NTS LogoSkeptical News for 31 January 2002

Archive of previous NTS Skeptical News listings

Thursday, January 31, 2002

Prophet and Loss


How real is ''The Mothman Prophecies''? The director of the Richard Gere thriller and the author of the book that spawned it explain
by Brian Hiatt
Entertainment Weekly

In its Richard Gere-centric TV ads and posters, ''The Mothman Prophecies'' touts itself as ''based on true events'' -- a bold claim for a tale centered around spooky-voiced entities making prophecies via telephone. Maybe TOO bold a claim, acknowledges director Mark Pellington (''Arlington Road''). ''It's really very fictionalized,'' he tells EW.com. ''Maybe it would have been more accurate to say 'inspired by true events' rather than 'based on true events.' Anyway, you're talking about events that were [originally] questioned as to whether they were truthful or not.''

The movie -- set in the present day with Gere as John Klein, a Washington Post reporter who happens upon a supernatural mystery in rural Point Pleasant, Virginia --- is not without a basis in reality. In the summer of 1966, residents of the real Point Pleasant began claiming numerous sightings of a man-sized, moth-like flying creature with glowing red eyes. When the Associated Press picked up a local report about the visitations, an editor dubbed the alleged creature the ''Mothman,'' apparently thinking of the then-popular ''Batman'' TV show. The sightings continued over the next year, and fear and paranoia grew in the small town, as chronicled fairly faithfully in the ''Mothman'' movie.

Then in December 1967, dozens were killed when Point Pleasant's Ohio River Bridge suddenly collapsed -- a tragedy some townsfolk saw as the culmination of the terror they had been feeling. Author John Keel, a sort of pre-Fox Mulder paranormal expert who spent months in Point Pleasant at the time, agreed. In 1975, Keel published the purportedly non-fiction tome ''The Mothman Prophecies,'' which included some hard-to-verify claims -- including his belief that he was warned in advance of the bridge collapse via mysterious phone calls that coincided with the Mothman sightings.

''I was called by all kinds of voices,'' the 72-year-old Keel tells EW.com. ''They would give me information -- they would give me prophecies that came true. It was a very scary time.'' In his book, Keel claims to have had vague advance word of the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy; he casually tells EW.com that his voices warned him of trouble ahead for Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, too.

In the ''Mothman'' movie, Gere's character manages to capture the prophetic voices on tape, and an expert tells him that human vocal cords couldn't have produced their sound -- a dramatic touch that lends believability to the story. But significantly, Keel never got that kind of scientific proof. When he tried to record, he says he only ''got a lot of static.''

In addition to depicting elements not present in Keel's book, Pellington's movie also leaves a great deal out, including unidentified flying objects. Keel spends pages and pages of ''Mothman Prophecies'' detailing the UFO sightings he says went hand-in-hand with the alleged Mothman appearances in Point Pleasant. He also refers repeatedly to mysterious ''men in black'' lurking in the town -- figures similar to those often cited in UFO lore and made famous in the Will Smith comedy.

But the ''Mothman'' movie omits all references to UFOs (except for vague mentions of lights in the sky) and men in black are nowhere to be found. Pellington shot a scene where townsfolk gathered on a hill and watched those lights, but he removed it from the final cut. ''The lights-in-the-sky scene didn't feel right when I watched the first cut of the movie -- it felt like it was aping 'Close Encounters,''' Pellington says. ''I wanted to strip it of UFOs -- anything I perceived as wacky, or kooky, or with aliens.''

The movie also split Keel's role in the book -- the stranger in town who investigates the ongoing mystery and ultimately becomes involved in it -- into two fictionalized characters: Gere's political reporter, Klein, and Alexander Leek (Alan Bates), an elderly writer of supernatural books whom Gere consults. Klein encounters some of what Keel claims to have gone through, but unlike Keel, he's far from a supernatural expert. (He also has a completely fictional wife, played by Debra Messing.) The movie derives much of its drama from the spectacle of a rational man struggling with events he believes to be impossible -- which wouldn't have worked with a more direct representation of Keel. ''In the 1950s,'' the author says, ''I traveled around the world and I investigated poltergeist cases, all kinds of crazy things - so it was part of my life.''

The movie nods more directly to Keel with the character of Leek. In fact, Keel says he was delighted by the tribute, which he considers to be respectful. He says he wasn't fazed by Leek's mention of spending time in a psychiatric hospital (something Keel says never happened to him).

Despite the many outr aspects of Keel's tale, Pellington is inclined to believe that there's some truth to it. ''I think all things are possible,'' he says. ''We've all had strange experiences -- some more than others. If Keel wrote it, I believe him when he says he experienced it.'' Pellington didn't say whether he's ready to take on ''The Jimi Hendrix Prophecies'' next.

Articles of Note

From: Barry Karr SkeptInq@aol.com

Woman feels blessed that image of Jesus appears in her tree
by Jim Stingl
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


"It came to pass that Ella Huffin looked out her kitchen window one recent morning and saw the image of Jesus on a tree in her backyard."

Seeing the future"or just dollar signs?
By Matt Bean
Court TV


"Alone and depressed, Stephen Schwartz was flipping through channels one evening in late 1999 when Miss Cleo appeared on his television screen. The 49-year-old supermarket delivery man became transfixed as the psychic doled out insights into love, finance and employment prospects. When she offered to do the same for him " free for the first three minutes and at a discounted rate for the rest of the call " Schwartz decided it was a deal he could not pass up."

Inglis: Mayor acted alone in Satan ban
St. Petersburg Times


"Polly Bowser, a 36-year-old waitress and mother of three, said she has felt like a pariah ever since she took exception to Mayor Carolyn Risher's proclamation banning Satan from town."

Potter witchcraft accusation hits Pa. town
Associated Press


"The police department has refused to direct traffic at a YMCA triathlon because it says the club promotes witchcraft by reading Harry Potter books to children."

The Selling of Mothman
By Buck Wolf
ABC News


"Move over, Bigfoot. See ya, Sasquatch. America's new No. 1 monster this year is destined to be Mothman."

Telehypnosis "more effective" than face-to-face therapy
by Gaia Vince
New Scientist


"Telehypnosis, conducted via a videolink, is more effective than face-to-face therapy, a small UK study suggests."

2 bdrms, 10 acres, 1 paleolithic-era cave
By Vincent J. Schodolski
Chicago Tribune


"Sarah Howard and her husband, John, were looking for a second home when they ventured from England in the summer of 1999 to the Dordogne Valley, a place where they could retire one day to enjoy the earthy pleasures of rural France."

Public can tell NASA where to go
By Becky Oskin
Pasadena Star-News


"To the moon, to Mars or beyond?"

Some Accumulated Signs of the End Times
Associated Press


"If recent world events make you wonder if The End is near, take heart. You have plenty of company."

Scientists find source of Darwin's inspiration
by Roger Highfield
Daily Telegraph


"Scientists hunting for studies that influenced Charles Darwin's work on evolution have rediscovered details of what may be the world's first ecological experiment."

Little monsters...
by Peter Conrad
The Observer [UK]


"'Feral' is one of the great Australian adjectives - a term of affectionate abuse, but also a taxonomically exact definition of the state of nature in all its rank wilfulness. Every time I go there, I hear of additional species that have gone feral in the bush: cats, dogs, pigs, camels and (who knows?) maybe even Tasmanian tigers. Only last week, a friend in Sydney showed me a swathe of aggressively resilient vegetation marauding across her trim suburban lawn. 'It's feral grass,' she said. 'It laughs at the lawn mower.'"

Naturopaths seek license requirement
By Scott Rothschild
Lawrence Journal-World


"Naturopathic physicians and their supporters say this may be the year they win legal recognition from the state.

No Logic in Magazine Jinx
By John Allen Paulos
ABC News


"A black cat stares out from the cover of this week's Sports Illustrated, signaling that the lead article is about the infamous cover jinx."

Billy's story is fiction, but compassion wasn't
St. Paul Pioneer Press


"Sometimes, a story is too good to be true. Sometimes, it's too awful."

Letters scam resurfaces in the High Desert
Desert Dispatch


"A Nigerian-based scam that has swindled hundreds of victims for more than a decade has popped up again in the High Desert."

