crocodilian tails, long necks, horns, back plates, and/or fierce teeth and claws. All of these are familiar descriptions of dinosaurs, and natives shown pictures of those ancient beasts readily identify them as their own local monsters.

Fig. 6. Sta or Mafadet from Egypt

      Additional evidence comes from some of the earliest depictions of Dragons in ancient civilizations—such as the Sta or Mafadet of Egypt, and the famed Sirrush,  or “Dragon of Ishtar,” depicted on the Ishtar Gate of ancient Babylon and dating from the reign of Nebuchadnezzar the Great (605–562 bce). Also called Mushrush or Mušhuššu, this may very well have been the same “living dragon” featured in the Book of Daniel, who purportedly killed it (Daniel, 14:23–27). Was this, perhaps, a Mokêle-M’Bêmbe, brought to Babylon as a tribute from an African ruler?

Fig. 7. Sirrush from the Ishtar Gate of Babylon

      Although dinosaurs and their fossilized remains certainly provide a solid basis for the existence of true Dragons in the ancient past (and possibly even in some lost world in the swamps of Africa), fossilized dino bones cannot account for the many historical reports of Dragons in European history—such as the Dragon of Wantley, the Lambton Wurm, or the Dragon slain by St. George. I believe that many of these represent true encounters with monstrous invertebrate beasts (essentially, giant aquatic slugs) that today we generically call Lake-Monsters. At least this explanation would fit those accounts in which the Dragon is called a Worm or Orm. For a more detailed discussion of such creatures—and my theory on their zoological identification—see my previous “Creature of the Month” article on “Lake Monsters.”

Fig. 8. Typical lake Monster by OZ

Living Dragon Lizards

      Although modern representations of Dragons invariably embellish them with great, bat-like wings, this is not how they were depicted throughout most of human history. From ancient times through the Middle Ages, Dragons were most commonly described as either gigantic lizards or enormous serpents—often with little distinction between the two. Indeed, as many of the preceding entries amply attest, virtually any large reptilian creature—aquatic, terrestrial, or amphibious—was automatically considered to be a Dragon by definition.
      Certainly the first and most striking example of a living Dragon encountered by European explorers was Egypt’s gigantic Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus), which often attains lengths of more than 20 feet. Even bigger is the estuarine or saltwater Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), the largest of all living reptiles. Normally confined to Indonesia, they are known to reach an astounding 30 feet in length, and prehistoric crocs were even bigger! Some of the classic representations of Dragons are clearly crocodiles.

Fig. 9. Australian saltwater crocodile

      Then there is the famous Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis), a giant monitor lizard, also of Indonesia. It attains a length of 6–10 feet and weighs up to 365 pounds, and has a long, yellow, forked tongue that it flickers in and out like a flame. A much larger prehistoric version of this huge reptile was Megalania (Varanus prisca), which measured 15–20 feet long and weighed 1,000–1,300 pounds. This is certainly a true living Dragon by anyone’s criteria!

Fig. 10. Megalania (Varanus priscus) by i pierwsi mieszkancy

Although Megalania is believed to have been extinct for 40,000 years (since the arrival of humans in Sunderland/Indonesia), sightings of living specimens are occasionally reported from Australia and New Guinea. In 1979, one was spotted by scientist Frank Gordon, who mistook it for a log before it moved off. Aborigines have legends of a giant lizard called Mungoongalli, which is certainly the same animal. Recently, part of a Megalania hipbone only 100–200 years old was discovered in a subfossil state.

Real Flying Dragons

Fig. 11. Pterosaurs

            Certainly, there have been mighty leather-winged Dragons in the paleontological record. The first vertebrates to evolve true flight, Pterosaurs (“winged reptiles”) ruled the Mesozoic skies from 228–65 million years ago. They ranged from the size of a sparrow (Anurognathus) to giants with wingspans of up to 40 feet (Quetzalcoatlus northropi and Hatzegopteryx thambema). In the terminology of medieval Dragonlore, these would be called Wyverns, a term for quadrupedal Dragons whose front limbs, like those of bats, supported their wing membranes.

