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Extraterrestrial Life
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Botched Fax Prompts “Terrorism” Scare (MadCarlotta)
Police shut down a strip mall in Boston on Wednesday after a branch of Bank of America received a faulty fax. The fax, which had been sent out by the bank's corporate office, had left off some of the text, leaving some dubious clip art. The plaza was evacuated for around three hours.

Roswell Theme Park (Madmouse)
Roswell city officials plan a UFO-themed amusement park that could open as early as 2010. Local shopkeepers base a large proportion of their trade around the UFO craze, and believe that the theme park would give tourists more to do whilst visiting.

Dutch Reality Show: Win This Person’s Kidney! (Slender Loris)
Earlier this week, Dutch TV station BNN announced their latest reality show. The premise was that a woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour would choose which of three contestants to donate a kidney to before she died. The Big Donor Show immediately sparked international furore, with mixed attitudes towards the show's concept. Today, it was revealed that the show was a hoax. Whilst it still aired, the woman playing the potential donor was perfectly healthy and, although the three contestants were in need of replacement kidneys, they were fully aware of the show's real premise. The show was aired and advertised as it was to draw attention to the shortage of donor organs in the Netherlands. Judging from the international coverage, they succeeded.

Japanese Ghost Girl (Boo)
Youtube hosts yet another unconvincing 'ghost' video. Look for the point where the special effects kick in.

Car made of cake (Nettie)
Photos of a Skoda advertisement wherein they make a whole car from cake.

An intriguing and mysterious website (Beasjt's number is 669)
Can you decipher the code?
imageChad wrote to the website of Coast to Coast with George Noory to talk about his experience with a UFO.

In April, Chad and his wife were on a walk when they saw the UFO for the first time. A few days later, he and a friend took a camera and found the craft again.

Chad claims that the craft is almost silent, but when neared, it seems to make crackling or humming noises - "almost like when you are near very large power lines." It usually moves slowly, but then will suddenly move off very quickly. It's also said to change direction abruptly.

Chad is worried that the UFO is causing the headaches and fatigue that he and his wife are experiencing (although it should be noted that his wife is pregnant, and her doctor says that would explain her symptoms).

As for the photographs, there are a number of questionable aspects to them. The size of the craft seems to be somewhat variable in comparison to the scenery around it. The lighting doesn't appear to match the lighting on the trees. I also have the personal problem that the UFO reminds me of a kitchen implement.

I can't identify the text on the wing(?). It reminds me of Klingon, but doesn't seem to actually be Klingon. If anyone recognises the text, do let us know.
Categories: Extraterrestrial Life, Photos/Videos
Posted by Flora on Mon May 28, 2007
Comments (20)
As some people receive Museum updates via RSS feed, or just don't frequent the forum, we have decided to round up some of the most interesting threads each week for all to see.

imageRabbit-Headed Cat (Smerk)
Two carcasses discovered in 1988 and 1993 are thought to be a new species – rabbit-headed wildcats. These Kellas cats seem to be rare, and investigators are urging landowners and gamekeepers to help them discover more. Sadly, the rabbit-like ears aren’t as impressive as I’d hoped.

Get your free virus now! (Accipiter)
“Is your PC virus-free? Get it infected here!”
409 people decided to click the text advertisement that Finnish IT security expert Didier Stevens had placed on Google’s Adword. Stevens’s experiment was aiming to show that such advertisements could be used with malicious intent. There was, of course, no virus.

June 6, Théopolis World Contact with Aliens (Antoll MA)
On June 6th, the annual gathering to officially ask the alien gods to visit will take place in Théopolis.

Boost Car Remote With Your Skull (Tah)
This video (not suitable for work, due to the type of adverts on the site) demonstrates how, by placing your car remote under your chin and opening your mouth, you can boost the range of the remote. Apparently it uses your oral cavity to amplify the signal. The video doesn’t actually show the remote being used at the same time as showing the car react, so it could be faked. There’s really no way of telling. A couple of forum members have tried it, with mixed results.

