A roundup of mysterious, paranormal and strange news stories from the past week.
Tony Romeo, a former U.S. Air Force intelligence officer and the chief executive of the private exploration company Deep Sea Vision, announced this week he believes he found the wreckage of Amelia Earhart's plane on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean using sonar data from a deep-sea drone exploring the ocean floor more than 16,400 feet (5 km) beneath the surface, about 100 miles (160 km) from Howland Island halfway between Australia and Hawaii - Romeo hopes to return to the site this year with a camera-equipped remotely operated vehicle that would confirm the discovery and help determine if the plane can be brought to the surface, thus ending over 80 years of speculation and rumors on their disappearance. If Amelia Earhart is found and DB Cooper is identified this year, can Jimmy Hoffa’s final resting place be next?
Speaking of DB Cooper, retired FBI agent Larry Carr, who headed the probe of the missing hijacker between 2007 and 2010, believes a 1960s-era, French-language comic book may have inspired Cooper because it describes the adventures of a Royal Canadian Air Force test pilot and space traveler named Dan Cooper, one cover’s artwork shows him parachuting from an airplane, and one storyline refers to a ransom being delivered in a knapsack, just like in the real hijacking – the Dan Cooper comics were never translated into English and were never sold in America, so Carr thinks the real DB Cooper was either French Canadian or possibly lived or served overseas in Belgium with the US Air Force. If cartoon Dan Cooper wore a clip-on necktie too, he may be on to something.
In news about Elon Musk that has nothing to do with electric cars, rockets, social media, politics, billionaires or anything else he seems to be involved with, Musk announced that Neuralink, his neurotechnology company that is developing implantable brain–computer interfaces, succeeded in implanting a brain chip in a human – the recipient was said to be recovering and showing “promising neuron spike detection” or electrical activity; the ‘Telepathy’ implant was inserted by PRIME (Precise Robotically Implanted Brain-Computer Interface) and other scientists were hesitant to say much about it without more information. If the patient is smart, the first letter they will type with their mind is ‘X’.
Former Ministry of Defence UFO researcher Nick Pope said in a news interview that he believes NASA is funding theological conferences on extraterrestrials and related subjects because many people, including politicians and religious leaders, fear UFOs are linked to demons or negative spirits and the space agency “wants to get ahead of the game this time and not get caught up in the sort of science versus religion dogfight that we saw in the Middle Ages, for example, with Copernicus and Galileo." As Monty Python might say, no one but Nick Pope expects the Alien Inquisition.
Contrary to popular belief, lightning can indeed strike twice (and more) in the same place and residents of Chelyabinsk, Russia, feared recently that deadly meteor blasts might do the same thing as they looked up and saw a mysterious green flash over the city where on February 15, 2013, a 9,100-ton near-Earth asteroid burst over Chelyabinsk Oblast, creating a shock wave 33 times as large as the one made by the atomic bomb detonated at Hiroshima – city officials in Chelyabinsk and Podolsk, where the recent flash was also seen, blamed it on a “short-circuit” at a power facility of the Rosseti Ural electricity supply company. If you can’t tell the difference between a short circuit and a ‘blasteroid’, don’t live in Chelyabinsk.
Kyle Atkins-Weltman, a doctoral student at Oklahoma State University, purchased four fossils for $5,000 in 2020 that he thought were from a juvenile cassowary-like dinosaur Anzu wyliei nicknamed the “chicken from hell”, but when he scanned them, he found they were from an unidentified species which has now been identified as a new “chicken from hell” raptor species from the Hell Creek Formation in South Dakota named Eoneophron infernalis meaning “Pharaoh’s dawn chicken from Hell” – the discovery also suggests that dinosaur populations were very diverse and not in a state of decline when that dinosaur-extincting asteroid hit about 65 million years ago. It may be called the chicken from hell, but it probably tasted like the chicken from heaven.
In a new study on T-rex fossils found in South America, Dr. Mattia Baiano from the National University of Rio Negro in Argentina reveals that fused vertebrae and strange growths on the leg bones of three specimens suggest that the theropods suffered from pain in their back and knees due to arthritis which hampered their ability to run and made them easy targets for predators. Get ready for Steven Spielberg’s new movie, ‘Jurassic hospital and Physical Therapy Clinic’.
