Wednesday Weirdness Roundup: Slow News Week

As the U.S. seethes with racial tension, protestors swarm the streets of Hong Kong, and missiles gut Syria, a few intrepid journos have somehow managed to ferret out the real stories…

  • Say, does anyone remember the absurdly disappointing mystery of those invisible flying creatures known as “rods“? No? Well, let Oklahoma City’s News 9 take you back to ’97 with their hard-hitting report on bad photography.


Fry Screaming


Miracle in Missouri

Mysterious priests, guardian angels, and…aliens?

1950s VINTAGE POSTCARD Angel with Children On Bike and Dog

Check out the update at the end of this post.

No one wants to debunk an inspiring, heartwarming, faith-affirming “angel” story. But somebody has to be the grownup around here.

Last Sunday morning, there was a serious two-car crash on Highway 19 near Center, Missouri. Aaron Smith, 26, struck Katie Lentz, a 19-year-old on her way to church, head-on. Lentz was pinned against the steering wheel of her totaled car with a broken femur and other injuries, unable to move. After nearly an hour of unsuccessful rescue efforts, Lentz asked the rescue crew to pray with her. They obliged.
That’s when the mystery priest materialized. “He came up and approached the patient, and offered a prayer,” New London Fire Chief Raymond Reed told KHQA-TV. “It was a Catholic priest who had anointing oil with him. A sense of calmness came over her, and it did us as well.” The priest prayed that the tools being used on the car would work so that Lentz could be removed.
Moments later, the  Hannibal Fire Department arrived.
After the jaws of life were used and Lentz was extracted, people began to wonder if the priest was an angel. He came out of nowhere, vanished without a trace, and doesn’t seem to be attached to any of the area’s Catholic churches. He also doesn’t appear in any photos taken at the scene. The story has appeared in USA Today, the New York Daily News, and the Washington Times, and is now blowing up the Internet, with many people feeling that the mystery priest was either a kindly good Samaritan who is too humble to make himself known, or an honest-to-goodness angel whose prayer facilitated a miraculous rescue.

“They were Asian. I think they were speaking…Asian.”

It’s a beautiful story, but on closer inspection it’s just plain weird. For one thing, an officer who was at the scene claims he had a little chit-chat with the priest.
“My first thought was that it would possibly send the wrong message to Katie that maybe we had called a priest and thought she wasn’t going to make it. So I went back and talked to the priest and told him we were worried she would think we’d given up hope. He said, ‘I just want to anoint her,’ and so we just let him come up to the scene,” Ralls County Sheriff’s Deputy Richard Adair told WTKR-TV.

Secondly, the priest’s prayer didn’t even work. He prayed that the inefficient cutting tools the rescue workers were using would suddenly start working properly. They didn’t. Lentz was rescued because the fire department – which was already en route when the praying began – reached the scene with the right tools for the job. This would have happened with or without prayer.

Thirdly, and most significantly, we have some extremely conflicting descriptions of what the mystery priest looked like. A composite sketch shows a balding man in his ’40s, with a narrow nose. Another witness saw a priest who looked like Walter Matthau.
Adair insists the man he saw is “not even remotely close” to the composite sketch. Adair thinks he was 60 to 65, about 5’6″, with an olive complexion and a “very strong” accent.
No one has said the priest was elderly, yet commentators have speculated that the spirit of the controversial saint Padre Pio, who was 81 when he died in 1968, might have visited the scene of the crash in spirit.

This is not the first time “angels” have looked different to every witness. In the Cokeville Elementary hostage crisis of 1986, several children reported seeing angels in the classroom where a deranged gunman and his wife were holding authorities at bay with explosives while making outrageous demands. Several of the children claimed to have seen a “beautiful lady” who herded them toward the windows. Sisters Rachel and Katie Walker saw beings that glowed like light bulbs hovering above the heads of the other hostages. Nathan Hartley said the angel looked like his great grandmother.
The thing is, if you’re going to believe in angels just because a group of schoolchildren saw them, then you’d better start believing in aliens, too. In 1994, 60 students at the Ariel School in Ruwa, Zimbabwe claimed to have seen an alien emerge from a landed craft in the schoolyard. Unlike the Cokeville children, these kids gave consistent physical descriptions of a bald little man with huge black eyes (with the exception of one little girl who saw long, lustrous hair on the creature).
What? You still don’t believe in aliens? Then why don’t you go back to wanking to Cosmos, you black-hearted materialist bastard?

Ariel School Sketches

Pictures drawn by the Ariel School children

Yes, I’m being silly, but there’s a point here: You are not obligated to believe in angels (or aliens) on the say-so of traumatized people who may be suffering crisis hallucinations, or misinterpreting the actions of a kindly stranger, or even just flat-out lying.
There are those who would argue that God’s messengers appear to each of us differently, coming to us in the form that is most familiar and comforting to us. In that case, I fully expect my guardian angel to be a taco that poops ice cream.


My hero.

UPDATE: The mystery priest has been identified. He is a local priest, Father Patrick Dowling. He has gray hair, resembles the composite sketch far more than Walter Matthau, and was en route to Mass when he stopped at the crash site. Now can we stop this angel/ghost business?

The Boy from La Noria

The Secrets of the Atacama Humanoid Human

Note: Since this was first posted, it has emerged that the Atacama skeleton is actually that of a female. You can read more about the latest findings at the New York Times (here).

As described in my last post, ufologist Dr. Steven Greer announced last summer that he had gained access to the tiny body then known as the Atacama Humanoid or the Atacama Alien, discovered around 2003 in the desert sands of Chile. It is a seemingly human skeleton with an elongated and peculiar skull, not much longer than a pencil, yet remarkably well-proportioned. Strangely, it has only ten ribs and what appears to be a tooth. Greer said that two top scientists – a geneticist and a foremost expert on skeletal abnormalities – were analyzing the creature, and promised the results would be made known to the world in the documentary Sirius. The film was screened earlier this week in Los Angeles, to wildly mixed reviews.

