Saturday, December 31, 2011

Valley of the Pyramids in the Peru

Peru is rapidly becoming the capital of the pyramid world. Not only does it have the oldest officially recorded pyramid in the world (Caral), with each archaeologist’s spade dig, more pyramid complexes are uncovered.

Purgatorio (purgatory) is the name by which local people refer to the dozens of prehispanic pyramids, enclosures and mounds found on the plain around La Raya Mountain, south of the La Leche River. The Lambayeque Valley boats scores natural and man-made waterways. lt is also a region of numerous pyramids.

It has no less than three pyramid cities, which together have a stunning total of 250 pyramids. The three cities were built in succession of each other, each abandoned before a new one was built.
The first is known as Pampa Grande and was built between 600 and 750 AD. In 700 AD, the pyramid of Pampa Grande, known as Huaca Fortaleza, was built, reaching fifty metres high, and measuring 200 metres in width. Though much of the structure remains intact, visually, it is not all that impressive. The next complex was that of Batan Grande, built between 750 and 1100 AD. The city had 34 pyramids, including the Huaca de Oro (Pyramid of Gold), in front of which a series of royal tombs were located. The pyramids are now badly eroded, due to El Niño rains in 1982 and 1998. But the biggest destruction to the site was man-made when in ca. 1100 AD, the pyramid was burnt and the town abandoned, to be succeeded by Tucume, from 1100 AD until 1500 AD.

The site of Tucume, covering an area of over 540 acres and encompassing 26 major pyramids and platforms, is part of the Lambayeque Valley, the largest valley of the North Coast of Peru. The local shamans still invoke its power and of the gods that once resided in these structures. Specifically, the gods lived in the mountains, but the pyramids were seen as replica mountains, in the hope of being able to work with the forces of nature. The local shamans are also the record keepers of the legends, including one legend recorded by Father Cabello de Balboa in 1586 AD. It relates how Cala, a grandson of Naymlap, the founder of the Lambayeque royal dynasty, declared that Tucume would become the new metropolis for his people. Cala seems to have been an exile from Batan Grande.

Tucume lies on what was once the southern margin of the valley, but thanks to the Taymi irrigation canal (over 43 miles long), which brings water northward from the Chancay river, it is surrounded by fertile agricultural land. lt seems very likely that the construction of the Taymi canal coincided with the foundation of Tucume, an important center of the region throughout its 400-year history. Modern Tucume, which lies very close to the site and boasts its own prehispanic village pyramid, Huaca del Pueblo, is located 17 miles north of the city of Chiclayo.

The largest and most impressive pyramids are found in the monumental sector of the archaeological site, to the north and northeast of La Raya Mountain (“Mountain of the Ray”). Investigations carried out in conjunction with Thor Heyerdahl, the famous Norwegian seafarer and explorer, have concentrated on three major structures: Huaca Larga, Huaca 1 and The U-shaped "Temple of the Sacred Stone". Excavations in non-monumental areas have yielded many details about the functioning of the site -some prefer the term city- and about the lives of its inhabitants.
The "Temple of the Sacred Stone" is a small, unpretentious, rectangular U-shaped structure to the east of Huaca Larga. lt is considered a major temple that travelers had to pass by before entering the site. The walled roadway system of this section of the Lambayeque valley leads straight to this temple and then on to Huaca Larga.
The special, revered object of this temple appears to have been a large, upright boulder in the middle of the one-room building, but whom or what it represented remains unknown. Furthermore, archaeologists found an enormous number of offerings in and around the temple. These offerings included valuable Spondylus shells (a seashell) brought from the coast of Guayaquil, slaughtered lamas and intriguing sheet-metal miniatures representing a wide range of themes and objects (flora, fauna, ornaments, musical instruments, tools, etc.). The most delicate of Inca offerings, figurines made of solid silver or carved Spondylus and adorned with elaborate textiles, silver tupu-needles and miniature feather headdresses, were found deposited in ritual fashion by the doorway of the temple. Researchers have found similar offerings, sometimes together with human sacrifices, at other major Inca shrines. For example, just a few years back a researcher exploring the top of the snow-capped Ampato Mountain in the southern Peruvian department of Arequipa found the intact mummy of an Inca girl, whom he nicknamed "Juanita".