Fig. 12. Wyvern

      But what then of the hexapod Dragon of popular fantasy—with four legs and two bat-like wings? There have been no hexapod vertebrates in all of Earth’s evolutionary history, so surely such a creature must be impossible, right? Well, don’t bet on it.
      The Genus Draco (“dragon”) contains two dozen species of pretty little flying agamid lizards, such as Draco volens. Only 7–9 inches long, they are found in the rainforests and rubber plantations of Madagascar, India, Southeast Asia, and throughout Indonesia. They have been recorded gliding up to 164 feet from tree to tree on membranous wings supported by extended movable ribs.

Fig. 13. Draco volens

      In the 12th century, the first Europeans began traveling over the ancient Silk Road through Afghanistan to India. They returned with spices, travelers’ tales, and small wonders. Among these were the mummified bodies of what traders claimed to be baby Dragons. And surely they could not be doubted as such—for they had fin-like wings growing from their sides. It didn’t take much imagination for artists and compilers of bestiaries to envision what the vastly enlarged adults of these “infant” Dragons must have looked like. And thus was born the image and conception of the winged Dragon so beloved by us to this very day. Take a closer look at many of the early depictions of winged Dragons, however, and you will see their true origins in these actual lizards which bear their name.

Fig. 14. Medieval fin-winged dragon by Edward Topsell (1607)

Triassic Flying Dragons

      In 1960, three teenage boys in New Jersey discovered the fossil of a 7-inch-long flying lizard with ribbed wings with a 10-inch wingspan, in 200-million-year-old deposits of the late Triassic. It was appropriately named Icarosaurus, after Icarus of Greek myth, who flew too close to the sun on feathered wings held together with wax.

Fig. 15. Icarosaurus siefkeri

A similar Triassic rib-winged lizard, Kuehneosaurus, was about 2 feet long, with a 2-foot wingspan. And a Chinese version, Xianglong zhaoi, dates from the lower Cretaceous, 125 million years ago. Yet another was Koeruroraurabusu. Like Draco, these ancient antecedents could spread their wings for gliding flight, or fold them alongside their bodies. 3

Fig. 16. Kuehneosaurus

Fig. 17. Xianglong zhaoi

Fig. 18. Koeruroraurabusu

      But the most fascinating discovery in the annals of dragonlore was a 250-million-year-old Upper Permian fossil found in a German copper mine in 1910. Its morphology was reinterpreted in 1997 when a complete skeleton was purchased by the Karlsruhe Museum from amateur fossil hunters.4 The 12-inch-long lizard with a flaring head crest, Coelurosauravus, is the oldest known flying vertebrate, with wings unlike those of any other animal. Rather than being supported by internal skeletal elements such as limbs or ribs, its fanlike wing membranes were supported by independent bony rods extending outward and back from each side of the creature’s chest and behind its forelegs—much like the wings of a flying fish. Think of it—millions of years before fishes, birds, pterosaurs, or bats took to the air, the first vertebrate flyers were four-legged reptiles with finlike wings!

Fig. 19. Coelurosauravus jaekeli

      And in June of 2007, an even more remarkable Triassic flying reptile was discovered in a quarry on the Virginia-North Carolina border. Named Mechistotrachelos aperos (“soaring and long-necked”), the 10-inch-long lizard had fanlike functional wings like those of Coelurosauravus, and also a long neck just as Dragons are usually shown to possess.5 That just has to be the coolest lizard ever!

Fig. 20. Mechistotrachelos aperos

      We can only imagine an alternative paleontology where the great Triassic extinction event never happened, and creatures such as Icarosaurus, Kuehneosaurus, Xianglong, Koeruroraurabusu, Coelurosauravus and Mechistotrachelos continued to evolve over another 250 million years, giving rise to larger and larger forms. Surely their descendants would be the very image of our cherished conception of flying Dragons. Indeed, this was precisely the premise behind Discovery Channel’s delightful 2005 “mockumentary:” Dragon’s World: A Fantasy Made Real.

