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Extraterrestrial Life
I'm guessing it's a hoax: The Daily Telegraph reports on an ongoing controversy about a "baby alien" discovered in Mexico in 2007. It was supposedly discovered by a farmer who drowned it out of fear. This farmer later burned to death in a parked car (killed by the baby's parents?). Scientists are said to be baffled by the creature.

Categories: Cryptozoology, Extraterrestrial Life
Posted by Alex on Fri Sep 04, 2009
Comments (12)
The Chicago Tribune (via the Huron Daily Tribune) offers a retrospective on 1958's Little Blue Man hoax.

The story: in early 1958 sightings of a "little blue man" running along the side of Michigan highways began appearing in the news. It turned out that what motorists were seeing was actually a young man named Jerry Sprague, dressed in a costume that included: long underwear, a football helmet, gloves, combat boots, a bedsheet with two holes cut out for the eyes and a button sewed on for the mouth and blinking lights on the helmet -- all of which had been spray painted a shade of blue that glowed faintly in the dark. He would jump out of the trunk of his friend's car, run along the highway a bit, and then jump back in the trunk.

The mysterious little blue man soon became national news. The pranksters eventually turned themselves in to the police and were let off with a warning.
Categories: Extraterrestrial Life
Posted by Alex on Mon Nov 10, 2008
Comments (7)
Strange "educational" stunts perpetrated by school authorities appear to be a growing trend. We had:

1) The Fake Attack at an Elementary School. (Students were told there was a gunman loose in the area in order to teach them how to respond in case a gunman ever really was loose in the area.)

2) Your classmate has died -- but not really. (Students were told that one of their classmates had died in a drunk-driving accident in order to teach them about the evils of drunk driving.)

But a stunt recently played on kids at Edgware school goes to the top of the list for weirdness. The Harrow Observer reports:

Children from an Edgware school were made to believe aliens had landed in their playground by teachers and police.
After spending this morning bewildered by the unusual hoax, pupils from Stag Lane School in Collier Drive, quizzed police officers brought on to the site during a press conference to make the event seem more realistic. Forensic examiners had earlier analyzed an 'alien claw' they had 'found' on the site.
The aim of the day was to stimulate the children's minds and help develop their story writing skills.
After lunch the pupils were informed by the school's headteacher Elena Evans that it was all a stunt.
Categories: Extraterrestrial Life, Pranks
Posted by Alex on Fri Sep 26, 2008
Comments (6)
Back in July 1953 three pranksters left the hairless/tailless body of a monkey lying in the middle of a Georgia highway. When a policeman came along, they told him it was the body of an extraterrestrial that they had accidentally run over. Its friends had escaped moments before in a spacecraft. The prank managed to make national headlines. (I describe it in greater detail in the Hoaxipedia.)

MSNBC has an article (with picture) about the Great Monkey Hoax. The occasion for it is a visit by an AP reporter to the museum of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, where the body of the monkey is still preserved.

Seven years ago, when I was writing the book version of The Museum of Hoaxes, I spent some time on the phone trying to track down this monkey. I had heard that the GBI still had it, but I wanted to confirm the info.

I eventually reached a woman who worked in the archives of the GBI and asked her if they still had the hairless monkey. I explained the history of the prank to her, but she had no clue what I was going on about. From her tone of voice she evidently thought I was playing a prank on her. She swore to me that the GBI had no such monkey. Looks like she was wrong. They do still have it!
Categories: Extraterrestrial Life, Pranks
Posted by Alex on Wed Jul 30, 2008
Comments (5)
This has already been posted in the forum, but I've received too many emails about it to ignore it. "Faceless aliens" have been spotted attending various high-profile events in the UK, including Wimbledon and the Harrods summer sale. The "aliens" are people wearing masks. So why are they doing this? According to the Mail Online, theories include:

the possibilities that they are limelight-seeking pranksters, performance artists or that they are at the centre of a viral marketing campaign for an as-yet unknown product of forthcoming horror film.

I'm putting my money on a viral marketing campaign, but for what, I don't know. Maybe the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still, coming out in December, which stars Keanu Reeves as an expressionless alien? (Some would say Keanu Reeves has played an expressionless alien in every movie he's ever been in.) But that's just a wild guess. And the problem with that theory is it doesn't explain why the faceless aliens are appearing specifically in the UK.

Update: So it was a viral campaign for Lotus Eagle. Mystery solved before I even posted about it.
Categories: Extraterrestrial Life, Pranks
Posted by Alex on Mon Jul 07, 2008
Comments (11)
With the Martian Bigfoot recently making headlines, Dr. Charles Lintott wrote an article for the BBC that traces the long history of Martian pareidolia.