The Túcume area has been slated for tourism development in Peru, however, concerns have been raised over the development of the site without proper attention to conservation. The site's listing in 2004 attracted substantial private-sector support for the site's preservation, but a long-term plan for the conservation of its fragile and eroding remains has yet to be developed.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Higgs boson 'God particle'

One of the most important discoveries in particle physics of the last 25 years has possibly just been made by experimentalists at CERN, the giant laboratory just outside of Geneva on the border of Switzerland and France.
CERN of one of the major experiments looking for the Higgs Boson; an as-yet-undetected particle that is believed responsible for giving all other particles mass. Scientists offered a tantalising glimpse of a subatomic fragment sometimes called the “God particle” because it gives substance to all matter in the universe.
The particle, until now, has existed only in theory — rigorous theory, first proposed by the English physicist Peter Higgs 40 years ago, but until now it’s never actually been detected. The Large Hadron Collider, the giant particle accelerator 17 miles in circumference, was built deep beneath the mountains on the French-Swiss border to send atoms crashing into each other at nearly the speed of light. It would be enough that if the particle actually exists, the LHC’s detectors would see evidence.
Two giant detectors, known as Atlas and CMS, have been analysing the particles generated in billions of collisions between protons (hydrogen nuclei) travelling in opposite directions round the LHC’s underground ring at almost the speed of light.
"God particle" have discovered by Nobel laureate Leon Lederman who wrote a book with that title. If the result is verified, the Higgs will have a mass about 125 times the mass of the proton, making it as heavy as a medium-sized nucleus, and it will "fill in" the last missing piece of a puzzle involving the solution of one of the great outstanding problems in physics of the 20th century: the origin of all mass. If the properties of the Higgs are confirmed, the picture of fundamental particle forces will have been completed. That picture is known as The Standard Model.
Higgs bosons, if they exist, do not last long enough to show up directly in the subatomic debris of these collisions. Discovery relies on observing the particles into which Higgs bosons disintegrate, rather than detecting them directly. But the mass of the Higgs itself is unknown, leaving much uncertainty about the best place to look for decay particles.
There are three fundamental forces. The most familiar is gravity. The second fundamental force is a combination of three forces previously thought to be independent of one another: magnetism, the electric force and the weak subnuclear interaction. The third fundamental force is called the strong nuclear force. The fundamental constituents – quarks and leptons – along with the two fundamental particle interactions – the electroweak interaction and the strong nuclear force constitute The Standard Model of particle physics. The Higgs field also has the ability to generate masses for the quarks and leptons. Thus, if the expected properties of the Higgs field are confirmed, then the origin of all mass will be understood. The generation of mass proceeds through a process known as spontaneous symmetry breaking. The Higgs field produces masses for the quarks and the electrically charged leptons through its interactions with these fields.
Even so physicists were bubbling with excitement after the presentation, which gave them the best glimpse so far. “The Cern results on the Higgs boson have the scientific world agog,” said Themis Bowcock, head of particle physics at the University of Liverpool.
What’s this all about? Would it reduce the unemployment rate, or end wars? No, say scientists, but it would help explain why we, and the rest of the universe, exist. It would explain why the matter created in the Big Bang has mass, and is able to coalesce. Without it, as CERN explained in a background paper, “the universe would be a very different place…. no ordinary matter as we know it, no chemistry, no biology, and no people.”

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Solway Firth Spaceman

On May 23, 1964, Jim Templeton, a firefighter from Carlisle, Cumberland, took three pictures of his five-year-old daughter while on a day trip to Burgh Marsh, situated near Burgh by Sands and overlooking the Solway Firth in Cumbria, England. According to Templeton, they were alone that day save for a handful of cows and sheep in a nearby pasture. He took a few photos during the outing. You might not recall the days before digital photography, but it used to be that you would to take your rolls of exposed film to a developer and wait for them to be returned.
The only other people reported on the marshes that day were a couple of old ladies, and although cows and sheep would have normally been plentiful, they were huddled together at the far end of the marsh.

When he picked up the finished photos, the developer commented, "that would have been a real nice photo of Elizabeth if that man hadn't been standing back there." Templeton didn't understand what that was supposed to mean until he saw the picture.
Templeton insists that he did not see the figure until after his photographs were developed, and analysts at Kodak confirmed that the photograph was genuine. To this day, the picture remains unexplained and a source of international fascination.

After the publication of the photo in the newspaper, Templeton claims that two men showed up at his home. He described them as being dressed in what is now known as the stereotypical "Men In Black" look. They claimed to be agents of the British government but refused to produce any identification. They referred to themselves only as "#9" and "#10." They drove Templeton to the area of the marsh where the photograph was taken and asked him to describe the day to them, paying particular attention to weather conditions and "the behavior of area birds." That done, the two MIBs insisted that Templeton merely photographed a passerby. When Templeton continued to express disagreement with this assertion, the MIBs grew noticeably angry and drove off, leaving Templeton in the marsh with nothing but a bewildered feeling and a five mile walk home.

When the picture was taken, in 1964, human space suits were in their extreme infancy. It has been suggested by some people that the figure is merely someone with their back to the camera, perhaps wearing a hat or helmet.