“In the end, no halfway intelligent person will be swayed by this film.” – Bad UFOs

“I got the feeling that it should be called Greer Movie instead of Sirius.” – Before It’s News

“The tag line for this film is…’It’s time you know’. To be honest you can keep it to yourselves. ” – Troll2Rocks

Did I say the reviews were mixed? Yeah, they weren’t. It was terrible. Everybody hated it. And yes, you read that correctly – a Troll 2 fan thinks Sirius is awful.

But we did get what Greer promised: The long-awaited findings of the two American scientists who analyzed the Atacama Humanoid. We now know they were Dr. Garry Nolan and Dr. Ralph Lachman. Nolan is a professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University’s School of Medicine, and Lachman is a pediatric radiologist specializing in the study of skeletal dysplasia (“dwarfism”).
After studying DNA samples and images of the body for over half a year, what do these esteemed medical professionals have to say about it?

Welp, it’s not a monkey. Or an ape. Or an alien. Or a human-alien hybrid. It’s a six- to eight-year-old child that could fit in the palm of your palm. Think about that for a minute. If it’s not blowing your mind yet, think about it some more. I’ll wait.

The body is evidently not – as a I originally suspected – a Piltdown Man or a Nondescript, stitched or glued together from parts of different species for the amusement of some trickster. Greer’s team extracted a DNA sample from the body by surgically dissecting two of its ten ribs. These samples contained bone marrow material. DNA analysis conducted by Nolan (which is ongoing) shows the tiny being is a male human child, probably born to an indigenous Chilean woman. Though its age is difficult to estimate, Nolan guesses it was  born sometime in the last one hundred years. According to Nolan, “Obviously, it was breathing, it was eating, it was metabolizing. It calls into question how big the thing might have been when it was born.” You can read a preliminary summary of his and Lachman’s findings here.
Working with X-ray and CAT scan images, Lachman found that the skeleton’s bone density and epiphyseal plates were those of a small child, approximately six to eight years of age, rather than a foetus. As you’ll see, not everyone agrees with his conclusions.

Atacama Human

Bizarrely, Greer states early in the film that the body is extraterrestrial, only to be contradicted later on by his own experts, and his report on the skeleton contains weird references to Martian obelisks and DNA that is 10 billion years old. He still refers to the skeleton as humanoid, and plans to talk more about it at this year’s Mutual UFO Network symposium. If someone can figure out WTF Greer thinks he’s doing, let me know.

At this point, we know very little about the boy found in the desert. His body was unearthed by a treasure-hunter in the autumn of 2003. If the account of his discovery is accurate, it seems the boy was given a crude burial beside the Catholic church in the long-abandoned mining town of La Noria, in northern Chile’s Atacama desert. This is a desolate place, once home to one of Chile’s many saltpeter mining operations but now known only as a literal ghost town with a spectacularly creepy cemetery. Eschewing a coffin, someone had wrapped the body in a piece of white cloth, bound it with some purple ribbon, and interred it in a shallow grave near the church.

Was the child considered a demon? A curse? A portent of disaster? Stories of “monstrous” human infants, like the legendary Hull House devil baby that terrified Catholics in pre-WWI Chicago, continue to be told even today – so it seems quite likely that devout Catholics in a remote desert town would have been petrified (and perhaps mesmerized) by the birth of a baby that would make Tom Thumb look like a  giant. They may have kept the child’s existence a secret, out of shame and fear. It’s even possible the boy was never known to the world beyond his immediate family, or perhaps nuns entrusted with his care. To date, no contemporary reports of a tiny child born in Chile have surfaced. One has to wonder what his brief, astonishing life and untimely death were like. Was he baptized? Was he loved? Did the skull fracture observed by the doctors have something to do with his death? Did a weeping mother kneel beside his grave? As the last residents of La Noria drove away in the 1950s, did they gaze back through the swirls of dust at the little Catholic church and whisper a goodbye to the boy they had never known, but always heard about?

After his discovery in 2003, the “horrible dwarf extraterrestrial” was briefly spotlighted in Chile’s tabloid media. Thereafter, he was passed from hand to hand like a carnival sideshow exhibit, finally ending up in the possession of a Barcelona “exobiologist” named Ramón Navia-Osorio. He was treated much more like a collectible curiosity than a scientific specimen, but Navia-Osorio did persuade several scientists to render their opinions on the body. According to an article at the UFO site Open Minds, three physicians X-rayed it and determined it was a complete human skeleton, rather than an assemblage of parts. Dr. Francisco Etxeberria Gabilondo, a professor of legal and forensic medicine at Basque Country University and a specialist in forensic anthropology at Madrid’s Complutense University, declared the body to be that of a mummified human foetus, approximately fifteen weeks old.

Greer, on the other hand, decided he was an Extraterrestrial Biological Entity and commissioned Lachman and Nolan to examine him. If the boy had been considered merely a human oddity rather than a possible EBE, it is doubtful he would have regained any degree of attention. I certainly hope that once the alien nonsense fades away, other scientists will examine him and tell us much more about him. They should be able to resolve the disparities between Dr. Etxeberria’s report and the Lachman/Nolan findings.

I have only one thing to ask of you. Don’t think of the Atacama skeleton as just another alien hoax, or yet another black mark against Steven Greer, or the over-hyped hook for some goofy documentary. Think of him as the little boy from La Noria.