God, Man of Science
Cleveland Scene


"The voice is not what you'd expect. Over the past two weeks, state Board of Education member Michael Cochran has been pilloried across Ohio for trying to include "intelligent design," the New & Improved term for creationism, in the state science curriculum. Cleveland ACLU chief Christine Link calls it going "back to the 14th century." Newspapers offer stern, tweed-jacket rebukes that, if distilled to the People's English, would simply read, "What are you, some kinda $#@&%* moron?""

He's got spirit
Boston Phoenix


"It may have been 1999 when Haley Joel Osment uttered the now-famous four-word phrase "I see dead people" in The Sixth Sense, but James Van Praagh’s been saying it " or something like it " for decades. And despite the skepticism he often encounters, the self-proclaimed "spiritual medium" no longer feels the need to prove himself " not after a number-one New York Times bestseller, Talking to Heaven (Dutton, 1997), and appearances on such programs as Larry King Live and The Oprah Winfrey Show. Now, with Heaven and Earth: Making the Psychic Connection (Simon & Schuster, 2001), Van Praagh seeks to help others awaken their own psychic awareness."

A search for spirits
Hagerstown Herald-Mail


"The ghost hunters point their digital cameras into a dark corner of the basement as the room temperature seemingly drops - a sign on their quest to capture an image of what they cannot see: Evidence of life after death."

Herbal remedy kava linked to liver disorders
By Marian Burros
New York Times


"In Europe, the reaction was swift. On Nov. 8, German scientists reported that kava, an herbal supplement promoted for stress reduction, may be responsible for 30 cases of liver toxicity in Germany and Switzerland. Switzerland pulled kava off the market. Britain asked for its voluntary withdrawal. And Germany warned manufacturers that it may soon ban kava. Earlier this month, France banned its sale."

Cruise: Scientology Ambassador
by Josh Grossberg


"Tom Cruise is crusading on behalf of Scientology."

SEC to Naive Investors: 'Gotcha'
Associated Press


"McWhortle Enterprises seems like the perfect investment for the post-Sept. 11 world: a solid company, praised by analysts and customers, selling a handheld biohazard detector guaranteed to beep and flash in the presence of anthrax or other deadly germs."

Satanists jailed over ritual killing


A couple who killed a friend by stabbing him 66 times in a Satanic ritual were jailed today in a case that has fascinated Germany with bizarre details of devil worship and vampirism.

Daniel Ruda, a 26-year-old former car parts salesman, and his 23-year-old wife Manuela had confessed to the killing in their apartment, surrounded by human skulls, cemetery lights, scalpels and incense.

They have shown no remorse, saying the devil ordered them to send him a human sacrifice because he wanted a "court jester".

A judge in the western town of Bochum sentenced Daniel to 15 years and Manuela 13 years in a psychiatric ward.

The court heard how Manuela acquired a taste for vampirism during a visit to London, where she attended "bite parties" at which people voluntarily had blood sucked from their veins.

Throughout the case, the couple shown defiant behaviour in court, making rude gestures, rolling their eyes maniacally and sticking their tongues out.

Manuela, a former high school student who said she drifted into the "Gothic" scene after the devil contacted her when she was 14, slept in a coffin in their apartment.

She met Daniel after responding to his advertisement in a heavy metal magazine that read: "Pitch black vampire seeks princess of darkness who hates everything and everyone."

The dead man, a 33-year-old colleague of Daniel Ruda's, was found in the couple's apartment covered in knife wounds and with a scalpel protruding from his stomach. A pentagram, the sign of the Devil, had been carved into his chest.

The couple spent a week on the run after the murder last July, driving around Germany and attempting suicide several times.

They were arrested after being spotted at a petrol station in Jena.

During that week Daniel had bought a chainsaw, saying he did not want to be empty-handed when the Devil called again.

The court heard during the trial how the two had launched themselves into a world of devil worship, inciting each other to commit violence.

Daniel said he had merely been a tool of the devil. "If you run someone over with a car, you don't prosecute the car," he said at one point.

Milwaukee Woman Sees Jesus In A Tree


MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee woman said that she sees an image of Jesus Christ on a tree right in her own back yard.

Ella Huffin, 63, said she was stunned to see the holy image appear out of nowhere outside her northeast side Milwaukee home.

"The only way I can put it is it's just so amazing, so amazing," Huffin said.

The amazing sight Huffin sees through her glasses outside her kitchen window is a big old tree with what she said is an image of Jesus Christ. "A week before Christmas, I was sitting at the table looking out the window, and there it was," Huffin said.

How it got there, nobody quite knows. Huffin said the image wasn't carved onto the tree.

"Seeing is believing, you know. Once you see it yourself, you know it's not carved in," Huffin said.

Standing from a distance, at just the right angle, in an overcast day, the image is clear to Huffin.

She said she sees Jesus looking down at a baby he's holding. But those who've stopped by Huffin's home on Richards and Auer in Milwaukee, have no problem making it out.

"You can see where the baby is and the hair, yeah, and his body coming down. That is wild," said Carol Koepke of Brookfield, Wis.

"Oh, I just have the shivers just looking at it," said Rosie Kubit of Mequon, Wis.

Visitors and Huffin never get tired staring at the image. In fact, it's the first thing Huffin does in the morning, "Why it's there I have no idea. I have no idea, but the only thing I can say it's something good because he stands for something good," Huffin said.

"That if it is meant for me to know anything I pray that I will find out. Maybe I will never know the reason." Huffin feels blessed and welcomes others to share the experience. "It's worth sharing with people, you know. It's beautiful. It's good," Huffin said.

The sighting is causing such a stir that Huffin is getting calls from all over the country. Everyone wants to know about the Jesus Christ image. So far, more than 100 people have stopped by Huffin's home to see the tree. Copyright 2002 by TheMilwaukeeChannel.com.

Psychic taps into family's water problem

From Ananova at


A family driven to distraction by the unidentified source of a water leak in their house has been given the answer by a psychic.

Janet Banham had called in a plumber, water company and water diviner to help detect the leak in the heating system of their house near Dereham, Norfolk, but it remained a mystery for a month.

Local psychic Dawn Smith heard about the Banham family's problem on local radio and directed them to a spot in the kitchen.

Ms Smith said: "I was just getting out of the bath getting ready for work when I heard it.

"At that instant I knew exactly where the leak was. Not only did I know it was in the kitchen but I also knew they lived in a bungalow, and I also traced some separate rain water which was underneath the house."

Mrs Banham said: "We were desperate. My sister's boyfriend phoned BBC Radio Norfolk to see if there was anyone out there with a water detector to help."

They had dug holes in almost every room of the house trying to find the leak.

The family were then contacted on the phone by Dawn, who lives near the village of Ashwicken and who regularly applies her psychic powers to help people.

Mrs Banham, who said she was previously sceptical about psychics, said: "She was so precise. I was on the phone and she told me to stand with my back to the sink, take four paces keeping to the right. And my husband, who was pacing it out, was taken to the valve of the radiator. We dug a hole and there was the water.

"It is a true story. I had never met Dawn and still have not. There are a lot of people in this world who are disbelievers in this type of thing, but you can't fault her."

'Magician' who only worked on a full stomach is jailed

From Ananova at


A Swaziland man who claimed to have magical powers after eating his favourite meal has been jailed.

German Lukhele said he could conjure up money after eating meat and drinking fizzy orange.

He persuaded two boys to pay for his food and promised more money in return, but finished eating and ran off.

Lukhele, of Pigg's Peak has been jailed for 12 months for theft under false pretences.

Police say he conned the two boys out of the equivalent of 37 and told them he'd conjure 313 after his meal.

He claims he's inherited 'magical powers' from an Indian man in South Africa, the Times of Swaziland reports.

Mothman Solved

From: Barry Karr SkeptInq@aol.com

The following column will appear in the March/April 2002 issue of the Skeptical Inquirer, now at the printer. We thought we'd send it out now, in advance of the issue, because based upon the general drubbing the movie has taken in the review columns, it likely won't be up at the theater when the issue comes out.

Barry Karr
Skeptical Inquirer

'Mothman' Solved!

Joe Nickell

Joe Nickell is CSICOP's Senior Research Fellow and author of numerous investigative books.

