This chapter is intended to present real facts and real mysteries. And you will see that there is enough material to fill lives of research, without resorting to fake mysteries. I however quote the later, precisely to put an end to them. For this purpose I shall state the reasons why a mystery is solved, in order to avoid having to repeat again and again the same inquiries.
Added March 2016: I used to provide a system to hide the useless false mysteries. Unfortunately it created many dead links, so that I suppressed it, and moved the «statute» more prominently instead. I also put the real cookeries in grey, so that they clearly not appear as important as the real mysteries.. So please carefuly check the statute before jumping on conclusions. In more, some mysteries may not be clearly in one or the other category, or may change after more checking. Also, false mysteries may have interesting refutations, or involve real questions.
We shall note that, even if most mysteries can be brought to a scientific inquiry after the classical epistemology, general epistemology leads us to consider phenomena that scientistism (note 92) refuses, such as parapsychology or extraterrestrials.
It is also remarkable that the real mysteries are not quoted in the media, while they make frantic efforts to advertise the forgeries. This is because these aces of boosting misinformation do not forget that the good old censorship remains the best method when the fact to hide is known only by a small minority.
There is also a «literature of mystery», which spreads false explanations of archaeology fiction, etc. without any scientific control, often by distorting the facts. Some of the cases presented here were extensively discussed in this literature. We may think that it did a lot to make these facts known. In facts, it especially denigrated alternative researches, by associating them with lies, cults, horror stories, etc. So it is deliberately that I do not quote this literature, basing instead this study on independent and objective sources.
For similar reasons, I also avoid giving links to Wikipedia, as long as its editors are anonymous and uncontrollable self-appointed specialists. You will all the same find many factual elements... between the traps. Indeed, anyone can edit their pages at any time, to add errors and lies. Moreover, the fact that wikipedia is a more reliable source of information than the media, makes even more dangerous the errors or lies we still find in it. Therefore, the information professionals recommend not to rely on wikipedia.
Sometimes the frantic efforts of the media or the «authorities» to denigrate the mysteries suggest on the contrary that there is something important to hide, even if it is only about some local curiosity. So, it is not astonishing if the conspiracy theories take such a momentum, as a new religion challenging a hypocritical system. But what propose the conspiracies is not better, with their little reassuring trend to see «Jewish conspiracies» or to look for mysteries under the nazi ruins.
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Statute: Natural phenomenon, conspiracy theory, but may have spiritual and psychophysical implications.
Description: People describe stories resembling close UFO encounters. However the «encounter» happens in the room of the witness, leaves no traces, and involves no phenomena visible by other persons.
Explanation: most cases of abduction are actually sleep paralysis, a natural phenomenon which produces dreamlike experiences resembling a hijacking in a UFO, see Chapter VII-2.
Therefore, there is no reason to be afraid of the phenomenon, or especially to make a media hype.
However experts recognize that real parapsychological phenomena (such as OBE and ESP) are more likely to happen in this situation. The resemblance with UFO testimonies still suggests a common element with the RR4, for instance the same dreaming mechanism at the origin of the scenarios.
There is a strong psycho-social defamation of the experiencers of sleep paralysis, although psychological studies shows no related psychological or psychiatric disorders. On the contrary there is a positive correlation with the NDE and the associated positive values.
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Statute: Most probably photography glitch.
Description: Fuzzy floating lights appear on the surface of the Moon, on photos taken by Apollo 14.
Explanation: Theses photos are real, and their references are AS14-70-9835, AS14-70-9836 and AS14-70-9837. The lights most likely are some reflection of a sun spot on the window of the spaceship. They move as it rotates.
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Statute: Controversial, unlikely.
Description: Many authors explain some archaeological mysteries by ad-hoc theories, often involving advanced mythical civilizations, extraterrestrials, etc.
Explanation: Archaeology is a science. Bring your evidence before publishing, dudes.
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Statute: probably explained, natural phenomena.
Description: An asteroid had an unusual orbit close to Earth, and rapid brightness changes suggesting an artificial object.
Explanation: The investigation first led to a rocket stage in stellar orbit, but none was matching. A Bracewell probe has even considered. Then other asteroids with similar orbits were found, and most small asteroids found since also show fast rotations. Astronomers therefore concluded to a natural explanation.
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Description: During a close Earth encounter in 2015, media announced that this asteroid was made of platinum.
Explanation: Wikipedia attributes the original statement to Planetary Resources, a company claiming to develop asteroids mining. However their site shows only spectacular and exaggerated estimates.
UW-158 is a near-Earth object about 300 x 600 metres, rotating on itself in only 37 minutes. This, more its plate shape, suggests that it is a single rock, and not a bunch of blocks.
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Status: unknown, probably natural.
Description: Astronomers have observed the disintegration of an asteroid - which some fragments can reach 200 meters in radius. They do not know the causes of this phenomenon.
Explanation: the object P/2013 R3, with a nebulous appearance, shows many fragments which move away quickly. Nothing indicates the cause of this behaviour. Most likely it results of a collision.
Added in October 2022: the DART experiment of intently colliding an asteroid with a space probe produced a very similar image, confirming the idea of a collision.
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Status: Belief or scam.
Description: According to several different astrological systems, astronomy facts such as the positions of the planets can influence our character, our behaviour, events, etc. «Astrological predictions», complacently displayed in the media, make a flourishing trade in every parts of worlds, and some make of them a basis of spirituality.
Explanation: There is today no theory or facts allowing to show the value of one or another of the astrological systems. Some spiritual explanations, such as the existence of conscious spiritual entities in the different planets, are speculative.
In the 1970s years, an astrologer such as André Barbault had published a fascinating correlation between the eccentricity of the Sun and World crisis. However he had to admit that this correlation did not at all continued since. Complex and random events often show spectacular correlations, which are however the fact of mere chance, and do not subsequently reappear.
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Statute: Objects of numerous belief, but recently found a likely explanation.
Description: A continent would have existed in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, and then sank, destroying an unique advanced civilisation. Similar stories exist about the Mu continent.
Explanation: There is no factual evidence supporting the story of a large continent here, which are also inconsistent with geophysics and plates tectonics. The story started with a description by Plato, and was reactivated by Edgard Cayce. Since, numerous authors claim for recovered memories of past lifes in Atlantis, etc.
On plausible facts, Plato may have referred to some places in western Spain coast. I saw once passing the name of Huelva. For a passenger aboard a ship, to arrive in Huelva from Gibraltar may give the feeling of arriving on an island.
A similar story happened with the Cassiteride Islands, of which the exact location was discussed for two thousands years, before a possible modern identification in a series of hills in the estuary of the Loire, which were islands in the Antiquity.
Dilluvium-like stories exist in numerous parts of the world. They may refer to the rise of the oceans at the end of the ice age, 8000 years ago. Such a relatively fast rise of the ocean would explain why civilizations suddenly appeared at this moment: in facts they appeared much more gradually before, but the traces were hidden by the rise of the waters.
The case of the Black Sea is the best documented, with a sudden filling through the Bosphorus Straight, at such a rate that people were likely forced to flee. (Hypothesis by William Ryan, Walter Pitman and Petko Dimitrov). This could be the direct source of the Biblical Dilluvium story. We can even imagine that people pushed their livestock on rafts, giving rise to the tale of Noah's Ark.
The stories of Hindu Dvārakā submerged city (The «City of Krishna»), together with flooded ruins found in the Gulf of Khambhat, fit well in the geological context, since there were recent events of dramatic seismic subsidence of the region (Creation of the «Allah's Bund» in 1819).
We shall also note the case of the Dogger Bank in the North Sea. Fishers regularly bring prehistorical artifacts from this place, which was emerged during the last ice age, and probably an interesting life place.
Added in March 2020:
Geologist Jacques Collina-Girard finally proposed a plausible hypothesis for the ancient story of Atlantis. Remember that the only source, cited by Plato, is the Egyptian Solon, priest of Sais, about 500 years BC. He situates Atlantis «just beyond the Columns of Hercules», 9000 years earlier. This date, and the important precision «just», then points to a small group of islands in the Straight of Gibraltar, which was emerged at the time, because of the ice age still in progress. So that at least we are now having place to explore and to look for traces, especially the Spartel Bank, only 56m deep.
Added in July 17, 2021, precedence claimed at this date:
Of course we must renounce the description by Plato (and of recent «mediums») of a powerful and advanced civilization: it was the Neolithic, and metals were even not discovered yet. Especially we shall never find his many kilometres structure in concentric rings. Yet there is an interesting coincidence: Göbekli Tepe lived in about the same time in Turkey, also showing concentric circles, although in a much smaller scale of 30m. Turquey is far, you will say. But precisely this time saw a large movement of population: pastors, radiating from Turkey, and replacing the ancient Cro-Magnon hunters throughout Europe. It would be interesting to test the hypothesis as what our «Atlantes» would be the same civilization, and to find structures similar to Göbekli Tepe on the Spartel island.
Added in July 17, 2021: still more interesting, the people living by the time in Morroco were already Berbers. So some Morocco tribes would be the actual «descendants of the Atlantes»! And Solon's memories are not the only ones dating from this period: some people near Tammanrrasset were remembering of a «fire mountain», a volcanic eruption which also took place 11000 years ago.
Added in August 12, 2021: Still looking on the subject, I found out that Herodote also mentions a people he called «Atlantes», in what is today Morocco! They still are mentioned in «Recherches sur la religion des Berbères» from René Basset, dated 1910, before the archaeology fiction craze on Atlantis.
One who would be happy, is Pierre Benoit: this story of Spartel Island, that he could not know in any way, confirms his idea of a migration of the Atlantes to the heart of the Sahara, that he posed against the academic speeches by the time!
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Statute: Conspiracys theories with known authors, racism.
Description: In September 21, 2001, a violent explosion destroyed the AZF plant in Toulouse. Numerous conspiracy theories and racist accusations were issued to explain it, while some reports tell impossible details, such as a double explosion.
Explanation: A large hangar containing ammonium nitrate wastes exploded without warning. The investigations found no direct cause, proposing different circumstances such as poor storage conditions, or a mistake by an employee submitted to stalking. After years of investigations and controversies, (Updated March 2018:) legal convictions retained the simple lack of caution (Indeed, heap storage was clearly imprudent, for a substance well known to already having caused several disasters in the same way)
Regarding the testimonies of a double explosion, they were quickly explained, by the double spreading of a sound wave and of a seismic wave of different speed (lost links here), or by the double perception of the bluish lightning of the explosion and of the orange fire ball which followed. Numerous Youtube videos of the Beyrouth explosion in 2020 also show a double event, first a muffled thud which moves the ground and startles people, then a sharp bang which breaks the windows.
However the idea that such a stupid accident could so easily destroy the biggest company and largest employer of Toulouse was very hard to swallow, and conspiracy theories blossomed quickly. What is remarkable in this case is that these theories are not due to some New Age fringe, but to important mainstream media, politicians and «scientists»: the wikipedia page (may 2014) quotes Le Figaro, Valeurs Actuelles, Académie des sciences, a professor of the CNRS, a teacher of the Lycée Pierre de Fermat, etc. list to which wikipedia adds itself, by anonymously publishing these balderdashes as facts, without indicating their conspirationist nature. This list is very revealing, as what conspiracy theories have a very different function than focusing the attention on some marginal people: to hide truths inconvenient to the system, by boosting misinformation.
The most elaborated conspiracy theories imagined a first explosion, or an «electromagnetic phenomenon» in a nearby plant, the Poudrerie. Of course, the nature of this phenomenon remains confuse, as well as the way it would have spread so accurately right toward the ammonium nitrate hangar, in total contradiction with all the laws of physics, destroying nothing of the numerous trees and buildings on its path. They do not mention UFOs, but they are not far, with the hypothesis of a meteorite, that the court was forced to check! And the Poudrerie being a classified military plant, the thing remains very judiciously in the unprovable, exactly as with the Area 51...
Added march 2015: For information, there is on Youtube a security cam footage showing the explosion. The Poudrerie factory is on the right, between the two dark lanes of trees. It is clear that nothing unusual is visible here.
But the most serious of all is the racist accusations against an Arab employee killed in the explosion. To well understand what happened, it is better to rely on the persons who witnessed the events live, as I saw myself, rather than on a «synthesis» written years after by ignorants who give an equal weight to all the «sources», factual or delirious. Sources, there are only one in this affair: the investigators, who, for checking a possible evidence, conducted a search in the home of this employee, to check for a probable terrorist track. The result has been zero, this person having never involved in this milieu. After, all what follow is pure invention, starting some days later, when the information on this search «leaked» in a local extreme right review. Some national media immediately seized it, publishing the name of the person, and of course journalists extrapolated, constructing him a whole «group», the police was accused of «abandoning» the track, «thinkers» wrote books, etc. And of course, all this delirium are afterward considered as authoritative «sources». Supreme consecration of this work of pure defamation without any factual element, everything is now perpetuated by wikipedia: in 1000 years people will still read that this man was a terrorist.