Wednesday Weirdness Roundup: Steven Greer’s alien + lots of other fake dead aliens


On April 22, Amardeep Kaleka‘s documentary Sirius will premiere in L.A. Though the film is mostly about magical alien energy sources, like Thrive, the highlight will undoubtedly be the tiny alien body that Dr. Steven Greer has been studying for more than a year. (Update: You can read more about that here. )

Greer’s alien was discovered by a treasure-hunter back in 2003, in the ghost town of La Noria in Chile’s Atacama desert (interestingly, a place considered similar to the Martian surface). The dessicated little skeleton, which is no longer than a pen yet has perfect proportions, was found buried  in a ribbon-tied bit of cloth near La Noria’s Catholic church. It had well-formed teeth, nine ribs, and a strangely elongated skull. The tabloids in Chile joked about a “horrible dwarf extraterrestrial”, but no serious interest was shown in the “Atacama humanoid”. It changed hands a few times, eventually ending up in Spain.
That’s where it came to the attention of Dr. Greer, an American ufologist best-known for founding the Disclosure Project. He probably heard about the humanoid during the Exopolitical Symposium held near Barcelona in 2009 (he was a presenter). Last year, he announced that his Center for the Study of ET Intelligence had gained access to the body, and would need funding to carry out scientific tests. He released a single photo and an X-ray of the “humanoid”, failing to mention it had already been in the Chilean tabloid press nine years earlier. In late October, he announced the body had been examined by “experts” using X-rays and CT scans, but still wouldn’t release more photos or give the names of the scientists working with him. For a disclosure advocate, Greer doesn’t like to disclose much. He would only say that “one of the world’s top geneticists” was studying DNA samples from the alien, and the “world’s foremost authority on skeletal abnormalities” had pronounced the skeleton non-human.

Atacama Humanoid

The Atacama alien

Steven Greer has a – how shall I put this? – rather checkered history in the field of UFO studies. He has promised big things before, with no payoff:

  • Throughout the ’90s, he claimed the ability to summon and communicate with UFOs using lights, lasers, and mental telepathy.
  • In 2008, the Orion Project announced it was developing a free energy device. Delay after delay pushed its unveiling all the way to the spring of 2010, when the Orion Project declared the work could not continue until their funding needs were met (a mere $3 million or so). Greer repeatedly insisted the device was already functional, yet it has still not been revealed.
  • In 2009, he practically guaranteed that the Obama administration would give full disclosure about UFOs and ETs by the end of 2010. (video)

Greer claims the secrets of aliens, free energy, and antigravity spacecraft are being kept from the public by a massive conspiracy possibly known as PI-40, comprised of Freemasons, Bilderbergers, the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations, and…uh…Mormons. He says most of his associates, including Eugene Mallove, were murdered because they came too close to the truth about aliens – just like Marilyn Monroe and former CIA director William Colby. He also thinks the government has possessed the capability to induce cancer from a distance since the 1950s.

You would think the Atacama humanoid results would be big, big news in the world of ufology, but skepticism and disinterest remain high. I’m guessing this is partly because of Greer’s track record, partly because he won’t even release the names of these world-renowned scientists, and partly because we’ve been through all this before. Since the ’50s, we have been subjected to a veritable parade of alien fetuses, alien autopsies, alien skeletons and alien skulls – nearly all of which turned out to be terrestrial. Let’s take a quick look at some of the alien corpses of years past. Be warned that a few of the photos are kinda gross.

1953: Spaceman hit by a truck

georgia monkey

It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a bald monkey.

Three young men in Georgia reported to police that they had struck what appeared to be a 2″-tall space creature with a pickup (the alien’s two companions had managed to escape in their flying saucer). A local vet confirmed the round-eyed, jug-eared being was no animal known to mankind, but Emory University anatomists who studied the body disagreed: The Georgia alien was a shaved Capuchin monkey with its tail removed. The three men confessed to staging the hoax to get into the local paper. Today, the spacemonkey is displayed at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation museum. (read more at The Museum of Hoaxes)

1979: Puerto Rico’s baby Conehead

Puerto Rico Alien

Consume mass quantities.

As one version of the story goes, two teenage boys exploring a cave near Cerro Las Tetas stumbled upon a whole colony of aliens, and bludgeoned one of the creatures to death in their panic. The pickled alien was revealed to the world by ufologist Jorge Martin later that year. It was never subjected to thorough scientific examination, however, and its current whereabouts are unknown. Señor Martin has since moved on to other dead aliens that are definitely fake. (read more at the Forgetomori blog)

1995: American alien autopsy

alien autopsy

His name was Bob.

Supposedly a film of doctors conducting a peculiar autopsy on an alien killed in the Roswell crash of 1947, the film turned out to be precisely what it looks like: A hoax utilizing rubber aliens, animal parts, and raspberry jam. The owner of the footage confessed to fakery, but stubbornly insists it was a “recreation” of genuine Roswell autopsy footage that is too damaged to be shown.

1996: Dr. Reed’s alien, AKA the Screaming Alien or the Microwave Burrito Alien

Burrito Alien

Protip: Fake aliens always look more real if you stick ’em on a space blanket.

You could probably compose several novels, an entire History Channel series, and an opera out of the hilariously dumb saga that is the “Dr. Reed” hoax, in which a Seattle psychologist enthralled Coast to Coast AM listeners with his tale of encountering a landed triangular spacecraft in the Cascades, watching a very fast alien vaporize his dog, then capturing the alien and stuffing it into his freezer. The alien wasn’t quite dead yet, however, and let out a horrifying shriek when Reed opened the freezer. Reed claimed the body was stolen by government agents who continued to stalk and menace him (though they somehow forgot to confiscate his photos of the UFO and the frozen alien).
“Dr. Jonathan Reed” was soon exposed as Seattle gas station attendant John Rutter. Incredibly, Rutter still insists his alien story is essentially true, and has made many fantastical additions to it over the years, including the discovery of an alien bracelet that either allows him to teleport (skip to the 7:00 mark) or just sit on a couch in a Mexican TV studio. (read more at UFO Watchdog)

1999: The Starchild skull

starchild skull

In 1999, American novelist Lloyd Pye purchased what is probably the skull of a hydrocephalic child. But he’s pretty damn sure it’s an alien-human hybrid, and won’t stop talking about it.

2005: Yugoslavian alien autopsy

Yugoslav alien

I prefer them medium rare.