A 2002 movie, The Mothman Prophecies, tells the story of a reporter (played by Richard Gere) who is drawn to a West Virginia town by eyewitness accounts of a flying monster. From November 1966 to November 1967, residents in the vicinity of Point Pleasant (near the Ohio State line) were frightened by "Mothman" (whose appellation was a reporter's takeoff on the then-current Batman TV series). The movie is based on a book of the same title by arch paranormal mystery monger John A. Keel (1975). Keel rounded up giant bird reports, both local and worldwide, and combined them with UFO sightings, visits by Men in Black, telephone predictions from alleged extraterrestrials and their "contactees" (precursors of the "abductees"), plus a tragic bridge collapse and sundry other elements.

"Mothman" was encountered one night about seven miles from town when two couples drove through an abandoned complex popularly called the TNT area (after its World War II use for making munitions). About 11:30 p.m. they saw the glowing red eyes of a creature, "shaped like a man, but bigger," one witness would say. "And it had big wings folded against its back." It was further described as greyish and walking on sturdy legs with a shuffling gait. As it took flight and seemed to follow them, it "wasn't even flapping its wings" but "squeaked like a big mouse" (quoted in Keel 1975, 52-53). Soon others were seeing the winged enigma, including two Point Pleasant firemen who visited the TNT area just three nights after the couple's sighting. They too saw the red eyes and described the creature as "huge" but were emphatic: "It was definitely a bird" (Keel 1975, 56). Most reports described it as headless yet with large, shining red eyes set near the top of its body. Not all accounts agreed, however: One woman stated that what she saw "had a funny little face" although she "didn't see any beak," just those "big red poppy eyes." Keel also describes some "gigantic birds" about seventy miles to the north, in Ohio, that had a ten-foot wingspan and heads with "a reddish cast," yet lacking "the famous glowing red eyes" (Keel 1975, 60-61).

Allowing for an exaggeration of size-perhaps caused by an overestimate of the intervening distance-the Ohio birds seem to fit the appearance of the common turkey vulture which can have a six-foot wingspan and an unfeathered red head (Audubon 1977).

But what about the red-eyed "Mothman" sightings? The creature at the old munitions area "had two big eyes like automobile reflectors," and others echoed that description, including one man who, alerted by his dog in the direction of his hay barn, spotted it with a flashlight (Keel 1975, 49, 52).

Revealingly, according to Frank B. Gill's Ornithology (1994), "At night some birds' eyes shine bright red in the beam of a flashlight or automobile headlights. This 'eyeshine' is not the iris color but that of the vascular membrane-the tapetum-showing through the translucent pigment layer on the surface of the retina."

At this point it seems relevant to consider a real West Virginia winged creature-one that has "nocturnal habits" and "large, staring eyes" of the type that yield crimson eyeshine, plus "facial discs" that can make the eyes appear even larger. It has a large head and (unbirdlike) is "monkey-faced," but looks "quite neckless" (its very short neck sloping into its body so it could seem headless in silhouette). It has "oversized wings and long legs," the latter being "powerful" and (unlike the spindly legs of many birds) covered with feathers, making them look relatively thick. Its flight is "noiseless" and indeed "mothlike," although during flight it may vocalize a "loud, trailing 'khree-i.'" Its broad range includes West Virginia, and it is a "widespread nester in human habitations"; in fact it "hides in old buildings" (like those of the TNT complex), as well as barns, etc. Because it is active only at night, it is "seldom disturbed or even seen by humans," so when it is encountered it has an unfamiliar as well as "sinister appearance" (Bent 1961; Cerny 1975; Coe 1994; Peterson 1957, 1980; Steward 1977).

Its name is Tyto alba, the common barn owl. While it is far from man-sized, due to its big wings (some forty-four inches) and long legs it nevertheless "appears deceptively large, especially in flight" ("barn" 2001; Coe 1994). Allowing for such deception-compounded by multiple unknowns (distance, true size, size of nearby objects for comparison), as well as darkness, surprise, fear, and other magnification factors-we have what I believe is the most likely candidate for "Mothman." (Of course, given the many reports, there is unlikely to be a single explanation for all, and hoaxes, hallucinations, other birds, etc., may have been involved in the contagion.) We are thus faced with a choice between a plausible, naturalistic explanation on the one hand, and a fanciful, incredible one on the other, the evidence for which is based solely on the most undependable evidence: reports by excited eyewitnesses. I think we must choose the former, while realizing that the latter will be preferred by Hollywood producers and others bent on selling a mystery.


"barn owl." 2001. At http://www.thebigzoo.com/Animals/Barn_Owl.asp.

Bent, Arthur Cleveland. 1938. Life Histories of North American Birds of Prey, part 2; reprinted New York: Dover, 1961, 140-153.

Cerny, Walter. 1975. A Field Guide in Color to Birds. London: Cathray Books, 136-137.

Coe, James. 1994. Eastern Birds: A Guide to Field Identification of North American Species. New York: Golden Press, 86-87.

Gill, Frank B. 1994. Ornithology, 2nd ed. New York: W. H. Freeman and Co., 188.

Keel, John A. 1975. The Mothman Prophecies. New York: Signet.

Peterson, Roger Tory. 1957. How to Know the Birds. New York: Signet, 85, 100-101.

---. 1980. Eastern Birds. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 172-175.

Steward, Laura, ed. 1977. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Birds. London: Octopus Books, 208-209.

Science In the News

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Today's Headlines - January 31, 2002

from The New York Times

Saying "it is very likely that one or more of you know this individual," the Federal Bureau of Investigation has asked the world's largest group of microbiologists for help in tracking down whoever mailed the anthrax that killed five people in the fall.

The group, the American Society of Microbiology in Washington, said yesterday that it mailed an electronic copy of the letter, from Van Harp, assistant director of the Washington field office of the F.B.I., on Tuesday to its 32,000 members in the United States. The society has 43,000 members worldwide.

In his letter, Mr. Harp gave away no secrets of the investigation but restated known facts and appealed to the membership for help.

Recent information, he said, "leads investigators to believe that a single person is most likely responsible for these mailings." The person, he said, has laboratory experience and probably has or had "legitimate access" to dangerous germs "based on his or her selection of the Ames strain," the highly virulent Bacillus anthracis in the attacks.


from The Washington Post

It's been called one of the crown jewels of the Smithsonian Institution, but its entrance is marked by a small, brown wooden sign that recedes into the rural landscape. Its driveway looks like so many other dirt roads in southern Anne Arundel County, dotted with warnings that read: "No Trespassing" and "Private Property."

If some of its neighbors know little about the groundbreaking scientific work being done at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) just south of Edgewater, it may simply be because they don't realize it's there.

The "U.S. Government Property -- No Trespassing" signs posted along several roads that lead to the center are especially irritating to its director, Ross B. Simons, who doesn't know who put them there.

"It makes it look like this is a place where there's top-secret government work going on and gives people the wrong impression," Simons said. "We're not a government agency, though we do receive federal funding," and scientists here don't do any military research -- covert or otherwise.


from The Los Angeles Times

BERLIN -- German lawmakers Wednesday rejected a move to allow imports of embryonic stem cells for research, ignoring the pleas of a paraplegic politician as well as the warnings of scientists that the search for medical breakthroughs will go on elsewhere.

The vote after nearly five hours of debate made one concession to the scientific community, allowing research on 40,000 existing embryos.

The excess embryos had been created here for in vitro fertilization and frozen in the event their use in regenerating tissue and organs might one day be approved. However, the "no, but" option--one of three measures facing the lawmakers Wednesday--clearly forbids using any stem cells created in Germany for infertile couples in the future or acquiring them from countries with more liberal laws governing biotechnology.


from The Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- NASA scientists believe the debris from a 7,000-pound science satellite smacked into the Earth's atmosphere and rained down over the Persian Gulf -- a few thousand miles from where they first predicted it would plummet.

As late as 10 p.m. Wednesday, the satellite remnants were expected to fall to Earth near the town of Belem, Brazil. Scientists changed their prediction just after 11 p.m.

The satellite, the Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer, fell into lower and lower orbits through the day Wednesday, said NASA spokeswoman Dolores Beasley.

She said the impact was predicted for "the northeast side of the Persian Gulf" sometime around midnight, EST, but she did not know whether it would be in international waters or if any of the expected impact area extended onto land. The impact region is near the coasts of Iraq, Iran and Kuwait.


from The Christian Science Monitor

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA, CANADA - Less than a decade ago, there was no proof of planets orbiting any star other than our own sun. (No proof on Earth, anyway.) Today, there are more than 50 extrasolar worlds catalogued, and things are just getting started. NASA's new Planet Quest site tracks fresh discoveries, explains detection techniques, and describes future missions as the universe starts to get just a little more crowded.