Using powerful information means to defame a deceased person, out of pure racism, is probably the most disgusting of all the fake mysteries that I denounce here. But this case is also very instructive: for once, we could spot the process of a conspiracy theory on the making. And especially we saw who really creates them, since this time its authors forgot to hide under a New Age turban, or under the anonymity of Youtube.
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Statute: Unexplained, probably natural phenomena, or maybe UFO-related phenomena.
Description: Rarely, balls of lights appear just after and near a lightning stroke. They hover for some seconds, go through glass windows without breaking them, before fading or exploding. Sometimes people are hurt.
Explanation: None known. Usual hypothesis are plasma-related. However there is no way to know how a plasma can remain confined for so long, while keeping pouring energy. Numerous other explanations were proposed, like silicon dust burning. Again, silicon dust does not burn (Elemental silicon does, but it does not exist in nature).
I note that ball lightning seems to obey the Méheust laws (chapter VII-3). This suggests that a consciousness is controlling it, or at least they depend on a consciousness-related stake. It also falls in the more general category of plasma-related phenomena we saw in chapter VII-3, which are also invoked to explain UFO.
Also see the spooklights
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Statute: Probably natural shape.
Description: A treasure hunters company, Ocean X, spotted with a sonar an object in the form of a disk at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. Speculations are rife on its nature, especially a large flying saucer.
Explanation: Subsequent dives to the object found a rocky structure of gross circular shape, formed of various rocks: goethite and limonite (iron oxides), granite and even basalt. The general context is a place which sustained intense glacial activity during the last ice age, so that none of these finds are extraordinary. We can hope that examinations by independent scientists dispel any remaining doubt... when Ocean X will release the coordinates of the object.
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Description: Mysterious detonations shake the air in some places. The phenomenon got its name from a town in Bangladesh, where the phenomenon was observed, but it is known in many places under various names: Japan (uminari), the Netherlands (mistpouffers) Italy (brontidi), Philippines (retumbos), USA (Guns of the Seneca, around lake Seneca and Cayuga lake, fog guns).
Explanation: None known. Here I review possible natural explanation, of which none is proven yet. This maintain the possibility of unnatural explanations.
The stratosphere could play as an acoustic wave guide, to lead sounds like the thunder at great distances. These phenomena were already abundantly studied in the 1930 years, before the discovery of the radar. Here is an university study. There even was a series of experimental explosions led in France, to La Courtine, in 1923. On the other hand, noises like that of the Lake Seneca are for the moment unexplainable.
An interesting detail is that these sounds seem to always be heard over a body of water, from the shore, even if the body in question is small, like the banks of the Ganges in Benares. This layout opens up the possibility of specific acoustic phenomena: certain types of waves could propagate at subsonic speed in water, but at supersonic speed in the air. If such a thing is possible, then even a wave too small to be seen could produce a sonic boom. For comparison, the usual waves, called gravitational oscillations, can already speed up at hundreds of kilometres per hour, if the ocean is deep enough (case of the tsunamis, that ships do not feel).
The phenomena of Seneca Lake could be similar to those of Moodus, and they share the same geological context.
Also compare with the Bell Island incident.
(April 2018: I searched for more official souces than this (2013)). An article of the BBC (2013) and one of the Seismological Society of America (2011) mention diverse episodes of rather loud bangs in the north-east of the USA, while explaining them with various hypothesis: meteorites, waves, breaking of underground rocks of the granite family, etc.
Added April 2022: an interesting article in the Quanta magazine evokes the coupling of sound and tsunami waves, when they move at the same speed. This happened in the recent volcanic eruption of Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai in 2022, in places where the ocean has the right depth (9000m) for the tsunami waves and the sound to move at the same speed. The article also evokes «meteosunamis» provoked by tempests, when the changes of atmospheric pressure move at the same speed as waves, this time in shallow waters. Could this coupling between atmospheric pressure and waves be at the origin of the Barisal gun, with some specific waves configurations? For instance, waves meeting at very shallow angles may have their crossing point moving at the speed of the sound.
Added May 2022: another interesting article, this time in Phys.org, evoke non-linear effects sometimes able to transform infra-sounds in audible sounds.
Added May 2022: also see about Infrasounds of unknown origin in the low stratosphere.
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Status: mystery. Important discovery possible.
Description: For several months, between late 1977 and mid 1978, nearly 600 detonations were heard coming from the ocean, on the East coast of the United States. Random partial information in the media mention similar sounds in 1973 (I remember), or more recently.
A common pseudo-rational explanation in the media is the Concorde aircraft supersonic bangs. Thus the wikipedia page says that, on 600 sounds listed, about 400 «could be explained» by the Concorde. However it is surprising that this aircraft was heard this year only, while still flying years after. And some sounds were too far in the south. This therefore leaves the room for many unexplained bangs.
Furthermore, in one case, the origin of the noise was observed, in a small Newfoundland Island, Bell Island (Bell Island incident) and by the Vela satellite. It was found to be a lightning stroke of a phenomenal power, which blew up the television sets of an entire village. The two wikipedia pages above are (2014) a summary of different media sources or scientific sources, which can be checked with profit, for more details. As usual in such situations, the witnesses give confusing or conflicting versions, about various noises or lights in the seconds preceding the boom. Some also mention erratic lights in the sky, several hours after.
The thesis of the storm however does not hold: there was no storm in the vicinity (weather confirms). In addition, it is impossible for a given atmospheric situation to remain in the same place for several months. But the strangest thing is that only a perfectly straight lightning can produce a single bang: natural lightning zigzags, and for this reason the thunder rolls. A witness confirmed that the Bell Island lightning was «unusually straight», inclined at 45 degrees... To produce such a result, it is needed to fire from space a beam of super energetic particles, powerful enough to ionize its whole path and cause a short-circuit between the ground and the ionosphere.
For information: the ionosphere stores at least a thousand gigajoules of electric energy (capacitive load between the ionosphere and the ground, which varies considerably). «Superbolts», giant lightning discussed here have an energy of 20 MJ (FORTE satellite data).
The Vela satellite recorded other similar lightings, also associated with bangs in the same region, but falling into the ocean. This pattern by «wave» in a given region is reminiscent of the UFO waves, and could point at a more general class of such phenomena.
The persistence of the phenomenon in the same region could point at a geomagnetic explanation. Remains to explain how weak and diffuse geomagnetic phenomena could focus their energy in a straight channel, long of tens of kilometres, with a diameter lesser than some metres. Even the aurora borealis are arrested by the atmosphere well before reaching the dense air layers.
In this case, «unexplained phenomenon» rhymes with scary...
Added in July 2014: The only natural explanation that I see would be linked to the Birkeland currents in the Van Allen belt. They are «strings» of plasma, aligned with the Earth's magnetic field. The electrical currents which passes through them tend to constrict them, reducing their diameter. Usually, this concentration fails, dispersed by the many chaotic phenomena in the magnetosphere, and our terrestrial Birkeland currents remain evanescent and quite harmless. But under certain conditions, or in some places, they could enjoy a greater concentration, and therefore produce powerful effects: it is after all the same phenomenon which would produce quasar jets or very high energy cosmic rays! If this is the case, then a well concentrated Birkeland current could produce a beam of high energy particles, with a very small diameter, more or less aligned with the Earth's magnetic field. Such a beam can easily reach the ground, ionizing its path and opening a way for a discharge between the ground and the ionosphere. The phenomena observed in the seconds preceding the Bell island lightning can be well explained by a beam of very high energy particles. The sky lights which followed it for several hours could also be caused by less powerful Birkeland currents, of by charge rebalancing currents in the ionosphere. (without excluding UFO-like explanations). I claim anteriority for this explanation, from July 2014. Prediction: similar magnetic conditions exist in the south Sandwich Islands, in the Amur region in Russia, and in Antarctic ocean south of Australia.
Added in March 2016: I did not noticed first, but only some days after my addition of July 2014, pilots actually observed a similar phenomenon abroad of Kamtchatka. This is not exactly the Amur, but still symmetrical to Bell Island, relative to the plane roughly formed by the magnetic axis of Earth and its rotation axis.
Added April 2021: a possible explanation appears, if we consider what would produce gamma ray bursts in storms. Some local weather or ionosphere conditions may produce high electric fields, without storm. But, as with storm, an incoming cosmic particle would trigger an avalanche of fast particles, producing a lighning. This lighning would not necessarily be visible, for instance small or in ultra-violet. But in any case, its straight shape would produce a simple bang, instead of rolling like thunder.
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Statute: Most probably natural shapes.
Description: a rock structure with square angles is visible under the sea west of the Bimini island. It is often considered as an artificial structure, which would then be older than the sea rise at the end of the last ice age, 8000 years ago.
Explanation: The context of coral reefs on sandy islands leads to a simple explanation: a layer of limestone on a sand layer would fracture in sub-rectangular or irregular blocks, under the influence of tempests. Several similar features are visible on the Bimini island or around, aligned with the Gulf Stream which is here in a narrow pass with greater speed. Coral reefs often go through phases of building and destruction. While building, they often form elongated shapes along the shores or beaches. When destroyed they fracture, and tempests can even project blocs above the sea level. This is how coral islands can grow above the sea level, while formed under. More, tectonic changes in the altitude of the island can sometimes raise up a whole limestone layers above the sea level. In Bimini this process led to the formation of a network of underground conduits transporting fresh water.
The structure is partly visible at 25°45'50''N 79°16'25''W on Google Earth.
All this looks quite natural. However there are some troubling facts which feed speculations:
-A 1939 prediction from Edgard Cayce as what «the temple» would be discovered in Bimini around 1968. The structure was indeed discovered this year.
-When we first heard of Bimini, it was about, not a road, but a wall. Photos in this time showed what looked like a rectangular building with two rooms, about 10-30m long. I did not found mention of this on the Internet, or in Google Earth.
-In Google Earth there is a blurred zone south of the main island, around Gun Kay and North Cat Cay.
Added March 2016: In this time, this affair made enough fuss for the Cousteau team to dive into the above «building». They concluded to a natural structure. In this time, the problem of the conspiracy theories was not yet understood, so that this refutation by popular people, not linked to the establishment, played a notable role in this understanding.
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(Added in January 2017)
Statute: to be tested.
Description: Robert Monroe claims he was able to develop an usable gift of «astral travel» by listening «binaural beats»: using a headset, two sounds of slightly different frequency are sent to each ear, to produce a beat, which would have effects on the electroencephalogram. Today the Monroe Institute sells recordings of binaural sounds expected to produce the astral voyage, plus others expected to produce different positive effects on the personality. Many binaural sounds are also available on Youtube.
Explanation: My own try of the recording which is supposed to induce the astral voyage, produced nothing of this kind, at most a few unusual sensations. The binaural sounds audible on Youtube, or which can be created with Audacity, quickly produce a kind of discomfort, and I would not recommend using them without knowing who created them nor what they do.
What can we conclude? It cannot be ruled out that unusual physical conditions may place the brain in a condition conducive of sleep paralysis experiences, which in turn can produce out of the body sensations with ESP (I once had a proven ESP in this way, see chapter V-8). The yogis also use gestures such as the position of the eyes or the tongue, as «switches» to disconnect the neural ego (chapter V-10). Therefore we cannot draw conclusions about a single failure. But we clearly need that other people who used the Monroe method for astral travel produce checked OBEs.
(Added on June 28, 2020) The only other person known to have experienced an OBE with the Monroe method is Elizabeth Kubler-Ross (After chapter 17 of «La source noire» by Patrice Van Eersel). And yet it was an atypical one. Examination with an oscilloscope of the sounds which are sold today shows complex patterns, with no visible (or audible) beat. In addition, the catalogue offers many other unrelated well being sounds. All this is very curious.
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Statute: probably rumor, but difficult to dispel, given the different stories and the lack of original sources on the Internet.
Description: An unknown black satellite would revolve around the Earth. Spectacular photos are visible on Youtube (search for «black knight»).
-A first object was spotted in 1960, orbiting in 104.5 minutes with an inclination of 79 degrees, apogee 1,728 km and perigee 216 km. Officially, it was said that it would be an element of a former flight Discoverer VIII of 1959.
-Spectacular photos and a film, easily found on Youtube (search for «black knight») show a dark weird shaped object, drifting slowly on a background of Earth horizon. They would come from a flight of the space shuttle Endeavor (STS-88), which would have lost a cover. However, there is no wikipedia page on this subject, and nobody gives any link to the website of NASA which would confirm or deny this explanation (the only one I found, ftp://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/, is empty). In more, flight STS-88 was used to assemble the International Space Station, which is on an orbit inclined at 51.63°. Under these conditions, STS-88 could not photograph the 1960 object, inclined at 79 degrees (the meeting would take place at very high speed).
-The asteroid 1991 VG is a variant of this story.
All the objects orbiting the Earth being precisely monitored by the NORAD, and probably by others, no unknown satellite in close orbit could go unnoticed. If such objects exist, then they would be heavily censored. There is nothing today to assert safely that there are such objects. But if one was found, then the probability is hight that it would be an extraterrestrial probe.
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Statute: Very probably geological/ice phenomenon.
Description: a bizarre sinkhole formed near the Russian gas plant of Bovanenkovo, in the Yamal Peninsula, Siberia.