Something about Mars makes us see things that aren't really there. It began with early astronomers believing that the surface of Mars was covered with canals. During the 1960s, some astronomers reported seeing signs of vegetation on the planet's surface.

The image below shows (on the top row) the Martian canals. The bottow row (from left to right) is the "face on Mars" taken by NASA's Viking spacecraft in the 1970s; the fossils that NASA researchers claimed to have found in a Martian meteorite in 1996; the recent Martian bigfoot; and the Martian smiley face (also recently photographed).

Categories: Extraterrestrial Life, Pareidolia, Science
Posted by Alex on Mon Feb 11, 2008
Comments (14)
Flora posted an image in the forum of what looks like a Martian bigfoot. (I inserted a picture of the Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot for comparison.)

According to metro.co.uk, the image was taken by NASA's Mars Explorer Spirit, but it "wasn't until space and science fiction enthusiasts became involved that the images were taken more seriously."

Here's the complete NASA image (thanks, Mongo) from which the image above was enlarged. I drew a red circle around the Bigfoot image. It's barely visible, in the far left corner. As you can see, the Martian Bigfoot is very, very small. Perhaps Littlefoot would be a better name for him.




The image of the Martian Bigfoot comes on the heels of the Martian "Doorway" which was doing the rounds last month. It's just non-stop Martian Pareidolia.

Categories: Cryptozoology, Extraterrestrial Life, Pareidolia
Posted by Alex on Tue Jan 22, 2008
Comments (15)
Down in the Antarctic researchers are building an "ice cube telescope" to detect neutrinos. It's one of the stranger telescopes ever built. Popular Science provides this description of it:

Using a five-megawatt jet of hot water, technicians are melting two-foot-wide holes 1.5 miles into the Antarctic ice near the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. Before the water refreezes, they insert a cable strung like a set of Christmas-tree lights with globular camera housings. By the time the technicians are done in 2010, Ice Cube’s 80 vertical strings will adorn a cubic kilometer of ice from a depth of 1.4 kilometers down to 2.4 kilometers. In other words, it’s an instrument of 4,800 cameras looking at solid black ice...
One in a million neutrinos passing near Ice Cube’s photomultiplier cameras will—just by chance—smash head-on into an atomic nucleus within the ice and produce a muon particle that will give off a blue glow called Cherenkov light. Unlike the ice in your freezer, Antarctic ice is stunningly clear, and the blue light travels more than 100 meters in the dark ice. Each muon’s glow will be picked up by several cameras, and its position and direction triangulated.


But, of course, the conspiracy theorists have some different ideas about what is really being built down there in the South Pole. One such theory has been posted in an unlikely place, explorersweb.com -- a site that's usually devoted to news about the exploration community, not woolly conspiracy theories.

The theory was posted by Irish South Pole skier Kevin Dempsey. Here's the gist of it:

the so called Ice-Cube project is in fact the first of a new generation of ARC, as we believe it is now as internally. Think ARC, think Noah. But not in the same way. Noah used his arc to save all life forms from extinction. This new ARC is in a way a reversal of that process."
"ARC stands for..... ALIEN RECEPTOR CENTRE."

"They are bringing aliens in from outer space & other galaxies, processing & programming them for eventual release into countries, societies, cultures all over the planet, that they ultimately want to control. This is not a simple war on the battle for control of oil. This is total & ultimate control of the planet.


I'm not sure whether or not Dempsey's article is meant to be a joke. Supporting the joke theory is the unusual note that Explorerweb appended to the article: "Dempsey is not a scientist; his emails carry advertisements for stylish blinds and rugs."

(Thanks to CuChullaine O'Reilly of the Long Riders Guild for the link.)
Categories: Exploration/Travel, Extraterrestrial Life, Science
Posted by Alex on Tue Jan 22, 2008
Comments (7)
Relatively few crop circles have appeared in British fields this year. This could be because the space aliens who make them are busy elsewhere, or it could be because their human makers have been hampered by the widespread flooding that occurred in the UK this summer.

The Oxford Mail interviewed Geoff Amber, of the Oxfordshire Centre for Crop Circle Studies, who claims that 90% of crop circles are made by "non-humans" (farm animals? sudden gusts of wind?). Ambler says:
"Two years ago it was very prolific and last year was rather good. But they don't seem to have come back to Oxfordshire this year.
"After the terrific storm on July 20 the crop circles seemed to dramatically stop. Usually in that period up to July 30 we have a huge influx of circles but after the big floods there wasn't much anywhere in the region for five or six days.
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"But there's no rhyme or reason for it. Some years are better than others. It may be that we have missed some this year and they have been chopped down by farmers before they have been found."
I hope people don't ever get bored and stop making crop circles, because even if they are man-made, they're still cool to look at.
Categories: Extraterrestrial Life
Posted by Alex on Wed Aug 15, 2007
Comments (2)
Everyone knows the Roswell story, right? People say they saw a flying saucer. The Air Force says it was merely the remnants of a weather balloon. Some claim that the government is covering up the fact that it had the actual corpses of aliens in a hangar.