As with most NASA sites, Planet Quest presents the easily sidetracked reader with a target-rich environment. Above the site's logo are links to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and its homepages for Earth, Solar System, Stars & Galaxies, and Technology developments. Below the logo are links to Planet Quest News, a "professional area" for Engineers and Scientists, and a link to the agency's Origins Program (not quite "Life, the universe and everything" - but close). And all this is before even getting as far as the site's index.

(You could spend days - if not weeks - simply following one NASA link after another, never leaving the agency's Web territory, and finding quality sites almost every step of the way. The only potential disadvantage of this abundance is that it's so easy to get distracted from the original purpose of your visit - and almost as easy to lose your way back to a page you planned to check out more thoroughly. If you do find yourself 'surfing NASA,' I would suggest at least temporarily bookmarking any potentially interesting pages you find before taking off on the next tangent.)


To visit NASA's 'Planet Quest' Web site, click on the following link:


from The Christian Science Monitor

In 1990, a fossil-hunting team working in the South Dakota badlands made a dramatic discovery: their truck had a flat tire. While most of the team took the truck into town to get patched, Sue Hedrickson stayed behind to pick around some exposed sandstone bluffs nearby. What she found, and what now bears her first name, is the largest, most complete skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex ever found.

Sue is amazingly well-preserved. Sixty-seven million years in the South Dakota soil seems to have done little damage to her six hundred-pound skull. Even the delicate bones of her inner ear, once attached to her eardrum, were there. The bones of her seven-ton body have kept all their original texture, allowing scientists to learn much about the hardships of her life (paleontologists believe she suffered from spinal arthritis, as well as broken ribs that had healed somewhat messily).

I was personally very excited when I learned that the Field Museum in Chicago had, with the help of generous corporate and private donations, purchased Sue for their permanent dinosaur collection. Growing up in southeastern Wisconsin, the city of Chicago was close enough for "special occasion" weekend trips. Especially around the holidays, my family would head down I-94 to spend a day or two touring around the Windy City, staring at impossibly high skyscrapers, window shopping along the Magnificent Mile, and most importantly, visiting the excellent Chicago museums.


from The New York Times

IN the early days of alpine skiing, trail design consisted of an expert skier's hiking to the top of a mountain, then tramping through the woods flagging trees to be chopped down by hand. The end result was haphazard at best and often had more to do with expediency than aesthetics.

Today ski trail design is an exacting art. Technology allows planners to map a mountain more quickly and accurately than ever before by using digital aerial photography and the Global Positioning System. Trails can be designed on the computer screen by working with a three-dimensional digital model of the mountain. One software program even allows the user to view the mountain from different vantage points, "flying" over the area and zooming in and out by using a mouse.

Before the first tree is cut, planners using a mathematical model can calculate the number of skiers per hour a particular lift and trail network will accommodate, by measuring the area and vertical drop of each ski trail and taking into account each trail's skill level. This can save ski area owners costly construction mistakes.


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Twilight Zoning restrictions

From The Far Eastern Economic Review
Issue cover-dated 31 January 2002

GIANT PROBLEM: Residents of a village in India are not allowed to do any building work without planning permission from the ghost of a dead monster.

"An ogre used to attack our village and eat up humans," explained villager Tarlochan Singh. Eventually a deal was hammered out whereby the beast would not eat anyone in return for a degree of respect. The contract stretched way beyond his lifetime. For more than a century, residents have continued to give offerings to the tomb of the ogre. No one builds anything higher or grander than the tomb. They stick to the rules "lest he wakes up and eats them up," said Singh. The village in the Chandigarh area, originally called Ramgarh, has now been renamed Deopur, which means Ogretown.

People who defy the rules see their projects come to a sorry end, thanks to the monster's vicious spirit, who goes around knocking things down. "Once a factory came up nearby and the owner ignored the warning," villager Swaran Das, 65, told The Times of India. "Soon after, the wall collapsed." The ogre was also credited with the death of a man who tried to build a temple nearby.

The village went through a crisis when the time came to switch from mud dwellings to brick homes, known as pukka, or genuine, houses. "The first few who dared to do so first went to the ogre's grave and gave some bricks in offering," said Das. "A few more followed out of fear. Soon it was decided that they rebuild the tomb with bricks. That way they could safely construct pukka houses." If Ogretown ever makes it into the age of skyscrapers, be prepared to see the world's tallest tomb.

Look Into Judge's Crystal Ball: Psychic Going To Jail

CLEVELAND, 5:05 p.m. EST January 25, 2002 - An east side psychic really can tell her future, but so can the people she cheated out of thousands of dollars, NewsChannel5 reported.

Sandy Miller calls herself a psychic, but her clients said that she never saw charges coming.

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge William Coyne sentenced Miller to 4 1/2 years in jail today. She pleaded guilty to several counts of intimidation, theft and engaging in corrupt activity.


Dr. Jung and the UFOs: The Real Story! [Excerpt]

Flying Saucer Review, Volume 46/4, Winter 2001, pp. 7-11.


Dr. Jung and the UFOs: The Real Story!
(C) by Gordon Creighton


*****Skip to this point if you want to avoid Gordon Creighton's opinions on the intellectual mafia. - TWC

"[In July of last year I received an E-mail from Mr. Chuck Schultz of Colorado [...] asking for information regarding the great Carl Jung's true opinions about UFOs.

This happened to be a very important question on which I had done a lot of work in the years past, and which, as I knew, had involved one of the most disgraceful examples of denial and "cover-up" that I had ever encountered.

I was able to answer Chuck Schultz's questions but it has struck me forcibly that this entire phase of UFO research history, involving Dr. Jung, must be totally unknown to our younger readers of today!

So I publish below an account, as succinct as I can make it, describing Jung's years of study of "our subject", the conclusions to which he finally came before he died in 1961, and the highly successfull "cover story" maintained ever after to prevent the world from knowing what those conclusions were !. G.C.]

As we know, when the "Flying Saucer Phenomenon" erupted into human consciousness in 1947 and the years immediately following, the powerful folk of our world - politicians, military, scientists, doctors, priests of religion - all had their own particular reasons for being deeply worried.

But there was yet another important category who were possibly even more perplexed and concerned. These were - if one can lump them together for convenience - the left-wing eggheads and intellectuals and humanists, (so-called "liberals"), academics and university circles, and of course quite especially perturbed were those who called themselves "psychologists", "psychiatrists", and "anthropologists".

The reason for this concern was that, by and large, the great majority of these folk were no doubt of a left-wing, marxist, materialistic, "atheistic" turn of mind, and therefore inordinately attached to those favourite shibboleths of theirs which we can term in general as "DARWINISM" + associated ideas.

For it could not require much gumption to perceive that, if ever one single, solitary human or "humanoid" or man-like creature were to step out of one of those "flying saucers", it would be a mighty awkward moment for the theories of Darwin and his followers.

I myself still recall with much amusement how, one day in the early 50s - just five or six years or so after Kenneth Arnold's famous sighting - a cleaning lady who worked regularly in our house and whom my wife and I would have thought to be "pretty thick", astonished us by pointing to a pile of my "UFO books" and remarking: "IT WOULD ALL KNOCK THE BOTTOM OUT OF DARWINISM, WOULDN'T IT!"

She, whom we had mistakenly thought an ignorant and benighted soul, had instantly perceived the problem with total clarity. Neither my wife or I ever forgot the episode.


By the 1950s the great era of the Vienna School and of the pioneers of Psychiatry, Freud, Adler, Ranke, was of course long past, but there still remained the towering figure of one of them, and the greatest, the Swiss Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) who, after having collaborated closely in the early days in Vienna with Freud, had finally broken away from him and proceeded to elaborate his own new theory of the "Collective Unconscious".

Jung was evidently a much bigger guru figure than Freud, and very speedily indeed he began to perceive that this flying saucer business might be something highly important. He started collecting material at once, about 1947, and lost no time in contacting Donald Keyhoe in the U.S.A. and joining his group, N.I.C.A.P. (National Investigative Committee on Aerial Phenomena).

Jung was of course living in his home land, Switzerland, and one of the earliest UFO study groups in Europe, the Association Mondialiste Interplanetaire, had just been launched there under Professor Alfred Nahon.