The alien big cat known as the Beast of Bolton was reportedly seen this week by a dog walker in Egerton, a village in Bolton in Greater Manchester, England – photos taken by Robyn Rimmer show a large black cat which had ears which convinced her that it was a massive feline like the mysterious Beast of Bolton which has been seen many times in the area since 2006 but evidence proving the existence of a panther or other similar large cat has not been found. If anyone ever finds such evidence, you can be assured that the residents of Bolton will be boltin’.
In paranormal real estate news, a house in Bangkok, Thailand, is up for sale with an asking price of 33.3 million baht (US$934,500) in spite of (or perhaps because of) the fact the current owner there is a strange unexplainable energy in the house which manifests itself in a large black hole on the wall of one bedroom – the owner warns any new owners not to go into the black hole, but he claims he’s touched it and it gave him the supernatural power to see images of the past and future, warnings of potential dangers and even make lottery predictions. Good luck getting that black hole to pass inspection.
In royal news not related to the medical problems of King Charles and Princess Kate, Paul Burrell, the former butler of Princess Diana, says the country mansion where he lives is haunted by the ghost of the former Princess of Wales and was previously owned by Timothy John Edward Tollemache, the 5th Baron Tollemache, a close friend of the late Queen Elizabeth II – paranormal investigators say they picked up the words 'sorry' and 'France' which Burrell believes were the words of Di’s ghost referring to her death in a car crash in Paris and the fact that he went to France to bring her body home. Can he ask her what’s wrong with Harry?
Spoon-bending psychic Uri Geller now claims German rocket engineer Wernher von Braun and astronaut Edgar Mitchell, the sixth man to walk on the moon, once took him to a refrigerated room below NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, where they showed him thin 'alien bodies' that looked like small humans with large heads – they were in transparent coffins and looked either severely injured or partially decomposed. One would think a guy who can bend spoons with his mind could have bent one into a camera.
On the heels of the recent study published in the Journal of Zoology showing that a majority of Bigfoot sightings are in areas with large populations of bears and thus could be misidentifications comes a response from Cryptozoologist Andy McGrath, author of ‘Beasts of the World: Hairy Humanoids’, who points out that bears are stoop-shouldered while “Bigfoot is always described as being broad shouldered,” bears have snouts while “Bigfoot are invariably described as resembling an ape with a flat face” and Bigfoot walks easily on two legs and can grasp and throw rocks – things which no bear is capable of doing. What about the fact that photos of bears are always in focus?
In other lake monster news, two tourists kayaking in Nahuel Huapi Lake in Patagonia, Argentina, captured a video of they believe is the Nahuelito which many call the "Argentine Nessie" because reports describing it as a plesiosaur-like creature similar to its Loch Ness counterpart have been occurring there for over 100 years and have inspired local officials to hold walking tours to attract visitors – the kayakers said the creature was big and moved quickly but they still managed to capture it on video before it submerged. Perhaps a kayak isn’t a good boat from cruising on a lake holding a lake monster who might mistake it for a large bass lure.
A video of some people playing volleyball in Bariloche, a town in Argentina’s Patagonia region, is getting some attention after it was slowed down and appears to show a UFO passing overhead at an impossible speed faster than the human eye can see – while some commenters think it is a bird or insect, many others see it as a high-speed aircraft or spaceship. Tall aliens looking for a human volleyball team to challenge?
Archeologists discovered a cemetery located about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Kyiv in Ukraine that is 1,000 years old and has some unusual burials, including the skeletons of women with large elaborate rings around their necks and other skeletons with wooden buckets at their feet – the rigns are thought to be a ‘social marker’ because they were only found on women, while the buckets may have been some other yet unknown funeral ritual from an area and time when Christian and non-Christian cultures overlapped. Is this the true origin of ‘kicking the bucket’?