See what say the newspapers of Siberia
Explanation: (July 2014) On the images published by the press, the chasm looks like one of these sinkholes which open in karstic soils, like the gouffre de Padirac, or the ones which often appear in Florida or in Central America. It differs however on the few meters near the surface, consisting of permafrost. The impression we have while looking at it, is that this layer of permafrost was violently projected upwards, forming a ejecta around, similar to that of a meteorite crater. However this ejecta stops dead, unlike a meteorite ejecta which periphery is very diffuse.
We have no precise coordinates of the abyss, and on Google Earth, most of the region of Bovanenkovo is blurred.
For the moment (Early August 2014) no scientific information is published, only the media repeat that this is not a meteorite or an UFO (who else than them makes such assumptions?). In particular, the media published no data on the nature of the soil, which would allow to figure out a mechanism. The landscape is very flat, interspersed with glacial lakes. Most likely permafrost forms an impermeable layer at a depth of a few metres.
The media mention a pingo (A hill formed by the accumulation of underground ice), but this does not fit with the very flat landscape.
The first hypothesis is that it would be an ordinary Karst sinkhole, but that the last meters, instead of collapsing in, were pushed upward under the pressure of the air inside. One bar is enough for this. Such overpressure in a karstic cavity will not surprise cavers, especially when the permafrost prevents the air from escaping. We can envisage many causes to this pressure, such as trapping and transport of air in underground conduits. Local scientists are however considering another hypothesis: the release of methane due to the melting of the permafrost (itself caused by climate change). We can also consider methane leaks from nearby gas wells.
But, while looking on Google Earth (there is a non-blurred zone east of Bovanenkovo), we note that there are in the surroundings thousands of lakes which seem clear cut in the surrounding terrain, with even a small cliff around them. Some cut recent alluvions deposits, see a river ( 71°41'4.09"N, 71°36'0.37"E). If we think a bit, the fate of the new abyss is to enlarge in surface (quickly absorbing the ejecta) while becoming shallower. It will then resemble exactly to the other lakes. So that this would be an extremely common process in the surrounding.
Then a simple explanation appears, if we suppose that the terrain is not limestone, not even rock, but soft silt or sand, soaked with frozen water, ice. However, at a certain depth, water can exist in the liquid state. It then forms a network of underground rivers at this level, eroding the terrain by melting the ice which gives it strength. Thus it works like a limestone karst, but much faster. Such an hyperactive karst then had enough time to form these thousands of chasms, which then enlarged in lakes. So the Bovanenkovo sinkhole would be only the manifestation of a process which lasts since thousands years. Others will appear.
Proof of subterranean water flows, many of the lakes emit or receive brooks. I claim antecedence for this explanation, starting august 20, 2014.
The first scientific expedition (Added late August 2014) show without surprise that the sinkhole becomes wider in the bottom (such wells always result from the collapse of the roof of an underground cave). But close photographs also show that my intuition was right: the terrain is not rock, but fine grained silts, with even some gravels here and then. How can this bear the weight of the surrounding terrain? The solution is simple: these sediments are frozen. But once the ice molten, the terrain becomes inconsistent, as it can be seen on the ejecta. We even clearly see fusion shapes on the walls of the sinkhole.
The nature of the Yamal peninsula terrain is that of a composite material, formed of grains in a matrix of ice. At the close to zero temperature, the ice creeps and deforms slowly, while the sediment grains would impede the formation of cracks. This gives it unique mechanical properties: it does not fracture in blocs like a rock, but cuts itself in large conchoidal scales, as we see many in the sinkhole or in the youngest forms around:
To be noted that the Bovanenkovo terrain is probably very common on Mars, where it would explain a lot of land shapes up there.
Added March 2016: New article in the Siberian Times showing that the formation of such craters is a permanent process.
Added March 2016: I found a recent Youtube video. I shall analyse here only some of the images, which look as coming from a science expedition (Russian state university of oil and gas). I spotted several interesting details supporting my theory above:
At 1'47" a lake with water flowing in or out of it, telling some underground connection.
At 11'19" a recent view of the lake: 2015? It is filling with earth from the rim.
Between 11'49" and 11'56" the original ground strata are visible, showing a strong slope.
At 12'05" the waves allow to see the underwater part of the wall. It clearly appears hollowed here, clear evidence that it melts with the heat of the water. This can happen only if it is made of frozen mud, as I guessed.
At 14'47" the «rock» seems to be ice in a large part.
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Statut: A nice story, stake of disinformation and denigration of spirituality.
Description: Ram is credited with extraordinary powers such as living without eating.
Explanation: Ram is actually a young Nepalese man who pledged to become a Buddha by meditating seven years long. His capacity for remaining motionless for hours is very impressive, but beyond this he shows just the speech, behaviour and practices of a convinced Buddhist practitioner.
Things started to go awry when some relatives spread rumours that he was living without eating. Actually, he was never observed continuously, so that this is unprovable (and very likely false, since he would then already be a Buddha). But since, Ram was a target of annoyance and even of physical attacks, so that he had to change place several times, hiding and reappearing far away. Which is quite easy in Nepal.
Things went even worse on wikipedia and with anti-cult cults, «fighting» rumours that they create and propagate themselves (Bugarach effect, again). Idiots of the world, how stupid it is to despise somebody who sacrificed his whole life for helping you to be less stupid.
Added on June 28, 2020: Since then, the accumulation of accusations and the appearance of weird Youtube videos tell to be much more cautious on this story. There clearly is some disinformation at work, but it is difficult to see its purpose.
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Statut: Probable natural explanation.
Description: In September 15, 2007, a meteorite fell in Carancas, Peru. People visiting the place felt sick for some days.
Explanation: The best fit is that the heat of the meteorite liberated arsenic compounds from the ground. The crater is visible on Google Earth at 6°39′52″S and 69°02′38″W.
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Statute: Resolved, natural phenomenon, fake mystery.
Description: (sensitive persons abstain). Individuals were found incinerated ,without any trace of crime or surrounding fire. Sometimes only a part of the body is cremated, the rest being intact. Fake mysteries enthusiasts see there a parapsychological phenomenon, alien rays, etc.
Explanation: (sensitive persons abstain). These persons, often obese, fell or died naturally, in the presence of an ignition source. The fire then took to their clothes, melting body fat. Clothes then act as a wick, allowing for the slow but total combustion of the body fat. The experience was made with a pig (dead) and gave the same result. Despite that, this scary fake mystery regularly re-emerges, to sell paper.
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Statute: Belief or scam.
Description: A person holds the hand of a deeply mentally disabled one. Then the hand of the disabled shows letters, allowing him to speak, in a materially inexplicable way, as if he was a normal person just unable to speak.
Explanation: As in the Ouija board, the «facilitator» can designate the letters himself, unconsciously or from deliberate deception. The fantastic effect on the family of the disabled then «justifies» the method. But of course this works only with the «facilitator», who then needs to come back... and to be paid again.
Curiously, I discovered this thing some years ago, when I was approached by a supporter of the facilitated communication, who asked me to bring the caution of my General Epistemology. As I did not knew what it was about, I merely described to these people the necessary tests to check the reality of the phenomenon. They never contacted me since...
Added in September 2014: Wikipedia claims that the above scientific tests were performed. And that, without surprise, the results would be totally negative. However some of their sources lack credibility, from their links with the denigration of parapsychology. Still after wikipedia, the French official services would have a still more ambiguous position: rejecting the method, while honouring the facilitator with the title of «guru». We then typically have here an example where the denigration of parapsychology rather serves the scammers and the cults (Reciprocal situation, see chapter I-5). My conclusion is that, taken between the cultist hammer and the rationalist anvil, General Epistemology demolishes both, while laughing.
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Statute: Belief or scam. Theoretical possibility of real cases (chapter VIII-8).
Description: Some people claim to be in contact, physically or telepathically, with extraterrestrials or spiritual entities, who entrusted them in the publication of spiritual or social messages, warnings, predictions, etc.
Explanation: No known contactee today is able to prove the reality of his contacts. Some are probably sincere, having the feeling of «receiving a message» during a spiritual experience of an «abduction» (sleep paralysis) or even during a real UFO encounter. But the others are certainly mythomaniacs, sometimes crooks.
A point which long sown trouble is the high moral, social or artistic value of most messages. This was often invoked as an argument in favour of their authenticity, from the time of Adamski, the «prototype» of the contactees. However, when I searched about the phenomenon, I met several contactees. And I saw that scammers are also perfectly able to produce wonderful messages, apparently very wise. Then they just need to say that the extraterrestrials contact only some people secretly, without leaving traces, to implement all the elements of a cultish self-locking belief system. And if you still ask questions, they hint that you are too evil to deserve any more replies...
I know today of no element allowing to say that there are authentic contactees. However, we cannot either assert that there are none. Just, if you see someone claiming to be contacted, ask him his credentials first...
See chapter VII-2 for more details.
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Statute: Unknown, to explore, good candidate for a non-human artifact.
Description: In Siberia, North East of Lake Baikal, the Patomski crater looks like a small strombolian cone, which crater contains a small additional dome. Problem, the rock is not volcanic, it is crushed local rock (light grey calcareous sandstone), as if the heap had been rejected by a giant mole. Electrical surveys have shown a «gigantic underground structure» under the mound, sometimes attributed to an extraterrestrial ship, other times to a cryovolcano.
Explanation: The object is real, and studied by Russian academics, despite the major difficulties to access the area (lack of roads). There is no trace of volcanic or meteorite. There is no known explanation, geological or other. However rumors of alien ship are for the less exaggerated: the profile of underground electrical conductivity shows under the object the same rock layers that elsewhere, but plunging vertically at this location, which is not extraordinary in geology. Probably if the structure has a root, it is too thin to be visible in the profile. In more, the scale of the study does not allow to distinguish an insulating layer from a cavity.
Photo from this article in the Siberian Times
Trivial explanations are still possible, such as a «pyramid» erected by local tribes. In my opinion, only a survey inside of the structure will find a root. It would be also interesting to search for traces of tools, DNA, or fracturing modes in the stones which constitute the dome. As the formation seems recent, it would be interesting to ask the local Yakut people.
The Patomski crater is visible on Google Earth at 57°17'04"N 116°35'22" E. It is blurred.
And cryovolcanoes are not new: on Earth it is called a spring.
Added on October 3, 2017: An Internet search brings a harvest of new scientific publications:
-Gravity measurements reveal a zone of low density under the structure (left diagram, in blue):
Downward continuation of the Patomsky crater (left) and Popigay impact structure gravity fields (right). (Credit: Demezhko et al., 2011)
It is hard to guess what it could be, but it seems logical that, whatever the phenomenon which rejected shattered rocks on the surface, it also resulted in a hollow under. In any case, this zone of low density is much larger than the crater.
-A study of the rejected materials reveals a multi-stage edification, with various rocks, but still strictly local in origin.
-The theory of a phreatic explosion is preferred by another study: the materials rejected by the explosion show alterations of composition and isotopes, suggesting a heating to more than 100°C. Although, in my opinion, these differences can also be explained if the rocks come from underlying layers and not from the surface. This is also one of the conclusions of the following article:
-A geological study explains the context and proposes a general theory: the rocks are more or less metamorphosed limestones, with black carbon-bearing shale strata, source of methane (firedamp, or shale gas). A pinched geological fold, a crossing of faults, and possibly karst cavities (caves), would have resulted in methane trapping under the impermeable permafrost. The «small ice age» of the 16th century, followed by the slight warming since then, would have resulted in the complex play of a «peg» of ice, or even of methane hydrates, which volume changes would have fractured the rocks and rejected the cone, and even formed the depression on its summit. I recommend trying to read this exciting article, but it is complex, even if Google Translator makes a good translation from the Russian.
I note that there are two curious little lakes nearby, at 59°14'43"N, 116°29'60"E, and 59°15'34"N, 116°26'7"E. Their situation in the middle of a slope points at a possible karstic origin. The second lake even produces a stream!
The above scientific studies weaken the hypothesis of a paleoartifact for the Patomski crater. But in fact, the only thing which will really allow to know what formed it is a drilling. And a deep enough drilling: finding the chimney will be of no help, we have to go down to the source. Well, I know, it is an isolated area... but considerable resources have been invested to scratch a few gold nuggets just some kilometres further north. So we can go scratching a nugget of knowledge.
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Statute: questionable, heavily polluted topic.
Description: various geometric patterns sometimes appear in the fields, made of flattened stems. We often hear that these patterns would be traced by UFOs or similar phenomena.
Explanation: Still none sure to this day, but there are cases where people could create crop circles of good quality, quickly, and with light means. Thus, «genuine» UFO-created crop circles could not be distinguished from these hoaxes. The only way to be sure would be to observe an UFO making one, but this never happened. Real checked UFO traces were observed, though, showing crushed grass. But none was so ellaborated.
Personally, I saw one day a picture of crop circle showing slight tracing defects, like the ones which appear in a drawing using a compass.
It is also remarkable that so few are visible on Google Earth. I have found only one, close to Stonehenge.