This group had a journal, Le Courier Interplantetaire, and they quickly asked Jung to write an article for them. I give below the full text of Jung's article which, after appearing in French in their journal, was re-published by our first FSR Editor, Derek Dempster, in an English translation, in our second issue of FSR (May/June 1955). (As we can see, Jung was cautious in his statements, and evidently determined not to reveal exactly how much he knew or he suspected):-

I. Dr. Carl Jung Himself on Unidentified Flying Objects
[Reprint from FSR Vol.1, No. 2 (May/June 1955)]

In the course of years, I have gathered together a considerable mass of observations, included in which are reports by two eyewitnesses known to me personally (I have never seen anything!). I have also read on the question. However, I can only say for certain: these things are not a mere rumour: something has been seen.

A purely psychological explanation is ruled out by the fact that a large number of observations indicate a natural phenomenon, even a physical one (explainable in part as reflections or temperature inversions).

The American Air Force (despite its contradictory statements), as well as the Canadian, consider the observations to be real and have set up special Bureaux to compile reports. However, the "disks" (that is, the objects themselves) do not behave in accordance with physical laws, but as though without weight, and they show signs of intelligent guidance, by quasi human pilots, for their accelerations are such that no normal human could survive.

What astonishes me most is that the American Air Force, despite all the information in its possession and its so-called fear of creating panic, seems to work systematically to do that very thing (witness the Orson Welles radio play at New Jersey) since it has never yet published an authentic and certain account of the facts, only occasionally allowing information to be dragged out of it by journalists.

This being so, it is impossible for the uninitiated to form an adequate picture of what is happening. Despite my own eight years' compilation of all that has come to hand, I must admit that I am no more advanced than at the beginning: I still do not know what these Flying Saucers are. Observations read so strangely that one might be tempted - if one wished to deny the reality of the facts reported - to compare them to parapsychological phenomena.

Because of the general uncertainty as to foundations, it would be useless to speculate. We must await what the future brings. So-called "scientific" explanations, such as the theory of reflections by Dr. Menzel, are not possible without abstracting, 'for convenience' sake, any reports which fail to fit in.

If these "bodies" are of extra-terrestrial origin, as is affirmed, perhaps planetary (from Mars to Venus) one must not forget observations which speak of "Saucers" springing from earth or sea. One must also take into consideration numerous reports of thunderbolts, or of rare, stationary fireballs (not to be confused with Saint Elmo's fire).

In such isolated cases thunderbolts can attain to considerable dimensions, moving slowly from one cloud to another in the form of a sphere of lightning-like brilliance, and of the apparent thickness of a half-moon, or again making a passage for themselves through a forest about 13 feet wide and 220 yards long, splitting all the trees which lie in their path. They are silent as the Saucers, or may disappear in a clap of thunder.

Perhaps these round thunderbolts, being isolated charges of electricity (so-called necklace of pearl [;>))] lightning) are the origin of those formations of Saucers, photographed several times.

Often electrical phenomena have been reported in conjunction with Saucer sightings. If, despite this not yet explained possibility, the extra-terrestrial origin of the phenomena should be confirmed, this would prove the existence of an intelligent interplanetary relationship.

What such a fact might mean for humanity cannot be predicted. But it would put us, without doubt, in the extremely precarious position of primitive communities today in conflict with the superior culture of the whites: the rudder would be removed from our grasp, and we should lose our pleasant dreams.

Naturally, it would be chiefly our science and our technology which would have to be consigned to the dust-heap. What such a catastrophe would mean on the moral plane we can in some sort judge by the ruin of primitive cultures of which we are witnesses. That the construction of these machines prove a scientific technology, and one immensely superior to ours, admits of no two opinions. Just as the Pax Britannica put an end to the disputes between the tribes of Africa, so our world could unroll its Iron Curtain and use it as scrap iron, with all the millions of tons of guns, warships and munitions. This would not be very serious. But we would have been "discovered" and colonised - sufficient reason for universal panic!

If we wish to avoid such a catastrophe, the authorities in possession of important information should not hesitate to enlighten the public as soon and as completely as possible and should, above all, stop these ridiculous antics of mysteries and vague allusions.

So, after all, there is nothing out-of-the-way in the statements of ancient documents that all sorts of signs and miracles appear in the skies, or that people look too the skies for a marvellous intervention coming to the aid of human incapacity.

Our present day observations of Saucers coincide - mutatis mutandis - with the many reports going back into antiquity, though not in such astonishing frequency as in these times. But the possibility of the destruction of a whole continent, which today is in the hands of politicians, has never existed previously. -C.G.J.

II. Jung Writes a Book on UFOs.

Jung's next important step was to write a book, which was published in Zurich, in his own native tongue, German, in 1958. Its title was : FLYING SAUCERS: A MYTH OF THINGS SEEN IN THE SKY. It was at once translated into English by R.F.C. Hull, and appeared in a mass paperback edition in the U.S.A. in 1959 (Signet: New American Library).

Although Jung was actually employing the term "myth" in its more expressive, and more exotic sense, as of something "in a way more real than real, i.e., archetypal", you can be sure that the hordes of our critics and enemies were reassured and overjoyed. A whole lot of folk no doubt felt immensely relieved!

But soon not everything was to their liking! For there was real dynamite in an interview that Jung gave to the NEW YORK HERALD-TRIBUNE - a very important newspaper - and which was published in its issue for July 30, 1958. It was an A.P. (Associated Press) report from Alamogordo, New Mexico, dated July 29, and we will give the [n] text of it at the end of this enquiry.

It must have sent shivers down some important spines, because our enemies have succeeded wonderfully in getting it completely buried and forgotten ever since - a situation which enables them to carry on as before, right up to this day, harping on Jung's initial belief that it was all a myth.

Never once have I seen this declaration of Jung referred to or quoted, even by his own supporters or by "UFO Buffs". As Stanton Friedman never ceases to emphasise, the critics' game is to refuse to look at the facts and to lie and to lie and to lie 'til the cows come home.

And if they can't win their point by argument, they invariably descend to the cheapest levels of ridicule, defamation, and slander. If you can't win your point, get your man!

This is the treatment which we at FSR and all the other researchers have had to endure for half a century.

III. Dr. Jung Says 'Flying Disks' Suggest Quasi-Human Pilots.

[to be continued]

[FINAL EXCERPT] Dr. Jung and the UFOs: The Real Story!

Flying Saucer Review, Volume 46/4, Winter 2001, pp. 7-11.


Dr. Jung and the UFOs: The Real Story!
(C) by Gordon Creighton

III. Dr. Jung Says 'Flying Disks' Suggest Quasi-Human Pilots.
[Re-print from FSR Volume 30, No. 5 (June 1985)

NEW YORK HERALD TRIBUNE, July 30, 1958. Associated Press report from Alamogordo, N.M., July 29.]

Dr. Carl Jung, Swiss psychologist, says in a report released yesterday that unidentified flying objects are real, and show signs of intelligent guidance by quasi-human pilots. "I can only say for certain that these things are not a mere rumour. Something has been seen. A purely psychological explanation is ruled out". Dr. Jung, who had started his research on UFOs in 1944, issued his statement through the UFO-Filter Centre of the Aerial Phenomena Research Association (A.P.R.O.) here. He said:

"I have gathered a mass of observations of unidentified flying objects since 1944. The disks do not behave in accordance with physical laws, but as though without weight."

"If the extraterrestrial origin of these phenomena should be confirmed, this would prove the existence of an intelligent interplanetary relationship. What such a fact might mean for humanity cannot be predicted.

"But it would put us without doubt in the extremely precarious position of primitive communities in conflict with the superior culture of the whites.

"That the construction of these machines proves a scientific technique immensely superior to ours cannot be disputed.

"The United States Air Force has said that investigations of flying saucer reports over the last ten years have produced no evidence that such things exist. It said last November that investigations of 5,700 reported sightings showed that the mysterious objects were balloons, aircraft, astronomical phenomena, birds, fireworks, or hoaxes - among other things".

The care with which the foregoing statement by Professor Carl Jung has been suppressed is highlighted by the extraordinary fact that even we - at FSR - did not learn of its existence until 1985 - TWENTY SEVEN YEARS LATER - when it was published by me on page 22 of FSR 30/5 (June 1985)!

