Mar 18, 2023 I Paul Seaburn

Alien Mothership, Rock-Throwing Ghost, Local Wormholes, Cat-Foxes and More Mysterious News Briefly

A roundup of mysterious, paranormal and strange news stories from the past week.

Paleontologists who recently found the fossilized voice box of a Pinacosaurus grangeri, an armored and club-tailed tank of a dinosaur that terrorized Earth 80 million years old, have competed their analysis and determined that this huge beast sounded like a chirping bird with a melodious voice – not the roars, hisses and grunts depicted in dinosaur movies. This could someday prove that the club tail was for whacking other dinosaurs who laughed at it.

OpenAI's GPT-4 large language model was released this week with the developers bragging that the algorithm got fantastic scores on a number of exams, including 163 out of 180 on the LSAT, 710 out of 800 on the SAT Reading, 700 out of 800 on the SAT Math, 163 out of 170 on the GRE, and a score in the top 10% on a simulated bar exam. Good news for humans – it couldn’t fill out the form to apply for student loans.

A draft research report authored by Sean Kirkpatrick, the director of the Pentagon’s All-Domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) and Abraham Loeb, chairman of Harvard University’s astronomy department, reveals the Pentagon believes that aliens could be visiting our solar system and releasing smaller probes from a mother ship just like NASDA does on missions to other planets – and interstellar objects like Oumuamua could be those ships. Is this to distract us from the UFO balloons … or vice versa?  

If climbing Mount Everest is on your bucket list, a new study using microbial DNA analysis of soil at a camp almost five miles up warns that it is filled with germs and microbes from sneezing climbers that can and have survived for decades or even centuries – a discovery that indicates microbes could also survive on cold planets in areas that appear to be lifeless. Future starships will need a replicator that can create boxes of tissues.

A study of British pet owners who play music for their animal companions found that dogs like rock music the best, while cats prefer classical music and hamsters enjoy hip-hop beats. When their owner’s radio is tuned to classic rock, they all dig The Animals, The Turtles, the Eagles and The Monkees.

A mysterious legendary creature known as the "cat-fox" and once thought to only be a part of Corsican shepherd folklore has been proven to exist on the French Mediterranean island and given its own genus as the striped ring-tailed cat-fox – shepherds have told stories for generation about how the mysterious cat-fox attacks udders of their ewes and goats. Local cats and foxes can now drop all of their paternity suits.

Scientists at the University of Manchester have created a new material called 'StarCrete' which is made from extraterrestrial dust, potato starch, and a pinch of salt and could be used as a cheap renewable way to build homes on Mars or even pave roads. When asked for a comment, the Mars rover Curiosity requested the first shipment of StarCrete be used to patch potholes.

Trevor the Time Traveller, who claims to be from the year 2049, warns that the human race will be struck by a "zombie virus" between 2023 and 2024 that will infect a quarter of the world’s population, and in 2025 the U.S. state of Ohio will declare a war against the whole world. Apparently, the residents of Ohio really object to zombie vaccines and masks.

Robotics researchers at MIT have developed bug-sized aerial robots that can sustain severe damage to the actuators, or artificial muscles, that power their wings but are still able to fly effectively. Did our spy satellites pick up signs that our enemies are building high tech flyswatters?

New research reveals that Leonardo da Vinci, the painter of the "Mona Lisa" and a symbol of the Renaissance, was only half-Italian – his mother was long been thought a Tuscan peasant, but it is now believed she was a Circassian slave taken from her home in the Caucasus Mountains and sold in various Italian cities before ending up in Florence with Piero (Peter) da Vinci, who freed her and fathered Leonardo. It must be true … Dan Brown was seen talking to Tom Hanks.

Paranormal investigators visiting the Galleries of Justice in Nottingham, considered to be one of the most haunted places in the U.K.,  claimed to have recorded the voice of a poltergeist who had pelted them with rocks while they were in caves below the building that was used as a dungeon – they believe the voice said “No” when asked if it was enjoying frightening them. They should have asked again after the rocks hit a few of them.

The Craigdarroch Hotel in the village of Foyers, which is fully refurbished and has magnificent views of Loch Ness and five 24-hour web cams for spotting the Loch Ness monster, is up for sale for £895,000 ($1.086 million). It’s not a bed-and-breakfast – it’s more of a bed-and-look-fast.

University of Bristol physicist Hatim Salih has created the first-ever practical blueprint for making a local wormhole in a lab that verifiably bridges space and allows a small object to be reconstituted across space without any particles crossing. If you listen very closely, you can hear quantum particles saying, “Beam us up, Scotty.”

The remains of an aristocratic Roman woman dating back 1,600 years were found by archaeologists during a dig near Garforth, Leeds, in an 'extremely rare' lead coffin and are believed to be from the transition period between the late-Roman and early-Saxon people as it shows different burial customs from both cultures. Not only was she an aristocrat but she also had male relatives strong enough to carry a lead coffin.

A study by UC Riverside’s Center for Invasive Species Research shows that black widow spiders across the southern United States are getting eaten up by brown widow spiders, their lesser-known and non-native cousins whose venom is a minor non-fatal irritant to humans – the brown widows are now blamed for a huge drop in the black widow population. Has either widow one thought about sharing their males instead of eating them?

Proving once again that the paranormal is becoming the normal, the Portland Trail Blazers NBA team unveiled its new mascot - Douglas Fur, a seven-foot Bigfoot dressed in a plaid shirt and a red beanie. The Trail Blazers are near the bottom of the Western Conference standings, so they’re also fitting Douglas for a jersey and shoes.

To keep rovers from losing their data on other planets, theoretical physicist Wolfgang Fink propose they take a tip from fairy tale stars Hansel and Gretel Rovers and drop sensors the size of AirPods while they rove which can be followed like bread crumbs in case they get lost or worse. Does Fink really think aliens don’t also read Grimm’s Fairy Tales?

Truck driver William Church says he was driving down Arizona State Route 87 when he noticed a bright glare in his dashcam and, when he looked at it later, he thinks it was a translucent ghost standing alongside the 96-year-old highway which has had many fatal accidents over the years. Will driverless cars see ectoplasm-less ghosts? (Asking for a friend considering buying a Tesla).

The startup company FarmWise has developed an autonomous weeding robot called the Titan that use artificial intelligence to cut out weeds in a field while leaving the growing crops untouched. Americans want to know it someone tweak the algorithm and point this machine at Washington.

Materials scientist Simon Billinge from Columbia University in New York led the development of a camera with a shutter speed that is a mere trillionth of a second, or 250 million times faster than those digital cameras, making it capable of capturing “dynamic disorder” – the phenomenon which occurs when a vibration triggers clusters of atoms to move and dance around in a material in specific ways over a certain period. Despite that speed, it is expected that the camera’s photos of Bigfoot and UFOs will still be blurred.

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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