Feb 19, 2013 I Miguel Romero

Red Pills of the Week — February 16th

Greetings, fellow Coppertops! This week our training session will show us zombie outbreaks & cyborg murders, flying squids & pyramids of fire. And as we assess the risk our civilization faces from space meteors, we'll try to uncover the real reasons behind the Pope's resignation. You know, the members of the Zion council can't resign their position --also, there's far less pederasty scandals down there. Just sayin'...

10 After De. 21st came & went, a huge chunk of the population became hugely frustrated because the Mayas had deprived us of the Zombie apocalypse we've all had hoped & prepared for --and by 'prepare' I mean playing long sessions of WarZ & renting The Walking Dead on Netflix.

War Z!

But this week citizens of Montana got the chance of feeling inside of a George Romero movie, thanks to hackers who interrupted a Monday's afternoon broadcast on local station KRTV (a CBS affiliate) with a male voice telling viewers that "Civil authorities in your area have reported that the bodies of the dead are rising from the grave and attacking the living." The voice warned not "to approach or apprehend these bodies as they are extremely dangerous."

The Zombiemergency didn't cause any kind of panic outbreak reminiscent of Orson Welles' 1938 radio transmission of War of the Worlds. Is the American populace less gullible nowadays, or was it all a REAL zombie threat which was subsequently white-washed by the secret government? Share your thoughts on the comment section.

9 The dead rising to wage war on the living seems like too fantastic a scenario for many of us, but what about cyborgs bent on enslaving the rest of the un-enhanced human population? A disquieting news from South Africa had a certain tinge of the Terminator movies when it was reported that Oscar Pistorius, the famous South African amputee athlete with prosthetic legs --who was recently mentioned at the Pills for defeating a horse-- is now the prime suspect in the murder of his girlfriend, supermodel Reeva Steenkamp.

Oscar Pistorius

It is sad to see how Pistorius, who was not only a symbol of perseverance & determination to people with special abilities, but also a sort of precursor of the type of cybernetic enhancements to the human body we're likely to witness in the decades to come, now finds himself embroidered in a sordid judicial procedure a-la O.J. Simpson. If found guilty, it would go to show that there's a difference between an 'enhanced' human, and a 'better' human.

8 Speaking of trials, the court of on-line public opinion is cracking hard on Melba Ketchum, who has finally published her long-awaited Bigfoot DNA paper on the peer-reviewed scientific journal DeNovo. The good news quickly turned sour once a group of inquisitive skeptics began to raise questions about the credentials of this seemingly new journal, whose ONLY publication so far has been Ketchum's paper. Add to the fact that the paper is not freely available (access costs $30) and suddenly every skeptic in the Internet began to cry foul.

That Rug.

If it turns out that Ketchum decided to bypass proper peer-review by launching her own journal, then it certainly raises a lot of valid red flags on the validity of her claims. Not only that, but now it seems that Ketchum has gained full control of the equally controversial Erickson Project, who have been teasing about alleged incredible footage of live Sasquatch up-close, and suddenly it all has the tone of a carnival circus - Specially in light of the most recently leaked 'Matilda' footage. Sleeping Bigfoot or (as Ben & Aaron say) a discarded 70's rug? You decide.


I hate to say it but at this point I'm siding with the skeptics. Even if Ketchum & her team have incredible evidence of large undiscovered primates living in North America, her story is becoming a casebook example of what NOT to do when trying to bring controversial data to the attention of the scientific community.

7 People prone to conspiracy theories like to argue how the REAL reason why Bigfoot is not accepted by mainstream media, is because it would disrupt the business of logging companies, who would found themselves restricted from exploiting the natural resources of these creatures' habitat. Hence it's much more convenient if Bigfoot is regarded as only a myth.

Jamnagar refinerySpeaking of natural resources, news come from India that a red glowing UFO was observed over the world's largest oil refinery in Jamnagar, Gujarat. 3 days later the object returned & several photographs were taken.