Nevertheless this delay should not be taken as indicating that FSR had not been "on the ball" as regards Carl Jung. For the actual fact is that we were for years in direct contact with him, because one of FSR's best and most experienced European Consultants was a member of the Jung family! Thus it is that we knew more about Jung and have more on our files about him than - assuredly - any other UFO research group!

Our Consultant, Fraulein Louisa Zinsstag (known throughout the UFO research community as "Lou Zinsstag"), was the daughter of a woman cousin of Jung. And on top of that comes the interesting fact that she was already widely reputed to be the top UFO research expert among civilians in Switzerland! She frequently came to London for a lunch and a long talk with us at FSR, and she published a lot of articles, and I understand that her collection of UFO photos was the best in Europe.

With her articles on UFOs, in the Swiss press, it did not take long for her to get on the wrong side of the GNOMES OF ZURICH! The result, as she once told me in great detail, was that she found herself summoned to appear in the office of the Head of the Swiss Secret Service. Open on the desk in front of him was a publication with one of her articles. He told her flatly that he would see to it that she never had another article on UFOs in any Swiss publication. And, so far as I could learn, she didn't.

But she remained in close touch with Carl Gustav Jung. And here is a re-print of the full text of her main report on her talks with him, which we published in FSR Vol. 9, No. 4 (July/August 1963).

By that date Jung himself had of course already departed from this world (in 1961). And she, the valiant female warrior for the truth had gone too (in 1963 or 1964).

[In parenthesis let me here add that the legacy that she left has probably not been dispersed as almost always happens in UFO research - but has been preserved intact, for I recall that, two or three years ago, in a telephone conversation which I had with Herr Luc Burgin who is apparently today's leader in UFO studies in Switzerland, he said that Lou Zinsstag's material is preserved and stored in the archives of one of the Swiss universities. I do not know which university, but no doubt Luc Burgin can give details. His address is 28 Mulhauserstrasse, 4056 BASEL, SCHWEIZ. (Telephone: 0041/61322/8156.)

IV. Conversations with Dr. Jung (1958-59).
by Lou Zinsstag.
[Reprint from FSR 9/4, (July/August 1953)]

Doctor Carl Gustav Jung was the cousin of my late mother. I had never met him in my youth but I remember well how my mother and her sisters talked about experiments in spiritism which he had carried out as a student at Basle with their younger sister Helene as his medium. In Jung's last book, a post-mortem publication, he tells about those experiments without giving away the name of his medium.

The early death of the pretty and beloved Helene had always been partly ascribed by my mother to those strenuous experiments. Considering, however, that Helene had lived another twelve years after the experiments had been suspended I doubt this. Anyway, this was the reason why my family lost touch with Carl Gustav, a fact which I later often regretted.

My own interest in flying saucers arose in 1953. Within a few years I was in the possession of a remarkable documentary collection, including UFO photos. A friend of mine, a pupil of Jung, told him about this and in the summer of 1958 I suddenly received an invitation to come and have tea with him on a Sunday afternoon. It was to be one of the best Sunday afternoons I had ever spent.

Jung's personal charm and human appeal were such that few people could help falling under his spell. Yet there was nothing of the magician about him.

Notwithstanding his warm welcoming smile I noticed a sober and discerning look in his blue eyes when we shook hands. After a few brief remarks and questions on family matters he promptly started talking about UFOs. We did not stop any more for the best part of four hours.

His secretary was with us. She was English, and Jung made the suggestion that we should use her language in conversation, because, he said, "the language of air travel is English everywhere in the world...."

From the beginning, Jung made it clear that he was still a sceptic and that my position would be difficult. this was true up to a certain point but, on the other hand, his wonderful sense of humour, his witty way of arguing, and above all his impartiality and matter-of-factness made our conversation the most delightful one I had ever had.

Jung told me that until recently he had believed that saucers were made of a soft, fluffy material rather like silk, and not of metal. However, some time ago he had a visit from a close friend from the United States, a man of high rank in the army, and a well-known scientist at a famous university.

This man (he witheld his name) described to him a personal and most impressive UFO sighting which had lasted for more than half-an-hour. Jung added that this person's judgement was as trustworthy to him as his own, and as his friend had strongly maintained that the object had been metallic, he was now ready to drop his own belief in the silky material.

His readiness to confess to me, a newcomer, his former and erroneous belief pleased me. I asked him if he was prepared to receive a shock in looking at some pictures of such a metallic ship? "Yes", he said, "I like getting shocks" and he laughed.

I then spread out on the table the seven original photos made by Monguzzi on a glacier of the Bernina massive in the Alps. He gasped at them as if out of breath and gave me a long look. The smile vanished completely from his face. He took his magnifying glass and scrutinised the pictures carefully for nearly five minutes.

"It is unbelievable," he said several times slowly. "But you are probably right, the object looks metallic." "So you would accept those photos as genuine?" I asked. "There seems hardly to be any doubt about this," he answered. "I fail to find any fault with them."

He remarked that the blurred outline of the object showed the same grain consistence as the rest of the picture and that the photo with the figure in front of the object looked especially convincing to him. I had never expected such a straightforward acknowledgement.

He then asked for Monguzzi's story and for technical details. I handed him the book by Alberto Perego, _Svelato il mistero dei dischi volanti_, where he read all the particulars. He also scrutinised the enlargements in this book. Never before had I seen a person giving any pictures such a thorough and methodical examination.

After that it was a pleasure to show him the rest of my pictures. He doubted some of the night photos but he was impressed by the unexpected variety in models and also by the fact that no one seemed to try to make money out of them.

Jung told me that he was unable to accept contact stories as true, especially those involving human pilots. As I did not want a controversy to arise before he had seen the best of my photos, I had kept back those of George Adamski. But Jung's truly objective and impartial attitude made it easy for me to ask him after a while if he would care to see them.

After a slight hesitation he agreed and I felt that he did so in order to please me rather than out of real interest (he had mentioned several times the devastating, yet false, description Keyhoe had given in one of his books about Adamski's personality and background).

So I spread the pictures out in front of him and said nothing. Again I noticed how the smile vanished from his face; Adamski's pictures were examined with the same intensity and sincerity as those by Monguzzi. He again took a very long time. Suddenly, with true amazement, he looked at the back of one photo and then of all the others where Adamski puts his stamp with name, address, and phototechnical details.

"Well" he said, "these stamps look awfully genuine, even professional...." Then he gave me one of his stares. I still kept silent but after a while I showed him the photo by Stephen Darbishire and the comparison of the two photographs in Cramp's book, _Space, Gravity and the Flying Saucer_.

At that Jung made funny noises with his teeth and tongue; his secretary and I laughed. Later he remarked: "Adamski's pictures could be true but his story is an invention."

To my question if he had read his books, Jung answered: "Partly, but when I came to the beautiful young man with the silken hair I could not go on reading. This sounds so ridiculous to me, like a fairy tale...." "Can't you believe that there are creatures superior in beauty to ourselves? Do you really think we are the top in beauty?" I asked. He laughed goodheartedly. "You got me there," he said, "I never thought about it in that way."

It was, however, evident and understandable that Jung, the professor and scientist, was not ready to disavow the theories of his colleagues in astronomy and physics. He maintained the statement that life as we know it is possible on earth only. This was in 1958, remember. When I took my leave he asked me urgently to ring him up as soon as I came across new photographs or other interesting material. I gave him this promise with pleasure.

A few months later, with the splendid colour photo by Mrs. Agnes Sanborn in my bag, I went again to Dr. Jung's house. He was truly amazed when he looked at the picture and noticed at once the resemblance of the object with the Adamski model, as he admitted. On this afternoon he spoke to me about his forthcoming book on the strange "myth" of the twentieth century and remarked smilingly that I probably would not like it much.

Yet he took the trouble to explain to me how, as a psychiatrist and a specialist in dream interpretation, he had for years collected material of dreams about a particular archetype, the symbol of eternity, which is the sacred Tibetan circle, the mandala.

It was fascinating to hear him talk in this connection about alchemy and its symbolism. In conclusion he added that in his opinion many sighting reports of recent date belonged to the realm of religious vision as coming from people "who in day- or night-dreams perceived the symbol of eternity in the sky."

"And what about the cigar-shaped form?" I asked rather stubbornly. He hesitated before saying in good humour: "To tell you frankly, they worry me. I admit that only the round objects fit into my category". Again, I admired him for his honesty.