Fig. 21. Dragonheart movie DVD cover

Monster Movies: Dragons

As the most popular of all fabulous creatures, Dragons have been featured in far more movies than any other mythical monsters. Here is a listing of some of them, in chronological order:

Western Dragons:
The Sword and the Dragon (Russian, 1956)
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (Ray Harryhausen, 1958)
Sleeping Beauty (Disney animated, 1959)
Goliath and the Dragon (1960)
The Magic Sword (1962)
Jason and the Argonauts (Ray Harryhausen, 1963)
The Hobbit (animated, 1977)
Pete’s Dragon (Disney animated, 1977)
Dragonslayer (1981): Wyvern
Clash of the Titans (1981): Hydra
The Flight of Dragons (animated, 1982)
Q—The Winged Serpent (1981): Amphitere
Lair of the White Worm (1988): Orm
Dragonworld (1994)
Willow (1988): Orm
Jack the Giant Killer (1994)
The Pagemaster (animated 1995)
Dragonheart (1996)
Hercules (Disney animated, 1997): Hydra
Mulan (Disney animated, 1998)
Quest for Camelot (animated, 1998)
Dragon World II: The Legend Continues (1999)
Jason and the Argonauts (TV, 2000)
Dragonheart II: A New Beginning (2000)
Dungeons & Dragons (2000)
Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)
Shrek (Disney animated, 2001)
Reign of Fire (2002)
Shrek II (Disney animated, 2004)
George and the Dragon (TV, 2004)
Earthsea (TV, 2004)
Dragon Storm (TV, 2004)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
Hercules (TV, 2005): Hydra
Dungeons & Dragons II: Wrath of the Dragongod (2005)
Dragon’s World: A Fantasy Made Real (TV, 2005)
The Cave (2005): Subterranean Wyverns
King of the Lost World (2005)
Final Fantasy: Advent Children (2005)
Eragon (2007)
Enchanted (2007)
Beowulf (2007)
Dragon Wars (South Korean, 2007)
Fire & Ice: The Dragon Chronicles (2008)
How to Train Your Dragon (animated, 2010)
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II (2011)
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
How to Train Your Dragon II (animated, 2014)
The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies (2014)
Dragonheart 3: The Sorcerer's Curse (2015)

Eastern Dragons:
Godzilla (dozens of films from 1954 on)
The Neverending Story (1984)
Mulan (Disney animated 1998)
Dragonheart II: A New Beginning (2000)
Saiyuki (50-episode anime series, 2000–2001)
Spirited Away (Miyazaki anime, 2001)
Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa (anime, 2005)

1.      Mayor, Adrienne, The First Fossil Hunters: Dinosaurs, Mammoths, and Myth in Greek and Roman Times, Princeton University Press, 2011
2.      Sagan, Carl, The Dragons of Eden, Random House, 1977
3.      White, T. H., The Book of Beasts, J.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, 1954; Dover Publications, 1984
4.      Wilford, John Noble, “Before Birds, a Weird way to Fly,” New York Times, March 11, 1997
5.      Perkins, S., “Winged Dragon,” Science News, June 23, 2007

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Positive News of the Week

Teens Buy 100 McDonald's Burgers for Homeless

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Stranger Returns Family's Stolen Puppy

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Uber Offers Homeless Rides To Interviews

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Monday, November 16, 2015

Spring 16 New Release Announcment

Our Spring 16 list features 9 New Releases this Season. Find out more by visiting the individual book links below. 

Edison’s Quest to Talk to the DeadThe Unexpected Final Creation of the World’s Greatest Inventor
By William J. Birnes and Joel Martin
April 16 Release
Thomas Edison was arguably the greatest inventor in history. From the time he started his first business, selling and printing newspapers on a Michigan train route, Edison relied on practical theory to develop products that would create and then satisfy the needs of a consumer market. But his last and least-known invention may well have been his greatest: the spirit phone, a device to communicate with the dead. This is the story of Edison’s mysterious adventure, which dominated the final decade of his life.

