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Red Pills of the Week — August 3rd

Greetings, fellow Coppertops! This week the Fortean Matrix has in store for us ancient human sacrifices & modern cattle mutilations, dying photons & undying cryptozoological legends. And as we examine a new alternative explanation for the most important magnicide in the XXth century, we’ll give a warm welcome to a man whose name is synonymous with Paranormal Radio. Speaking of radio, someone needs to upgrade the Nebuchadnezzar’s playlist –who the hell downloaded Achy Breaky Heart anyway??!

Pope Attends Welcoming Ceremony in Rio de Janeiro

10 Readers of this column are probably free spirits unbounded by any rigid religious institutions, but that’s certainly not the case with most folks. Even after all the scandals it’s been subjected to, the Catholic church still commands a lot of influence among its millions of followers. That’s why our 1st Red Pill has to do with a comment made by Pope Francis on his way back to the Vatican, after spending a week in Brazil celebrating the Catholic World Youth Day. When asked about the issue of homosexuals in the clergy, this is what he had to said:

“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”

Now, in light of the fact that homosexual acts are still considered a sin by the church, this won’t seem as much of a progressive stance, but you need to take into consideration that under his predecessor Palpatine Benedict, homosexuals were completely banned from entering the seminar & taking the vows, without so much as the benefit of the doubt.

It’s a small step no doubt, but a step in the right direction.

Mummy

9 But it’s hard debating with people who think ALL religions are a blight against human progress, in light of all the terrible atrocities perpetrated throughout history, in order to appease this or that angry deity. Scientific studies performed on the astonishingly preserved mummified remains of a 13-year-old girl sacrificed by the Incas –which were found in 1999 near the summit of Volcán Llullaillaco (6,739 meters high)– reveal she & her companions were being subjected to a special diet prior to their sacrifice some 500 years ago:

Because hair grows about a centimeter a month and remains unchanged thereafter, the Maiden’s long, braided locks contain a time line of markers that record her diet, including consumption of substances like coca and alcohol in the form of chicha, a fermented brew made from maize.

The markers show she appears to have been selected for sacrifice a year before her actual death, Wilson explained. During this period her life changed dramatically, as did her surging consumption of both coca and alcohol, which were then controlled substances not available for everyday use. “We suspect the Maiden was one of the acllas, or chosen women, selected around the time of puberty to live away from her familiar society under the guidance of priestesses,” he said, noting that this practice is described in the accounts of Spaniards who chronicled information on such rites given to them by the Inca.

A previous DNA and chemical study, also led by Wilson, examined changes in the Maiden’s diet and found marked improvements during the year before her death, including the consumption of elite foods like maize and animal protein, perhaps llama meat. Now it’s clear that the Maiden’s consumption of coca also rose heavily throughout the year before her death, spiking dramatically 12 months before her death and again 6 months before her death. (Related: “Thousands of Inca Mummies Raised From Their Graves.”)

The researchers suspect the diet of alcohol & coca would keep the victims sedated, perhaps to make them more docile to  their executioners. The problem is that the consumption of coca as a stimulant –NOT a drug– is very widespread among the Andean indigenous population, who chew on the leaves in order to fight altitude sickness. Of course the same cannot be said about alcohol; among the Aztecs for example, only the elderly were allowed to get drunk! and for that, they resorted to Octli (what we now call pulque), which was usually limited to certain rituals by few selected individuals.

Hell, even chocolate was only restricted to the elite during the age of the Mayas! Think about that next time you’re feasting on Hershey’s kisses.

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8 The sacrifice of humans seems preposterous to our modern sensibilities. But even more preposterous is the death of photons! The particles that compose light are considered by our Physics as immortal, but given the fact that many particles in nature decay over time, why would photons be exempted from following the same fate? The current reasoning is that the half-life of unstable radioactive particles is determined by their mass, but photons are thought to be devoid of mass, hence why they (supposedly) don’t have a half-life.

But what if we’re wrong? what if photons DO have mass, only our instruments are not able to detect them?

“How much do we actually know about photons?” asked particle physicist Julian Heeck at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics at Heidelberg, Germany. “They led to several revolutions in science, but their properties are still a puzzle.”

The current upper limit for the mass of the photon is less than two-billionths of a billionth of a billionth of a billionth of a billionth of a billionth of a kilogram. This would make it about less than a billionth of a billionth of a billionth of the mass of a proton.

Based on the Standard Model of particle physics, which governs the realm of the very tiny, Heeck calculated that photons in the visible spectrum would live for at least 1 quintillion years.

A quintillion is 1000000000000000000 (for the Gringos), which is actually longer than the age of the Universe (13.5 billion years). So yeah, a pretty effing long span of time.

But what’s even more interesting is that, if photons do break down, they would emit particles capable of even greater velocities than that of speed of light. Heeck is not talking about tachyons though, but neutrinos, which he think would be lighter than photons –wait a minute, are we going back to the faster-than-light neutrinos business?

