May 10, 2024 I Paul Seaburn

Florida Time Machine, Japanese Tsuchinoko Cryptid, Hogganfield Loch Monster Photo, Mexican Chupacabra Fears and More Mysterious News Briefly

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

The video from a UFO and alien encounter which was reported on April 30, 2023, by a family in Las Vegas and investigated by Las Vegas police, whose officers had seen a mysterious flashing light in the sky that same evening, was investigated by Scott Order, an experienced crime scene recreation expert at ‘“Evidence Room” Animation and Exhibits’, who confirmed that “there’s no editing” signs on the video, motion-tracking software showed “that the movement of the shadow reflects the movement of a body that is attached to the head”, leading him to conclude that the alien was “absolutely there” – some skeptics still say the aliens’ ‘shadow’ was made by one of the witnesses using a flashlight. This is still an open case, so keep an eye on the Vegas odds that this could be the evidence of extraterrestrials we’ve been waiting for.

An unusual photo making the rounds alleges to show photo evidence of the Hoggie, the legendary Hogganfield Loch monster (Hogganfield Loch is near Glasgow, about 170 miles south of Loch Ness) said to have been captured and photographed in 1930; the ‘monster’ is shown with its huge mouth open while being surrounded by its captors – Snopes magnified the photo and found that the faces of the captors were blurred and deformed, leading it to conclude it was AI-generated; the debunking site also attempted to find any other evidence of the existence of "Hoggie, the Loch Hogganfield monster" or its myth and came up empty. Looks like it is time to put a 24/7 Hoggie-cam on the shore of Hogganfield Loch.

Ranchers in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, are concerned about the mysterious killings of 17 farm animals, primarily sheep and goats, by an unknown creature that did not eat or even bite any of them – the animals were found scattered around the ranch and their deaths seemed to come so suddenly that some appeared to be eating from their feeders when killed by a clean cut on the neck; this was the only report so far and no one is yet blaming a chupacabra because the blood of the animals was not drained, but these are the kind of mysterious deaths that are hard to pin on a coyote, wild dog or other local predators. Is it time to go vegan?

Speaking of strange creatures, the Japanese village of Higashi-Shirakawa in Gifu Prefecture recently held its annual hunt for the tsuchinoko, a mythical cryptid with the body of a really fat snake, fangs and venom like a viper, the ability to travel in multiple three-foot jumps or by grabbing its tail and rolling like the legendary American hoop snake, a knack for speaking and telling lies, and a taste for alcohol – the annual hunt offers a cash reward but no one has claimed it for 32 years. Sounds like a fun companion snake to take on a plane.

In time travel news, Florida real estate agent Alec Schaal posted home doorbell camera videos of a man in the yard of his Airbnb, located five hours away, who walked around a bit before going inside Schaal’s shed and seemingly disappearing; Schaal says he yelled at the man through the doorbell speaker to get out, then called the police who examined the shed and found it empty, but the camera video showed no one leaving and there was no other way out. The next day, Schaal saw on the monitor a man walking out of the same shed – the man was older and had different clothes, but his glasses were the same and there was an uncanny resemblance, causing Schaal to believe his shed might be a time machine. A Doctor Who spinoff?

UFO researcher and filmmaker claimed in a new interview that he’s convinced extraterrestrials signed a long-rumored secret treaty with President Dwight Eisenhower and the US Government allowing the aliens to abduct cattle and humans in exchange for technology which could be reverse-engineered by our scientists – be suspects the technology is the cause of sightings of unidentified submerged objects (USOs) off the US Pacific coast and may be related to an underwater base or possibly an underwater alien city; Lee is promoting a new film so he didn’t reveal any substantial supporting evidence in the interview. Was Eisenhower the only president aliens trusted or did they just like Ike?

The Fortean phenomenon of the week is fish falling from the sky Yasuj, Iran, as documented by a social media video showing some people running for shelter as fish fall from the sky while one man stops his car and gets out to pick up wet fish roadkill from the pavement – weather reports indicate Yasuj was being hit by fish carried via waterspouts created by a nearby hurricane, but some thought it was a biblical plague while others suspected it was an old video resurrected as a hoax to distract people from the tribulations of everyday life. If you’re going to pray for falling fish, don’t forget to ask for some chips too.

The forecast only called for partly fishy.