Weapons of the Gods: How Ancient Alien Civilizations Almost Destroyed the Earth
By Nick Redfern
April 16 Release
In 1945, the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki became the first and last victims of the atom bomb. Or were they just the latest in a long line of Armageddon-level events? Is it possible that our civilization is, in reality, just one of many? Did previous cultures blossom, develop, and thrive, only to destroy themselves, tens or hundreds of thousands of years ago, with the same atomic technology? Where is the evidence? The answer is shockingly simple: it’s everywhere.

Angel Prayers: Communing With Angels to Help Restore Health, Love, Prosperity, Joy, and Enlightenment By Joanne Brocas
May 16 Release
Angel Prayers is an extraordinary collection of specialized divine angel prayers and inspirational messages that can significantly help to bless us in all areas of our unique life experience. God has assigned His holy angels to help us fulfill every conceivable human need and wholesome desire within our hearts and souls. All we have to do is ask!

Conquer Your Chronic Pain: A Life-Changing Drug-Free Approach for Relief, Recovery, and Restoration
By Peter Abaci
May 16 Release
Conquer Your Chronic Pain offers the millions of chronic-pain sufferers throughout the world a transformative model for pain management. Dr. Abaci is a pioneer in understanding the biopsychosocial aspect of chronic pain and patients’ demands for a more holistic and personal approach to pain management.

The Memory Diet: More Than 150 Healthy Recipes for the Proper Care and Feeding of Your Brain
By Judi Zucker and Shari Zucker
May 16 Release
The Memory Diet introduces a powerful, plant-based diet of leafy greens, vegetables, berries, nuts, beans, and whole grains that can slow down or even eliminate cognitive decline. The more than 150 healthy recipes—from awesome appetizers and exceptional entrees to spectacular salads and super soups—are all free of white sugar, processed ingredients, and gluten.

Color Your Chakras: An Interactive Way to Understand the Energy Centers of the Body
By Susan Shumsky
June 16 Release
Each chakra (or “wheel”) has a hub, where subtle energy conduits intersect; and spokes, which are radiations of subtle energy. Chakras are often likened to lotuses, and the radiations of energy are equated with lotus petals. The lotus petals on six of the seven major chakras comprise the entire Sanskrit alphabet, and the seventh major chakra vibrates all 50 letters of the Sanskrit alphabet.

The 3 Dimensions of Emotions: Finding the Balance of Power, Heart, and Mindfulness in All Your Relationships
By Sam Alibrando
July 16 Release
Human re-activity is the source of most of our interpersonal problems and pain. The 3 Dimensions of Emotions introduces the concept of working the triangle, a unique practice that provides a compelling yet practical road map that can help you move from painful reactivity to productive proactivity in your relationships. And it works just as successfully for a CEO of a Fortune 500 company as it does for a parent struggling to communicate with a teenager.

The Virtue of Surrender: Walk the Path of Enlightenment and Learn to Live More Powerfully in the Universe
By Vishnu Swami
June 16 Release
Vishnu Swami, who became the youngest Swami in Vedic monasticism at the extraordinary age of 23, takes the ancient Eastern knowledge of Veda and guides you through a journey of understanding, empowering you to maximize your power and effectiveness and manifest your fullest spiritual potential in everything you do. The Virtue of Surrender clearly shows you how to align yourself with the natural flow of existence.

The Enlightened Marriage: The 5 Transformative Stages of Relationships and Why the Best Is Still to Come
By Jed Diamond
August 16 Release
Love and marriage are two of the greatest gifts life has to offer, yet too many marriages fail because couples don’t fully understand the five stages of relationships. Because most of us have had hurtful experiences in past relationships, often going back to childhood, we develop an inaccurate love map that causes us to get off track when the stresses of life increase.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Weird News of the Week

There Is Another You, Parallel Universes!