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Statute: Legends or pranks.
Description: Some people claim to observe species of animals unknown to the official science, such as the rhinogradentia (a known prank by Gerolf Steiner), the yeti (or Sasquatch or big foot), the chupacabra, etc.
Explanation: It is easy to verify that some of these animals cannot exist (rhinogradentia). For others, with the exception of the yeti, there is no reliable evidence of their existence.
We may never, however, be able to assert that all the species are known, and new ones are still regularly found, which sometimes defy classifications. Some cases are linked to the UFOs, like the Chupacabra or the Mothman. Thus their appearances could be part of the UFO phenomenon. But I know no serious inquiries about these cases.
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Status: Explained, natural phenomenon, without interest.
Description: we sometimes have the impression that we already met the person, place, situation, etc., although we are unable to say where and when.
Explanation: It would be a simple malfunction in the memory. It is easy to check that many sensations of déjà vu refer to situations which could not happen before. For example I had a feeling of déjà vu while looking at the Apollo Moon missions.
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Statute: Very trouble.
Description: A person holds a pendulum or a dowsing rod. The movements of the object are supposed to indicate a direction, a response, a spring, a mine, etc.
Explanation: the way in which the rod is held makes it jump easily, which gives the impression that it moves by itself. But it is still the hand which makes it move. Ditto for the pendulum. Without excluding possible cases of true perceptions, a dowser can unconsciously feel the presence of water, from the vegetation, or other indices. The causes for mistakes being far too many, this phenomenon is not scientifically studied today.
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Statute: mystery. Perhaps CE3.
Description: In 1959, nine Russian skiers pitched their tent in a desert pass of the Urals. Their collapsed tent and their naked bodies were found some days later, with no known explanation.
Explanation: Some secondary facts could be explained as consequences of the main fact, but not this main fact itself. The mystery is why the team suddenly fled in a panic, in the middle of the night, leaving their tent collapsed or ripe open (a photo shows it collapsed, with snow on it). They needed a vital and urgent motive to flee like this in the snow at -30°, without taking the time to dress or to wear shoes. The continuation comes logically: rescuers followed their trail on a «mile» (1.6kms) to a point where they stopped, and tried to light a fire. Some then tried to return to the tent, taking the clothes of their comrades who were already dead from cold, but they were also dead on the return path. Others were found three months later in a ravine under the snow, bearing injuries indicating a violent crash. Probably they fell and triggered an avalanche, while looking for firewood. Other more or less established unexplained facts surround the case: one of the victims had lost her tongue, the corpses had an unusual orange hue, orange lights were seen from afar by other witnesses at the same time, measurements found high radioactivity on some of their clothes, and the presence in the region of a lot of metal scrap, generally attributed to military activities.
This case is often considered as a close UFO encounter, but even within this framework it is atypical.
We can see the place and the memorial on Google Earth at 61°45'10''N 59°26'17"E.
Added January 4, 2018: The fact check Snopes sites consecrates an article to this intriguing enigma, which is then «fact-checked». Without surprise, in short they confirm my analysis above: the victims fled in a panic in the middle of the night, without however we can know why.
Their text brings some novelties: the «orange lights» become «fast moving balls of fire», without however Snopes could find the epoch testimony. The «traces of radioactivity» become weak traces of potassium 40 found on one vest. They also bring the testimony of a forest guard, who warned the campers against going in the forest, heavy with snow and thus dangerous. However the avalanche theory is disproved by enquirers, who found no trace of one.
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Status: Proven, materially unexplainable.
Description: a person perceives images (sometimes other sensory abilities) of objects that he cannot physically perceive.
Explanation: Many studies have shown the reality of the phenomenon. It happens to some persons during a NDE, a sleep paralysis, a dream, or in a more diffuse way in waking state. There is no possible material explanation. This phenomenon strongly advocates a consciousness existing outside of the brain.
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Description: A hill on Mars looks much like an Human face. As usual it has been the target of numerous conspiracy theories, etc. etc.
Explication: This is of course a natural shape. But it is so much looking like the face of some Greek soldier, that it is remarkable. As to the conspiracy mongers, I wonder what they will think of this one, lol
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Statute: Belief, scam. Not the least scam being that the expression «free energy» was in fact stolen to environmentalists, who used it to qualify an energy source not depending on complex systems, social alienation or rare resources.
Description: Some claim to have over-unity perpetual motion, or novelty physical effects allowing to get energy without the cost, work and efforts of traditional sources.
Explanation: Until proof of the contrary, no one was able to demonstrate any such thing, which violates known laws of physics.
Long ago, when such ideas were starting to emerge, we really wondered if science was wrong. Especially that some reviews like the French «science & vie» had advertised «synergetics» or the «zero energy of vacuum» (somewhere around 1970). But when I asked the synergetics people what experiment they intended to do to demonstrate their theory, they replied that they did not planned any, because they wanted to «convince the scientists first». And they sent me a review speaking of «Jew conspiracy»... At this time, I had few knowledge of politics, but I still knew that I had to thoroughly keep away from such persons.
The second time, it was Bruce de Palma's «N-Machine» which made up in some ecology review (around 1978). It is formed of a magnetic field and an electrical wire rotating together. (two cylindrical magnets are separated with a copper disk, the whole thing being mounted to have only one axis, and rotated by a motor. Two brushes collect the current, one at the centre of the disk, the other at the rim.) According to known electrical laws, such a device does not produce nor electricity neither energy. But some invoked a new kind of magnetic field (the proposed explanation much varied with time) which causes the N-Machine to produce electricity and energy. Who was right? Were the «idiot and authoritarian» scientists trying to cover an interesting discovery, or was De Palma dreaming? In a context where science itself was accused of hiding things, the only way was to test. So I built a N-Machine... and found a current, as announced. Weak, but real. Where did it came from? Was De Palma right? No: simply, the movement of the rotating magnetic field induces a current, not in the copper disk which rotates together with the field, but in the brush on the rim, which does not move. I checked, with moving it away of the magnet: the voltage dropped. So no known physical law is violated, and there is no free energy in this device. It was only an elaborated scam, based on a false interpretation, just good at at extorting funds from ignorant investors (like probably most free energy claims).
So that there will be no third time. Now, when I meet somebody contesting «these stupid scientists», I ask him to make the experiment himself. Today of course I even not pay attention to the thousands of such announcements. If somebody has such claims, that he demonstrate it himself, by running machines in the physical world, not in a Youtube video.
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Statute: Scientifically observed, unexplained. Probably natural phenomena, or UFO-related phenomena.
Description: Before or during earthquakes, people see strange lights in the sky or near the ground.
Explanation: None known. Usual explanation involve electric or magnetic phenomena related to the breaking of rocks (piezoelectric effects). However to create luminous effects requires intense fields which would be noticed by other physical effects. This would fall in the more general category of plasma-related phenomena we saw in chapter VII-3, or perhaps UFO.
These phenomena were precisely observed in the L'Aquila earthquake on 6 April 2009, with many photos and videos. Several science papers were issued (Fidani (PDF), Fidani), Hutton, Thériault&al, Takaki&al). However the genuine photos and videos seem nearby absent of the Internet. I found only one in Youtube (the paradises of the idiots who never look in the sky and don't know to recognize a parhelia or a contrail) and another in USA Today. There are some others, but associated with Nibiru, or showing parhelia, so I won't abuse your time.
In some cases, lights are seen in high altitudes, during the earthquakes or in the preceding/following hours. They may be caused by currents in the ionosphere, if the potential of the ground changed. See Bell Island Incident, where similar lights were reported.
As as usual, many media state that the earthquake lights «are explained by scientists» (this is a lie) and that «they are not UFOs» (nobody knows... UFOs may be earthquake lights, see chapter VII-3. Especially, the Hessdalen lights, considered as UFOs by the scientists, started after an earthquake.)
Added in March 2023: A common misinformation confuses earthquake lights with these sort of lightning often seen at the horizon during earthquakes. These lightnings most likely are electric arcs when power stations or pylons collapse, not earthquake lights.
I give a much stranger «explanation» in my novel «The Gardens of Aeoliah».
Also see the spooklights
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Statute: probably meteorites, but many shadowy points were understood only recently.
Description: two dozen high power explosion shook the upper atmosphere in several places in the world. The most famous case is that of the Tunguska, while the Vela Incident was interpreted at the time as a secret nuclear test.
Explanation: only the recent understanding of certain atmospheric entries helped to explain some strange aspects of these phenomena. Indeed some meteorites (pieces of comets) have a powdery structure, instead of solid rock. So, when subjected to the friction of the air, they split into smaller pieces, which are then submitted to even more intense friction, accelerating the splitting up in an exponential way, until it produces an almost instantaneous total dislocation. All the grains then emit their energy at the same time, in a small volume. This energy concentrated in a small volume produces an explosion, much stronger than the supersonic bangs produced by the flight of the stones. These explosions are not accompanied with falls on the ground, or only by pebbles, or probably the spherules found at the Tunguska site.
In the case of the Vela incident, there was a recording of two successive bright flashes, interpreted at the time as a low yield nuclear test, which author was never found. No trace of radioactivity was found either. Today we know that these two flashes can be explained by the fall of a double meteorite, or which had split higher up in the atmosphere.
In the case of the Tunguska, it seems that the recent publication of epoch testimonies shows that there was not one, but several explosions. Depending on the position of witnesses, the sequence lasted from five to twenty minutes, which indicates that these explosions were not at the same location. Other witnesses speak of the approach of a «light tube», before the explosions. These elements tend to show that it maybe was a catena, a chain of impacts caused by a split meteorite, likely a piece of a comet. Many lines of craters, of the catena types, are visible on the Moon and on other planets.
Added in 2013: the recent meteorite of Cheliabinsk (2013), extensively filmed and recorded, confirmed a number of hypothesis and speculations on the phenomena which take place in a large atmospheric entry of a powdery object. The videos clearly show a small portion of the path which produced much more light than the other parts, and which remained in flames for several seconds. It is this part which produced the very violent main bang, while other portions of the path produced dozens of other quieter bangs.
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Description: sometimes blocks of ice weighing several kilogs fall from the sky, by fair weather. These events are grouped by waves lasting one to two weeks.
Statute: Unexplained, probably natural phenomena. Also studied by ufologists.
Explanation: None known.
Aircraft toilet wastes were proposed, or aircraft de-icing. However these hypothesis meet various counter-arguments, mainly that they happened before aviation or away of aircraft routes. In more, recent analysis of samples show ordinary rain water.
I proposed ice meteorites, but this is also opposed by the previous composition.
Meteorologist tried to explain these phenomena with hail growth in clear sky turbulence. Such turbulence exists, but cannot support such heavy hailstones for long enough for them to form.
A clue may help: people seeing them fall note that they left a trail (of ice powder). So that it would be more snow or hardened snow than plain ice (which rules out aircraft de-icing too). Snow can sometimes form in high altitude into cirrus, and it them appears as tongues hanging from these clouds. For people not knowledgeable in meteorology, this is still «fair weather», sunny and warm. Usually these tongues dissipate when the snow reaches warmer levels. To form snowballs, this snow needs to be concentrated by turbulence or from electrostatic processes. And this gathering needs to be quick, as snowy air is denser, so that it falls quickly. And a small volume of very snowy air would break apart, from the turbulence of the fall. But in doing so, it may create a stable enough toroidal vortex able of concentrating the snow and stick in into a snow ball. Such vortices can sometimes be seen when we observe a snow fall far away.
To be noted that the 2000 spanish cases triggered a social panic with idiotic despising and forgeries. I think that such behaviours should be punished, that they attempt to create false mysteries as well as to debunk the true, as they are anyway scientific frauds, which in more cost much in inquiries.
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Description: In both cases it is trees with tormented and illogical shapes. In version 1 I confused these two phenomena, but their explanations are in fact very different.
Faux de Verzy are beech trees which grow in the forest of Verzy near Reims in France. Their tortured shapes are probably due to a genetic mutation. The fascination for these strange trees since the early Middle Age probably explains that several populations were brought throughout Europe.
The queules of the Mont Beuvray are hedges that local peasants realize by guiding and braiding young tree shoots. When the trees are adult, their trunks keep these strange shapes. Jules César already mentioned their existence, and we can still see them being «formed» in our days, for example on the road leading to the source of the river Yonne.
In both cases, the fantastic landscapes created are conducive to stories of fairies and nature spirits. Mont Beuvray for example is a strong place of the Vouivre.
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Statute: Explained, natural phenomenon, without interest, can be used for mind control purposes.
Description: We have a memory of something which could not happen. The often quoted example is to remember to have seen Bugs Bunny in Disney Land. This phenomenon is often brandished to denigrate NDE, «abductions», etc.
Explanation: The memory can actually modify distant scenes, for example of our childhood, or mundane scenes from everyday life that we did not pay attention. We can easily see this while watching a movie that we only saw long ago in our childhood: false memories, distorted scenes, and even totally forgotten scenes, re-emerge in quantity. See chapter V-8 on the functioning of memory, and how it encodes memories into simple elements. The exchange of two elements can then easily produce a false memory. For example, in the film «Ben Hur», that I saw when I was a child, I was sure that Jesus descended into the lepers pit. Simple exchange of two items...