The men tried to make Templeton admit that he had photographed a person, but he refused. In the same time frame that the picture was taken, a Blue Streak missile launch at the Woomera Test Range, using Cumbrian-built weaponry, was aborted because of two large men who were witnessed on the firing range.

This was long before the time of Photoshop, so that lends credibility. What's more, the Kodak Camera Company examined the film and pronounced it to be authentic not tampered with. Could this all be an elaborate hoax on the part of Jim Templeton? After all, we have only his word about there being no one else being at the marsh that day as well as for the visit from the MIBs. But if it was his own concoction, what did he gain from it? A bit of fame that was short-lived. Any monetary gain he had was slim if not non-existent. If anything, he probably had to endure more ridicule than benefit. Then there is the added weirdness of the Australian missile test.

The technicians reported that the figures resembled the Solway Firth Spaceman. Ufologists have used the photograph as evidence that extraterrestrial life has influenced the modern day space program, including space suits.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Tikal/Mars mystery

Many calling Tikal one of the most spiritually powerful spots on earth. The monumental site with its towering pyramids looms out of the thick jungle canopy like stoic sentinels of ancient mysteries.
The largest pyramid in Tikal - the most sacred monument of the ancient Mayan.
Tikal was once a wealthy metropolis of 100,000 inhabitants and the seat of power for the great Jaguar clan lords. Today, Tikal attracts archeologists from all around the globe and the wild-live surrounding the ruins makes it a naturalist's dream.
The earliest pyramids in Guatemala display exactly the same layout plan to that of a series of ruins found on another planet… Mars!
The pyramids ruins of Mars and at Tikal mirror the Pleiades stars. Note also how the Maya pyramids of Tikal match the grouping of pyramids on Mars on their own. Is this just a coincidence? There is more. Every little anomaly in the Mars image has its counterpart. The important meaning of these star maps is the 'x' that marks the spot monument. It is the most accurate correlation to date! As already suggested, the star that correlates with the ‘face’ structure only fits if we set a star atlas computer program to run back in time to an ancient epoch!
All in all, the Tikal pyramids, Pleiades star map in our sky, and the Cydonia on Mars all match.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Triangle-shaped ‘alien skull’ found in Peru

Just like every other time an inexplicable artifact surfaces only to be later discredited in a far less high profile news story, a supposed alien skull has allegedly been located in Peru.
Peruvian anthropologist Renato Davila Riquelme has discovered what appear to be the mummified remains of an alien-like creature, including a "triangle shaped" skull nearly as big as its 20-inch-long body.
Has the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull --the setting for the underwhelming 2008 Indiana Jones vehicle--finally been discovered? Well, don't be expecting a victory lap from Steven Spielberg or George Lucas anytime soon.
Riquelme himself posits that the remains are those of a child. Peruvian news site RPP however, has interviewed several (conveniently anonymous) Spanish and Russian scientists who claim the remains are actual those of an extraterrestrial, supported by the clearly "alien" skull.
The remains of an eyeball in the right socket will help determine its genetic DNA – and clear up the controversy if it is human or not. Another possible explanation for the skull is tribal ritual, which has in certain regions been known to involve skull modification. The practice has been known to occur for at least the past 9,000 years, and the paper says:
To achieve the desired shape, the head was wrapped in tight cloth. In the case of cranial flattening, the head was placed between two pieces of wood. The technique would usually be carried out on an infant, when the skull is at its most pliable. The cloth would be applied from a month after birth and be held in place for about six months.

Do you think there’s any chance at all the alien skull in Peru is a true extraterrestrial find?

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Overtoun Bridge - The Dog Suicide Bridge

Built in 1895 by Lord Overtoun, near the village of Milton in West Dunbartonshire lies the Overtoun Bridge; an arch bridge which has become famous for the bizzarely large number of dogs who have leapt over the side to their death.
The famous location near the Overtoun is the Overtaun mansion which is nearly spreaded across 2000acres. The mansion was built by James White. The mansion was further expanded during its construction by the owner, forming the western and eastern side of the estate. The western side is more famous known as western drive. But the two sides are separated by a water fall and to connect this sides, the famous Overtoun bridge was constructed.
The Victorian bridge stands 50 feet over the Overtoun Burn which flows below. The dog jumping phenomenon started sometime in the 1950s continuing to be a common occurence for the following five decades, with each account having certain similar details.

Strange things have been noticed that dogs actually climbing the parapet wall before making the jump. Even stranger are the reports of dogs surviving their brush with death, only to return to the bridge for a second attempt. Some more interesting facts about the bridge is it has never claimed the life of humans but engulfed more than 600 dogs till now, averaging one dog per month.

