Aug. 10th, 2017 10:35 pm
sareini: (UFO)
Wandering shamen "mistaken" for Bigfoot in North Carolina

This is quite probably the best news story I'll read all month. Bonus points go to the group of people earnestly saying, "No, the Bigfoot we saw was a long-haired one and had a totally different face..." Because I'm sure you saw it well enough to be able to pick it out from a lineup.
sareini: (UFO)
Just caught a rather interesting programme on Channel 4 - UFOs: The Secret Evidence, presented by Nick Cook (I had a minor moment of panic when I couldn't remember whether he was the ex-MoD guy, the UFO crash recovery specialist and investigative journalist or the defence journalist - it was the latter - , all of which proves that there are too many guys named 'Nick' in UFOlogy).

For the most part the programme was pretty interesting and good. Nick Cook, being a defence journalist, focussed a lot on the idea that, since the end of WWII, the US have been testing a lot of experimental aircraft (the US spyplane, the stealth bomber and Aurora to name three) and using disinformation campaigns headed by the CIA to make people think they were all alien spacecraft and not secret aircraft. And let's face it, that's likely what's happened in a lot of cases - anyone remember the Belgian 'Flying Triangle' flap of 1987?

The problem came in the fact that Cook tended to focus a little too much on his specialist subject, and by the end of the programme (2 hours long) there was a lot of key cases and evidence that had been left out that would have been very useful and informative to look at - the aforementioned Belgian flap, the Rendlesham Forest incident of 1981, the UFO incident in Russia in 1988 or 1989 involving the 'giants' (I can't look it up because I can't remember how to spell the name of the town this happened in) and the Phoenix Lights incident of 1997, to name a few. Cook also tended to stretch the facts of certain cases to fit his own agenda somewhat (and here I put my pedantic nit-picker hat on) - for example, he stated that Lonnie Zamora, in the famous Sorrocco inciden, saw a classic 'flying disc' when in fact he saw an oval-shaped object with strange red insignia. He also suggested that the government is behind cattle mutilations because they're doing some sort of mystery tests (possibly radioactive), but gives no explanation as to why, out of all the soft tissue body parts to choose from, they keep taking the lower lips, rectums and reproductive organs. And he went an claimed that the first major 'alien abduction' in the states was that of Travis Walton in 1975, which while admittedly a major event, still happened a whole 14 years after the abduction of Betty and Barney Hill which placed the idea of alien abduction and aliens as 'greys' into the American consciousness.

*deep breath*

I shouldn't expect too much of these programmes, really. They never cover the stuff I think they should cover, or look at things in the right frame of mind.
sareini: (UFO)
Nick and I find ourselves talking about the strangest things when we're bored.

200ft scorpion/dragon crop circle formation.

The photo, and many other brilliant ones like it, are from this site.



Jun. 27th, 2005 12:07 am
sareini: ('everything is true')
The Reality Channel were doing an evening of programmes dedicated to hauntings, possession and the like, so I tuned in (although I missed the first half of the programme on exorcisms, which was annoying as it looked interesting).

The Exorcisms programme dealt pretty much exclusively with the Catholic rite, which I suppose was good as I've noticed that Catholics generally take the whole thing more seriously - investigating it fully before committing themselves to anything, eliminating all non-paranormal explanations to their satisfaction and suchlike, but it was also something of a disappointment as the exorcisms of charasmatic evangelicals are interesting to study as well. They also had Michael Cuneo, who wrote American Exorcism (which I've read and think is a pretty thorough study of the exorcism phemomenon in America today) to offer his own, sociological views without putting the 'skeptic' spin on what he said.

I was annoyed by one of the cases I saw though. A young girl in the Mexican city of Juarez (which is a very poor city) was suffering from some quite bizarre physical and behavioural problems which her parents and doctors couldn't explain. The last straw for her parents, apparently, was when a big-city hospital (El Paso, Texas) diagnosed her with viral encephelomylitis. Yeah, that's a CFS varient. Because they were told there was no 'cure' for her condition, the parents decided that she must have been 'demonically possessed' and promptly took her out of the hospital and to their local priest. And not one person argued with them about this!


Haunted Houses... )

An interesting few hours' TV.


Also, Richard Whiteley (of Countdown fame, has died. He was 61.
sareini: (scared)
Just spotted this on the BBC News site: Mystery creature stalks Sailsbury.