Tims Don’t Look Like Bobs (Tah)
A new study reveals that the more a person ‘resembles’ their name, the more likely it is that others will remember it.
Categories: Animals, Extraterrestrial Life, Psychology, Technology
Posted by Flora on Fri May 25, 2007
Comments (13)
Normally UFOs are shown flying around in the sky, such as in this (very fake looking) footage of a recent UFO seen in China (thanks, Kathy). But Christopher emailed a link to these photos of a UFO recently seen in Brazil that was hitching a ride on the back of a truck. The text explains:
Possible crash involving a disk-shaped object is reported in Brazil. Brazilian UFO Magazine’s consultant witnesses the transportation of a strange disk-shaped object in the Brazilian state of Bahia On Saturday, November 25th... Despite the strangeness of that scene, the object was uncovered and totally exposed. “Even with so many cars coming on the opposite way (going to Salvador) and the other ones behind the truck, very few people seemed to care about that scene”, Baqueiro says.
So presumably, whatever government agents were transporting this crashed UFO couldn't even be bothered to throw a tarp over it. I love it.
image
Categories: Extraterrestrial Life
Posted by Alex on Thu Dec 07, 2006
Comments (29)
imageA photo taken in February 1965 has sparked debate over a UFO seemingly seen in the background.

The official Defence Force photographer snapped the picture of the navy cruiser Royalist whilst the ship was on its way back from Waitangi celebrations.

The photograph was recently dug out for a new website for Devonport Navy Museum. The staff member who found it checked the negative, then called in a digital imaging expert, who established that the image was in the original.

Opinions on the identity of the 'UFO' differ.

Museum director David Wright said there was nothing to explain what it was.

The object appeared to be some distance in front of the ship and none of the sailors working on the bow was taking any notice, as would be expected if something was going on.

He said it looked to be too distant to be a dinner plate thrown from the bridge and the same would apply to a clay pigeon used as a shooting target. The angle of the object and absence of visible lines suggested it was not a parachute.
...
However, Carter Observatory senior astronomer Brian Carter disagrees.

He said that when the object was enlarged it had a sharp edge to it. Under the same enlargement, the edge of the cliff on the right and the bow of the ship were not that sharp, he said.

That suggested the object was quite close and therefore quite small.

He believed it was something thrown from the bridge or some other part of the ship.
Categories: Extraterrestrial Life, Military, Photos/Videos
Posted by Flora on Fri Nov 10, 2006
Comments (45)

Mice Hate Cheese
The popular legend is that mice like cheese, but this legend is false according to researchers at the Manchester Metropolitan University and the Stilton Cheese Makers Association. "As part of a wider study into animals and food, they found that a mouse's diet is primarily made up of grains and fruit. It found that they would reject something as strong in smell and rich in taste as cheese. Dr David Holmes, an animal behaviourist from the university, said: 'Clearly the supposition of mice liking cheese is a popular premise.'"

15 Aliens Arrested in Roswell
A press release from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced that 15 aliens were arrested in Roswell, New Mexico. "Some of the aliens were in the process of painting these aircraft when they were arrested." Aircraft... or a spacecraft? I smell a cover-up.

Russian Urine Exporter
Need some urine from Russia? Evidently someone does, and where there's a demand there will usually be a supply. The urine comes in different varieties such as Sea Breeze, Hunter's Brew, and "Not Filtered, Original". I knew that drinking your own urine is a popular health fad, but I didn't know that drinking Russian urine is also popular.

Paris "Banksy" Hilton
image A Flickr photoset of the Paris Hilton CD doctored by guerrilla artist Banksy. The Banksy version of the CD is something I'd actually be interested in owning, and apparently a few of them are being auctioned. However, Warner Music is trying to prevent their sale.
Categories: Animals, Extraterrestrial Life, Gross, Pranks
Posted by Alex on Thu Sep 07, 2006
Comments (20)
The stardust spacecraft spent seven years collecting outer-space dust in large sheets of aerogel. Now it's back on Earth and researchers have enlisted the help of internet users to find microscopic specks of dust in the aerogel. They taken 1.6 million images of the gel with a scanning microscope and are distributing these to volunteers. Already some people have found signs of life. Unfortunately it's not extraterrestrial life:
On its first day, the website shut down due to heavy traffic. And a few hours after re-opening, it had a stranger problem. In among the speckled grey aerogel pictures appeared photos of weddings, bike riders, sunbathers and more. As the Stardust team put it: "Random images of unknown origin appear in the focus movies. We do not yet understand their origin, but they are not images of the Stardust Interstellar Dust Collector." Amused volunteers speculated about hackers, mischievous team members or problems with the server.
And things get worse, because a lot of the internet volunteers are cheating:
The system randomly checks volunteers' efforts by occasionally throwing in a 'test' photo, where the Stardust team already knows there is or isn't a sign of a dust particle. The volunteer's performance on these gives them a skill rating, which determines how seriously a claim to find a real dust particle is taken. As was quickly documented on the website's forums, however, it is easy to cheat by simply looking carefully at the URL associated with each picture in order to distinguish 'test' pictures from the real ones that have yet to be analysed. Some users have cracked the trick admirably, boosting their skill ratings astronomically in a short period of time.
Categories: Extraterrestrial Life, Science
Posted by Alex on Tue Aug 15, 2006
Comments (11)
Status: Parody
imageOperationEMU.com offers up "Statements, theories and artifacts related to the alleged 1974 NASA experiment during which an entire Hollywood film crew, contracted by the government, disappeared in a remote section of Nevada." This seems to be the jist of what the site alleges happened: The Hollywood film crew was there to help stage a training exercise for the NASA-led Operation EMU (which stands for Operation Experimental Mitigated Universe). Operation EMU itself was some kind of NASA project to prepare for alien contact. And somehow a group of Meemaw Indians performing a solstice ritual were involved in this.