Basically the same as the American autopsy footage, this film was said to have been taken in the former Yugoslavia in 1966. In photos sent to UFO Casebook by one “Ivan Kremer”, doctors are shown examining the charred corpse of an alien, supposedly recovered from a crashed UFO in the village of Otocek. Italian skeptic Andrea Zoboli later took credit for the hoax, citing the American alien autopsy as his inspiration.

2006: alien in a jar

attic alien

Antiques Roadshow estimate: $3.50

During renovation of a cottage in Gunthorp, workers found a jar containing what appeared to be (and was) a realistic alien model made from clay. Who put the alien model in Barney Broom’s attic, and why, remains a mystery. (read more at the BBC)

2008: Russian alien autopsy

Russian alien autopsy

Might be Joan Rivers. Somebody check.

The makers of this film were quite innovative. They opted for colour instead of black and white, chose a small alien dummy rather than a child-sized dummy, and zoomed in on the alien instead of standing ten feet away. The film even includes footage of Russian soldiers surrounding a crashed UFO that looks about as real as Tara Reid’s breasts. B for effort, guys.
This is not to be confused with a  “KGB” film that shows unmasked doctors hovering over random bits and pieces of an alien (judging by the hair on the lady doctor, this one was shot in the ’80s or early ’90s).

2011: Siberian alien and Russian refrigerator alien

Siberia alien

finger lickin’ good

The Siberian alien was probably the biggest dead alien story to hit the news since the American autopsy. Media outlets around the world carried stories of the cell phone video shot and posted to YouTube by anonymous teens, showing a pitifully one-legged alien entity sprawled in the snow. The Kremlin actually launched an investigation, and within hours an “alien” made out of old bread and chicken skin was found in the home of one of the kids in the video. Two boys confessed to creating it.
A few months later, Marta Yegorovnam of Petrozavodsk produced photos of a plastic-wrapped alien corpse she had been storing in her fridge for two years. It looked somewhat like the lovechild of Jabba the Hut and Kermit the Frog. Sadly, no one ever had the chance to examine Ms. Yegorovnam’s disgusting leftovers, because she surrendered them to the Karelian Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The Academy disclaimed any knowledge of the fridge alien. (read more at the Daily Mail, which was one of the few mainstream media outlets to bother with this)

Russian fridge alien

C’mon, lady.
At least put it in the crisper.

Date unknown: Roswell alien that looks suspiciously like the masks from the movie Brazil

roswell alien  brazil

Book Review: Flying Saucers and the Three Men by Albert K. Bender

I was fortunate enough to snag this somewhat rare book for just $2.50 at a secondhand bookstore recently. It’s famous in ufology circles for giving the first in-depth description of the Men in Black, those not-quite-human, not-quite alien dudes who show up after close encounters to tell witnesses, “You saw the planet Venus.” The first book to mention them was was Gray Barker‘s They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers (1956), and I doubt it’s any coincidence that Barker was also the publisher and editor of Flying Saucers and the Three Men.

Albert K. Bender was a sci-fi and horror aficionado from Bridgeport, Connecticut, who founded one of the first UFO organizations, the International Flying Saucer Bureau (IFSB), in 1952. Just two years later, he shut it down with the cryptic explanation that the saucer mystery had been solved, and it would be dangerous to continue the IFSB’s work. For over a decade, Bender refused to give more than a handful of tantalizing clues to why the IFSB had folded.

Then, in 1968, West Virginian ufologist and publisher Gray Barker released this book, a full account of what happened to Bender and the IFSB.
Barker remains an enigmatic and controversial figure in the world of ufology, the subject of two documentaries (Whispers from Space and the recent Shades of Gray) and much speculation. He undoubtedly staged a few hoaxes in his time, and allegedly confessed that he created the Men in Black out of whole cloth. So it should come as no shock that Bender’s book props up some of Barker’s own work. For instance, the three Men in Black who visited Bender were actually aliens in disguise, and their true form resembled that of the “Flatwoods Monster”. Barker was the chief investigator and promoter of the Flatwoods incident.

YouTube user dslavin’s Spore rendition of the Flatwoods Monster

Bender gives us a very detailed overview of the IFSB’s formation and work, then delves into the reasons for its closure: Bender had an out-of-body experience, apparently caused by visitors from outer space, and in his astral body was taken to a spaceship stationed somewhere in the Antarctic. His escorts on this journey were three aliens with brightly glowing “lightbulb” eyes, disguised as floating men dressed all in black (black suits, black gloves, black homburg hats). On board the ship, another Flatwoods-type alien disguised as a human gave him a brief history of alien visitation to Earth, and explained that the aliens were mining our oceans for some unnamed substance essential to their survival. The refining process they used on the saltwater produced a strange, stringy byproduct that was sometimes left behind (though Bender doesn’t name this stuff, it was very common to early UFO reports and was usually referred to as “angel hair”. After the ’50s, it vanished from UFO stories).
The aliens expressed great concern about our use of nuclear weapons and energy, but they didn’t seem too eager to help out in any way. They just wanted to mine our oceans, then return to their home planet without any trouble. For this reason, they warned Bender not to say anything about their presence. If he did, he might just become a hostage like a few other meddling humans. Once they were safely en route back home, the aliens told Bender, he could reveal everything they had told him.

Silly as all this is, Bender’s book gives us invaluable insight into the early years of American ufology and the creation of the UFO mythos. Interestingly, it contains what may be the first mention of an alien implant; Bender experienced strange headaches both before and after his encounters with the “three men”, and suspected that they had placed some sort of object in his sinus cavity. Of course, many of today’s alien abductees believe this is exactly what the aliens have done to them (in Bender’s case, an X-ray showed no abnormalities). The book also touches on other pseudoscientific theories that are still with us today, including pole shifts (a favourite topic of the 2012 catastrophist crowd). For anyone interested in the roots of ufology and the making of modern legends, Flying Saucers and the Three Men is well worth a read.

