Jun 21, 2024 I Paul Seaburn

Vatican UFOs, Martian Fish-and-Chips, Intelligent Plants, Alcatraz Ghosts and More Mysterious News Briefly

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

MUFON (the Mutual UFO Network) announced that on July 13, 2024, it will reveal details about mysterious materials received by a Russian UFO Investigator that were tested by Russian labs and found to be of an unknown origin; the findings were confirmed by MUFON's own U.S. lab, but some samples sent there were mysteriously stolen from an official U.S. Post Office box and the cameras monitoring it were turned against a wall so that the incident was not recorded, leading MUFON to believe there was some sort of cover-up going on; the announcement will be live-streamed from MUFON's Annual Symposium. If the announcement doesn’t improve MUFON’s credibility, the idea that the government may be interfering with its investigation certainly will.

While many people with questionable tastes pointed out that the path taken by NASA’s Mars rover Perseverance recently made the outline of a penis in the dried-up river channel called Neretva Vallis, NASA scientists were more excited about a series of photographs of a field full of stones which showed a pale boulder, measuring 18 inches wide and 14 inches tall – that stood out so uniquely among the other darker rocks that NASA nicknamed it "Atoko Point" and speculates it is an anorthosite rock which has never been seen on Mars but are abundant on the Earth and the Moon, suggesting that Martian geology is more similar to ours than previously thought. These are the kinds of things you can find when you keep your mind out of the gutter.

Perseverance captured this mosaic looking downstream of the dune-filled Neretva Vallis river channel on May 17. The channel fed Jezero Crater with fresh water billions of years ago.

In 2020, the world was mystified by strange metallic monoliths that began appearing overnight in Utah, California, Romania, the Isle of Wight and other mostly remote locations; it is now 2024 and the monoliths may have returned after a tall (10 feet) rectangular reflective metal prism was found by the Las Vegas Police Department in the Gass Peak hiking area around 20 miles north of the city – the police were on a search-and-rescue mission for humans and have no idea how the monolith got there, but warned that sightseers should be prepared for hot temperatures. Sure they’re interesting, but can’t we come up with new mysteries after thinking about them for four years?

Pope Francis may not be talking, but Diana Walsh Pasulka, a religious studies professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, said the Vatican archives contain reports of paranormal events, such as nuns witnessing orbs entering their cells, flying houses and other aerial phenomena; she believes the events are kept secret out of fears that Catholics will see them as miracles while she believes they should be investigated as UFO-type events; she says, “The historical record is filled with these kinds of events, the people at the Vatican, they don’t even know where to look; it’s in their basements.” What we need is a cross between Indiana Jones, Robert Langdon and James T. Kirk.

Brazilian mystic Athos Salomé, who calls himself ‘The Living Nostradamus’, is trying to outdo the dead one with his high volume of predictions, with the latest one this week dealing with what he calls 'A New Frontier in Biological Exploration' – somewhere between 2026 and 2028, Salomé says NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) will reveal proof of an alien life form "unlike any seen before" which will have been found in both the oceans of Europa and another of Jupiter’s moons – these will be microorganisms with a "biological intricacy" that will “challenge our understanding of life " and force governments and religious groups “to confront the moral considerations associated with studying and engaging with these life forms". We’ll come back in 2028 and decide if Salomé is really The Living Nostradamus or just another common biological entity.

A ghost hunter named Moxley explored the long-abandoned Meanwood Park Hospital in Leeds, a structure built in the 1760s and converted into a home for people with learning disabilities which has a history of abuses and ghosts after the local police told him it was too haunted even for them – he claims he heard footsteps and clothing rustling he attributed to a “grey lady” ghost, and picked up messages on his smartphone ghost-hunting app, including the messages "Evil everywhere" and "I am beside you". What does it say about us when we listen to our phone apps but not the police?