According to various witnesses, the creature is "a cross between a kangaroo, a leopard, a monkey and a cat". But don't worry, police don't believe it's dangerous., it's just a bio-genetic experiment gone horribly wrong, by the sound of things.
sareini: default (catty)
I'm recording a programme for Nick at the moment called Real Vampires... Exposed! - and with a title like that, it's a good thing we had an idea of what to expect. It's sensationalist and misinformed in the extreme. Right now, for example, they're discussing the 'Vampire Killers' of Kentucky of several years ago, and managing to ostracise goths and roleplayers quite nicely. (As is the usual response of sensationalist television)

The bit that's going to make Nick explode, however, is the part just before this, where they had someone who claimed to be a 'Master Adept' of the Order of the Dragon - the order that Vlad Dracul was part of, and that doesn't exist any more. (It was in fact a Christian order of crusading knights)

I really can't stand scaremongering TV like this. When they're not decrying psychos who just so happened to also think they're vampires, they're deciding that vampires, real or imagined, are sad individuals with no friends who desperately want to fit in, and barely going five minutes without gravely informing everyone of the dangers of drinking blood in today's world because of all the blood-borne diseases. Between two strangers in a club who don't know each other - yeah, it's stupid. Between two consenting adults who know each other and have been tested, it's perfectly acceptable.

(For the record, I've never engaged in bloodplay; I just feel that it's perfectly safe as long as the right precautions are taken. The world seems more and more geared towards making everyone conform to 'vanilla' sex and lifestyles, and I just don't see why the people who find it so abhorrent don't just stick to their own lives and not worry about anyone else's as long as they aren't infringing on others'. There's my rant for the evening.)
sareini: (thoughtful)
The book I ordered from Amazon last week arrived this morning. Lure of the Sinister: An Unnatural History of Satanism by Gareth J. Medway (just in case others are interested) is all about the history of 'Satanism', real and imagined, from the Middle Ages to the present day. I'll admit that I was a little wary when I realised that so much was focussed on the historical elements (the first four or five chapters, in fact), but I didn't need to worry. This book is brilliant.

I've just finished the chapter dealing with the Satanic Ritual Abuse scares in American pre-schools in the 1908s, and am just about to move on to the British equivalent, it seems, in the next. As someone who lived through those times as a child who was worryingly interested in the news and current events (I'm the only person of my age group who can remember vividly such events as the Challenger disaster, the Zebrugger ferry disaster and even the English football hooligans running riot in Europe in 1984), I remember being really interested in these stories of 'devil worship' on remote Scottish islands and the like, but when I tried to look into it when older, I could never find anything out. Now I have a book devoted to explaining the history, myth, folklore and facts of the cases and figures involved, as well as a new list of other books to read (mostly written by fundamentalist Christians, it seems). So I'm happy.

I think I'm going to try to get hold of Michelle Remembers next, for the view from the 'other side'...
sareini: (thoughtful)
I think one of the best jobs you could do would be researcher for World's Scariest Places or similar. you'd be able to look into all the really interesting historical places all over the world and their bloody histories, and then you'd get to pick really stupid families to go spend the night being scared senseless by them.

Tonight's show involved a family being sent to spend the night in the Principa (can't remember exactly how it's spelt; no doubt Nick can correct me) de Lucetio - Lucifer's Prinicpality, the only classical Satanist monestery in the world, dating back to the 13th century. THe family they sent there? They started out by doing cheers to keep their spirits up (that didn't last long at all). It was hysterical. When one of them asked the spirits to give them a sign if they were there, they tried to knock her flat by slamming a bed into the back of her knees. Another guy found that every time he went into a particular room, a huge bang would come from the wall every time he walked past the exact spot.

I'd love to go on one of those TV shows; unfortunately, I expect they look for people with little/no knowledge of the paranormal and occult, and who collapse into hysterics at the drop of a hat. At least, that's the impression I get from watching these programmes.

My computer and I have reached an agreement. It will limit itself to restarting every time I log out of AO, and I won't throw it out of the bedroom window. Both sides are happy with this.

Spooky Job

Jul. 15th, 2003 01:01 am
sareini: (doctor)
I wonder how you become a (professional?) parapsychologist?

I was just watching The World's Scariest Ghosts Caught on Tape when this thought came to me. I mean, every different case they looked at had a different team of psychic researchers/parapsychologists/mediums investigating it, so there must be quite a market for them. Plus - and I hate to be cynical (actually, no I don't) - most of the people doing the investigations seemed to be really guliable. There was one case with a supposed poltergeist moving furniture around at night when no-one was around, but the taped evidence seemed to pretty much show that the moving objects were on strings. But this was touted as "shocking evidence of the afterlife".

Also, I don't know about anyone else, but strange little balls of light that float around aren't particularly 'scary' to me. Pipes from Ghostwatch - now he's fucking scary, and if he ever turns up on my screens again when my DVD isn't playing, I'll probably die of terror, but little blobs of light just remind me of the old Willo the Wisp TV show.

Then again... if becoming a parapsychologist means I risk becoming like The Warrens, maybe I'll just stay a frustrated student and wannabe writer...