However this phenomenon is totally unable to create a complete scene, and especially not an absurd scene or a scene involving strong emotions, such as a rape or a RR4. On the contrary, a rape remains engraved in our memory, as any traumatic event.
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Status: Forgery, but perhaps other similar cases are unresolved.
Description: In a farm near Tarbes, France, in 1979, dozens of «unexplained» fires started in a few weeks. The media were speaking about parapsychology, or even about satanism.
Explanation: Yves Lignon, specialist of parapsychological phenomena in the University of Toulouse, caught the guilty farmers with setting a trap.
What is interesting in this case was to see newspapers speaking of parapsychology, or even of satanism («since» we were not far from Lourdes!), and then disparage these phenomena, writing such balderdashes as «materials like phosphorus or sodium are commonly used in farms». It is this kind of phoney pseudo-explanations which discredit rationalism and promote rumours and beliefs.
There was more recently another case of series fires in Alsace, but I don't remember the name. At the time I heard only succinct «simplified» explanations, which induces the feeling that something is hidden.
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Statute: Probably fake.
Description: A video taken in Foshan, Guangdong privince, China, shows somethig looking as a city floating in the sky.
Explanation: An article in Science Alert evokes a Fata Morgana (mirage) phenomenon, but a mirage cannot appear in clouds, and it is too hight in the sky. The video rather looks like a movie projection on clouds. This case also sends to the need of local inquireers with a science formation.
Well, by lack of local contact, we have Google Maps. Searching Foshan, Guangdong, gets the image of the original building, with the same perspective. The problem is how this image could appear high in the sky on a cloud. My best estimate: the video was shot through a pane of glass, with the reflection of this building on it. Unfortunately, this building exists in tens of examplars in Foshan, otherwise we could find the place the shot was taken, see the bus shelter used.
The sad thing here is that even a science review and Snopes try to reassure themselves with a fake science explanation...
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Statute: exaggeration, followed by ideological debate. Added 2022: this is a case where the rationalist inquisition may hamper real science.
Description: In 1989, two scientists, Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann, announced that they observed nuclear fusion reactions at room temperature.
Explanation: the original idea was that in palladium, hydrogen could be dissolved at a high enough partial pressure to allow for fusion reactions to happen (much as with the muons). Observing sporadic heat releases in their equipment, Pons and Fleischmann hurried to announce that they produced this phenomenon. This announcement makes a lot of fuss, as it opened an era of a «free» and «non-polluting» energy. However no team could reproduce the original experience. The disappointment went as low as the hopes were high, and the scientific community strongly condemned Pons and Fleischmann for their hast to publish an insufficiently verified result. Ideologically oriented discussion followed, some going until calling cold fusion a pseudoscience.
However many unclear points remained, on the actual degree of saturation in hydrogen, the quality of the palladium samples, etc. to explain quite elusive phenomena (only some cells showed heat releases, and only at times). So, official or private scientific teams continue to work on it, without convincing results to date (2015), especially no clear trace of radiations resulting from nuclear reactions.
Added December 2022: some work done in 2020 by a NASA team, under the name of Lattice confinement fusion (IEEE article), in a similar medium (palladium saturated with hydrogen) but with a neutron flux to start the reaction. Heat and radiations were observed, but the reaction could not sustain itself. It had to be maintained, but this consumes too much energy.
This proved that hydrogen dissolved in a metal indeed forms a cold plasma, bringing it closer to fusion, but not enough.
It is «interesting» to note that a serious research had to change the name, from «cold fusion» to «Lattice confinement fusion», to escape the rationnalist inquisition.
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Statute: unexplained, probably natural.
Description: Gamma ray bursts are sometimes observed in large thunderstorm clouds. Other luminous phenomena are of unknown origin, like the blue jets.
Explanation: It is not known how lighting can produce high energy radiations. They are probably related to Blue jets, luminous jets raising very fast above the clouds. On the other hand, «Elfs» are now well understood at upward lightning from the cloud to the ionosphere, while «sprites» are reactions of the ionosphere to the electromagnetic radiation of large lighting strokes.
Added April 2021: an explanation is building up, from a Japanese study, published in Nature (with a very nice image). In a normal lighning bolt, ionised particles are accelerated by the electric field. In doing so, elles hit other particles, accelerating them in turn. It then happens an avalanche of ionised particles, and this is what makes the air to conduct electricity inside the lighning. But this constant braking makes that the particles never go far, and they keep a very modest energy level, far from the level of nuclear reactions. However, if a cosmic ray happens at that moment, its much higher speed allows it to create an avalanche of very fast particles, and which remain so. These particles can then produce various nuclear reactions. And not a few: if an aircraft happened to be around, the passengers would be sick.
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Description: Gas bubbling out of the water was observed once, offshore of Charentes, France, by a ship of the Marine Nationale (French National Navy), and colouring waters in red. I don't remember the date, it was most probably in the 1970 years.
Explanation: None known, though the navy ship took samples. Natural explanations can be volcanic (unlikely in this place), emanation of natural gas, or from a wreck.
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Statute: trouble, belief, possibility of real cases.
Description: many people think that consciousness of deceased persons can return in some places (usually their former home), and can manifested by acts of telekinesis.
Explanation: the theories of consciousness that we presented in the fifth part make this phenomenon possible, and ultimately quite simple to explain, and also to live with, and even to resolve. However, despite many reported cases, few have been proven scientifically. I do not even know of such cases.
In addition, the phenomenon is often experienced as in a terror movie, with screams, violent emotions, terror, etc. To which is added religious accusations of satanism. Under these conditions, the testimonies are often highly biased, and scientists are not much interested with them.
What I however observed, is that rooms or even whole houses can remain impregnated with the bad vibrations (chapter V-17) of their former occupants. In some cases, it is so bad that it can be actually dangerous to live in such places. The bad feeling can then conduce to visions, false but convincing. Just as fear can do.
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Many Youtube videos claim to show various mysteries which would be visible on Google Earth (there are too many to comment them all). Of course, very few withstand any degree of examination. For example I have seen once a story of a flying saucer photographed on Google Earth! Of course the place only shows the round roof of a lighthouse, which, seen from the top, seems to levitate (If I remember correctly, it is in Cape Hangklip, near Cape Town, South Africa).
I speak of course of real satellite photos, issued by a space agency and published by Google. The «Panoramio» photos added anonymously by users have no value, because they can be faked by anyone.
I have however found a few areas which were blurred without apparent cause. The regular explanation is that it would be edition errors (there are many), but when they coincide with remarkable places, we want to check. For example, the Mount Illimani, near La Paz, Bolivia, a mountain visible from afar and sacred to the Incas, is crossed by a long fuzzy strip (2014). There is also a small rectangular area near the south pole of the Moon (in 2014 I was unable to find again the exact location, but it is the whole south pole which becomes invisible when we zoom on it).
We still find some of the mysteries mentioned in this chapter, which are visible on Google Earth. But it is however remarkable that Google Earth shows so little inexplicable, and that millions of space photographs taken by a lot countries were never able to catch an UFO or anything unexplained.
Especially it is very rare to find Crop Circles, despite their large number. This tells that a censorship would really happen. In such conditions, we can wonder if other things would be censored too.
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Statute: fake mystery, hoax.
Description: Near Minerve in the Aude departement (France) would be a road where cars would be attracted upwards instead of down the slope. (I have seen variants of this story in Turkey, Mongolia and probably elsewhere. All easily refutable places, would say Popper) mysteries literature speaks of gravitational anomalies or force fields.
(2014:) I add the «Mystery Spot» in the national park of Redwood, Santa Cruz, California, where an intentionally lopsided hut serves as a demonstration of such optical illusions, presented as a «mystery». Also, in Scotland, the Electric Brae road, or Croy Brae road, near Ayrshire, displays such an optical illusion, yet presented as a «mystery» by Yahoo! (June 5, 2014)
Explanation: Passing near Minerve, I found the place, well known to locals. (From Minerve, take the D10E to Fauzan, then follow «curiosité de l'Auriol», 43°20'38”N 2°42'08”E). No need to do the trip again: a mere illusion of perspective with the slope of a nearby road creates a false perception of the slope of the road, giving the feeling that it goes up, while it goes down. This can be checked easily by looking at the horizon.
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Statut: the boosting disinformation on HAARP must not hide the predictable real risks.
Description: the HAARP project is a US military-led set of electromagnetic experiments aimed at studying the properties of the ionosphere, mainly in polar regions, by sending radio waves in selected regions. There are equivalent Russian and European project. Scores of conspiracy theories present HAARP as a major threat, or as a global weapon able of dreadful effects.
Explanation: The official stance is that there is no danger into the HAARP project. This is probably true for the experiments as they are today. However I would be much more careful about its possible unexpected effects, and especially of the criminal uses of the resulting knowledge: even minor disturbances of the ionosphere can have devastating effects on electric networks and telecommunications, as it was shown by the Starfish and K nuclear tests in 1962. HAARP-like apparatus, just more powerful, may produce similar effects on a target country, without breaching the nuclear bans.
If this was not true, why the governments would be interested in such a thankless study of evanescent phenomena in the magnetosphere?
We also note that the anti-HAARP disinformation targets the USA version, and not the others, giving a hint on their origin.
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Statute: Unknown, possible extraterrestrial signal.
Description: The RATAN-600 radiotelescope observed, on May 15, 2015, a radio signal coming from the star HD 164595. It was a powerful signal, large bandwidth, centred on 11 Ghz. It lasted about two seconds. No other information was published, spectrum, wave shape or so.
Explanation: Unknown. No known astronomical signal behaves in this way. The frequency is in a military band, but the SETI does not known military activities explaining it, unless they are top secret. Remains of course a possible artificial extraterrestrial signal, but nothing proves this definitively. HD 164595 was listened again several times, but without success.
HD 164595 is a star which all characteristics match closely the Sun, more or less one or two percent. It has a confirmed exoplanet, of the size of Neptune, but in a close orbit. So this planet is very likely not suitable for life, but other inhabitable planets may exist.
See also the Wow Signal. Those powerful radio impulsions could be a new class of still unknown astronomical phenomena. The specialistes think at gravitationnal lensing effects. They could also be artificial, by extraterrestrials seeking contact. But these emissions do not repeat.
Added January 2017: Scientists are now holding that the most likely explanation is an interference from a secret military satellite. If this is the case, no confirmation is possible.
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Statute: real, scientifically studied, unexplained.
Description: Near the town of Hessdalen in Norway, UFOs are regularly seen.
Explanation: See chapter VII-2 and the Hessdalen site. There is no know explanation to what happens here, despite regular scientific observations. The Hessdalen phenomena are considered part of the UFO mystery, of which they displays the usual stuff, save close encounters or «characters». However the recurrence of the phenomenon in a single place allowed for correct scientific studies, tamper-proof videos and spectra showing ionized air. However this never allowed to find a credible explanation.
Hessdalen is quite unique, in the meaning that an unexplained phenomena can be (and is) studied by science means. This makes any denegation very difficult, even if the story is ostentatiously ignored by the media and by science management.
The non-censorable situation in Hessdalen however allowed for an unique response: «official pseudoscience» (chapter II-7), that is theories which look scientific, but are not. The most well known is the combustion of scandium dust, an element which is found nearby nowhere else in the world. This pseudoscience even comes under the ritual form of a science paper... just forgetting a «little detail»: scandium never occurs in nature under metallic form, but under the form of silicates (like Thortveitite). So the scandium-bearing dust in Hessdalen is just sand, and burning sand is plain impossible.
Serious explanations invoke plasmas (since plasma spectra were observed), but fail to provide a credible mechanism to power and confine them (several kilowatts in some observations)(See ball lighting too). So we are forced to classify the Hessdalen lights in the UFO category, even if we are not totally sure they are exactly the same phenomenon.
Also see the Spooklights
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Description: Some people claim to hear constant low frequency sounds in some places, while others don't.
Explanation: None sure. Most common reducing explanations are ear noises or psychology problems, but this does not cover most cases, where many people complain simultaneously without concerting. Also the complains come only a set of some specific places (about a dozen, the most well known being Bristol and Taos).
Despite efforts, the source of the noises were nearby never found. I do not know of recordings of reliable sources either. This may be caused by the sound being too low for ordinary recording devices. As an indication, we cannot record the sound that however everybody hears into shells.
That only some people complain also arises specific difficulties. Again, reducing explanation is that these persons have some psychology trouble. However, in the case of Kokomo, Indiana, where people complained of a loud low frequency noise, the source was found in tubing in two nearby factories. Despite this objective cause, most people were not hearing the sound, that others described as loud and disturbing. This may point at the way people are aware of low unexpected sounds, or on the contrary do not get aware of what is not part of their awareness focus. I often observed this phenomenon, even with very obvious sounds. But that would work better with low frequency sounds, which are often more vibrations than sound.