Later, he explained to me that to write about UFOs as such was not his business; he would always leave this to the experts in physics or astronomy, respectively. He himself would not want them to meddle with his own branch of science. "I took care not to meddle with theirs and this is why I did not disclose in my book my private research and interest in the physical nature of the UFOs," he added.

My third and last visit took place in March, 1959. We came to talk about myths and legends concerning people who come from above, bringing sometimes help to the distressed or solutions to world problems. He knew scores of them.

When I mentioned Lohengrin and the, to me, intriguing aria of Wagner's opera, "Nie sollst du mich befragen..." he took it first as a mere joke, but then he suddenly exclaimed: "Wait a moment, he indeed came on wings from above and he fled as soon as he was recognised.... he must have brought a false passport with him..."

This was an allusion to a statement of mine that true spacemen never give their names away. We laughed at the idea of Lohengrin's passport.

But when I insisted on the possibility of a factual reality behind such legends he did not agree fully. "Things are not so simple as you think they are. Myths are not only based on racial memories of prehistoric happenings. There is much more to it. Neither the individual nor the collective subconsciousness is merely made up of submerged memories. Our subconsciousness is also the place where our god lives."

From there on our conversation took quite another turn; UFOs were not mentioned again. I left him with a feeling that I had spoken to a true prophet of our time, and also with a hunch that I had seen him for the last time. This proved to be correct.


The care and skill with which this vitally important statement from Carl Jung has been ignored and suppressed is highlighted by the fact that, as already mentioned above, even we at FSR did not learn of its existence until 1985 - TWENTY-SEVEN YEARS LATER - when Miss Marry Goodall of Beckenham, Kent received a copy of it from Mr Philip Goodhart, M.P., and sent it on to us!


The influence of Jung is still clearly very strong. In a recent article in _Swirled News_, "Eyewitness Account of Crop Circle Forming in the Netherlands" - Oct 25, 2001, the well-known crop circle researcher Nancy Talbott of the BLT Research Team Inc speculates "as to whether the crop circles may not be evidence of some external consciousness and/or purpose in energy orms or life forms currently unknown to us and un-named?

"Was there in them a consciousness directing them, or was it our own unconscious or subconscious? If not ours, was it possibly Jung's Collective Unconscious, was it a consciousness inherent in Nature, or was it from another dimension, galaxy, or perhaps directly from the Almighty?

"We don't know the answer. What we suspect is that the answer to these questions, in fact the actual pursuit of these answers, will greatly affect human awareness.

"What we hope is that 21st century humanity will recognise this possibility soon, and join in the effort to uncover new aspects of reality which we may currently only faintly imagine."

[For the full story see the Swirled News website at

Wednesday, January 30, 2002


From: Barry Williams skeptics@kasm.com.au

Thought we should lighten things up a bit.

A priest, a spiritualist, and an atheist were on a panel to discuss values. They were asked, "At the end of you life, when your loved ones are looking down on you in your coffin, what do you hope they'll say about you?"

The priest replied, "I hope they'll say, 'He was a faithful servant of God who followed Gods commands as best he could."

The spiritualist said, "I hope they'll say, 'His passing is only an illusion and he is still among us sustaining the synchronicity of the universe by his creativity."

The atheist replied, "I hope they'll say, 'LOOK HE'S MOVING!"

60 Minutes II The Exorcists


Exorcism Making A Comeback Among Catholics Changes Create Controversy, Debate An Exorcist's Showdown With John Paul II

Jan. 30, 2002

(CBS) Why would a church in New Mexico end the year 2001 by burning Harry Potter books?

Because they believe young readers might be attracted by the witchcraft and the work of the devil.

HTML O' The Day

TCP/IP in a refrigerator... a microwave... maybe. But Lego Blocks?

A New Economy With No New Economics

He really understands dramatic license.

AOL Linux.

Designed as a hobbyist development environment, users can not only run the wide variety of computer applications written for the Linux operating system, but also create original programs

What Would Betty Do? [Religion: possibly offensive.]

Broke clearly means different things to different people.

When H.I.V. Made Its Jump to People

Useful Idiot Alert


Tom Cruise Lobbies for Scientology in Germany
By Adam Tanner

BERLIN (Reuters) - Actor Tom Cruise, an outspoken adherent of the Church of Scientology, has lobbied the U.S. ambassador to fight for the group's rights in Germany, where it is not recognized, diplomats said Wednesday.

Embassy officials said Cruise had met Ambassador Dan Coats, a former U.S. senator, in Berlin for more than an hour last week during which he made a passionate appeal for his support for improving the organization's status in Germany.

Germany refuses to recognize Scientology as a church, saying it masquerades as a religion to make money. Scientologists are barred from government jobs in some parts of the country.

The government placed Scientology under official scrutiny in 1997, provoking an outcry among supporters in the United States, including several celebrities. They say Germany's refusal to recognize Scientology undermines their human rights.

In the January issue of the U.S.-based magazine Vanity Fair, Cruise credited his 13-year devotion to Scientology with helping him deal with adversities from dyslexia to his estrangement from his late father to persistent rumors that he is gay.

Cruise's spokeswoman, Pat Kingsley, has denied that Scientology played a part in his split from actress Nicole Kidman last year.

Cruise was in Germany on a promotional tour for his latest film ``Vanilla Sky'' with his lover and co-star Penelope Cruz.

After meeting Coats at the U.S. embassy in central Berlin, Cruise, 39, spent nearly an hour signing autographs and talking to a star-struck embassy staff, who described him as unusually friendly and patient.

Coats later attended a special screening of ``Vanilla Sky.''

The embassy spokesman declined to comment on Cruise's meeting with the ambassador.

The California-based Church of Scientology was founded on the teachings of the late American science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard. Its members include several high-profile Hollywood film stars, including John Travolta and Cruise, who embraced it in 1990 through his first wife, Mimi Rogers.

The Greatest Story Ever Told!

From Ananova at


Churchgoers win damages for not meeting Jesus

A Utah woman has won $270,000 damages against a fundamentalist church which promised her the Second Coming.

Kaziah Hancock was told she could meet Jesus in the flesh if she handed over land and water rights to the Salt Lake City church.

When he didn't show up, she sued the church for breach of contract, fraud and emotional distress and won the 191,000.

Jim Harmston, founder of The True and Living Church of Jesus Christ of the Saints of the Last Days, also promised membership of heaven's elite as well as the chance to meet Jesus on Earth.

Ms Hancock agreed to give 67 acres of her farm and shares of water rights, worth a total of $270,000 to the church for redistribution among members.

The church was also ordered to pay $20,000 (14,000) to another woman, Cindy Stewart, who gave money from her retirement plan.

The jury threw out complaints of racketeering and unjust enrichment against the church and Harmston.

Harmston's wife, Elaine, said she was disappointed with the verdict, adding: "God's people have always been persecuted and right now is no different."

Story filed: 15:12 Wednesday 30th January 2002

The Truth For Youth

See the truth about evolution!!!


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Science In the News

The following roundup of science stories appearing each day in the general media is compiled by the Media Resource Service, Sigma Xi's referral service for journalists in need of sources of scientific expertise.

For accurate instructions on how to subscribe or unsubscribe to the listserv, follow this link: http://www.mediaresource.org/instruct.htm

If you experience any problems with the URLs (page not found, page expired, etc.), we suggest you proceed to the home page of "Science In the News" http://www.mediaresource.org/news.htm which mirrors the daily e-mail update.


Today's Headlines - January 30, 2002

from The Washington Post

Scientists in Massachusetts said they have used cells derived from cloned cow embryos to grow kidney-like organs that function and are not rejected when implanted into adult cows, marking the first use of cloning technology to grow personalized, genetically matched organs for transplantation.

The research, described in an interview yesterday by teh scientist who led the work, has not been published in a scientific journal or confirmed by others. And although the organs can apparently remove toxins from the body and produce urine, it's not known whether they can perform all of the many jobs for which kidneys are responsible.

But if the approach can be used to make human kidneys from cloned human embryos, as the Massachusetts team expects, it could dramatically reduce the need for donor kidneys and transplants in the future, experts said.


from The Washington Post

Baked at 175 degrees, the government's mail must be set out to breathe these days, like an opened bottle of wine. So the letters rest for hours in circus-like tents in the parking lot of the shuttered Brentwood postal facility, purging themselves of gases that have accumulated during sanitization.