Another location with plenty of haunted history is the island prison of Alcatraz off the coast of San Francisco, but that didn’t stop researchers making 3D maps of the island to see the effects of erosion and climate change who lived on Alcatraz for three weeks and slept in the notorious D Block which housed the worst prisoners – that is until one member who was assigned the mugshot room because he snored so loudly claimed he was awakened in the middle of the night by the sounds of a crowd of people in the room above him; it sounded like "ghosts" moving furniture around the empty room and playing a phantom piano. Was the Birdman of Alcatraz trying to imitate the Piano Man of New York?

Have you seen my birds?

Kelly Tyler appeared on a British morning talk show to reveal that she swapped souls with an extraterrestrial after having a near-death experience as a child, which caused her life-threatening health issues to disappear and "I went from being not that clever to being able to do stuff" with an intelligence she did not previously have; Tyler said she’s a starseed and like starseeds she’s been selected to help humans "connect to their innateness, their natural senses"; the soul swap left her own in a “blue” alien living on a planet orbiting the star Arcturus but she can visit it because she now has the ability to astral travel. If she’s super-intelligent, why doesn’t she have her own show or at least appear on 'Jeopardy!' to demonstrate it to skeptical humans?

Crying statues are back in the news with reports from Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico, of a large statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe in the house of Miguel Ángel Raya suddenly having what appears to be blood running from its eyes; a few days later the tears reportedly reappeared but this time were transparent; a video of the statue has caused worldwide interest and a priest called the notified the Archdiocese of Morelia which sent experts to collect a sample of the alleged tears for analysis, which has not been completed as of this writing; most of these ‘crying statues’ have been proven to be hoaxes using porous concrete, dripping ceilings, squirt guns and other devices, but the vast number of believers forces the Catholic Church to get involved. If one of these statues ever starts vomiting, we’re in big trouble.

With the U.S. presidential election fast approaching, it’s time for the candidates to be asked about UFOs by reporters, disclosure proponents and social media influencers who are also wrestlers, as was the case recently when social media influencer and wrestler Logan Paul queried candidate Donald Trump about UFOs – Trump answered by talking about meeting pilots who reportedly saw UFOs but noted that he hasn’t seen any himself and remains skeptical, even though he admitted "I've had actually meetings on it and they will tell you things are going on"; Trump said "it's very possible" that there is intelligent life somewhere in the universe, and it’s also possible that the “deep state” kept that information from him while he was in office. Maybe it’s time to put Logan Paul on the congressional UFO committee and let him punch the X files out of the government.

There is good news for psychics, clairvoyants, fortune tellers and other purveyors of paranormal services, at least in Norfolk, Virginia, where the local government has repealed a 1979 ban on “palmistry, palm reading, phrenology or clairvoyance, for monetary or other compensation” which made providing them a Class 1 misdemeanor; this reform is expected to bring more of these businesses to Norfolk and help change similar laws in other cities or states. That’s an analysis – not a prediction.

If the European Space Agency is the first to send humans to Mars, researchers from the University of Greenwich stand ready to help them cultivate the necessary ingredients to make fish-and-chips out of regoliths, the rock, grit and sand above Martian bedrock; they used simulated regoliths in an aquaponic system which first raised tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) in water-filled tanks, and then added the nutrient-loaded water to regoliths and fertilized and grew crops of potatoes, tomatoes, beans, carrots, lettuce, spring onions, chives, basil and other vegetables; the study didn’t say how the Martian colonists would fry the fish and chips, but we can assume that’s the easy part. Matt Damon – are you ready for a sequel?

A never-before-released document uploaded recently on Reddit describes the experiences of former CIA scientist Hal Puthoff and ex-CIA Life Sciences Division analyst Kit Green who had previously written (using the pseudonym .Greg Halifax) about a mysterious individual known as Sedge Masters who claimed he was on a mission for the "blackest of American covert operations" which visited locations of UFO incidents and gave them names of constellations; one simply called ‘Zodiac’ in a Nordic territory involved the retrieval of crash material when a massive UFO materialized over the location and "small, grey and hairy" extraterrestrials telepathically instructed them to stop the salvage mission and leave; the team “then experienced 90 minutes of missing time and were not able to share that information with staff at WPAFB (CIA) until they were telepathically 'released' and able to do so; the psychologist states 'the little gray b**tards have thought control and empathy projection'"; the document on Reddit says the CIA has over "two million accounts of UAP/UFO sightings by military personnel and US civilians which were never investigated." Calling them names probably won’t help the disclosure efforts.