A video has surfaced of a cluster of UFOs in the sky over Turhal, Turkey after a 5.6-magnitude earthquake occurred about 25 miles away; seismologists said the quake was shallow but the tremors had a wide effect throughout the region – the scattered lights in the night sky were not thought to be earthquake lights, which are bigger and last longer, but there was no evidence that they were souls, angels, geese or aliens ships as suggested by witnesses, and they were not in a line like Starlink satellites. The more UFOs we see, the longer the process of elimination becomes.

The Batagaika crater in the permafrost in northern Yakutia, Russia, is better known as the "gateway to the underworld" for its size (3,250-foot-wide) and the fact that it is growing vertically at the phenomenally fast rate of 40 feet (35 million cubic feet) per year as the permafrost melts, causing the frozen ground to collapse and swallow up a hillside – the only good news is that the growth will eventually stop as the permafrost at the bottom is only a few feet thick and has bedrock beneath it. It’s still upsetting to us, but the underworld is probably relieved.

If you need something else to keep you awake at night, NASA scientists used the Discover supercomputer at the NASA Center for Climate Simulation in Greenbelt, Maryland, to create an animated video simulation of what it would look like if you fell into a supermassive black hole like the one at the center of the Milky Way – while your body is stretched out until it’s as thin as spaghetti, you see the bright orange 'accretion disk‘ of hot gas orbiting the black hole, then the thin photon sphere of light closer to the black hole's 'event horizon', then nothing as all light is sucked into the black hole along with your spaghettified body. Spaghettification would be a great name for a radical new diet program.

Star Wars Day (May the Fourth be with you) has passed but the lure of owning a real lightsaber continues and Dr. Alex Baker, a chemist at the University of Warwick, has created a guide for making one – it consists of a powerful batter in the handle which sends electrical energy thought a crystal to create a laser beam which ionizes the air into a plasma which surrounds a metal rod that allows the lightsaber beam to connect with other lightsabers rather than pass through them; despite have a ceramic cover to protect the user from the intense heat, Baker warns that the 'superheated stick of fiery death' would be dangerous for casual users and the metal rod is a copout (Star Wars lightsabers don’t have them) but he had no other way to solidify the beam. Who cares if it’s dangerous – this sounds like the perfect hood ornament and traffic jam eliminator for your Tesla.

Yet another Planet of the Apes film has been released (‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’) and we are again challenged to believe that monkeys and apes could outsmart humans and take over Earth, but artificial intelligence warns that they might not be the only species capable of doing this – ChatGTP says that elephants have complex social structures, high levels of intelligence, problem-solving abilities, size and strength to dominate our ecosystem; octopuses are intelligent problem-solvers, adaptive to diverse environments and have camouflage and manipulation abilities which could allow them to take over from underwater; ants have organizational abilities, intricate communication systems, labor management skills and can operate in a collective to overwhelm and dominate terrestrial ecosystems, shape landscapes and hoard resources; corvids (crows, ravens and like birds) are highly intelligent problem-solvers, use tools, live in complex social structures, are adaptive to urban and natural habitats, and can outcompete other species. We’re doomed.

You should have watched the movies, humans!

A new paper published in the Journal of Mammalian Evolution identifies fossils of a rat-sized mammal found in Colorado as the single ancestor of all modern cows, pigs and other hoofed animals; the Militocodon lydae lived 65 million years ago and survived the extinction of the dinosaurs to evolve from a mammal which ground its food in its mouth to one which sheared, crushed and chewed its food like modern hoofed mammals – dental fossils of this ancient family of mammals called periptychids look like those of today’s ungulates. At that size, you needed pretty small stools to milk them.

Physicist James Scargill of the University of California, Davis, reveals in his new paper, published in the journal Physical Review Review, that scalar gravitational fields can exist in two dimensions, which allows for a hypothetical “brane world” (membrane) to exist as two-dimensional life forms having a two-dimensional brain (although not necessarily a two-dimensional digestive system) and living in a four-dimensional system. It will all be explained in ‘Brane World’ starring a paper Mike Myers and Dana Carvey.

Scientists at Japan’s Toregem Biopharma are set to begin human trial of the first-ever anti-body drug that can grow teeth in people born without some or all of their teeth (a hereditary condition known as congenital anodontia which affects about 0.1% of the population) and could also help people who lose teeth later in life – the drug deactivates a protein called USAG-1 which inhibits the growth of teeth. If it works, this drug could save the sports of hockey and boxing.