Wednesday Weirdness Roundup: UFO Stuff

Cow-blood transfusions and other achy breaky bullshit

  • Yet again, a series of blurry-ass photos help prove the existence of Bigfoot. This is almost as convincing as the video of a blob-that-could-be-a-spaceship abducting a smudge-that-might’ve-been-a-cow. How can you go on denying the evidence?!
  • And speaking of alien cow abductions, at least one UFO Casebook forum commenter/alleged contactee still believes the old cattle-mutilation rumour that bovine blood can be transfused into humans. (Don’t try that at home, kids. I’m pretty sure you’ll just die from immunological shock and leave behind a very confused cow.) On the other hand, this commenter could be screwing with us: His source is a page that says nothing about cow blood and appears to be just an educational “murder mystery” for students.
  • Michael Horn, the spokesman for Swiss contactee/crude hoaxer Billy Meier, will be making two presentations to show why Meier’s story has been “suppressed” by the media (even though just about everyone who knows of Meier first learned of him through the media). Unfortunately for Horn, he announced these appearances with press releases.
  • I’m not exactly sure why, but MSNBC is giving a looot of space to a smackdown between author Leslie Kean (UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record) and NBC’s space analyst James Oberg. He’s criticizing her because eyewitness testimony is often horseshit, and she counters by saying he should have outed himself as a skeptic before writing anything about her UFO book. Is this really newsworthy? Someone writes a UFO book and a skeptic doesn’t like it? Doesn’t that happen every other day?
  • If you thought UFO Hunters was gawdawful, there are reports that a new SyFy channel series will star Billy Ray Cyrus and his son Trace. It’s reportedly going to be called UFOs: Unbelievably Freakin’ Obvious. Please let this be a hoax. Please.

Canada’s Top 5 Strangest Conspiracy Theories (in honour of Canada Day)

This is a tricky post because Canadians, in general, are not a paranoid people. Our conspiracizing is mostly limited to things like, “They must put extra caffeine in this Tim Horton’s coffee, eh?” (which has been thoroughly debunked, BTW). In fact, we have so few conspiracy theories that people have to invent them for us. There’s the “mysterious” disappearance of the famous Avro Arrow, and… uh… that’s pretty much it.
But every country has its rumours, myths, legends, and conspiracy theories, and odds are always excellent that a few of them will be completely insane. So here are a few of ours (eh?).

1. Hitler lives in Antarctica

In 1938-39, the Nazis’ New Swabian expedition set up secret bases in Antarctica and stashed some sacred relics like the Spear of Longinus in the MuhligHofman Mountains. At the end of the war, Hitler and a few cronies were smuggled out of das bunker and ferried to one of these Antarcticic strongholds in a special submarine. They made their way to the South Pole, where a gigantic (but hidden) entrance leads into the paradisical depths of the hollow earth. While the rest of the Nazis were sobbing, wetting their pants, or chomping into their cyanide capsules, Hitler and the crew were sipping pina coladas and singing German drinking songs with aliens. Then, with the aliens’ help, they built a fleet of UFOs with which to conquer the world.

To be honest, this barely counts as a Canadian theory. The escape-to-the-South-Pole part of it was created by neo-Nazi f**cktards in other countries, who combined the bogus “secret diary”l of Admiral Byrd and other Hollow Earthiness with rumours of Hitler’s last-minute escape from Berlin and the weird rantings of Admiral Doenitz. Voila! The stupidest frickin‘ conspiracy theory you’ve ever heard. In Canada, it was adopted in all seriousness by Holocaust denier and all-around jackass Ernst Zundel, who threw in the ET/UFO stuff – because nothing says credibility like aliens living in the hollow earth with Martin Bormann, am I right?
Zundel has since been deported from Canada. Shame we couldn’t send him to the South Pole to hang with his buddies.

Is there any truth to this mess? Well, Hitler did send an expedition to the Antarctic in 1938 to claim a teensy chunk of the region for Germany. This expedition discovered the MuhligHofmann Mountains, though whether they actually hid anything there is anyone’s guess. And the Nazis were fans of Horbiger’s World Ice Theory, which held that Aryan supermen evolved in the coldest climes. Then, after the war, Admiral Doenitz reportedly said something about a Nazi fortress in “the eternal ice”, though no one seems to know precisely where or when he said it. That’s about it for the “evidence”. No reports of aliens being fond of weinerschnitzel have come in yet.

2. Quebec was in on 9/11

This little gem comes to us from an online group of amateur sleuths called Hawks Cafe. As detailed in their documentary 9/11: The Criminal Enterprise and its Pattern (available on Google Video), they followed the money straight into their own asses and proved that 9/11 was the result of an international sabotage conspiracy involving the Clinton administration, the USAF, Boeing and Boeing Canada, NORAD, the Canadian aerospace company MacDonald Dettweiler, and many others. The manpower for this colossal undertaking was provided by the Rizutto crime family, a Montreal-based offshoot of the Bonnanno syndicate. The workforce included U.S. postal workers, U.S. truckers, U.S. air traffic controllers, and everybody else in the U.S. except maybe dental hygienists. They’re still looking into that.

This Boeing-Quebec theory never really caught on among Canadian Truthers. Huh.

3. The North American Union

When Prime Minister Brian Mulroney ushered in NAFTA in 1988, the first step toward Amerida was taken. Sure, we’re not there yet, but it’s going to happen any day now.
The theorists say another fateful step was taken in 2002, when the U.S. and Canada signed an agreement to utilize each other’s militaries in the event of national emergencies, civil unrest, or what-have-you. Some shrilly insisted that the H1N1 pandemic would provide the ideal pretense for U.S. soldiers to come in and take over the country’s natural resources and much-envied comedy troupes.
Canadian conspiranoids sidestepped the fact that Canada has no choice but to make reciprocity agreements with neighboring nations, because our military – well, here’s the deal. Canada has no military. That’s the biggest Canadian conspiracy and cover-up of all, ladies and gentlemen. We say we have a military, and we even pretend to use it from time to time, but it’s just a few volunteer improv comedians in uniforms their moms sewed for them.