When finally delivered to the White House, Capitol Hill, the Supreme Court and the federal departments, the irradiated missives are in altered states.

In color: They can seem faded, as if left in the sun or dispatched in Lincoln's time. In texture: They are drier -- "crispy," as some recipients put it. Some detect an odor as well, as if something has burned, although the U.S. Postal Service sprays the letters with something "like Febreeze for mail," one official said.

The mail is 72 hours late, too. Or, rather, 72 hours later than it would have been in times less troubled.


from The San Francisco Chronicle

Chunks of a 7,000-pound satellite designed by Berkeley astronomers and launched a decade ago to study the heavens will plunge to Earth tonight or before dawn tomorrow, NASA flight controllers said yesterday.

It is highly unlikely that any pieces will fall in a populated area, engineers said. Most of the spacecraft is expected to break apart and burn up as it re-enters the upper atmosphere about 50 miles above Earth's surface.

But as many as nine pieces of debris from the spacecraft, each of stainless steel or titanium and weighing from 4 to 100 pounds, may survive passage through the dense atmosphere and reach the ground, flight controllers said.


from Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - A genetic mutation that predisposes women to blood clots may be an important but potentially treatable cause of recurrent miscarriage, doctors said on Wednesday.

New research by Dr. Raj Rai, of London's Imperial College, and doctors at St. Mary's Hospital shows that women with a history of miscarriages who also carry a defect on the Factor V Leiden (FVL) gene have fewer live births than other women who have suffered miscarriages.

"It is the first prospective study showing that women with Factor V Leiden have recurrent miscarriage and are at an increased risk for future pregnancy loss," said Rai.


from Reuters

CAPULALPAN, Mexico (Reuters) - In this one-telephone village in the hills of Mexico's Oaxaca state, corn grows out of cracks in the sidewalks, along roadsides and anywhere else it can find soil.

That may sound like a farmer's utopia, but for people in Capulalpan and a host of other mountain settlements where corn is a staple of every family's diet, it is more like an aberration of nature.

Local and foreign scientists have concluded the mysterious, ubiquitous corn variety is genetically modified, and illegal.

The presence of the modified corn amid local corn varieties is not yet alarming, but scientists warn it could usurp the hardier Oaxaca corn quickly unless it is stopped soon.


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Sigma Xi Homepage

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The Future of Life

We have entered the Century of the Environment, in which the immediate future is usefully conceived as a bottleneck: science and technology, combined with foresight and moral courage, must see us through it and out

By Edward O. Wilson


The 20th century was a time of exponential scientific and technical advance, the freeing of the arts by an exuberant modernism, and the spread of democracy and human rights throughout the world. It was also a dark and savage age of world wars, genocide, and totalitarian ideologies that came dangerously close to global domination. While preoccupied with all this tumult, humanity managed collaterally to decimate the natural environment and draw down the nonrenewable resources of the planet with cheerful abandon. We thereby accelerated the erasure of entire ecosystems and the extinction of thousands of million-year-old species. If Earth's ability to support our growth is finite--and it is--we were mostly too busy to notice.

As a new century begins, we have begun to awaken from this delirium. Now, increasingly postideological in temper, we may be ready to settle down before we wreck the planet. It is time to sort out Earth and calculate what it will take to provide a satisfying and sustainable life for everyone into the indefinite future. The question of the century is: How best can we shift to a culture of permanence, both for ourselves and for the biosphere that sustains us?

McChord Air Force Base Alien Sighting, 14 October 1972

From: Terry W. Colvin fortean1@mindspring.com

FILER'S FILES #04-2002 MUFON Skywatch Investigations
George A. Filer, Director, Mutual UFO Network Eastern
January 23, 2002, Majorstar@AOL.COM.
Webmaster Chuck Warren http://www.cewarren.com


Robert Collins reports Blue Book closed it's doors in December 1969, but yet here almost three years later Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI) was still collecting and classifying UFO reports. The names and events are real. On October 14, 1972, Airman First Class (A1C) Steven Briggs and Airman Dennis Hillsgeck were instructed to check the Tactical Air Navigational (TACAN) facility located eight miles east of McChord Air Force Base. The TACAN site was situated on government land maintained by the United State Army, Ft. Lewis. Briggs and Hillsgeck drove to the TACAN site at approximately 1300 hours. Upon their arrival, they opened the locked fence surrounding the TACAN facility and entered the compound. Once inside the compound, they opened the TACAN building and began to conduct a systems check of the TACAN equipment. At 1400 hours, Briggs heard a strange sound outside the building that sounded like a high pitch engine. Briggs exited the building to investigate and observed a saucer shaped object directly above the TACAN building. Briggs watched as the object landed just south of the TACAN compound. Briggs was startled by the object and entered the TACAN building to summon Hillsgeck. Once Hillsgeck and Briggs exited the building together, they observed two "creatures" walking towards the fence. Briggs returned to the building and telephoned (555) the base security police. He yelled that they needed help at the TACAN site because "intruders" were attempting to enter the facility. Sgt David Holmes, the Law Enforcement Desk Sergeant, 62nd Security Police Squadron, received the phone call and dispatched Sgt Dwight Reid and AIC Michael Tash to the scene. It took the security police patrol 17 minutes to travel to the TACAN site.

Upon their arrival, they observed Briggs and Hillsgeck standing near their government vehicle. Both appeared to be in a daze. Neither could speak. Sgt Reid summoned an USAF Ambulance to the scene. Hillsgeck appeared to have been burnt around the face. AIC Tash walked around the area and found marks in the soft Washington state dirt. Then suddenly, Sgt Reid yelled to AIC Tash that an object was directly over his head. A saucer shaped object was hovering just above the TACAN facility. Sgt Reid attempted to communicate to the security police law enforcement office by using his Motorola HT-220 portable radio. However the radio did not function. Sgt Reid then yelled for AIC Tash to return to the police vehicle. Sgt Reid and AIC Tash retrieved Briggs and Hillsgeck and drove from the scene. Approximately one mile from the TACAN site, Sgt Reid was able to communicate with the security police office, requesting assistance and declaring a "Covered Wagon." Four additional security policemen arrived on scene, including, Sgt Darren Alexander and his military dog - Champ. Sgt Alexander and Champ drove to the scene and started to search the area. Approximately 400 yards south of the TACAN site, Champ alerted. Sgt. Alexander observed two "creatures" standing near a remote power station. Sgt. Alexander yelled for the two "creatures" to stand and raise their hands. Both creatures then moved towards Sgt. Alexander.

Sgt Alexander observed that one of the creatures was holding an object, which Sgt. Alexander thought was a weapon. Sgt. Alexander fired six rounds from his military issued Model 15, .38 Caliber Revolver. After firing the shots, Sgt Alexander returned to his vehicle and radioed Sgt Reid that he had fired at the creatures. A Security Alert Team (similar to a police SWAT) arrived. They conducted a search of the area and observed the saucer shaped object sitting on the ground, directly east of the power station. They circled the object and called for a supervisor. Captain Henry Stone, Security Police Law Enforcement, arrived on scene but the object departed just as Captain Stone walked towards the object. The object flew off in an easterly direction and was out of sight in a few seconds. Office of Special Investigations agents arrived on scene and conducted an investigation. Statements were taken from all involved. Evidence was collected from the scene, to include shell casings from the rounds fired by Sgt. Alexander. This incident was classified as Top Secret and remained in the OSI files as unsolved. Copyright 2001 by Robert Collins shippeej@hereintown.net

[If still classified TS how did these events become open source? - Terry]

The Onion on Monotheopoly

30 January 2002



Calling the theological giant's stranglehold on the religion industry "blatantly anti-competitive," a U.S. district judge ruled Monday that God is in violation of anti-monopoly laws and ordered Him to be broken up into several less powerful deities.

"The evidence introduced in this trial has convinced me that the deity known as God has willfully and actively thwarted competition from other deities and demigods, promoting His worship with such unfair scare tactics as threatening non-believers with eternal damnation," wrote District Judge Charles Elliot Schofield in his decision. "In the process, He has carved out for Himself an illegal monotheopoly."

The suit, brought against God by the Justice Department on behalf of a coalition of "lesser deities" and polytheistic mortals, alleged that He violated antitrust laws by claiming in the Holy Bible that He was the sole creator of the universe, and by strictly prohibiting the worship of what He termed "false idols."

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