What makes this tragic mystery even more mysterious is that many of the dogs that jump from Overton Bridge jump from the same side and from almost the same spot: between the final two parapets on the right-hand side of the bridge.

But why is this happening? What would compel otherwise contented canines to leap from the stone structure?

Some believe that the bridge is haunted. In 1994, a man threw his baby son off the bridge claiming that it was the anti-Christ. Later, the man attempted suicide there as well. Was Overton Bridge responsible for this tragic event?
Another theory comes from Celtic beliefs that Overton Bridge is a "thin place" where the barrier between the world of the living and the world of the dead meet and sometimes cross over. Some believe that dogs are more sensitive to the paranormal and perhaps they are getting spooked by spirits. In fact, one psychic toured the bridge and, although she admitted that she felt nothing malevolent - only peace, her dog pulled on its leash to the right side of the bridge.
However, the explanation which seems to be the most logical involves the presence of minks on the banks of the burn. The mink’s powerful anal glands leave marks wherever they go and the strong musty smell they produce apparently interest dogs. So it is suggested that the height of the bridge’s granite walls significantly impairs the dogs’ sense of sight and hearing, so when they go to investigate the smell, they are unaware of the massive fall that awaits them. This would explain why the dogs all went over on clear and dry days, because the mink smell wouldn’t have been strongly dilluted by the rain.

Whatever the explanation for the famous Dog Suicide Bridge actually is could be debated for years without satisfaction. Just take some advise from the locals and keep your best friend on a leash when visiting Overton Bridge.

source 1 2 3

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Screaming Tunnel

The story has it that a girl burned to death in the middle of the tunnel...

There is a tunnel under the old railroad tracks just to the west of the Queen Elizabeth Way in Niagara Falls. Located near the end of the road on right-hand side of Warner Road, just off of Taylor/Beechwood Road, the tunnel runs under the railway tracks that link Niagara Falls to Toronto and New York City. The tunnel is made of rough-cut stone and measures 16 feet high by 125 long.

According to local legend, over a century ago, a farm house located just past the south entrance to the tunnel caught fire one night. A young girl, her clothes engulfed in flames, fled screaming from the house. She ran through the tunnel in an attempt to extinguish her garments but collapsed and died on the tunnel floor.

Some have heard that the young girl was kidnapped by a crazed butcher, who dawned a pig’s mask and burned her alive after she had tried to escape through the tunnel.

Another legend involves a little girl who was chased down and burned by her angry father when he found out he lost his children to his wife in a bitter custody battle.
Perhaps the most gruesome story, the young girl was raped while inside the tunnel, with the perpetrator burning the body in order to hide the evidence...
It is said that the girl is still in this tunnel, haunting it. The urban legend has it that if you stand in the middle of the tunnel and light a wooden match stick, she will blow it out immediately and you will be able to hear her screams. It is also noted that the middle of the tunnel is quite cold, even on a hot summer day. People report that when they are in the tunnel, they have a feeling of being watched. Orbs are very noticeable on photographs taken inside the tunnel.
Most who know of this tunnel remember it as Christopher Walken’s temporary place of refuge in the 1983 feature film Dead Zone, but to some, this tunnel represents a varying story of fire and death.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mystery Astronaut Carving

Could this be a carving from someone who’s been to the future? Could this be some bit of technology that existed back in 1100 AD? Cathedral in Spain, built by Episcope de Salamanca in 1102 A.D., there is a figure of a NASA Astronaut hides among the fascinating carvings!

In fact its non of the above: In 1992 the Cathedral Ieronimus was renovated to add some additional modern and contemporary motifs. The reason for these motifs was in the tradition of the cathedral builders and restorers, they include contemporary motifs among older ones as a way of signing their work. The builder at the time, Jeronimo Garcia, chose an astronaut as a symbol of the twentieth century. This obviously debunks any and all suspicions of someone sent from the future.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Candyman is an urban legend about the ghost of a slave who returns from the dead in search of revenge.
According to the legend, if you look into a mirror and chant the name “Candyman” five times, the Candyman will appear and kill you with his hook. For you see, the Candyman is a vicious killer with a bloody hook for a hand. He appears from the mirror, covered in blood and bees and with nothing but murder on his mind.
They say that years ago, Candyman was once a real man. Back in the days of slavery, Candyman was a black slave named Daniel Robitaille, who worked on a plantation in New Orleans. He was a talented painter and was chosen by the plantation owner to paint a portrait of his daughter.
But Daniel fell in love with the daughter of the white plantation owner. When the racist plantation owner discovered that his daughter and the slave were in love, he raised an angry mob and chased Daniel out of town.
Armed with pitchforks and a pack of dogs, they chased the poor slave across fields and streams. Finally, they caught up with the exhausted slave near an old barn. The evil men siezed Daniel and cut off his right hand with a rusty saw. Then they covered him in honey and threw him into a beehive.
The unfortunate Candyman was in terrible pain and died from his injuries, but not before he cursed the men who killed him and vowed to return and exact his revenge. They say his spirit would never rest and now his ghost walks the world for all eternity, appearing when his name is called five times.
So remember, you can say “Candyman” once, twice, three times or four. But never say it five times or you’ll be sorry!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Blue Baby Blue

