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Red Pills of the Week — November 23th

Greetings, fellow Coppertops! In this week’s journey through the Fortean Matrix, We’ll discover celebrity psychics & archaic orgies, new islands in Japan & old Coneheads in France. And as we try to win the jackpot in the SETI lottery, we’ll try to uncover the truth behind one of the most important events in the XXth century. And at the end of the day, isn’t the Truth something worth fighting for? Something worth dying for?

10 Hang on a minute, I’m getting a message from the spirit world: Celebrity psychic Sylvia Browne has passed away at age 77. During her long career she managed to raise a lot of controversy due to her wrong predictions concerning missing children, which turned her into the perfect target for the likes of Randi & all many skeptic organizations. It is because of people like Browne that genuine research into ESP has been set back decades & psychics are considered to be nothing but charlatans among the general public. I hardly need any special gifts to predict it will take quite a while to get rid of such a heavy baggage in the parapsychology field.

9 Can psychics have premonitions of volcanic eruptions? We should entertain the possibility, even though we normally learn of these natural events after the fact. Take for instance this incredible video taken near the coast of Nishinoshima in Japan, showing the formation of a new island. These tiny volcanic formations tend to disappear back into the ocean fairly quickly, but if it stays long enough to become a full-fledged island, government spokesman Yoshihide Suga told the press that it will receive an official name & be incorporated into the Japanese territory.

DIBS!

8 I know, I know. A video of a volcanic island rising from the ocean is nowhere near as cool as a video of a giant Kaiju coming to the surface to raise havoc in Tokio. Unfortunately videos of giant monsters are hard to come by… until now?

"You think this is big? You should see the size of the apple it came out from!"

“You think this is big? You should see the size of the apple it came out from!”

The website Before it’s News linked a still photograph & a Youtube video recorded in Vietnam, of what looks like a giant worm-like creature dwarfing a group of curious bystanders.  Did Shai Hulud take a trip to the tropics??

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=al7d6kYHTKU

Alas, fellow Dune fans, it was not so: The Huffington Post asked our friend Loren Coleman for his opinion, and according to the seasoned cryptozoologist the creature was the carcass of a “mid-sized finned baleen whale,” possibly a fin whale.

Oh well… let’s get on with our journey. The Red Pills, like the spice, must flow.

7 Back when I was a kid, the cryptids that probably fascinated me the most, were the alleged dinosaurs that were still alive in some remote region of the Congo. I reckon that would’ve been the closest thing to re-discovering a lost world where Time had stood still. Nowadays I think it would be easier if someone like Elon Musk decided to fund a real-life Jurassic Park —Hyperloops are sexy, but living dinosaurs will always manage to bring a hard-on to geeks like me.

Which is why I needed a fresh set of underwear when I first read about Siats meekerorum, a new species of carnosaur that makes T. Rex look like a little bitch.

“It’s been 63 years since a predator of this size has been named from North America,” said Lindsay Zanno, a paleontologist at North Carolina State University and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

“You can’t imagine how thrilled we were to see the bones of this behemoth poking out of the hillside,” said Zanno, who is the lead author of a Nature Communications paper describing the new species.

Zanno, along with Peter Makovicky, from Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History, discovered the dinosaur bones in Utah’s Cedar Mountain Formation in 2008. The dinosaur’s species name “meekerorum” is an homage to the Meeker family, who provided support to Zanno and other young paleontologists.

According to the Ute mythology, the Siats is a cannibalistic clown entity –think Pennywise in Stephen King’s novel It, which would be even scarier if the damn clown was riding one of these giant killing machines!

6 From Paleontology we now move to Anthropology, with a discovery that’s rather odd –not to say acute: A group of researchers found a 1650-year-old elongated skull, the type of cranial deformation that was quite common among the Maya  in South-east Mexico –except this skull was discovered in France!

Mon Dieu!

Mon Dieu!

The pointy cranium, thought to be from an aristocrat, was discovered inside 1 of 18 tombs which contained a great variety of artifacts, including gold pins, pearls & a rare bronze mirror. It’s believed the tombs belonged to soldiers & their families from Asia who fought for the Roman arm. It was Attila & the Huns who introduced the practice of elongating the size of the skull through the practice of binding the head with planks during early infancy, and apparently it was all the rage in places like Germany.

So you see, when the Coneheads said they came from France, they weren’t kidding!

5 Maybe the pointy heads were meant to compensate for um, other physical deficiencies ? But how many women would’ve fallen for that?! –“Yo babeh, check out how high my head goes.”

If you think that back in the old days they didn’t have as much fun as we do, THINK AGAIN: The latest findings presented last November 18, at a meeting on ancient DNA at the Royal Society in London, show that the Dawn of Mankind was like a midnight Cinemax movie:

New genome sequences from two extinct human relatives suggest that these ‘archaic’ groups bred with humans and with each other more extensively than was previously known.

The ancient genomes, one from a Neanderthal and one from a different archaic human group, the Denisovans, were presented on 18 November at a meeting at the Royal Society in London. They suggest that interbreeding went on between the members of several ancient human-like groups living in Europe and Asia more than 30,000 years ago, including an as-yet unknown human ancestor from Asia.

“What it begins to suggest is that we’re looking at a ‘Lord of the Rings’-type world — that there were many hominid populations,” says Mark Thomas, an evolutionary geneticist at University College London who was at the meeting but was not involved in the work.