A very radical idea indeed. That’s why it’s worthy of a Red Pill.

7 The fact that we’re considering events longer than the actual age of the known universe means we’re becoming pretty good with Astronomy. And that’s because it’s a game we’ve been playing for longer than most people would care to imagine.

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Let’s look at one of our favorite archeological sites: Gobekli Tepe. Astrophysicist and Archaeoastronomer Giulio Magli has just published a paper on Arxiv.org in which he proposes that the 12,000-year-old Turkish site shows signs of star alignments –SIRIUSLY!

[…]Simulating the sky in the 10th millennium BC, it is possible to see that a quite spectacular phenomenon occurred at Göbekli Tepe in that period: the “birth” of a “new” star, and certainly not of an ordinary one, as it is the brightest star of the sky and the 4th most brilliant object: Sirius. Indeed precession, at the latitude of Göbekli Tepe, had brought Sirius completely under the horizon since the years around 15000 BC. After reaching the minimum, Sirius started to come closer the horizon and it became visible again, as a very low light close to due south, towards 9300 BC.

You can find the PDF paper here. And even though Magli emphasizes his theory is still at a very preliminary stage, it’s a fascinating idea nonetheless.

6 Gobekli Tepe is adorned with effigies of wild fauna –from lions & boards, to birds & insects. Now with the new (tentative) discovery of astronomical alignments, it probably won’t be long before someone proposes the notion that the site was built to commemorate some form of ancient animal mutilations performed by aliens from Sirius –Sorry Giorgio, I came up with it first!

Yet that’s exactly what rancher Lyn Mitchell claims it’s been killing her cows in Missouri, as reported by CBS St Louis on the article “Mutilated Cows Found at Missouri Farm, Police Not Ruling Out the Possibility of Aliens.” Which is actually a rather facetious, because that’s NOT what Henry County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Robert Hills said at all:

“We’re having to look at this from two sides,” says Hills. “Some people believe that there are aliens that are involved in this or the possibility of the occult going to the other end of the spectrum, we’ve talked to other people that say that just when cows die that’s what happens to their bodies.”

“We know that there have been quite a few deaths of cattle this year in Missouri due to the ergot fungus that may have lead to these animals deaths. We’re just not able to determine what the cause of death is at this point,” Hills says.

And yet this theory fails to explain the precision cuts reported by the veterinarian who studied the 3rd cow found dead, and aside from the usual lack of blood present in similar mutilations, the cow’s heart was “removed and exposed.”

[youtube]http://youtu.be/sAlnd5lQbeM[/youtube]

5 When I read about cattle mutilations, I always think of the weird events described in the book Hunt for the Skinwalker, where not only cows found dead with strange cuts and removed organs were reported, but also sightings of tall hairy creatures similar to the legendary Bigfoot.

Speaking of the big guy, last week there were 2 alleged videos of Sasquatch that made the rounds in the Fortean blogosphere & even mainstream media: As reported by our friend Loren Coleman, the 1st video (posted on July 18th. 2013) shows a group of Chinese tourists snapping pics & videos with their smarphones of what appears to be a dark large figure slightly covered by the forest foliage:

[youtube]http://youtu.be/XjAzH2YtokA[/youtube]

The second video, which received more publicity, was posted on July 24th. It was taken in British Columbia & shows a tall ‘hairy’ creature on top of a hill.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/yeQ_c0DqQjY[/youtube]

As I wrote on Cryptozoonews’ comment section, I think both videos have some good & bad things going:

  • The vid with the Chinese tourists is more spectacular, but the behavior is so… Unsquatch-like? How many times we’ve heard of witnesses claiming that when spotted, Bigfoot will quietly retreat. This thing is doing its business unmindful of all the noisy people pointing cameras at it! Also, where are the witnesses? where are the rest of all those videos?
  • The vid from British Columbia is less impressive, because we really can’t detect much detail –typical Blobsquatch. Having said that, if this was a hoax then someone took A LOT of effort in pulling it off.

What do you think?

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4 Perhaps the fate of all Bigfoot hunters is never to confirm the existence of the elusive creature. Perhaps if there was a way to change their fortune… how about a cosmetic surgery to change the lines of their palms?

Yes, changing the lines of your palms is a thing in –where else?– Japan.

According to Takaaki Matsuoka, a plastic surgeon at the Shonan Beauty Clinic’s Shinjuku branch if you change your palm, it can change the reading, and change your future. Dr. Matsuoka says the cosmetic procedure of altering palm lines is simple, if you know what you are doing. It takes just 10 to 15 minutes and the wounds take a month to heal during which time they have to remain bandaged.