Baby blue is a baby who was murdered by his psychotic mother. Nobody knows his real name. His mother murdered him by shattering a mirror and stabbing him to death with a shard of glass.
To summon baby blue, you go into the bathroom (i suggest with at least one other friend) and fog up a mirror. You know how the mirror gets all foggy after you take a shower or something? You can do the same thing by turning on hot water for a while.
Write "Baby Blue" in the mirror fog. Turn off the light and wait a minute. Hold out your arms like you are going to carry a baby. One of you will feel a weight in your arms, like a very heavy baby. You have to hold him for a while, then you can pass him to the next person. if you drop the baby while holding or passing him, you’ll get a scratch on your arm. Drop him twice, get another scratch. Drop him three times…he’ll shatter the mirror and stab you to death.
My friend Bailey and I decided to test this out. Bailey turned out the light and I held out my arms. I felt a very heavy weight in my arms. My hands were sweating and I was so nervous that I dropped Baby Blue. I felt a sharp pain through my arm. I passed the baby to Bailey. Bailey was freaked out that she dropped Baby Blue immediately. I heard her whimper, so i knew she’d gotten a scratch. A few minutes later, i heard another whimper and knew she’d dropped the baby again. "Turn on the light!" she squealed. I flipped on the light. We looked down at our arms and saw bright red scratches on our arms. One for me and two for Bailey.
There is also another version of the story. In this version, you enter the bathroom with the lights off. You should say the phrase "Blue Baby" over and over for thirteen goes whilst pretending to rock a baby. After you finish chanting, a baby will appear and scratch you. You should drop it and run out of the bathroom as quick as you can otherwise a woman will appear and scream "GIVE ME BACK MY BABY". If you are still holding her baby then she will kill you.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

"Bownessie" - Lake Windermere monster

Windermere is a town of about 2300 population within the Lake District National Park in the North West England shire county of Cumbria. Windermere town center is half a mile from Lake Windermere, England's largest fresh water natural lake. Lake Windermere has been summer and holidays cottage country since for the middle of the 19th century when a railway branch line gave the city-folk from central England access to the area's beauty.
The town of Windermere does not touch Lake Windermere. But it has grown together with lakeside town of Bowness-on-Windermere. The odd combined town retains two distinct town centres. The Windermere railway station continues in operation today.
While there are a many cultural attractions in the Wingemere area, none can match the beauty of the natural environment. The mountains of Cumbria surround the lake basin, at the center of which lies the ten and half mile long ribbon lake: long, narrow and deep. Ribbon lakes were formed during the last ice age and are canyons with a river at either end. A glacier would have dug a glacial trough through a vein of soft rock, creating a canyon surrounded by the harder rock of the mountains. Boats from the piers in Bowness sail around the lake. There are 18 islands in the lake, the largest of 40 acres and privately owned. Two other villages are along the lake shoe, Ambleside and Lakeside. Sailing from one to the other is an excellent way to while away a summer's day.
Since the 1950s there have been isolated reports of somethin odd in Lake Windermere. The story, documented by Centre for Fortean Zoology, was not much known until 2006, when a man and wife reported seeing something large swimming about 30 yards from shore. This focused local attention on the Lake and later in the year a photographer named Linden Adams took some photos that were picked up by wire services and cable news network. The pictures have never been proven inauthentic.