Sound a little bizarre? I think that's the intention. The site was created by B. Brandon Barker to promote his novel, for which he's shopping for a publisher. (The article about him in the Baltimore Sun should definitely help his chances with that.) Barker says that he designed his novel to be a parody of "pretentious sci-fi films like 2001: A Space Odyssey and the cult of alien-life true believers" (Hey, I like 2001: A Space Odyssey!). The strange thing is that although Barker's plot is pure fiction, some people now believe elements of it to be real. At least, according to the Baltimore Sun:
Some apparently think Operation EMU is for real. "It seems only logical that there are cover ups of major proportions that aren't discovered," forum member Robyn Zimmerman of Michigan writes in response to an e-mail query. Forum member John Nesbit, a 52-year-old crawfish farmer in Martinsville, La., used to be an Air Force mechanic and was stationed at Nellis in the early 1970s. He claims to have first-hand knowledge of Operation EMU. "I get less dubious the older I get," says Nesbit. "I did know about Operation EMU, but it was a NASA training thing. That's what we were told. Only much later did it come out that it was broader than that, that they were training the military to fight aliens. ... The film crew thing, that's documented."
Shades of Alternative Three there. If you create a hoax about a government cover-up, some people will inevitably insist that revealing it as a hoax is part of the cover-up.
Categories: Conspiracy Theories, Extraterrestrial Life, Websites
Posted by Alex on Thu Jun 22, 2006
Comments (7)
Status: a real x-ray (showing what looks like an alien head to me)
image It seems like it's been a while since there's been anything really unusual or novel offered on eBay, which is why this auction for an alien head inside a duck is a bit of a relief. At last, something new. (To be a bit more specific, what you get if you win the auction is an x-ray of an alien head inside a duck, not an actual alien head, nor a duck.) From the description of the item:

On Sunday, May 21st, an adult male mallard was brought to the International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC), with what appeared to be a broken wing. Since 1971, the IBRRC has been rescuing birds from the devastating effects of oil spills around the world. Marie Travers, assistant manager of the center, radiographed the mallard and was immediately shocked by what was revealed on the x-ray. A very clear image of what appeared to be the face, or head, of an extraterrestrial alien was in the bird's stomach.

Bidding has already reached $3,450.00, and there's a couple of days left before the auction ends. I can't imagine Golden Palace will want to pass this up.
Categories: eBay, Extraterrestrial Life
Posted by Alex on Mon May 29, 2006
Comments (19)
Status: News about a hoax
image Sculptor John Humphreys has confessed to being the guy who created the alien that appeared in the infamous "alien autopsy" video. Remember that journalistic gem... how the camera would inexplicably go out of focus every time it neared the obviously rubber body? The Manchester Evening News reports:

Until now, he says, he has kept secret his most well-known work - footage of an alleged post mortem of an alien which, some say, crashed to Earth in Roswell in the United States in 1947. For years sceptics have claimed it was a hoax, but John has stayed quiet - saying he was sworn to secrecy. But with the release of sci-fi comedy Alien Autopsy, which features Ant and Dec and which is based loosely on the Roswell film, John says he has decided to reveal his role in the making of the 1996 film.

I thought the alien autopsy video dated back to 1995, not 1996. Specifically, it aired on the Fox network on August 28, 1995. But whatever the case may be, John Humphreys certainly seems to have possessed the skills necessary to make the fake alien, which would make his confession a credible one.