In news about a singer who is not Taylor Swift, the British pop singer Brocarde is famous for her claims that she married the ghost of Edwardo, a Victorian-era soldier, after he visited her and had ghostly sex, but she later hired an exorcist to divorce them after she caught Edwardo cheating on her; Brocarde recently visited a medium in an attempt to speed-date other ghosts like Jim Morrison (he wasn’t interested) and Oscar Wilde (the gay playwright’s ghost kissed her but nothing more); now she’s hoping to date humans but admits it is difficult. Apparently, so is Brocarde.
While the photos of alleged Bigfoot are generally blurry, recordings made by a man hiking in snowy woods in New Brunswick, Canada, are three loud and clear howls of what he believes is one or more Sasquatch – he says they don’t sound like a lynx or any other animal he knows, and most Reddit commenters seem to agree, although there are a few votes for a "bear death moan" made by a victim of a bear fight or poacher. We saw Bear Death Moan open for Death Cab for Cutie.
Inspector General Robert P. Storch of the US Department of Defense released a statement admitting that the does not have a comprehensive, coordinated approach to address the threat of Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP) and “it lacks assurance that national security and flight safety threats to the United States from UAP have been identified and mitigated’; meanwhile, the Daily Star asked Google's Bard AI chatbot to list our best ways to meet and defeat an alien invasion and Bard AI suggested nanobots, radiation, weaponizing cancer and other diseases, and using global warming to create "extreme temperature" targeting. That sounds suspiciously like a movie plot, Bard AI.
Before we go depending on AI for national and global security, scientists at Anthropic, an AI research company, programmed various large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT to behave maliciously. But when they tried to remove this behavior by applying several safety training techniques designed to root out deception and ill intent, the LLMs continued to misbehave – one even learned how to recognize the trigger for its malicious actions and cover up its unsafe behavior during training – the details are explained is a study in the preprint database arXiv. Aliens don’t need to invade us – they can let AI do their dirty work for them.
The tenth Loch Ness monster sighting of 2023 occurred on October 21 of last year but tourist Jarod Strong didn’t report it until January 24, 2024, and says the beast he saw near Urquhart Castle was long and dark grey, not the green color most people attribute to Nessie – unfortunately, the grey creature submerged before Strong could photograph it, but the sighting still counts and is recorded in The Official Loch Ness Monster Sightings Register. This smacks of desperation on the part of the registry, which may be losing interest due to those DNA tests showing no unusual creatures in the loch.
Residents of Covington, Kentucky, were surprised one morning to find what appeared to be a 50-foot-tall giant green alien hanging out of a downtown parking garage holding a magnifying glass and peering through it down upon the sidewalk and street – Clive the Alien is actually a fiberglass and Styrofoam sculpture created by artist Marc Phelps to call attention to the many UFO sightings in Covington and the location of the MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio, which is just across the Ohio River from Covington. Sure, it looks harmless – but it could be giving real giant aliens the idea that it would be fun to using magnifying glasses to fry us like ants.
Human-robot cyborgs took one step closer to reality when Dr Shoji Takeuchi and scientists at the University of Tokyo attached lab-grown grown skeletal muscle tissues to the silicone rubber skeleton of a robot – when they sent electricity through the human tissue, it contracted and lifted the leg; when they turned off the juice, the foot on the leg moved forward; by alternating this process, they made the biohybrid robot slowly walk in a straight line and make a 90-degree turn. That doesn’t sound like much, but it’s more than some celebrities have moved on Dancing With The Stars.
Mysterious hums and other unexplained loud noises are driving people crazy in cities around the world, but two towns got some answers this week that they may or may not like: residents of Tampa, Florida, have been complaining for at least two years about a repeating, bassy thumping that shakes their walls and occurs most often in winter months - Dr. James Locascio, the program manager for fisheries habitat ecology and acoustics at Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, investigated the noise and says it is probably the mating call of a fish called the black drum which can weigh over 30 pounds and likes the brackish waters of Tampa Bay; unfortunately, nothing can be done about the booms of the sex-crazed drums. Meanwhile, residents of Immingham, Lincolnshire, England, have been hearing the off-and-on sound that has become known as the Immingham Hum for years and say it’s getting worse, but local politicians say it’s not from nearby factories, oil refineries, underground cables, or wind or solar farms, but they have no other ideas on how to identify and stop the hum. While they wait, Black Drums and Bummer Hums would make a great name for a band.