Lake ‘monster’ sighting
A BIZARRE swimming incident on Windermere coincided with the announcement that a paranormal investigator will plumb the lake’s depths in search of a giant creature. Thomas Noblett, 46, was swimming the lake this week when he was suddenly swamped by a three-foot wave of unknown origin. A spate of eyewitness sightings reported by The Gazette during 2006-2007 described a 50-foot long serpent-like animal surfacing on Windermere. Psychic Dean ‘Midas’ Maynard, who came to prominence by accurately predicting sports score lines and X factor winners, will hunt for the beast in September. Mr Noblett trains on the lake for four hours every day in preparation for a channel swim. Never having had to deal with anything more than the odd passing trout, the 46-year-old said he had since reconsidered the legend of the Windemere monster. “I didn’t entertain it before. Now when I’m in the lake it has my full attention,” he said. Mr Noblett, managing director of The Langdale Chase Hotel, was swimming close to Wray Castle at 7am on Wednesday morning when the 3ft swell hit. He and swimming trainer Andrew Tighe – paddling in a boat beside him – were the only people on the lake. “We had gotten up early and Windermere was crystal clear. The lake was totally empty apart from us and all I could hear was the slapping of my arm against the water,” explained Mr Noblett. “All of a sudden this wave just hit us. Andrew said ‘where the hell did that come from?’ and it made the boat rock from side to side,” he continued. Treading water, alone, in the centre of the lake, Mr Noblett watched as two large waves sped towards either shore. “It was like a big bow wave; a three-foot swell at least. There was two, as if a speed boat had sped past, but there were no boats on the lake,” he said. Previously an escape from the jellyfish he dodges while training at sea, Mr Noblett said the lake’s depths were not so inviting anymore. “I always look forward to swimming in Windermere, now I’m starting to get the fear. Twice I have looked down and seen fish, but only small trout. The reeds sometimes scare you, because they suddenly appear like triffids.” Dean ‘Midas’ Maynard will search the lake for the monster in September. Mr Maynard, with a background in ghost hunting, is currently searching for a sonar-equipped boat to use in the search. “It’s a fascinating subject. I’m not saying there is or isn’t something down there. Most eyewitness accounts describe some sore of eel, which if living in open water can grow very big,” said Mr Maynard. Mr Noblett is swimming across the English Channel in mid October. He hopes to raise £10,000 for Richard Rose Central Academy in Carlisle and the Cyctic Fibros is Trust.

From the Westmorland (Eng.) Gazette: 18 Aug. 2006
A HOLIDAYMAKER has spoken of his horror at seeing a Loch Ness-type monster’
emerge from the depths of Windermere, report Paul Duncan and Peter Otway.
University lecturer Steve Burnip and his wife, Eileen, were shocked at seeing the serpent-like creature surface from the waters as they stood at a well-known viewpoint.
"I was absolutely flabbergasted, I just stood there and couldn’t believe what I was looking at," said Mr Burnip, who has been holidaying in the area for 13 years with his family.
He claimed the creature was about 15-20ft long with a little head and two small humps following in its wake. "It was like a giant eel."
Mr Burnip, who is 51 and from Hebden Bridge, was looking out from Watbarrow
point that looks across the lake to Waterhead.
Ian Winfield, a fish ecologist for the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology at Lancaster University, believes Mr Burnip could have seen a catfish, as they have been introduced to a lot of lakes for angling.
"The Wels catfish comes from mainland Europe and can grow to about 500cm and weigh up to 306kg and there have been numerous records of catfish washing up dead in Cumbrian lakes," said Mr Whitfield.
When I got wind of this story, I must admit I was absolutely thrilled to bits at the possibility that there was a cryptid yet to be found in English waters. I happened to have booked a stay in the town of Windermere itself from August 22 to 24 and was going to spend a fair chunk of time visiting the lake and nearby Coniston Water where Sir Donald Campbell died while attempting to break the world water speed record aboard Bluebird in 1967 so I had the opportunity of checking Lake Winderemere out.
People often say that if there is a cryptid in a lake why haven’t more people seen the creature and more often as well. If the body of water is anything like Lake Windermere, I can fully understand why this creature would be so rarely seen. Unlike North American lakes, access to the shore around Lake Windermere is extremely difficult. True, there are a number of piers from which you can board tour boats of the lake, but most of the shoreline – particularly at the southern end – is inaccessible.
The witness, Mr. Burnip, was very fortunate that he was in a location that afforded a good view of the lake. Watbarrow Point is the home a famous local castle so it is not surprising Mr. Burnip and his family were in this area. As the report indicates you can see Waterhead very well from this spot so the witness description of his sightlines is accurate.
Although it is certainly possible there are Wels catfish in Lake Windermere, what Mr. Burnip saw and described is nothing like a catfish. He is adamant that he saw head and two humps and this is certainly not an aspect that one could possibly expect a catfish to exhibit. Richard Freeman and the gang from the Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) in Devon, also checked out the lake, as I did, after Mr. Burnip’s sighting and they hypothesized what Mr. Burnip saw might have been a large sterile eel. Now, that is a hypothesis I could live with. It is possible that Mr. Burnip saw an eel swimming on its side (this does happen and I have seen footage of it myself) which would account for the creature. It would have to be a very large eel to be 15 – 20 feet long, but it is a possibility with some merit to it.
Neither the CFZ crew or our British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club (BCSCC) field work team saw anything out of the ordinary at Lake Windermere, but I am fairly excited about the prospect of revisiting the lake to ascertain whether this unknown creature is a cryptid or an extraordinarily large and unusual eel.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Bloody Mary

Legend: Chanting "Bloody Mary!" thirteen times in front of a candlelit mirror will summon a vengeful spirit.