Also the intensity response of the ear to low frequency sounds is not the same than with medium sounds (low frequency sound sensation fades faster when the actual power fades, as builders of audio amplifiers know well). This effect might be different according to persons, leading to different sensitivities to low intensity low frequency sounds.
Another explanation for indoor sounds that sound proofing cannot suppress, would be acute resonances in rooms, amplifying a given frequency. Just as with a shell, but at lower frequencies. For instance two walls separated by 4m give a resonance at about 40Hz. Resonances can be surprisingly selective and efficient at raising the otherwise inaudible thermal noise of the air, and make of it a pure frequency. For instance, one day I was working for a vibration test in the intespace company at Toulouse, we got a case of an oscillation coming from nowhere, very visible on the recorders and oscilloscopes. It turned up to be thermal noise amplified by an acute metallic resonance. But most often, entering in a small cavity makes a clearly audible amplification of a resonant band. In the case of a very small enclosure like a conch shell, everybody hears it, but usually our brain suppresses the faint resonance in rooms or caves, so that we get complains by some, while others do not notice anything.
(I claim precedence for these explanations, from May 2014).
The Hum info site led by an university teacher. He emphasises on some kind of electromagnetic sensitivity, which is also a common hypothesis. Indeed some linked the Hum to the LORAN system, or to military VLF systems. It is not unlikely that low frequency electromagnetic fields could be picked by the ultra-sensitive ear cells. And at the point things are today, no hypothesis can be ruled out.
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Statute: Modified on December 17, 2017, to reflect science studies and health guidelines on cellphones
Description: Some people claim to suffer from different ailments when exposed to radio waves.
Explanation: The only universally accepted effect of electromagnetic waves on the human body is a rise in temperature. Current exposure standards are well below this effect. Some studies suggest however more vague effects at lower levels, for various frequency ranges, of the kind irritability, insomnia, etc. The determination of an objective threshold brought controversy with manufacturers, and could lead to lower these thresholds of exposure. (E.g. not to implement cell phone antennas on the roof of residential buildings, or protect oneself from cellphones using a small hat of conductive fabric). For information, the countries of the former Soviet bloc have much lower thresholds of exposure.
However some people claim to experience unpleasant, painful or debilitating effects, even when others feel nothing. Double-blind experiments shown that they complain even when they believe to be exposed to waves, whereas there is none. So, it seems that this is a case of autosuggestion, also called nocebo effect, where repeated negative thoughts come to produce a real discomfort. This discomfort then locks the belief, which further strengthens the discomfort. The only solution is a better technical and spiritual education.... And more honesty from public authorities, in order to do not so easily lend the flank to conspiracy theories.
Similar cases are for example the syndrome of the toxic building, or other older forms of «hysteria». Things can go very far, such as people who die because they believe they are poisoned, or because they are targeted by a witchcraft ritual.
Added on December 17, 2017: a science study of the biorxiv detected an increase of some brain tumors in the presence of cellphone radiations. Curiously this effect depends on the modulation used. As a consequence, California set forward recommandations about the use of cellphones:
-Keeping the phone away from the body
-Reducing cell phone use when the signal is weak
-Reducing the use of cell phones to stream audio or video, or to download or upload large files
-Keeping the phone away from the bed at night
-Removing headsets when not on a call (I add: this is true for bluetooth headsets)
-Avoiding products which claim to block radio frequency energy (I add: surrounding the phone or stuck on it). These products may actually increase your exposure. (I add: in more it is a scam)
Very well, but I still do not see my two proposals:
-The metallic hat «tinfoil hat» (yeeess!!) to shield the brain during a call.
-Store the cellphone in a metallic box, or frankly remove the battery (store the later away from metals!). This also prevents the network manager from tracking us, or pirats from hearing us.
Another study from the NVBI appear to describe a process by which low levels of waves could be harmful.
Added June 2021: we remember this story on the link between high voltage lines and cancer. This study claimed to be accurate enough to detect a small increase of leukaemia, because people living under power lines are poorer and eat less organic. This study was used as disinformation saying that electric fields are carcinogenic. But it also was used as a disinformation against people claiming to suffer various unpleasant symptomes under power lines (it was in the 1970, by the time of the anti-nuclear power movement). Which, by confusion, induced the idea that no leukaemia so that no other symptomes.
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Statute: unexplained, probably natural phenomena.
Description: a strange and unique structure is visible on the Moon.
Explanation: none known. The structure is visible here, at the latitude of 18.65N and longitude of 5.31W (need zoom to find it). Very similar structures are also visible on Mercury, in selected places, the Mercury's hollows.
(excerpt photo of the above site, probably NASA public domain image)
The very close view provided here suggests that the powdery regolith layer (a layer of dust and sand, from the bedrock crushed by numerous meteorite impacts) was blasted far away in selected patches, unravelling the underlying hard rock layer. Only large boulders (one metre or more) were left in place. (it is indeed the hard rock layer, which appears clearer and shows the root of the many craters which formed before the ejection. But it shows only few recent craters, pointing at a relatively recent age for the structure). Remaining patches of regolith now form irregular blobs above this bedrock.
I have no idea of what natural phenomena could cause such an ejection. I do not agree that the structure would be a caldera, it resembles nothing of this kind. It is not either on top of a volcanic dome, but on one of the numerous hills which are part of the large ejecta of two neighbouring mare. In the lunar environment, the only effect able of cleaning up the bedrock from its dust would be electrostatic.
We can examine the hypothesis that this structure would be artificial. However, even so, it lacks many revealing details, such as machine traces or excavated ore (the resolution of the images allows to easily spot the Apollo landers and even the instruments left in place). It just looks as if some giant blower was used to clean up the bedrock layer. On an airless world, the gasses of a blower would bear the dust very far, leaving no identifiable rim or heap nearby.
See an astronomy article on Ina Caldera
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Statute: Ambiguous, between progressive views on education, or scam.
Description: Some children would be reincarnations of extraterrestrials, who would manifest by artistic gifts, interest in ethics, etc. In a variant of this expression, indigo children are those who suffer from disorders such as autism, attention deficit, hyperactivity, dyslexia, etc. because of «the repression by society».
Explanation: most children show, at certain stages of their development, a special interest in morality, altruism, beauty, etc. which subsequently fades away. That they are reincarnations or not. The Indigo children are just normal children!
As to consider that some psychological disorders would be an «alternate normality», this raises the problem of denial of care to children who need it to unfold.
What would be especially useful, when a child is interested in positive things, would be to always encourage him and congratulate him, and even, for the more adventurous, to offer him the elements he needs to develop this interest. And everyone: parents, friends, school, social workers, judges, TV, Internet, video games, comic strips... (Without forcing either, we saw with «gifted children» that it is counter-productive.)
It is not doing this which is «repression by the society», and which makes grey children.
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Statute: Scientifically observed facts.
Description: (Added in May 2022) An attempt to detect a sound-conducting layer in the low stratosphere (SOFAR) yielded positive confirmations, although intermittent (Article in Science). The experiment well recorded the expected noises of a rocket, but also several bursts per hour of infrasound of unknown origin. We also learn at this occasion that using this sound channel was the purpose of the Mogul project, at the origin of the false UFO crash in Roswell.
Explanation: none known, all bets are open.
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Statute: updated Mars 2023: tested likely false.
Description: In some cases, trace elements seem to appear in the ground or in the body. A biologist, Corentin Louis Kervran, created a sophisticated enough theory explaining these apparent aberrations with nuclear transmutations, produced by biological enzymes, without release of energy or radiation, according to specific rules.
Explanation: These theories have been popular in environment or naturopathic milieus. However they go against the laws of nuclear physics (The proposed reactions would produce far more energy than ordinary organic reactions. For example 12C more 16O would produce 28Si more 14Mev, far enough to carbonize any enzyme which would attempt to produce such a reaction).
But above all, no experience has been made to reproduce them, nor to identify any responsible enzyme, so that we cannot conclude anything. This is typically a situation where a «green» or «natural» label is enough to produce an unconditional belief. More viciously, «a theory» becomes «a truth», without apparently no other justification than... freedom of expression!
(Added Mars 2023) Asking to ChatGPT, it replied that several controlled studies were done, for example in 1997, by a team of researchers from the University of California, Berkeley (It does not give the source, ChatGPT is very bad at that). Cultivating bacteria using silicon 29 or 30, they found that no new silicon 28 had appeared in the culture. The conclusion is that study results supporting the Kervran transmutations can be explained by errors in the measurement of quantities.
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Description: This is «my» mystery, as I found it :-)
A curious splinter of light is visible on a glacier on the Lötschberg pass, in the Swiss Alps. See in Google earth (2015) at 46°25'40.98"N and 7°42'39.30"E. (the surface of the glacier is covered with grey scree, but it is actually a glacier)
Explication: Probably human. Before assessing how strange this light is, I had to look for a similar one, of know origin. I found one in a nearby village some kilometres north, Frutigen, at 46°35'21.92" N and 7°38'33.16"E.
Left: the mystery light. Right: a similar light on a roof window.
The comparison of the two lights shows that the golden specks and white oval are camera artifacts (as usual Google does not tell which satellite took this image). However the light on the glacier looks more intense than the window reflection, indicating a larger surface, probably one metre or more. The problem is: who could wander on an alpine glacier carrying such a large mirror? Youtube videos of the place show nothing.
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Description: On August 24, 2014, the pilots of an airliner spotted a straight vertical white lightning above the ocean, south of Kamchatka. Arriving in the place about 20 minutes later, they saw an intense red glow in the ocean, as if an huge fire was going on. The pilot, JPC van Heijst , took several good quality and reliable photos, showing large red glows and smaller green or white glows.
Explanation: None known. See here some accounts of the event, and the page of the pilot JPC van Heijst. Surrounding circumstance are a high magnetospheric activity before and during the event. The pilots also report a diffuse green glow in the sky, before the white lightning.
Among the hypothesis are:
-Squid fishers. However they are far from harbour, and do not usually use red lights. And this does not explain the lighning (without any storm cloud)
-Volcanic eruption. However no volcano is known in the vicinity, and the ocean is very deep.
-Military test, eventually nuclear. In the context of tension about Ukraine, an unusual or novelty secret test is plausible.
-UFO. However this is not an usual UFO description.
The best match I see is with the Bell Island incident. However this one would be much larger, and point at some unusual and unknown powerful magnetosphere phenomenon. This one may have even initiated the observed disturbances, instead of resulting from them. In the hypothesis of the concentrated Birkeland current that I proposed, this one would be too powerful. It may not come from Earth, but directly from the Sun.
The only weak point in this comparison is the ocean glow, which lasted over 20 minutes after the flash.
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Statute: Resolved, natural phenomenon, fake mystery.
Description: Red rain affected a region of Kerala in 2001, during one month. Lovers of fake mysteries invoke microorganisms fallen from a meteorite, and see there an evidence of Panspermia.
Explanation: Scientific studies from the Centre for Earth Science Studies clearly show that the red particles are spores of a local lichen. The phenomenon occurs regularly in the region, and the residents know it well. Despite that, this fake mystery re-emerges regularly, to sell paper.
In addition, a cloud of comet dust would not remain in the same place several weeks, due to the motions of the atmosphere. For instance the cloud of the Chelyabinsk meteorite circled the Earth in just four days.
Added in march 2015: some university people like Chandra Wickramasinghe or Milton Wainwright support the idea of panspermia, and see an evidence of it in the red rains. Useless to add that such an evidence rather discredit their theory.
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Statute: unexplained. Probably natural phenomenon. Possibility of an extraterrestrial spacecraft.
Description: Echoes of radio broadcast have been observed as early as 1927, from the short waves to the UHF, with abnormal delays between 3 seconds and 40 seconds.
Explanation: Different theories attempted to explain the echoes, invoking plasmas in the ionosphere, magnetosphere, and up to ejections of solar plasma. However none accounts for all the cases, probably different phenomena occur.
There is a possibility that the responsible would be a Bracewell probe, an extraterrestrial automatic exploration probe, attempting to communicate with us. However, if that was the case, it would not just return our messages, it would add its own messages.
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Statute: unknown, probably natural.
Description: The Cassini space probe spotted an island which appears and disappears in Ligeia Mare on Titan
Explication: none known. When it is visible, the mystery island looks just like any other around. Hypothesis are about floating material, waves, bubbles, etc. However none explains exactly the observations.
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Statut: Probably natural.
Description: The Curiosity rover spotted glints of lights on Mars.
Explication: Uncertain. Light spots often appear on the images of Mars, caused by cosmic rays. However in this case they appeared two days in the same place. The Curiosity team then attribute them to glints of light on large rock crystals. Such crystals were actually seen from close, some months before.
The least that we can say is that this light was worth a detour... but Curiosity continued as if nothing was happening. So Curiosity is really the ill named! An element which probably weighed in the decision is the bad state of the wheels of the rover. It was indeed quite awkward to set a machine with a 80 years life expectancy with tin can wheels, already seriously damaged after only two years... How this problem did not showed during the tests?
In the hypothesis these lights were glints on large crystals, it was interesting to look closer. Indeed the rocks in the Gale crater are essentially eruptive (or derived detritic) while large crystals appear into plutonic or hydrothermal rocks. Thus there was a major science motive to study them in details, in order to identify these crystals and the associated processes.