In perhaps the funniest time travel story in some time, a photo from a Reddit post (since deleted) shows a 3,000-year-old Egyptian sarcophagus whose painted lid shows a person who looks very much like Marge Simpson, the matriarch of Bart, Lisa and Maggie on ‘The Simpsons’ TV show; the woman is yellow like Marge, wears a green outfit like Marge, and of course has a tall pile of blue hair atop her head like Marge Simpson; the sarcophagus is from the New Kingdom, 20th Dynasty (1186-1069 B. C.); the painting represents the goddess Nut, and the coffin’s resident was a 16-year-old girl. Did the fictional Marge somehow travel back in time to inspire the artist – or did the artist travel to the future and change the course of television history? Either one is ‘Nuts’.

Doh! Nuts?

Stonehenge Dronescapes has posted an aerial video and Crop Circle Connector uploaded still photos of the first new crop circle in England this year; the large but not too elaborate series of circles was found near the two-centuries-old Wilton Windmill tourist attraction in Wiltshire; crop circle enthusiasts are excited because the season should have started much sooner, but they don’t have an explanation for the shape other than it looks like it might be planets orbiting a star. We can understand if humans are challenged at making these crop circles, but it’s aliens sending messages, it’s time to hire an artist with a wider vocabulary.

While some aliens draw in wheat, others take home souvenirs, and a 10-year-old girl in New York has come forward with an interesting story of an incident near Lake George where she recently was walking her dog when she watched two women walking down a road at about 8:30 PM when two white cube-shaped UFOs appeared over them, and "took them (the women) up into the sky" one by one before disappearing into the air; the incident was reported to the National UFO Reporting Center (NUFORC) which pointed out that the ‘women’ could have been alien “beings” returning to their ship; a local radio station checked and there were no disappearances of two women reported in that area or timeframe. If we can’t believe little girls, who can we believe?

A major new airport project on the island of Crete has been stopped by a mysterious 4,000-year-old 19,000-square-foot circular stone building that predates Crete’s Minoan civilization that Greece’s Culture Ministry calls a “unique and extremely interesting find” which contained a large quantity of animal bones indicating it could have been a place of religious rituals, but it also had carefully build five-foot walls in concentric circles which might indicate it was a communal building for meetings or celebrations. If the layout is confusing, it sounds like the perfect spot to build a modern and equally confusing airport terminal.

Stop eating your salad because researchers in ecology and evolutionary biology at Cornell University have found evidence that plants are intelligent, they can solve problems and they can sense when a nearby plant is being eaten by beetles or other insects and figure out ways to avoid the same fate – the scientists watched goldenrods in a field where some were being eaten by beetles suddenly emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs)  which indicated to the insects that the other plants were damaged and a poor source of food; the chemicals were also picked up by other goldenrods who immediately released their own, thus escaping death by beetle; the scientists see this as an indication of intelligence and communications among plants. Or is it saying beetles are dumb?

We plants are smarter than we look.

Brazilian graphics artist Cicero Moraes used a 3D scan of a 300,000-year-old skull from one of our earliest Homo sapien ancestors to create an image of his face, which observers described as being “strong and serene”; he had a low body mass so the ancestor looked fit and a lot like a modern human athlete – the skull was found at the Jebel Irhoud site in Morocco and is proof that Homo sapiens evolved 100,000 years earlier than previously thought. Would our early ancestor like this image or would he prefer a selfie?

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. His new book, “What Would You Say to a Naked Space Alien?”, is a collection of his favorite stories of close encounters of the absurd kind. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange 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. For contact information, visit his web page.

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