If you go into the bathroom and look into the mirror with the lights off and the room completely black, and then say 'Bloody Mary' thirteen times, a woman will appear and scratch your face up/off.

I was told that if you said "Hell Mary" seven times in front of a mirror in a dark room, you would see Satan's image in the mirror. The story was embellished further by the teller, who claimed that after three "Hell Mary", the mirror turned red, and that after five an unclear face appeared.

Here's how I always heard the story. You go into a room with a mirror and turn all the lights off (this works well in a bathroom). You begin, in a whisper, to chant "bloody mary. bloody mary, Bloody Mary", as you continue to chant your voice should grow louder and louder into a near scream. While you are chanting you should be spinning around at a medium rate and taking a glimpse in the mirror at each pass. Near the 13th repetition of the words . . . "she" should appear and...?

A frend of mine said that her roommate tried this and ran out screaming from the bathroom. She was shaking and appeared genuinely terrified and refused to talk about the incident, but those who were around her when she came out noticed that her clenched fingers were covered in blood.

  • The avenging spirit goes by many names: Bloody Mary, Bloody Bones, Hell Mary, Mary Worth, Mary Worthington, Mary Whales, Mary Johnson, Mary Lou, Mary Jane, Sally, Kathy, Agnes, Black Agnes, Aggie, Svarte Madame.
  • Summoning Mary requires the right chant. "I believe in Mary Worth" is the key phrase according to one version, but others require the shouting of "Kathy, come out!" or the repetition of "Bloody Mary" into the mirror as many times as the ritual demands. (Sometimes Bloody Mary gets more of a script and is summoned by calls of "Bloody Mary! I killed your baby!")
  • The precise requirements of the ritual vary. Some specify that the mirror must be illuminated by a single candle; in others, there must be a candle on each side. In some versions, the message to Mary is repeated by just one girl who is either a volunteer or one selected by the others to summon up the mirror-witch. The number of chants needed to fetch Mary also varies.
  • What the mirror-witch does upon arrival varies too. She may strike her summoner dead, drive her mad, or fiercely scratch her face. She may merely peer malevolently out through the mirror, or she may drag one of the girls back through it to live with her.
Origins: The research into Bloody Mary goes back to 1978, when folklorist Janet Langlois published her essay on the legend. Belief in summoning the mirror-witch was even at that time widespread throughout the U.S.

Mary is summoned whenever squealing girls get together for a sleepover, but boys have been known to call on her too. (The 'Bloody Mary' legend was common when I was a kid in the early 1970s. We typically performed the "ritual" in bathrooms, because the bathrooms of our suburban homes had large mirrors and were easily darkened even during the day since they had no windows. A familiar 'Bloody Mary' story was one about a girl who supposedly ended her incantation with a spiteful "I don't believe in Mary Worth," then tripped over the doorjamb while exiting the bathroom and broke her


Mary is said to be a witch who was executed a hundred years ago for plying the black arts, or a woman of more modern times who died in a local car accident in which her face was hideously mutilated.

Some confuse the mirror witch with Mary I of England, whom history remembers as "Bloody Mary." An expanded version of that confusion has it that this murdering British queen killed young girls so she could bathe in their blood to preserve her youthful appearance. (That legend more properly attaches to Elizabeth Bathory, a Hungarian countess who lived from 1560 to 1614.)

Mary I of England (1553-1558) was anything but a famed beauty terrified of losing her looks — she was a matronly, fortyish woman who had about as much sense of style as a dust mop. The idea of her bathing in the blood of slaughtered virgins to preserve her loveliness is ludicrous. She came by the moniker "Bloody Mary" because she had a number of Protestants put to death during her reign, as she tried to re-establish Catholicism as the religion of the land after the reigns of her father (Henry VIII, he who married six wives over the course of his lifetime and established himself as the head of a new religion rather than tolerate the Pope's saying he couldn't divorce wife #1 to marry wife #2) and her brother (Edward VI, who ruled after Henry died but passed away himself at the age of 16). Mary was a devoutly religious woman who saw what she was doing as the saving of her subjects' souls from eternal damnation, and in those times — as crazy as this sounds now — the eternal wellbeing of a soul was deemed far more important than the comparatively fleeting life of a person. That bringing the country back to Catholicism would also safeguard her throne was also a major consideration.