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Statute: Very likely a legend, carefully maintained.
Description: A diplodocus looking monster would live in the Loch Ness.
Explanation: In more that such a being is unlikely, we have no evidence of its existence. This discussion sends to the more general one on cryptozoology.
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(Modified in January 2017. Old version on the wayback machine)
Statute: unexplained, probably natural.
Description: In Radio Astronomy, the Fast Radio Bursts (FRB) are very short (5 ms) and very strong radio pulses. Their spectral spread over time suggests an origin at billions of light years away, making of them an extremely violent phenomenon.
One of the first hypotheses published was that of a pulsar at the limit of collapsing into a black hole, but rotating fast enough to prevent this collapse. When the pulsar slows down naturally, the disappearance of the centrifugal force causes it to contract, until it suddenly turns into a black hole. The magnetic energy stored around it would turn into a radio pulse. I allow myself to reject this hypothesis: indeed, the dimensions of such a magnetic field are tens or hundreds of kilometres. Then the emitted radio waves would be in the long waves of this size, and not microwaves.
The very first FRB were found in 2007 on recordings of the Parkes radio telescope. The first live observations was made in 2014 (Paper here), with immediate search for an afterglow at other wavelengths. But at the time nothing was found, thickening the mystery.
In January 2017 Nature publishes the first precise location of FRB 121102, the only repeating FRB. It is associated with a weaker constant radio source in a dwarf galaxy with an active nucleus, located three billion light years away. It is not proved that the nucleus, the constant source and the FRB are the same object, but they are all three situated in a volume of some light-years at maximum.
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Statut: Not really known, probably a misinterpretation.
Description: En 1942, a mysterious object flew over Los Angeles. Suspecting a Japanese aircraft, the anti-aircraft artillery shot at it for one hour, without results. Official explanation was a false alarm, but some suspect an UFO activity.
Explanation: None certain, but very likely the anti-aircraft artillery mistook a weather balloon, or even a small cloud, for some Japanese aircraft or balloon. Subsequent firing created a cloud of smoke which added to the confusion of the yet inexperienced soldiers. Although an UFO cannot be totally ruled out, it appears that the only published photo of the phenomenon was heavily reworked (a common practice in this time, like photoshopped women today). The original photo in the archives of the Los Angeles Times does not show anything at the point where the search lights converge, save unresolved white dots which were likely explosions.
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Statute: Unexplained, probably natural phenomena.
Description: On Mars, a place near Olympus Mons shows strange patterns on the ground, looking like moire or flame traces.
See on Google Mars at 17°29'11"N 143°18'54"W This image is an extract of a larger image taken by by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on board NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spacecraft. See this image's observation information page. Observation ID: PSP_003450_1975 Image of: West flank of Olympus Mons. Acquired on: April 22, 2007. Credit: NASA / JPL / University of Arizona)
Explanation: None known. The patterns appear like painted on the surface, even including on dunes. They seem loosely related to erratic blocs or other ground features like barkans (crescent shaped dunes). The geological context is a huge landslide which descended from the lower slopes of Olympus Mons, featuring large erratic blocks peeking through a flat surface. There are dunes everywhere. There are no young craters visible, and the few old-looking ones appear eroded, and even on a pod, suggesting that the flat surface would result of active wind erosion in a soft material, leaving some large hard boulders standing up by contrast. Some crescent troughs also speak for an intense wind erosion.
The patterns themselves appear like darker patches painted on this surface, often showing organized moire patterns. Given that on Mars everything turns to the same red in only some years, from atmospheric falls of iron oxide dust, the moire must be actively maintained by some process repelling the dust from falling here.
The best candidates remain a magnetic field, which would orient dust grains or guide their fall, so that they produce the moire patterns in a global way. I do not see any other process able to organise matter particles on such a distance without any material contact. There is no such thing nowhere else on Mars, hinting at the source being some iron asteroid fallen here into some very specific conditions. However the magnetic maps of Mars show no strong magnetic field here, so that if any magnetic field is involved it must be very local and bipolar (in order to cancel, when seen from orbit) . A similar mechanism is evoked to explain the Reiner Gamma strange features on the surface of the Moon.
Some dark dunes are also visible, like the one observed in situ by the Spirit rover. Why they are not reddened by the red dust which pervades everything on Mars is also a mystery, together with their coexistence with dunes of other materials. Olivine could form the dark patterns, however it is not magnetic, contrarily to the red dust. So the patterns would rather be a lack of red dust.
Lycus Sulci spots are visible on Google Mars in the surrounding of 17°25'56" N and 143°17'20''O. These coordinates point precisely on a dune which appears «painted» half clear half darker by one of the moire pattern. Looking at the moire requires to zoom back, and further back for the entire structure.
It is remarkable that no other information is available on the Internet, on one of the strangest Mars enigma.
The assertion as what the pattern would be like «painted» over the dunes being novel, I need to prove it. I do so with a extract of the previous image (Location: 17.43°N 216.69°E):
This image clearly shows two large dark moire from top to bottom, and some smaller ones in the right top corner.
This image is the same than previous, but I applied a contour search, which suppresses the colour of the ground, while keeping the dune edges. It clearly appears that there are as many of them in clear or in dark regions.
This time I applied a lightness threshold: lighter dunes are above the threshold and appear clear, darker dunes are under the threshold and appear black. The moire patterns are now very visible, which proves that there is an actual difference of color of the dunes themselves, depending on if they are on a dark or a clear moire.
This rules out theories as what the patterns would be formed by erosions of layers with different colours. If so, the dunes would all be of the same colour. Clearly some material has to be deposited in a differential way on the dunes. (I claim precedence for this explanation, from May 2014).
Added in April 2017: An explanation emerges if we look at the surroundings. There indeed are clear dunes, and very dark dunes. Both kinds of dunes were observed closely by the various rovers, Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity. The clear ones are formed of a fine dust of ferruginous quartz (the ochre Martian dust which covers everything), while the dark ones are formed of olivine. They are active, especially the dark ones. That the wind sorts the minerals and accumulate them in different dunes is not the least mystery of Mars. In the case of Lycus Sulci, there is a third material, medium gray. In some places, this material forms its own dunes, or veneers. But it seems that the wind also blows it as a thin layer of dust (This also happens with olivine). It is this thin layer which shows the moires. This photo of Hirise very clearly shows grey moirés «painted» on dark blue olivine dunes. In this picture, the olivine forms very small dunes.
I proposed a magnetic explanation, if for example the grey mineral is magnetite. But there could also be an optical explanation, if the mineral has crystals reacting differently depending on the angle of light, for example mica. A third explanation would be related to the turbulence of the wind, which would explain the relations between the moires and reliefs.
It must be noted that the coordinates that I gave on Google Mars are now false. This speaks volumes about the difficulty for an amateur to work with such sources.
Similar moires also exist in Noctis Labyrinthus, or are visible on Google Mars at 7°34'47.21"S 92°49'36.85"W. It is, however, difficult to say whether this is the same phenomenon or not. Especially I have not found a place where the moires are clearly on top of the dunes.
Added December 2022: various science works, and observations after the dust storm in 2020, confirm the idea that the ochre dust which covers everything on Mars does not hold on Olympus Maculae. The mini-tornadoes quickly remove it, recreating the dark spots. One of the proposed explanation would be hydrothermal.
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Statute: unknown, maybe natural.
Description: The Mary Celeste is a ship which was found on December 5, 1872, empty of any crew or passenger, without any visible evidences or trace of what happened.
Explanation: None known. A lot of confusion exists around the details of the discovery, from media disparaging (already), or further fictional stories. The crew apparently left the ship in a hurry, in the middle of the ocean, but nothing ever allowed to understand why. The most natural-looking theory is that they feared an explosion, following a fire. Some suppose an UFO hijacking, but no evidence goes in such ways. Numerous intriguing details come in facts from a fiction book inspirited by this case. The most detailed sources seem to be here (in the notes)
There are numerous similar affairs, with more or less identified causes. They gave rise to rumours like the Bermudas Triangle.
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Status:Medias lies and boosting disinformation.
Description: Some archaeology fiction authors claimed that the Mayan calendar predicted «the end of the world as we know it» in December 23, 2012. A panic rocked the television, media and governments, while this date was getting close...
Explanation: The date given is just a «round number» in the Mayan calendar (such as the 1000 year in Europe, which was also the subject of doomsday predictions). There is no Maya document, among archaeologists as well as among neo-Mayas, describing a particular event for this date.
This rumor in facts appeared years before, and then it fell into oblivion, from the total lack of any Maya document to support it. It would have disappeared on its own well before 2012, if there was not an huge media bashing about it. It is interesting to note that the said media claimed that this prophecy had a broad movement of believers in this prophecy, while they were the only ones to talk about it.
The more gullible finally were... the French government, who went so far as prohibiting any access to the Bugarach puech (a remarkable mountain in the Pyrénées), arguing that thousands of believers would come here to take refuge. Of course absolutely nothing happened here on this day, and the only ones to attend at Bugarach were hordes of journalists, trapped in their own lies. A video of the non-event was published by the French right-wing newspaper «Libération», and then removed, to avoid the shame. But it was put back on Youtube. Looking for info on the Internet, I found that similar things happened in the United States, where authorities feared that mass suicide would take place, saying that it «already happened» with UFO cults (references please, gentlemen). All this is a very bad forerunner of what would happen if there was a real catastrophe... or a real extraterrestrial contact.
To be accurate, the idea of closing Bugarach comes from the Miviludes, the french official organism for fighting cults. In doing so, they rather contributed at creating a myth of a vast cult phenomena justifying more controls on people, instead of clarifying the genuine issues.
Added march 2015: Reading more media on the Bugarach lies, some mention up top 20,000 cultists all over the year visiting the mountain... just «forgetting» to mention that this beautiful and interesting place is a very popular destination for tourists, mountaineers and speleologists! This is how they make themselve «see» 20,000 cultists when there are probably none. Google Earth shows Bugarach in details, but no reference to any cultist activity here. On the Google 10 first replies, the only cultish result on Bugarach is owned by free.fr, one of the first French Internet providers!
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Statute: Probably natural. Although spectacular and unique.
Description: A cave shows square shapes, often presented as artificial. Photos show square blocks with faults, and no concretion.
Explanation: We do not find on Internet any science study of this place, even not a geology context. It could be an extreme form of lapiaz, or even a fault in granite. The «smooth» surfaces clearly are the result of faulting.
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Statute: probably natural.
Description: Ancient constructions involve the handling of enormous weights, cutting hard rocks, etc. which seem impossible with the means of the time. This is often interpreted as the manifestation of parapsychological powers, or extraterrestrial interventions.
Explanation: Without excluding this possibility, there is no evidence today that extraordinary means were used. Rudimentary techniques are shown to be capable of carrying out this work, and Egypt had a huge working force for its pyramids, available six months a year during the flooding of the Nile. Sand-encrusted bronze wires can cut limestone rocks fairly easily, while small holes and wedges allow to easily break the largest granite blocks. The soldiers of napoleon who took the Obelisk of Luxor were only 70, with barely superior resources than the ancient Egyptians.
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Statute: Some valuable nuggets in a lot of gangue.
Description: Spontaneously, or through the use of certain techniques, some people report memories of past lives.
Explanation: The criteria for validation is obviously that an independent inquiry will check the facts that the witness reported, although he was physically unable to know them. There is a body of cases satisfying this criterion, among ordinary people, but also among some Tibetan lamas. This fact is one of the best evidence of the survival of consciousness after death, independently of the NDE.
We must however mention here the existence of a large number of cases obtained through «techniques for remembering past lives». These cases are often uncheckable, or even absurd (many more kings than peasants, memories of Atlantis). What is actually happening in these sessions of «remembering» is that the technique starts the imagination of the witness. Any normal person knows and control his imagination, and so he will immediately discard these imagination visions, and for them the technique «does not work». But people who do not know imagination, will take the appearance of these imaginary visions as the emergence of a real memory, and therefore will immediately develop a strong conviction and a strong attachment to these visions and to the technique. Strictly, this process is a dangerous mind control method, which seeks to deceive on spirituality, and of course to elicit money.
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Statute: Error, followed by ideological debate.
Description: in 1988, Dr. Jacques Benveniste announced that water could keep the properties of certain substances, after their disappearance. This would explain homeopathy.
Explanation: the original results were explained by the contamination of the surfaces of the apparatus. This should close the case. However the stubbornness of Benveniste and the proximity with alternative medicine made considered the memory of water as a pseudoscience. But note that even in this way one does not have to go too far: the magazine Science et Vie was sentenced for defamation, after falsely writing that Benveniste had defrauded.
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Statute: Unknown, probably natural.
Description: Mysterious structures are visible in some selected places on Mercury.
Explanation: none known. The structures resemble pits dug in the regolith, as if it was blown away by a jet of gas. See NASA pictures here. Since very similar structures are visible on the Moon, I reported this discussion on Ina Caldera.
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Status: Geological mystery.