In 2008 a CBC miniseries, Trojan Horse, borrowed some of these ideas. In the film, Canada merges with the U.S. and the country is divided up into five zones, fully under U.S. control. Then the U.S president (played by Tom Skerritt) tries to manipulate Amerida into invading Saudi Arabia. Some conspiranoids saw Trojan Horse not as just another crappy CBC thriller-filler designed for a slow primetime week, but as an actual blueprint for what the U.S. government and/or Tom Skerritt plans to do to Canada.

4. Satan is Alive and Well in Canada

According to Lawrence Pazder’s Michelle Remembers, the very first mass market book on Satanic ritual abuse, one of the two headquarters for the secret, worldwide “Satanic Church” is Victoria, British Columbia. It’s a lovely seaside city, as English as its name implies and very popular with tourists. New Agers seem to like it, too. But Satanists?
Well, according to the late Dr. Pazder, you won’t actually see them because they masquerade as wholly average, middle-class Victorians. Then, at night, they horrifically torture their own children, other people’s children, and kittens. Michelle Pazder, Dr. Pazder’s patient-cum-wife, claims her own mother offered her to this cult when she was a young girl. She was put through a seemingly endless string of bizarre rituals involving lots of psychodrama and snakes, then imprisoned in a mysterious chamber for a month-long ceremony called The Feast of the Beast.
Sounds plausible-ish so far, right? That’s because I haven’t mentioned the part where Michelle describes in great detail a staged car crash that never happened, or the murder and dismemberment of her imaginary friend, or the climactic moment when Satan himself showed up for the Feast and the Virgin Mary (speaking French, for some reason) also showed up to protect Michelle from his fiery tail. Add to this the fact that elementary school records show Michelle was not actually absent from school throughout this month of beast-feasting, and you have little more than the script for a B horror movie.

Throughout the ’80s and ’90s, other allegations of murderous, child-abusing Satanic cults popped up in far-flung parts of the country. In Hamilton, Ontario, two little sisters in foster care were prompted to tell stories about their mother and her boyfriend worshipping the devil, filming child pornography, and eating babies. Though no criminal charges were ever laid in the case, both parents lost custody due to the unproven allegations. Years later, the mother resurfaced in desperate need of a kidney transplant. She has not spoken to her daughters since they were taken away from her.

A far less severe, but equally weird, incident occurred in the little farm town of Manning, Alberta in 1991. Disgruntled parents entered the elementary school on the first day of classes and held the principal hostage, demanding that the reading textbook Impressions be removed from the curriculum at once because some of its fairytales and illustrations contained symbols they associated with the occult and witchcraft. They were particularly troubled by the story “Inside My Feet” by Richard Kennedy, about a boy who tricks a pair of magical boots into taking him to the giant who kidnapped his parents. ‘Cause we all know that real witches and occultists have magic boots, right?

5. Chemtrails.

I haven’t seen a chemtrail, even though I look for them every single day, but they’re everywhere. A jet flies by, and poof! Chemtrail. Another jet flies by at a different altitude and poof! Another chemtrail. Pretty soon there are five, six, maybe even seven hundred of the fluffy bastards polluting our pristine Canadian skies with… something or other. Beware!

Bonus Conspiracy: Alex Jones Talks to Russia Today about Canada. (Gawd, if that’s not a marriage made in Stupid…)

And to show you how *well-informed* Jones and crew are about Canada’s political scene, here’s a clip of Webster Tarpley and Jones repeatedly referring to our Governor General Michaelle Jean as “that guy”, and failing to understand that our senators are appointed, not elected. They express genuine amazement that Canada is a constitutional monarchy.

Other Sources:
1. The Nizkor Project‘s page on Zundel’s UFO theories
2. Hawks Cafe documentary 9/11: The Criminal Enterprise and its Pattern (2007)
3. Trojan Horse (2008)
4. – Michelle Remembers by Michelle Smith and Lawrence Pazder (1980, Pocket Books)
– Interpreting Censorship in Canada
by Allan C. Hutchinson and Klaus Petersen (University of Toronto Press, 1999)

E.T. Phone Lawyer

Two “lol wut” moments in ufology

While Stephen Hawking muses that we shouldn’t engage with potentially hostile ETs, and exopolitician Alfred Webre accuses Hawking of taking part in a massive ET smear campaign/time travel coverup, Dan Ackroyd (an exopolitician in his own right) airs his opinion that aliens of 23 different species should be arrested on sight for abducting Earthlings. But he figures aliens don’t want any part of Earth citizens after 9/11, so it’s kind of moot. This does raise an interesting question, though: Should human laws apply to visiting aliens? And if we reach their planet(s) someday, should their laws apply to us? I’d say “no”, but I’m obviously not privy to the same info as Mr. Ackroyd is…

Since 1974, Vancouver grandma Dorothy Izatt has been filming UFOs and anomalous lights that flit around her house on a regular basis. This footage, taken in the mid ’90s, supposedly shows three aliens standing at the “porthole” of their craft. According to some viewers, the alien in the forefront can *clearly* be seen moving its head and/or arm.
In other words, some grayish blobs appear onscreen.

Wednesday Weirdness Roundup

  • Our old buddy Alfred Webre is taking Stephen Hawking to task not only for talking smack about theoretical aliens, but for being part of a vast time travel cover-up. I actually admire this, because it takes serious skills to live at this level of WTFery 24/7.
  • This rather insane site insists that the recent shooting death of a man named John Hemenway has something to do with his father’s participation in the Birther crusade. The senior John Hemenway was an attorney in Philip Berg’s Hollister v. Soetoro lawsuit, which was thrown out of court faster than a drunk bailiff. The “logic” here goes that rather than just whacking Hemenway (which wouldn’t be difficult; he’s in his 80s), Obama’s secret guerrilla death squad or whatever killed his son. Maybe they don’t like frivolous lawsuits.
  • Roughly five minutes after Polish Air Force plane Tu-154 crashed in Russia on April 10, conspiracy theorists around the world were declaring it the assassination of Polish president Lech Kaczynski. Clearly, the New World Order created the dense fog and crappy visibility that precipitated the crash. Now Truthergirl Karen is on the case, wondering if the globalist scumlords took out Kaczynski because Poland didn’t fall in line with The Great Swine Flu Plot of ’09, or because it considered going against the EU’s monetary interests. Now she’s repeating the claim that Andrei Mendierej, a videographer who filmed the crash site, has also been assassinated. There are a few fishy things about this crash, but the main problem with the New World Order assassination theory is that Kaczynski was actually quite chummy with the NWO (or at least the G.W. Bush branch of it).