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Beaked Whale Sea Monster

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You Call This Walking?

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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Positive News of the Week

Figo Saved Her!

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Deer Scores a Goal

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Check Out My Wheels

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Creature of the Month: The Darkling: An Unusual Encounter on a Country Road by Micah Hanks

            Many an after-dark fable recounted over the years has begun with a desolate country road, and a lonely traveler who, upon rounding a curve, finds something unspeakable within the beam cast by his car’s headlights. 
            The thrillers of the silver screen, of course, would require more than this in order to satisfy the desires of the filmgoing horror enthusiast; our monsters must eventually have faces too, and cannot remain forever shrouded in the twilight land of shadow and mystery that haunts the mere imagination. 
            However, in the waking world when the occasional strange meeting on a country road occurs, the conventions of horror cinema very seldom carry over into real life in this way.

            One story along these lines—perplexing and, to a degree, frustrating in its curiousness—was related to me by a man named Justin Demeere, who, in 1993, had a summer nighttime encounter that seemingly defies all rationale afforded us by the consensus reality of the everyday. 
            Justin had been driving home from his girlfriend’s home near Loudon, Tennessee. It was a muggy summer evening around midnight; the year was 1993. In his eagerness to get home, with the hope of the few hours of sleep that lay ahead, he had been traveling along a well-worn country road, and one that he travelled often. “I remember it being a dark and cloudy night,” he recounted, “but no rain.”
            “I came up to a curve that had a bank on the left side of the road,” Justin said. To his right he was aware of a field or pasture, exposing around a hundred yards of grass area leading up to a tree line on every side but that which met the road. 
            “I was going about 30 mph when I saw some black figure coming down the bank on the left,” Justin recounted. “Then it started running onto the road.” 
            Startled by the sudden appearance of this figure, Justin hit his breaks quickly, thinking perhaps that a dog had been crossing the road in front of him, and felt his vehicle swerve slightly as it skid to a halt.
            “This thing,” as Justin described it, “had moved slightly past the double yellow line in the road by that time, and suddenly stopped just as I came to a stop.” Justin figured that he probably managed to miss hitting the figure by a mere six feet or so, coming to a stop with his passenger-side headlight pointing directly at the strange—and very small—figure before him. 
            “It suddenly turned as if to look at me, and thats when I thought, this is a little person
            Strange though it was, the smallish entity in Justin’s headlights had made its way onto the road on two legs, and appeared to possess arms as well, like any humanoid figure might be expected to have. 
            “I knew right away this was no person,” Justin said, “because it was only 2 1/2, or maybe 3 feet tall.” The thought crossed his mind, at this point, that perhaps it had been a child, but Justin couldn’t fathom why any child would have been out in the middle of nowhere like this, approaching midnight, and on a school night. 
            “But the biggest reason I knew this was something very out of the ordinary is the fact that my headlights were pointing right at it, only six feet away, yet there was no light reflecting off of this thing.”
            The strange humanoid had been pitch black, and apparently reflecting no light whatsoever. “[It was] like it was a void. But what I could easily see was the outline of this thing from my headlights on the road behind it.” 
            When the being stopped and turned, Justin could see the outline of it turning to look at him, turning its shoulders towards him, with its arms slightly spread, which Justin interpreted as meaning the creature—whatever it was—had been startled. “It was in mid stride,” he said, “and I could see a knee bent and a pointy foot; what looked like its left foot. Its right foot and leg were obscured by what I can only describe as a long coat. The coat collar was flipped up, and the collar was pointy and sticking out from its shoulders.         
            “It looked just like some sort of trench coat,” Justin said.  
            With the strange coat the being had been wearing, its neck was obscured from view. What remained apparent, however, had been what Justin could only describe as “a tall pointy hat” that it wore, with wide brims that Justin said “stood out almost past its shoulders.” The hat and coat that this being wore had an unusual appearance, as if they had been very rigid and unmoving. 
            “The top of its pointy hat probably came up to the hood of my car,” Justin recalled. The car he had been driving that evening was a moderate-sized 1991 Ford Escort, and from his best guess, might have been only three feet tall, including the hat
            “It stood there for several seconds. Enough time for me to say, what in the hell?” I reached for my headlights to click them on brighter. At the time, I wasn’t sure if my high beams were on, because I couldn’t see any light reflecting off of this thing. When I clicked the beams they went back to low, so realizing this, I quickly set them to high again. As soon as I did that it turned and faced the field. For the duration of the time Justin observed the creature, he was unable to see its face, which appeared to be obscured by the tall collar on the jacket it wore. 
            “It then ran across the road into the field, very quickly, and vanished into the trees staying real close to the ground. The light reflecting off of the road and surrounding area was enough for me to see it run through the field and into the tree line. My first reaction was to grab the door and get out to get a better look of it running through the field,” Justin said, but soon found himself wondering whether the entity had been alone… what if there were others?
            “I pushed the gas and got out of there quickly.” 