Conspiracy theorist Bart Sibrel, who became infamous in 2002 for punching Apollo 11 astronaut and moonwalker Buzz Aldrin in the face during an argument about that event being a hoax, put forth the idea on a recent podcast that the “top two UFO researchers” told him that UFOs are real, they're not from outer space, and “they're demonic” – he refers to biblical fallen angels and the Nephilim but presents no evidence other than to say that they are “interdimensional” entities disguised as aliens and have a sinister agenda to control humanity. Maybe Buzz didn’t punch him hard enough?

Crime never pays but British doll collector Lenduhandearry went on social media to warn whoever stole some dolls in glass cases from her garage sale that they will "regret it” because “they’re haunted" – she claims she has seen them "moving and blinking" and believes there is the spirit of a "little girl attached to these dolls" which got angry when she tried to sell them once before and "threw a toy" that almost hit her baby's head. Get ready for a movie based on this story called ‘The Revenge of Barbie’.

A video is making the rounds showing what is alleged to be a goblin or small upright humanoid creature running across a road in Monterrey, Nuevo León, in northeastern Mexico; it is described as security camera footage and it comes from an area where goblin or gremlins have been sighted before – some viewers note that it could be an animal while others point out that the legs don’t appear to be moving and it could be something pulled across the road by an unseen string. How about a friendly little version of the goat sucker – a Cute-acabra!

Photographer Anna Ida Guida posted photos on social media of what she claimed was a UFO she witnessed in the sky over Celle di Bulgheria in the province of Salerno in southwestern Italy; the images were forwarded to the Mediterranean Ufological Center for examination; the two relatively clear shots of what appears to be a spaceship or unknown aircraft have some suggesting it’s a drone and others wishing it was a video and not still photos. Has word of pizza and spaghetti with meatballs reached other solar systems?

Good news for any Bigfoot living in the Pacific Northwest state of Washington as fifth graders at Lincoln Elementary in Hoquiam convinced Mason County Commissioners to adopt a resolution declaring protections for Bigfoot across most of the Olympic Peninsula – this is the third fifth-grade class in the last three years to petition for Sasquatch security but the kids at Lincoln elementary went all-out by getting advice from Dr. Jeffrey Meldrum, the professor of anthropology and anatomy at Idaho State University and renowned Sasquatch researcher, who told the students that Bigfoot needs protection because the area has a very low population density of them. This could convince Bigfoot to be their commencement speaker.

If long-lost hijacker D.B. Cooper is still around and in need of some quick cash, he might check out selling some souvenirs at an auction, as an unnamed seller found out in Willoughby, Ohio, found out when a fragment of a $20 banknote, which was part of the $200,000 ransom paid in 1971 to the skyjacker and later found along the Columbia River near Vancouver, Washington, sold for $4,920 - the Series 1969 $20 Federal Reserve note fragment came with a PCGS Currency certificate identifying it as authentic. With the way certain planes are falling apart lately, Cooper might be traveling to these auctions by bus or Uber.

Researchers using the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope believe they have detected an atmosphere on 55 Cancri e, a rocky exoplanet 41 light-years from Earth, which would make it the first rocky planet outside of our solar system to have one - 55 Cancri e is nearly twice that of Earth with a slightly greater density, and this discovery may be proof that hot and highly irradiated rocky planets can sustain a gaseous atmosphere which harbors life. And Rocky X. O’Planet sounds like a great name for a pro wrestler.

Proving once again that everything old eventually becomes new again, NASA announced it is considering building a railway system on the Moon that could be operational within ten years – the FLOAT (Flexible Levitation On A Track) railway would provide reliable and efficient payload transportation between landing zones and bases, transport lunar soil from mines to bases, and be safer than conventional trains or moon buggies because they would not be affected by sharp rocks or small craters. How about some maglev trains in the U.S. first?

Unpowered magnetic robots would levitate over a 3-layer film track to propel carts over moon's surface CREDIT: ETHAN SCHALER/NASA

In this week’s ghost news, a horror play being performed in Buenos Aires, Argentina, by actors using a real Ouija board to pretend to contact a spirit had to be stopped when an object fell onto the stage and the actors believed the theater and the play might be haunted – some of the millions of viewers of a video showing the event asked questions like, “Seriously, did they really think nothing would happen by playing that?" This would be great marketing for the play but they have to figure out a way for the ghost to join the actor’s union.

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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