You may have thought that the whole thing was finally put to rest when the Feds published a very thick report on the Roswell Incident in the 90's (I saw the thing in the Government Book Store near the White House and it was at least as big as a Manhattan Yellow Pages). Ah, but you would be wrong, my friend. As it turns out, the story continues...

It seems the guy who was the P.R. officer at the Roswell base at the time of the alleged "Incident" recently died. After he was gone, it was allegedly discovered that he left some paperwork which alleges that the whole "dead aliens on a slab in the hangar" story was true. Cue the theramin: Oooo-weeee-oooo.

A quick Google search for "Lieutenant Walter Haut," the Roswell P.R. officer, turns up only a sad small handful of sites. That doesn't prove anything about the veracity of his story one way or the other, but I'm surprised that the mainstream press hasn't jumped on this. After all, you should never let something silly like "facts" get in the way of a good story, right?

The REAL Never-ending Story
Categories: Conspiracy Theories, Extraterrestrial Life, Military
Posted by Cranky Media Guy on Tue Jul 03, 2007
Comments (14)
Ok, I'm out of here on holiday, so most likely there shan't be forum roundup posts for the next couple of weeks. They'll be picked up when I get back.

Alien Abduction Caught On Film In Dickinson, North Dakota (Emidawg)
A video has come to light of an alleged alien abduction. Well, when I say ‘come to light’, I mean more that the gentleman involved has sent said film to the director of HBCC UFO Research.
Highlights of the video are said to include a ‘spiraling thing’ and ‘entities’ which remove his blankets. I’m looking forward to the forthcoming release of the film…

Wrestler’s Murder-Suicide of Family (Tah)
Over the course of last weekend, WWE wrestler Chris Benoit tragically murdered his wife and son, then hung himself. The bodies of the family were not found until around 2pm on Monday. However, a little after midnight on Monday morning, someone updated Benoit’s Wikipedia page stating he’d missed a match on Saturday “stemming from the death of his wife Nancy”.
Authorities were looking into this curious incident throughout this week. On Friday, the anonymous user who had made the edits admitted to the changes. He said that the edit was not made with knowledge of the crime, and was based on rumours and speculation. [Entry corrected to say "son" instead of "daughter."]

Evolution of Beauty (Bok)
A short video showing the transformation of a woman from as she naturally is to made-up, photoshopped, altered billboard model.

Japanese toymaker to sell “Air-Guitar”! (David B.)
Takara Tomy Corp are now marketing gadgets to make playing air-guitar just that bit more realistic. The toy can be hooked up to speakers, attached to an MP3 player, or strapped to the wrist to allow music to go along with the motions of playing in a rock band. The item is programmed with ten songs, and will play just as long as the air-guitaring continues.
Categories: Advertising, Celebrities, Extraterrestrial Life, Law/Police/Crime, Photos/Videos, Technology
Posted by Flora on Fri Jun 29, 2007
Comments (5)
image On Wednesday many residents of Salt Lake City thought they saw a UFO. A mysterious blimp-like object floated over the city for a while and then disappeared. Someone with a video camera caught it on film. Local air traffic controllers said that they didn't pick up any object on their radar.

If you look at the video, it seems pretty obvious that it's some kind of man-made blimp. Nevertheless, witnesses were quick to speculate that it was some kind of massive 100-foot-long extraterrestrial craft.

The object (which was actually less than 30 feet long) eventually crash landed east of the city. It was identified as belonging to a Daniel Geery, who described it as a "hyper blimp." According to the local news station:
Geery told 2News that he was using a remote control to perform a test flight of his "hyper blimp" at dawn Wednesday when a power pack on the object failed, and drifted away. "I put a different prop on it and wanted to see if it would have a bigger effect," he said. "And it did. but only flew for 5 or 10 minutes and then just... dead." Geery knew that he would have trouble retrieving his hyper blimp -- mainly because there was little wind and he knew that meant the balloon would hover for hours.
So that's one UFO mystery cleared up. Or maybe this story of some guy testing the propellor on his hyper blimp is just a story the government invented to conceal the truth from us. That's what they want us to believe! (Thanks, Joe)
Categories: Extraterrestrial Life
Posted by Alex on Fri Jun 15, 2007
Comments (2)
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