Hoaxes From Space: The Philadelphia Experiment Part I

The Beginning

In July 1955, a paperback copy of Morris K. Jessup’s recent book The Case for the UFO arrived at the Office of Naval Research in Washington, D.C.
Jessup was an auto parts salesman who had once studied for a doctorate in astrophysics at the University of Michigan (he is sometimes misidentified as an astronomer). He had a deep interest in scientific ufology, believing that rigorous study of the physics of UFOs might unlock the secrets of Einstein’s Unified Field Theory, among other things.

The book had been mailed anonymously from Seminole, Texas, addressed to Admiral N. Furth (a nonexistent officer) with “Happy Easter” scrawled across the envelope. Naval officers found that the book had been copiously annotated by hand, apparently by three different anonymous people (but penned by just one man, as it turned out). These notes were far more intriguing than the book itself, which was a rather standard examination of the flying saucer phenomenon. The author of the notes claimed to know exactly where the alien visitors hailed from and how their vehicles functioned. In fact, he provided so many details that the more imaginative ufologists would wonder if the notes had been written by the aliens themselves.
The author included tantalizing references to things like vortices and magnetic nets, motherships, a Great Ark, a “great bombardment”, and “telepathing”. He also gave the outline of a mysterious “Philadelphia Experiment” conducted under the auspices of the Navy in 1943. Einstein, who was helping the Navy develop conventional weapons at the time, had agreed to apply his incomplete Unified Field theory to the problem of radar invisiblity – and succeeded beyond his wildest dreams.
In the 1880s, German physicist Heinrich Hertz observed that radio waves passed through some objects while reflecting off of others, and realized the incredible potential for detecting objects at a distance. In the 1920s, the U.S. Naval Research Lab experimented with Hertz’s findings and discovered that an interference pattern was returned when a ship or a plane passed through a radio signal. Two decades later, as international tensions escalated in the run-up to WWII, microwave radar was rapidly developed. By 1939, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US possessed functional radar systems.

The next goal: Achieving radar invisibility. But according to the margin notes in Jessup’s book, the Navy went a step farther, and aimed for optical invisibility as well. Einstein himself worked out a way to envelop a destroyer escort (an anti-submarine ship) in an electromagnetic “fog”, a forcefield so powerful it would bend light rather than reflect it, rendering the entire ship invisible.

Whether he knew it or not, the author of the notes had sent his information to just the right people. Captain Sidney Sherby had developed a deep interest in UFOs after one of the best pilots under his command watched a glowing saucer fly in formation with his plane for 5-10 minutes. Commander George Hoover, chief of Special Projects, was also intrigued by saucer sightings, and both men were frustrated by the military’s reticence on the subject. Sherby referred to Blue Book as a “one-way street” and a “sink” into which UFO reports vanished.
Sherby was impressed enough with the bizarre revelations in the margin notes that in 1957 he sought Jessup’s permission to print several hundred copies of the annotated version of his book. It came to be known as the Varo Edition.

Jessup wasn’t too surprised by the notes. Months before his book arrived at the ONR, he began receiving related information in the form of letters from one Carlos Allende of Gainesville, Texas. Among other things, Allende explained that there were two races of extraterrestrials active on Earth; the benevolent “LMs” and the hostile “SMs”. This is strongly reminiscent of the Deros and Teros central to the Shaver Mystery, which was still playing out in the pages of FATE magazine when the Navy received the book.
All of these letters, just like the annotations in Jessup’s book, were batsh** insane. They were written in stilted, grammar-challenged English, with many capitalizations and underlinings. But you have to give the guy some credit for spreading the insanity around. Nowadays it’s easy to slap your craziness up on the ‘Net for all the world to enjoy; back in the ’50s, he actually had to stamp and address all this lunacy.
The first letter Jessup received from Mr. Allende chided him for encouraging his readers to demand government research into Unified Field Theory. He didn’t realize the dangers, Allende warned darkly.
He claimed that as a merchant seaman, he had witnessed the Philadelphia Experiment from the deck of another ship berthed at the Philadelphia Naval dock (the USS Andrew Furuseth), and described in detail the surreal torments suffered by the crew of the destroyer escort used in the experiment, identified in later letters as the USS Eldridge.
Allende watched the Eldridge become encased in a green, “fiery” fog like St. Elmo’s Fire. Then it vanished from sight and radar for several minutes. It flickered back into view, briefly, before teleporting 300 miles away to the harbour at Norfolk, Virginia. When it reappeared in Philly a second time, the skeleton crew on board had undergone irreparable and horrifying changes. Those who were not fused to the steel parts of the ship were prone to spontaneous combustion, going “blank”, or getting “stuck” (unable to move, as though catatonic). Others made it through the experiment safely but vanished in midair later, in front of mystified family members. Over half the surviving crew members had gone insane and had to be permanently confined to psych wards.
Allende opined that the Navy was probably blameless in the whole catastrophe; they didn’t know such terrible things would happen when they reached into the outer limits of science.
In his second missive to Jessup, penned four months later in response to a letter requesting more information, Allende volunteered to undergo hypnosis or take sodium pentothol to help him recall the names and service numbers of some of his shipmates. No one took him up on this offer.