Lord of the Rings, eh? Yeah, I’ve seen that porn spinoff all right…

But what of that ‘unknown human ancestor from Asia’?  Are we talking Elves here? Cryptoterrestrials? Horny Almastis? Or should we go all Tsoukaliscious here  & drop the ‘A’ bomb? One thing’s for sure: Anthropology courses are starting to look *way* more interesting than Game of Thrones.

4 On my 2-part essay Eros & UFOs I tried to explore the several erotic connotations in Fortean encounters with non-human intelligences. Perhaps the reason why SETI & other mainstream astronomers reject the UFO database –with it’s overtly sexual material full of inter-species intercourse & extraction of bodily fluids– in such a vehement manner, is because it’s simply another angle of the Western patriarchal repression in our society.

Yes, for the people collaborating with SETI, contact with another extraterrestrial intelligence is still something to look forward to in the future. Jacob Haqq-Misra of the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science has come up with an idea to fund the search for ET: The SETI lottery bond:

The SETI Lottery Bond is a fixed rate perpetual bond with a lottery at maturity, where maturity occurs only upon discovery and confirmation of extraterrestrial intelligent life. Investors in the SETI Lottery Bond purchase shares that yield a fixed rate of interest that continues indefinitely until SETI succeeds—at which point a random subset of shares will be awarded a prize from a lottery pool. SETI Lottery Bond shares also are transferable, so that investors can benefact their shares to kin or trade them in secondary markets. The total capital raised this way will provide a fund to be managed by a financial institution, with annual payments from this fund to support SETI research, pay investor interest, and contribute to the lottery fund.

It’s kind of ironic, if you think about it, to fund the search for alien intelligences with a cash prize; specially when you hear all these ideas re. Disclosure, and how the revealing of the true nature of UFOs to the public would inevitably bring about a financial unrest threatening to collapse the global markets.

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mars-rock

If I were your financial adviser, I’d recommend that instead of investing in SETI lottery bonds, you’d diversify your portfolio into rare metals –by ‘rare’ I’m talking about ‘out-of-space’ rare…

A meteorite found last year in the Sahara desert is now thought to be the first piece of ancient Martian crust, which it means this little rock can reveal to us the secrets of the Red Planet’s ancient past –A time when our cousin planet might have been able to support life.

The idea of finding small pieces from another world here in our own planet is mind-bending, and makes me wonder whether the ‘pollination’ effect is reciprocal. Are there pieces of Earth scattered through the deserts of Mars?

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ISS

Sooner or later humans will venture through the enormous distances & take the 1st steps on Mars & other worlds of the Solar System. But that venture would be unimaginable if we hadn’t gathered enough information about the effects of microgravity & exposure to cosmic rays from the multiple crews aboard the international space station (ISS) which this week celebrated its 15th anniversary.

The ISS started out as just one module, Zarya, or sunrise, when translated, launched by Roscosmos on Nov. 20, 1998. NASA would follow with the Unity module, aboard the space shuttle Endeavour, on Dec. 4, 1998. The STS-88 mission marked space history as it was the first-ever space station assembly, notes NASA. There was no blueprint for attaching the two modules, Zarya, known as the Functional Cargo Block and Unity, known as Node 1, built by different space agencies, in orbit.

Yes, that spidery web of metallic tubes & solar panels is a looong shot from the beautiful radial utopia portrayed by Kubrick in the movie 2001. But the beauty behind the ISS is that it was born out of the cooperation between two sworn enemies, the United States & Russia. For a kid born during the last throes of the Cold War, it is a testament of hope. Hope that we can look beyond our trivial differences & set out a common goal, grander than the sum of us all.

1 The ISS is also a (last) bastion of American leadership in outer space. A leadership that could not have been possible if president John Fitzgerald Kennedy hadn’t made the pledge to put men on the Moon in 1962.

This week marked the 50th anniversary of one of the most defining moments in modern history: the assassination of JFK at the Dealey plaza in Dallas, Texas. After that fateful day of November 22, 1963, rivers of ink & forests of paper have been used to try to explain the who, how & why of those relevant moments. I myself watched in my youth Oliver Stone’s pro-conspiracy film, tried to peruse through the autopsy evidence, and re-watched the Zapruder film on Youtube several times.

I do not consider myself an expert on this matter. Although skeptic of the Warren commission’s results, I could not in all honesty tell you whether there were more shooters involved or only a lone gunman. The ‘back and to the left’ motion no longer convinces me as conclusive evidence of a projectile coming from the front, yet I still think the ‘magic bullet’ theory is a joke.

I do not know who killed Kennedy, nor why. I only know that with him died the last remnants of the American implicit trust in official institutions. Whether it was concerted conspiracy, deliberate occultation or plain incompetence is unimportant; what matters is that henceforth the public learned to distrust their elected representatives. It is an impasse which we somehow must manage to overcome, lest our survival as a species is severely compromised –something I elaborate further on the essay Peak Trust.

Yet the fact that we can still speculate & fight about JFK, Oswald, the grassy knoll, etc, is something we should be thankful for. Because during Kennedy’s term the world came close to total nuclear annihilation. For 13 days the fate of humanity was put on the hands of this womanizing Irish-descendant with back problems, and somehow he managed to save us all.

I thank him for that.

Until next time, this is RPJ jacking out. I invite you to become the knights of a New Camelot –what say you?

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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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