Due to its important strategic nature --and because the refinery is so close to the Pakistani border-- the sightings were reported to the government, which in returned put the Air Force, Navy & Coast Guard have been put in high alert. Let's just hope the events aren't explained away as simple Chinese lanterns, as it was the case with the sightings that took place at the India/Tibet border at the end of 2012.

6 You've heard of UFOs, and even USOs, but have you heard of UFCs? That's my acronym for Unidentified Flying Cephalopods, and now scientists have conclusive proof that squids can come out of the water & glide for a few moments, using a powerful jet of water ejected from their mouths while they spread their tentacles & fins to attain a more aerodynamic shape.

Well D'oh! here in the Matrix we already knew squids could fly, egg-heads! Now clear away while I fire up the EMP rifle on these critters.


5 Having a group of flying squid would be an interesting acquisition for any aquarium in the world, but that's because we don't feel much remorse in keeping lower forms of life entrapped for our collective amusement. Our sense of ethics kicks in when humans with malformations or rare diseases are the ones being exhibited.

Monkey Business

Things were different in the XIXth century, when Julia Pastrana was paraded all over Europe as a carnival attraction. Pastrana, a Mexican woman suffering from hypertricosis & gingival hiperplasia which gave her a grotesque appearance, was taken out of Mexico by her unscrupulous husband who not only exhibited her as the 'ape woman' in front paying audiences, but kept her under lock during must of her life, until she died due to childbirth complications.

Unfortunately her story didn't end there: To add insult to injury, her remains were kept in a warehouse at the University of Oslo in Norway, as a morbid testament of an age when the Western world was more interested in scientific advancement than showing empathy toward the races of the undeveloped nations. But then some Mexican authorities started the diligences necessary to repatriate Pastrana to Mexico, and last week she was finally put to rest after the celebration of a Catholic mass,  in her hometown of  Sinaloa de Leyva.

Bienvenida, Julia.

4 From Sinaloa we now head south to Central Mexico, where the ancient city of Teotihuacán is located. By the time the Aztecs arrived to these lands, the city was an ancient ruin, and yet its buildings were so magnificent the Aztecs concluded that it hadn't been built by ordinary men. Thus they named it 'the city where men turned into gods'.

The Aztecs also assumed that the largest pyramid in the city had been erected to honor the sun, and the smallest one to honor the moon, and to this day the modern inhabitants of Mexico still refer to these monuments as the 'pyramid of the Sun' & the 'pyramid of the Moon.'

Fire God

But a ground-breaking discovery could re-write our preconceptions about Teotihuacán. Archeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology & history report that at the top of the pyramid of the Sun they discovered a statue depicting Huehuetéotl, the elder god of Fire who was revered by several cultures in Mesoamerica. The new finding would seem to indicate that the pyramid was consecrated to this traditional deity, who later diminished in importance among the new tribes that inhabited Mexico's central valley after the fall of the Teotihuacán empire.

But, if the large pyramid was built in honor of the fire-god, then what of the smaller one? Some archeologists are now theorizing that perhaps it was built to worship the goddess of water, who was subsequently replaced by Tlaloc, the god traditionally associated with water & rain that was still revered by the Aztecs when the Spaniards arrived.

I for one find fascinating how ruins that are so well-known can still surprise us with novel findings. What other mysteries remain buried in ancient Teotihuacán? Stay tuned...

3 Speaking of buried mysteries, fans of Lovecraft are well aware of the short story The Color Out of Space, in which a meteor crashes near a small isolated town, unleashing a terrible infection that kills everyone in the vicinity --not before turning them insane.

Alien Dude

And now in a rare twist of life imitating art, a Canadian miner is claiming that a meteorite he found infected him with an extraterrestrial life form. Daniel Sabo, a Yukon miner specializing in precious metals, says he discovered the meteorite in 1986, and after storing it in a variety of places inside his home he moved to Arizona where he unsuccessfully attempted to sell the space rock. And here's where the story turns curioser & curioser:

"Sabo believes Arizona’s warm, arid climate induced a change in the meteorite because a “green crust” started growing along the rock’s natural seam. Unable to legally sell the meteorite, Sabo decided to return to Canada. The National Post explains, “As he drove home with it, sometimes balancing it in the crook of his elbow, he developed a terrible rash up and down his arm. He believed he had been infected by some extraterrestrial life form, and was mightily scared.”"