Though he remained quite skeptical of Allende’s claims, Jessup was fascinated by all these weird stories – particularly the Philadelphia Experiment. He tried his hardest to unearth any evidence that could corroborate Allende’s account. By 1959, his research had reached a critical point. He told friend J. Manson Valentine that he had important news to share with him about it, and even claimed the Navy had approached him about joining similar projects. Then his car was found in a park in Coral Gables, Florida, a hose running from the exhaust pipe to the window. Jessup was inside it.
Naturally, quite a few ufologists promoted the idea the idea that there was something sinister about Jessup’s death. Gray Barker fanned the flames the hardest. A friend of Jessup, Ivan T. Sanderson (whom we met in Time Travel Hoaxes?), indicated that Jessup had feared for his life in the days before his death.
But the clues led unmistakeably to suicide. Jessup had sent letters to several people expressing thoughts of ending his life. One of them was addressed to paranormal radio talk show host Long John Nebel (the Art Bell of his day), in which Jessup outlined an afterlife experiment he wanted Nebel to perform on-air after his death. Nebel was to try to contact Jessup on the other side (Jessup’s widow reportedly threatened to sue Nebel if he actually did this, so the experiment was never carried out). When his stepdaughter May learned of Jessup’s death, she automatically replied, “How did he do it?”. By all accounts, he had been deeply depressed for at least a year prior to his death. Financial woes, marital trouble, and professional problems had overwhelmed him. No one really knows if the disturbing stories related to him by Carlos Allende, about deranged sailors and malevolent alien entities, played any part in his emotional decline – but they certainly couldn’t have helped.

In 1967, eight years after Jessup’s death, Allende began sending letters to another ufologist, Jacques Vallee. They were more or less identical to his previous missives, but now Allende seemed eager to make a buck off his notoriety; he offered to sell Vallee flying saucer blueprints for a mere $750, and his own copy of the Varo Edition for $6000. He referred to it as “the book that killed Einstein (so hard was its psychological blow on the good & gentle Einstein)”. Never mind that the Varo Edition was printed two years after he died.
Allende also made more startling revelations, notably that in May or June of 1947, as a crew member of the SS Maylay (a nonexistent ship) he had survived a collision with a UFO that was 1600 feet in diameter. The enormous explosion caused his hair to fall out in clumps, and in the morning the Maylay was coated with a layer of “angel hair” (tinsel-like stuff frequently reported in early close encounters).

Carlos Allende appeared to be a drifter, posting his letters from places as widely separated as Texas, Colorado, and Pennsylvania. Several of them were mailed from New Kensington, Pennsylvania, which just happened to be the home of UFO/sci fi enthusiast Robert Goerman. Beginning in the late ’60s, Goerman attempted to track down Allende and verify details of his stories. By this time the Allende enigma had found its way into dozens of books and magazines devoted to UFOs; he had attained near-legendary status in the UFO community without ever showing his face. In fact, it was probably his elusiveness that led so many people to become obsessed with his stories in the first place.
Then the phantom appeared, briefly. In the summer of ’69, a gaunt and jug-eared mean stepped into the Arizona headquarters of the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO), holding a copy of Jessup’s The Case for the UFO, and introduced himself as Carlos Allende. He declared that the annotations had been “the wildest pack of lies I ever wrote”.

This confession didn’t dim the allure of the Philly Experiment. Instead, it fired even more interest. In 1979, William Moore and Charles Berlitz released their book The Philadelphia Experiment. We’ll be meeting Moore again in the saga of Paul Bennewitz and the Dulce base; for now, I’ll just mention that he’s not exactly the most trustworthy source for accurate information. In fact, he’s an admitted disinformationist and hoaxer.
The Philadelphia Experiment
speculated that the Eldridge had been briefly transferred to another dimension, perhaps even coming into contact with alien beings. And it contained several jaw-droppers, including Moore’s interview with a “Commander Reinhard” who confirmed that the experiment took place more or less as Allende described. More than anything up to that date, Moore’s and Berlitz’s book triggered intense public interest in the Philadelphia Experiment. Allende’s story confirmed that the government does, indeed, hide all the really cool stuff from us. Wanting a piece of the action, Allende recanted his confession and resumed his letter-writing.

Meanwhile, John Goerman was still searching for Allende. He had only managed to locate two of his brothers, Randolph and Donald. Imagine his surprise when an elderly neighbour, Mr. Allen, mentioned in the course of a chat that Randolph, Donald, and “Carlos” (Carl) were his sons. He offered Goerman a boxful of papers, containing letters from Allende and assorted documents. Most of the letters were every bit as disjointed and bizarre as those sent to Jessup and the Navy, but the box held one priceless gem: Carl Allen’s seaman’s papers, bearing the same ID number that he had included in one of his letters to Jessup. At long last, the mystery man was exposed. To be generous, he wasn’t quite what the ufologists expected.

“Carlos Allende” was born Carl Meredith Allen in Springdale, Pennsylvania, in 1925. His brother Donald said he was exceptionally smart, scoring high on an IQ test, but did badly in school. He spent a great deal of time annotating nearly everything he read.
Goerman realized there wasn’tanything mysterious about Carl Allen. He was an eccentric teller of tall tales, plain and simple. He describes their eventual meeting as the most anticlimatic moment of his life.
To Goerman’s surprise, other UFO enthusiasts weren’t receptive to information about the real Allende. He had a hard time finding an outlet for his article on the man. It was ultimately published in the October 1980 issue of FATE, the same magazine that launched the Shaver Mystery.
Allende was furious at being outed as a fibber. He wrote to his father that he wanted to shoot Goerman. Since his ’60 confession to APRO, he had stuck to his story about the Philly Experiment.
In 1983, science writer Linda Strand somehow obtained an interview with Carl Allen in Boulder, Colorado. Puffing a pipe, he informed her that everyone he had ever talked to about the experiment had died under mysterious circumstances. “Within two years,” he said, “you’ll be dead as a doornail.”

Allende himself died in a Colorado nursing home in 1994.

Part II – Along Came Bielek