            Following his encounter, Justin recounted what he had seen to his brother, as well as his mom, who were still awake when he arrived home. Neither had been very interested in hearing more details at this late hour, and so the family went on to bed. However, Justin didn’t sleep well, and the following morning, he decided to drive back to the location where the observation had occurred. 
            “The next morning I went back down that road and noticed something I had not see the night before. “Justin found what he believed had been the very location where he had stopped the night before, even noticing the skid marks on the pavement where he had forcibly applied his breaks. On the right side of the road, he could see a barbed wire fence. 
            “It was a fence [that was still] in use, because the field was a cow pasture that I could now see. There was hardly any room for a creature that size to get through without a struggle. However, when this thing ran, it did not jump or struggle at all. It stayed close to the ground, and moved faster than I could even run. 
            To his amazement, Justin said it seemed as though the small entity had somehow gone through the fence, rather than under or over it. “I would have noticed it jumping over the fence, or even slowing down… but it never slowed down when it ran.” 
            In our correspondence, Justin admitted that the events which transpired that evening had troubled him over the years. Justin had long maintained a passion for science, and by no means considered himself to be a credulous sort, preferring to spend his nights studying physics and astronomy, and working as a filmmaker by day. 
            “To this day, it has baffled me, and creeped me out at times. I have searched for a long time to see if there is anything reported like this, and I haven’t found anything quite like it. The closest I have come is finding the ‘Hat Man’ reports, but all of those speak of a tall shadow figure wearing a hat. This ‘thing’, however, was not tall. 
            “I had never really thought to question reality as we know it from what the “‘experts’ say,” Justin told me, until certain things I have seen [like this] have forever altered my way of thinking on how the universe actually works. 
            “This is one of the couple of things I’ve seen that assures me we know far less than a lot within the scientific community might think.” 
            From time to time, perhaps these sorts of encounters—however incredible they seem—really can happen, whatever their ultimate source may be. Though to seek answers is to be human, perhaps we need not have solutions to every oddity in the human collective, just to observe the effect they can have on the waking mind from time to time. 

Micah Hanks is a writer, researcher, lecturer, and radio personality whose work addresses a variety of scientific concepts and unexplained phenomena. Over the last decade, his research has examined a variety of approaches to studying the unexplained, cultural phenomena, human history, and the prospects of our technological future as a species as influenced by science.

He is author of several books, including his 2012 New Page Books release, The UFO Singularity, The Ghost RocketsMagic, Mysticism and the Molecule, and Reynolds Mansion. Hanks produces a weekly podcast, The GralienReport, which follows his research.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Weird News of the Week

Angry Elephants

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Cricket Bitter

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Return of the Squid

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Positive News of the Week

Obama Wedding-Crasher Moment

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3-Year-Old Homecoming Queen

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D.C. Now Powered by Sewage Megawatts

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