Mary I was the half sister of Elizabeth I (1558-1603). Both were daughters of Henry VIII, but Mary's mother was Katherine of Aragon and Elizabeth's mother was Anne Boleyn. Elizabeth I became Queen upon Mary's death. During her reign, Elizabeth returned the country to Protestantism and in the process ordered the deaths of at least as many of her subjects as her half-sister did during her time on the throne, yet she earned the sobriquet "The Virgin Queen" (she never married) rather than any version of "Bloody Elizabeth."

Some muddlings of this "murdering queen" variant claim that Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-1567) is the "bloody Mary" of mirror summonings. Though this Mary was indeed a vain and foolish woman, history does not know her as a murderous one. (Well, she did have a hand in doing away with a husband. But she didn't go after her subjects en masse, as did Mary I of England.)

So, although there was a British queen known as "Bloody Mary," no connection between her and the mirror witch has surfaced, save for their both having the same name. Likewise, the "Mary Worth" appellation of the malevolent apparition doesn't appear to be drawn from the lead character of a popular comic strip of the same name. In lore, as elsewhere, coincidences occur.

Why would otherwise rational youngsters want to risk setting a murderous spirit on the rampage? Gail de Vos offers the following explanation:
So why do children continue to summon Bloody Mary, flirting with danger and possible tragedy? The ages between 9 and 12 are labeled "the Robinson age" by psychologists. This is the period when children need to satisfy their craving for excitement by participating in ritual games and playing in the dark. They are constantly looking for a safe way to extract pleasure and release anxiety and fears.
It's possible these "mirror witch" games have their roots in oldtime divining rituals involving unmarried girls and future husbands. There are a number of variations of these divinations, some involving chanting a rhyme in a darkened room on a special night and then quickly looking in the mirror to catch a glimpse of the bridegroom-to-be.

The concept of mirrors as portals between this world and the realm of spirits shows up in other beliefs, namely those surrounding funerals. It was common practice to cover mirrors in a house where a death had occurred until the body was taken for burial. (Back in the days before funeral homes, corpses were washed by the deceased's relatives, dressed in their funeral finery, and laid out in coffins in the front parlor. Consequently, the dead would be in the house for days.) It was believed if the dear departed caught a glimpse of himself in a mirror, his ghost would remain in the house because the mirror would trap his spirit.

Barbara "be Canadian — summon a Bloody Mary every time you're in a bar" Mikkelson

Sightings: The villain in the 1992 film Candyman is summoned by chanting his name into a mirror. In the 1998 movie Urban Legend, two co-eds try to summon an evil spirit by chanting 'Bloody Mary.' In an episode of television's The X Files ("Syzygy," original air date 26 January 1996), two teenage girls lure a rival for a boy's affections into the bathroom — and a "Bloody Mary" ritual — during a birthday party. They prevent her from leaving the bathroom, and the camera cuts to the rest of the partygoers downstairs, who hear a crash of breaking glass and a scream.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

340-year-old Bible found in a Wisconsin Lutheran church

A 340-year-old Bible has been discovered tucked away in a pantry-sized room filled with old books, historical records and pamphlets at a 148-year-old Lutheran church and school located in Wisconsin. Middle school teacher Debra Court first found the Bible two years ago, while searching for baptism records for a class. When she saw it she thought it was just an old book and didn’t think much about it, according to FOX news. "I was looking for the old baptism records to show my students and then up here in the corner was where the Bible was tucked," said Court.

The 17th century Bible was found at St. Paul Lutheran School by Court who showed the Bible to Church Pastor Timothy Shoup. "When I did open it up and look at the title page I saw the roman numerals at the bottom I kept coming up with 1670 and I concluded whatever that is I've got it added up wrong." So Shoup contacted Concordia Seminary Library in St. Louis, according to Channel 5 News WFRV. A cataloger at Concordia was able to authenticate the 340-year-old book. The German Bible was printed in Nuremberg in 1670, hand-pressed, rare and at a weight of twenty pounds. It's made of pigskin over boards with brass corners and clasps, reports WFRV.

Lyle Buettner, who works in Special Collections at Concordia Seminary Library, said he believes the Bible is one of about 40 remaining copies known to exist in the world. Buettner said the illustrations were also impressive. He told news reporters "Each time I see an illustration like this, I just think of how beautiful it looks and how much of a labor of love it must have been for the person who actually drew it." Reports said that church officials don’t know how they got the book and no one seems to remember how it got into the safe. Many of the church elders have been asked but nobody seems to recall ever hearing of the existence of the this piece of church history. The church is considering donating the centuries old Bible to a library in St. Louis in the future. But for now church leaders are looking to have a climate-controlled display box made and will keep it until their 150th anniversary in 2013, according to the news reports.