The procedure costs around $1,000. And I for one wouldn’t know how to react if I shook the hand of someone with those scars on their palms. I imagine I would have to make a great effort in order not to bring MY palm in contact with my face…

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3 Maybe someone should have recommended Matsuoka-san to Bradley Manning, that way maybe he would have averted the fate of spending the rest of his life behind bars. The US Army private, involved with the greatest leaks of classified documents in recent history, obtained a pyrrhic victory last Tuesday when he was found not guilty of aiding the enemy by the judge observing his trial. He was however found guilty of espionage along with other 20 charges in total, and he could potentially be sentenced to 136 years in jail. He still awaits a formal sentence.

Manning’s fate has a great deal of consequence for Edward Snowden, even if he now has the comfort of a formal asylum granted by Russia, and left the airport where he had been stranded while the United States & other nations battled over his legal situation. Many analysts have concluded the Obama administration is seeking to send a strong message to any potential whistle-blowers; a grim prospect in light of what we know about the NSA’s snooping programs. You think PRISM was scary? Wait ’til you hear about XKeyscore, which allows the tracking of individuals who’ve searched the Internet for ‘suspicious stuff.’

Particularly notable is a series of secret NSA slides on the program, dated from 2008. The slides are marked “release to” United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada, suggesting XKEYSCORE is accessible to spy agencies in each of these countries. (It is also reportedly used by German authorities.) They show how the NSA collects data on emails, browsing sessions, and what people are searching for online—“nearly everything a typical user does on the internet,” as one slide puts it. The system enables analysts to trawl through this information in order to find what is described in the slides as “anomalous events.” Anyone sending encrypted emails or documents, searching for things deemed “suspicious stuff,” or using a language that is “out of place” for the region they are in may get flagged up as a potential target for further surveillance.

So careful what you Google for.

bwkenass

2 What would John F. Kennedy have thought of the Orwellian grasp the NSA & other agencies have managed to procure? In his time he was aware that Hoover kept a file on all of his personal enemies, which is probably the reason JFK never managed to get rid of him…

Speaking of JFK, a new documentary is proposing a radical alternative theory to his assassination, different from the binary “Oswald did it / It was a conspiracy!” choices we’ve been forced to choose from all these years. “JFK: The Smoking Gun”, based on the 4-year investigation by police detective Colin McLaren & Bonar Menninger’s book Mortal Error: The Shot That Killed JFK, proposes there WAS a second shooter: Secret Service agent George Hickey, who accidentally shot the president & caused his death.

Addressing the crowd, McLaren claimed that Hickey and other Secret Service agents were out partying the night before Kennedy’s fatal motorcade drive through Dallas. Based on his painstaking investigation, McLaren said, evidence suggests Hickey was not qualified to use the weapon he was holding the morning of the shooting.

“It was his first time in the follow car, his first time holding the assault weapon he was using,” McLaren said. Producers said the film’s theory is that shots rang out, and Hickey grabbed his weapon to return fire. When his car stopped suddenly, Hickey accidentally discharged his weapon — making him the second shooter, the film’s investigators and producers alleged.

This theory reminds me of Bill Cooper’s theory expounded in Behold a Pale Horse, where he claimed the limousine’s driver was the one who killed Kennedy –something many researchers doubt, given how it was based on a 2nd or 3rd generation copy of the Zapruder film, and also the fact that Cooper was an um, eccentric individual –read: mad as a hatter.

Art Bell

1 Conspiracy theories, disinformation campaigns & truths buried between lies were the bread & butter of radio legend Art Bell during his time as host on Coast to Coast AM. But after a brief (semi) retirement, the master of paranormal radio is coming back to the airwaves courtesy of Sirius XM.

“I missed it terribly,” said Bell, 68, whose weeknight show will air live from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. ET. Sirius is building a studio at Bell’s rural Nevada home where he will work.
A Sirius representative contacted Bell through social media a few months ago, leading to the formation of his show, “Art Bell’s Dark Matter.” He’ll talk about things like UFOs, ghosts, near-death experiences and weird aspects of science. He’ll do interviews and take calls from viewers.
Scott Greenstein, Sirius XM president and chief content officer, said the show will be “uncensored, unrestricted, uncluttered and utterly unique.”
“There’s probably more interest in the genre now than when I did it,” Bell said. “When I did it, I was damned near alone.”

It certainly is a different ball game than when Bell started his show in the 90’s. On the one hand Fortean phenomena are more often discussed by mainstream media, and are not relegated to nightly radio shows. There’s also the capacity of immediate input of anomalous reports from all around the world. But on the other hand, it seems like the deluge of data is making the sorting of the wheat from the chaff a much more daunting task than it used to be, back when we all had to rely on a dial-up modem.

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Also, we don’t seem any closer to solving these mysteries.

Were you a fan of Art? Are you excited about his return to the microphone? share your thoughts on the comment section.

Until next time this is RPJ jacking out, reminding you to keep your ears to the ground & your eyes fixed on the sky –even if it gives you a nasty pain in the neck…

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Miguel Romero a.k.a. Red Pill Junkie is a cartoonist and fortean blogger who writes at Daily Grail and Mysterious Universe..
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