However, although I've never researched the Alien Autopsy hoax in great detail, from what I recall there were two autopsy films, the first one shot in a tent, and the second (more famous one) shot in an operating room. I assume Humphreys is confessing to creating the model used in the operating room footage. A guy named Ray Santilli is also frequently mentioned as the producer of the footage. So was Humphreys hired by Santilli? The article sheds no light on this.

Update: I see that the Wikipedia entry for Ray Santilli mentions Humphreys as the sculptor he hired. So evidently Humphreys involvement in the hoax was already widely known, or at least rumored, before his current confession.
Categories: Extraterrestrial Life
Posted by Alex on Thu Apr 06, 2006
Comments (15)
Status: Undetermined
image The Guardian reports that screenwriter Barney Broom has discovered a baby alien in his attic, "stored in an old toffee jar wrapped in a copy of the Daily Mirror dating from October 1947." The alien (or rather, model of an alien) resembles the aliens depicted in the alien autopsy movies and appears to be sculpted out of clay. It has a serial number on its foot. Speculation has commenced about what this alien baby might be. Was it something created by the US airforce back in 1947? Broom does live close to some US bases, so maybe a US servicemen renting the cottage left the model up in the attic by accident. Or is it a film prop from the 1960s? Or is it a recently created hoax?

Whatever it turns out to be, the case bears a striking similarity to the discovery of a pickled dragon in an Oxfordshire garage that occurred back in early 2004. The dragon turned out to be of recent manufacture, and its discovery was a stunt to help promote an author's book. Given that we're once again dealing with a writer discovering a mysterious pickled creature, the question to ask is, Does Barney Broom have a book coming out soon, and does it have anything to do with extraterrestrials?

Update: The BBC also has an article about the alien baby, with more pictures of it, including a close-up of the serial number on its foot. They note that the Pentagon is dismissing the model as a hoax. I also find it interesting that the first thing Barney Broom did with the model was take it to the Sci-Fi Channel. In my mind, this increases the likelihood that it's a hoax.

Update 2: image Captain DaFt has sent in a picture of his alien lamp, which, I suppose, bears a vague resemblance to the alien in the attic, in the sense that it's also a small alien preserved in liquid. He writes: "Here's the picture of my alien lamp I promised in response to the "Alien found in attic" story. Unfortunately; Spencer's doesn't seem to sell them anymore. (Nor the dinosaur fetus lamps either.)"
Personally, I would definitely pay good money to own a dinosaur fetus lamp.
Categories: Extraterrestrial Life
Posted by Alex on Mon Feb 06, 2006
Comments (19)
Status: Hoax (part of a viral marketing campaign)
image Russian geologist Arkady Simkin claims to have participated in an oil-surveying expedition to Northern Siberia that found an enormous, skyscraper-size creature buried in the ice. He gives the following description of the creature (which he refers to as Taurus Major) on his website: The animal appears to be a huge quadruped with horns much like a bull. In fact it looks to be a hybrid of a bull, woolly mammoth and a rhino – if such a thing existed. But its size is truly colossal. The horns are immense in dimension and protrude from the head with incredible length. The body is covered with a combination of coarse fur and what can best be described as ‘body armor’ (like an American armadillo) – protects its enormous joints and head.

What makes Simkin's site interesting (and I'm referring to Simkin as a real person, though I doubt he is) is the movie and radio interview that he's posted on the site. The movie is pretty impressive and indicates that someone spent some money to produce it. The radio interview, by contrast, is fun to listen to, but is obviously scripted.

I'm taking it as a given that the ice giant is a hoax, but I have no idea who's behind it. Maybe it's a publicity stunt for a book, movie, or video game. I'm sure that we'll find out soon enough. The name Arkady may be an allusion to Arkham from the work of H.P. Lovecraft. The Taurus Major creature itself also seems very Lovecraftian. (Thanks to Darrell for the link)

Update: It's part of a viral marketing campaign for a new Playstation game called Shadow of the Colossus, which involves hunting and killing giant creatures. The website giantology.typepad.com, supposedly about "the mythology and culture of giants throughout the ages of humanity," is also part of this same marketing campaign. The giantology site has been hosting footage showing the skeleton of a giant uncovered on a beach in India by the tsunami. Quite a few people have linked to this footage, but it's all part of the same marketing effort.
Categories: Cryptozoology, Extraterrestrial Life
Posted by Alex on Tue Oct 25, 2005
Comments (40)
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