(Weird - as I was typing that part, the TV froze, the room went cold suddenly and all the hairs on the back of my neck stood up for a moment - then I informed any spirits passing through that I wasn't impressed, and went and fixed the TV. It's all fine now.)
sareini: default (strange)
Watching a documentary on the Phoenix Lights of 1997 on Discovery Science right now, which so far appears to be one heck of a lot of backpedaling from the Air Force ("We don't have any idea what you're talking about"/"Oh, yeah, we dropped some flares on that night") and similar.

Of course, the 'flare' theory they're talking about right now is kind of shot down when you realise that the lights were stationary, independantly suspended, not 'flaring' as flares tend to and there for more than the few minutes of burn time that flares have...

It's a shame; in terms of evidence this was one of the best UFO events of the 1990s (more so than the pretty but probably fake in the end Gulf Breeze photos or the very obviously fake Mexico City saucer footage in 1997), but once again no-one other than a few independant people seem prepared to investigate and analyse it...


Jun. 5th, 2003 01:12 am
sareini: (thoughtful)
So there's this contest I'm thinking of entering, and the prompt is that you have to take any legend from this site - except Nosferatu - and write about it. Seems really cool. Except I can't decide which vampire to use.

I've narrowed it down to a few, which I'm writing here so I don't forget in the morning and go through the whole process of choosing all over again...

Interesting vampire legends... )
sareini: (thoughtful)
Things are getting a little spooky in the skies over here...

About 45 minutes ago, Nick and I got to watch and listen to a total of six helicopters and planes fly overhead, from south to north, in a ten-fifteen minute period. These included:

- a coastguard helicopter, flying low but nothing too major - except we're about 150 miles in either direction from a coast.
- ordinary passenger plane. Well, we are on a flightpath.
- Air ambulance. Again, nothing too strange, but by now it's getting a bit crowded on this flightpath.
- A second plane, this one very low and issuing a 'low fuel' distress warning.
- A 'black' slick; helicopter of unknown configuration and issuing an unknown callsign. VERY low (150 feet above the house)
- Traffic helicopter.

Now, Nick comes from a military family (his father was an air force pilot) and I've been a UFO buff since I was six years old. Both of us have lived under major flight paths for most of our lives, so we know the kind of traffic to expect. And this wasn't normal traffic.

I'll keep an eye out on the news to see if anything turns up...
sareini: default (strange)
Just watched The Scariest Places on Earth, which is basically just a rather more intelligent version of the Fear show that MTV did a couple of years back (that was funny). They have Linda Blair doing the intro and end segments, and Zelda Rubenstein - she who did the voice of the demon in The Exorcist - doing the narration.

For the most part, the show is just docutales of haunted places all over the world that have a particularly bloody history - even Nick watched the episode where they investigated the Paris catacombs and found a video camera dropped by a tourist who may have vanished in them - with a creepy, croaky voice-over and ominous sound-bites and quotes. Then every once in a while, they take a family who has volunteered to spend a night in a hounted house to a particularly 'evil' place, strap cameras to their chests so we're treated to some good old Nas-o-Vision (damn you, Blair Witch) and leave them there for the night.

This week they dropped a New York family in Hunedorea Castle in Transylvania, where Vlad Dracul spent a lot of his time. The narration played up Dracul's deeds to the max (conveniently overlooking the fact that he was at war at the time, as well as having Papal support for his actions), continuing to come back to those impalings. There was also a little side-story about his medallion of the Order of the Dragon, which was supposed to touch whoever touched it with Dracul's evil. (When one family member found this out, he immediately picked it up and walked off with it... never mind any cusrses, that's an antique!)

Interestingly though, the show did look at a lot of the local beliefs, such as that of the strigoi, werewolves and the walking dead. They also had a gypsy witch, although whether she was Rroma, Sygerny (sp? - sorry Nick) or something else I don't know. It was interesting to note that while all the other 'experts' were going on about how Dracul was a 'psychopath' and 'utterly evil', the gypsy witch was the only one who remembered that Dracul had been inprisoned and tortured in the castle at one point as well...
sareini: (doctor)
In the absence of anything to do (I'm finding I'm doing my best writing in the two or three hours before I go to sleep, which isn't yet), I've taken to staring obsessively at 'GhostCams'. You know, those automatic cameras that are set up somewhere in a supposedly haunted room and then connected to the internet. People can then watch the pictures as they come in (usually refreshed every few minutes or thereabouts), and if they see anything that they think is a 'ghost' they can report it.

The one I'm spending my time at is found here. It's a boat called the Lexington, which is a museum now but which I assume used to be in active service. Its engine room is also supposed to be haunted, and that's where the ghostcam is found.

So I've had the cam window open while idly searching, and just had the shock of my life when I brought it up and found a tall black figure, seemingly see-through and with kind-of 'speed' lines off one side, right up by the camera lens. Much startled swearing eminated from the room - till I remembered that the room is part of the museum and open to the public. The 'ghost' was probably just someone caught close to the camera and moving as the grab was taken.

Still... it was frickin' freaky for those few seconds.

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