The story is not devoid of some classic conspiracy scenarios, as Sabo gave the rock for analysis to scientists working for the Geological Survey of Canada in 1999. When he tried to get his meteorite back --this despite his fears of extraterrestrial infection-- he accused the geologists of removing the portion with the green crust. Not only that, he now claimed the meteorite was completely replaced, and sued the GSC, but the court found no evidence of foul play.

I for one think someone should check Mr Sabo's ears, just to be on the safe...


2 Space rocks plummeting out of the sky are bad enough, even without the threat of extraterrestrial infections --Just ask the dinosaurs.

But, since we humans just can't seem to be able to learn valuable lessons these days without the aid of good audiovisuals, last Friday the entire world was amazed by the footage of a bolid crossing through the skies of Russia, in the Chelyabinsk and Sverdlovsk regions.


The meteor explosion, which caused the collapse of a roof at a zinc factory & injured close to a thousand workers, was so powerful that it sent shockwaves 'heard' (by instruments) all around the world. New estimations give the meteor a size of 17 meters (55 feet) which is still not enough to be detectable with our current instruments --hence the lack of warning. The impact took place hours before Asteroid 2012 DA14 made a close flyby at a distance of 17,200 miles, even though NASA scientists were quick to point out that the 2 events were completely unrelated. Citizens of Cienfuegos in Cuba are excused not to share NASA's confidence, as another meteor is reported to have crashed near that region last Wednesday --an event not devoid of synchromystical resonance, since Cienfuegos literally means '100 fires' in Spanish.


I'm sure that by now Russian citizens are wishing we allocated more funds into the detection of dangerous asteroids. Because as Joe Rogan astutely commented on Twitter, "That Russian meteor footage is a nice reminder that we're flying through the universe in an organic spaceship with no roof."



1 Russia had an interesting role in the life of the late Pope John Paul II. Not only there's ample reasons to suspect the KGB was involved in the attempt to assassinate him on May 13th 1981, but afterward he became personally convinced that the Virgin of Fatima interceded to save his life. Because of this, he tried to fulfill the Virgin's wishes --as they were transmitted by Lùcia dos Santos, the surviving member of the 3 young shepherds who were involved in the famous Fátima sightings on 1917-- of consecrating Russia to her immaculate heart; something he finally fulfilled in 1984, and is understood by the Catholic faithful as the reason why the Soviet empire quickly crumbled less than ten years later.

As everyone on planet Earth knows by now, John Paul's successor Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation last Monday --the 11th of the month, giving credence to the numerological idea that 11 represents deep change. Many outside the church were quick to see in his decision a failure to solve the many scandals soiling the image of the Church, from child abuse accusations to misappropriation of funds & corruption in the running of the Vatican bank.

But his message during the Ash Wednesday homily might offer more clues about his decision, when he called for an end to rivalries within the church:

“I am thinking in particular of the sins against the unity of the church, of the divisions in the body of the church,” he said. “Overcoming individualism and rivalry is a humble and precious sign for those who have distanced themselves from the faith or who are indifferent.”

His words clearly hint to a severe schism within the higher echelons of the Catholic church, and by stepping down Ratzinger is expressing his inability to correct the divisions. Which shouldn't surprise us, since his career as an academic theologian more comfortable with books & canonical concepts than with issuing orders to men of flesh & blood, didn't probably equip him with the necessary perspicacity to deal with the suffocating power struggles inside the Vatican walls.

And now that the cardinals are rushing to arrange the future conclave which will decide the election of the next successor to St. Peter's throne, is hard not to think of the famous prophecies of St. Malachy, and how according to him --or rather, according to how WE now interpret his prophecy-- the Church has only one last Pope left, until the final judgement of God Almighty --who might or might not have had something to say a few hours after the historic announcement...

A lightning strikes the basilica of St Peter's dome

Until next time, this is RPJ jacking out, now heading to Zion where no divine lightning strikes tend to fall down.



Miguel Romero

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

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