Description: Moodus is a small town in Connecticut, where from immemorial times underground rumblings are occasionally heard. (Moodus means «place of the noises», in the local Indian language).
Explanation: Seismographs allowed to understand that these noises were produced, either during regional earthquakes, or by swarms of micro-earthquakes in a very localized area of a few hundreds metres wide, at around 1200 meters in depth. After years, I ended up finding on the Internet the results of a drill which was conducted across the area. See here the general map (pdf), with links toward several holes, including the one of interest, called EI1 (pdf). The terrain is complex (a former Variscan mountain heart), but the area itself (core 8, p 40 and p109 on the above core log) shows only relatively horizontal layers of gneiss (BPG in the core log), without faults or particular traits. Only remarkable fact, the drill cores were breaking in very regular 1cm thick slices when recovered. Geologists interpret this as a sign of very high stresses in the rock. Other studies conducted later on the same well say that it is now «obtured» just at the top level of the area, without specifying why (filled with debris, of cut by the movement of a fault?)
The question is why constraints from an entire continent are concentrated in a small area. Why also earthquakes are transformed into noise in this place and not elsewhere. Scientists lean toward fault movements, without however being able to tell which one (or several) is implied.
My hypothesis is that the area would be a vast monolith of gneiss, the one the unique drilling went through. We must be aware that, about everywhere in the world, the underground rocks are under maximum stress, at the limit of seismic rupture. However the ground deforms slowly, creeping between blocks of rock, as if the ground was a soft substance. This usually prevents shocks. At Moodus, however, these shifts may not occur inside the monolith. The surrounding terrain would then be forced around, which requires changes in direction. These changes produce sliding and fracturing of the surrounding blocks: the micro-earthquakes. These micro-earthquakes occurring on a smaller scale than ordinary earthquakes, they would generate higher frequencies, therefore more easily audible. It would be such a movement which may have sealed the drilling, on the upper side of the monolith. Regional earthquakes could also trigger micro-earthquakes, by relaxing the constraints. It would be interesting to see if similar noises would not be heard around other known monoliths, but to my knowledge the case of Moodus would be unique. (I claim antecedence for this hypothesis, from July 2014)
The town of Moodus also has a cave carved in solid granite (it is not a cave of granitic chaos). This is normally impossible, unless we had here a big tender xenolithe carved by erosion. There are also dry stone constructions of Amerindian origin, the whole involved in many local legends, with notably a carbuncle (garnet) found in the cave by early settlers, and lost since. The presence of such a mineral confirms the thesis of a xenolithe.
On Google Earth the place is grayed in a sinister way.
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Statute:Unknown, to explore, possible non-human artifact.
Description: during fighting in 1944, Antonin Horak, a Slovak resistant captain, found in a cave in the Tatra Mountains an unknown structure, a large black smooth cylinder, artificial in appearance, with a low noise similar to a turbine. His geological skills (mining engineer) and personality make of him a credible witness. Taking refuge in France, then in the United States, he contacted Alen Hynek, but the cold war prevented the explorations. Only recently (2010), two explorers, the American Ted Phillips (appointed by Allen Hynek) and the Slovak Walter Pavlis (local speleologist), claimed independently that they found the cave, with traces of the passage of Horak, but not yet the structure. They are since silent.
Explanation: This object, if it exists, does not match anything known. The stake of this story is that the Moonshaft might be an ancient artificial structure. It is the best known today candidate for a «paleo-artifact», i.e. an object left in a former visit to Earth by an extraterrestrial civilization. Such objects, if they exist, are probably rare, but at least they are much easier to catch than UFOs. And if we catch one, it is a sure proof of the existence of space visits. However this remains entirely speculative as long as it has not been found and scientifically studied. The stake justifies to unlock financial means. If the discovery is confirmed, the object must be before be protected from censorship or degradation, in order to be studied scientifically, and the results published, whatever they may be.
The exact position of the cave of the Moonshaft is known only to a few people, who did not published it. It would be something like 49°13'40"N and 20°40'00"E, plus or minus one or two kilometres around. On Google Earth, the place is blurred and cloudy. Anyway nothing tells its presence in the landscape. In a first publication by Horak in 1965 in an American review on caving, the NSS, he gave a very different position, to avoid that the Soviets could find and destroy the structure. Thus the position above could still be false for a few kilometres.
Update April 2021
Although more discreet, searches are continuing.
The main new is that wikipedia has good factual pages on the topic (in English and in Slovak, also see the archive in English and the archive in slovak, in case wikipedia guerilla sceptics censors the pages)
Unfortunately we did not advanced much on the localisation of the cave, the one of Ted Phillips remaining the most interesting… if he left instructions after his passing away. A speleologist, Erik Batysta, also found a cave with artefacts suggesting the presence of Horak, with also a collapsed continuation (Lavay Martin, Měsíční šachta). It could be the same as Ted, but this is not sure. In any way, to go beyond the collapse would need costly and not discreet works. So the Moonshaft is still waiting for its time.
Other searches were undertaken by Ivan Mackerle, Michal Brumlík, and the Museum of Slovak Karst (Slovak Museum of Nature Protection and Speleology, or Slovenské múzeum ochrany prírody a jaskyniarstva, Liptovsky Mikulas town).
The geologist Walter Pavliš found a cave with also artefacts suggesting the presence of Horak, but no continuation.
Andre Estival would have received from Horak the same informations as Ted on the placement of the cave.
Not sure it is related, but the authors Jaroslav Mareš and Erik Vojtek found a curious geological landform, that they called the «rock eye» («kamenné oko» in Slovak) on the Kráľova hoľa mount, near the villages of Valkovna, Sumiac and Telgart. The relationship with the Moonshaft is that here took place fights matching the description by Horak. My contribution here is that I formally identified the exact place: 48°53'38"; N, 20°7'8" E. I even found a second one, 2,2kms more west. These landshapes look very much like the result of glacier erosion.
Added January 2022: Given the potential for discovery, I continue to keep a watch on this story, performing Internet searches from time to time. Indeed there is a small but constant flow of more or less relevant news. The last one I found is a Youtube video by Hank Meyer of a conference by Ted Phillips, which this time places the cave squarely in the High Tatras, in an area of a few kilometers centered on the Baranie Rohy, 49°12'4.85 "N 20°11'49.94 "E. However, it is difficult to pinpoint the location more precisely from the video, and some of the images do not seem to match. However, he talks about three caves, apparently freely accessible according to his photos, showing artifacts which could have been left by Horak. But not the passage that he would have taken, perhaps blocked intentionally. He speaks of «bombing» during the war, which is implausible.
He also mentions two other cases where people saw similar objects descending from the sky and sink into the ground, one in Siberia, one in Yugoslavia, plus a similar account in the 17th century in the Tatras. At this point, it may seem difficult to trust so many incredible accounts, all of which would have been reported to only one person. However, Ted Phillips had an international reputation as a UFO traces researcher, backed by scientists like Allen Hynek. This is how Horak found him. But he also mentioned many «secret» cases that he could not publish. It even is possible that he found the Moonshaft, but intentionally kept it hidden. We still hope that he left notes of all this information before he died.
Added in March 2023: A little probable but very interesting hypothesis considers two facts: 1) the elongated shape of the first interstellar asteroid, 'oumuamua, and 2) two interstellar meteorites showed to be very solid, more than iron meteorites. In the second case, astronomers think at a special class of meteorites, formed in kilonovas, and made of refractory metals like platinum, tantalum, etc. My addition here is that, in some eddies, those materials may solidify in long rods or hollow cylinders, as big as 'oumuamua. Then if such a thing falls on Earth, it may survive the atmospheric re-entry, and plant itself in the ground, appearing as the Moonshaft.
Added in March 2023: I am starting to feel a curious impression. Several teams already went looking for the Moonshaft after Horak's informations. But each time they are to find it, they start saying they cannot. A possibility is that they actually found it, but they cannot speak. We can imagine several reasons. The main is that such an object, whatever it is, is a precious scientific patrimony, which must be protected against destruction or repression.
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Statute: unexplained, probably natural.
Description: Many other air phenomena, distinct from the UFOs, but quite as mysterious, seem to occur, like this enormous mushroom cloud abruptly appeared one day off Alaska. Samples showed no radioactivity.
Explanation: none known for sure, probably meteorite or volcano.
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Statute: Explained, acoustic phenomenon.
Description: Low thunder rumbles are sometimes heard even by fair weather. They occur at intervals of a few minutes to one hour, apparently in favourable weather conditions. Oddly enough, I never heard of this phenomenon, although I noticed it throughout my life, from about 1969.
Explanation: In the version 1 of this book, I mentioned that I myself often hear low bangs or rumbles, curiously distorted. I had tried an acoustic explanation based on air layer forming waves, which would sometimes focus natural sounds. But I since noticed that these bangs always occurred ten or twenty seconds before the noise of an airliner. Then the explanation is simple: knowing that these aircrafts move near the sound velocity (Mach 0.8), then they form a cone of reinforced acoustic waves, without however forming a true shock wave. This spike of reinforced sound waves can then be heard some seconds before the normal sound. And too bad for the journalist, whom I reported these noises, who was «explaining them rationally» by the bangs of the Concord plane… 1000 kms away. To be rational, dude, it is an approach, not a rhetoric trick.
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Statute: Proven, recognized by official science, many ongoing searches.
Description: Individuals being found in clinical death, but saved, relate memories of what appears to be the beginning of a life after death. This happens in a variety of situations, the most common being a simple cardiac arrest, or other situations involving flat electroencephalogram.
Explanation: These facts imply two things: 1) that consciousness can exist without the support of the brain (cases with flat EEG) 2) that it can influence the brain, even if it is completely inactive. This excludes many pseudoscientific theories, either «psychoanalytical» («unconscious refusal» of death) or pathological («Fireworks» of neurotransmitters, similar to LSD).
The only downside is that, by nature, this phenomenon can tell only about the early stages of a possible life after death. So there is no evidence that the visions of the NDE reflect the true beginning of another life. After the Bardo Thödol it would be only an intermediate phase, where we have symbolic visions. Some advanced meditations (difficult) allow to experience certain aspects of the NDE, without taking any risk.
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Statut: 2022: increasing, backed by serious sources. Possibility of important discovery.
Description: (Added October 30, 2017) During several UFO close encounters on military bases, nuclear weapons would have been deactivated.
Explication: The story looks as if coming out of a site of conspiracy nutters, but we often hear it these days. Cases reportedly occurred in the United States and in England (including in the famous and well-documented Rendlesham case). A quick search on the Internet actually finds several mentions in the ufology sites (archives of the former NICAP) or in the press (article on CBS). On the other hand I did not find mention of it on the fact check sites.
Despite this abundance of quotations, after several hours of checks on the Internet I am hardly more advanced. One of the most discussed cases is the one of «The Malmstrom AFB UFO/Missile Incident»: on the CUFON website, on the NOUFORS website. Ten minuteman missiles would have gone offline in a few seconds, while a light was stationed above the entrance of the base. However, the wikipedia discussion page presents this observation as an exaggeration due to the «investigations» of Robert Hastings, a name that I actually found as the provider of most of the «sources» (or his key witness Robert Salas). The 2022 addition under points toward another witness: the reporter Babak Taghvaee, Iran. (Original text, suppressed:
a single witness is a strong reminiscent of the case of Bud Hopkins and his imaginary construction of a vast abduction phenomenon, chapter VII-2). In more, with its anti-UFO bias, wikipedia is hardly more credible than Bud Hopkins. Indeed, if, as they say, only four minuteman were neutralized instead of ten, then this does not question the inexplicable hard core. Therefore we are staying in the ad-hominem polemic, instead of discussing of facts, from the lack of independent sources.
Other sources cite documents published by the CIA, supposedly safer. But it is difficult to find something in their lists, which are only scanned papers, not readable by search engines. The Nicap list shows cases in Russia and China. If anyone knows more about any of these sources independent of Robert Hastings, please let us know.
The reason I'm talking about this story is that, if it is true, then it would be the most convincing proof of a superior intelligence behind the UFOs. Of course, no army or government comments on the case (which strongly entices in thinking that it would be true). Yet it is imperative that they do so: if this story is only a rumor, then only their denial can put an end to it. But if it is correct, then it is an imperative moral duty to make it known that another intelligence is there. And besides, that it tries to protect us from these weapons of madness.
Added in October 2022: This time I have a source independent from Robert Hastings, and not very suspect of conspiracy: an American site of realpolitic, quoting the iranian reporter Babak Taghvaee, which mentions clearly unknown and unexplainable objects around the three Iranian atomic bombs factories. Their characteristics clearly make of them «UFOs»: able of hovering, flying at Mach 10, above the atmosphere, emitting blue light, able to block the electronics of Iranian planes trying to intercept them. One of these planes even exploded «mysteriously».
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Statute: Natureal phenomenon, disinformation.
Description: (Added December 15, 2017) We sometime see images in random shapes. Conspiracy nutters then take these images for the real thing, while the media speak of mental disease.
Explanation: This is a natural phenomenon: the neurons of the visual cortex alway try to identify shapes, and they sometime have «false positives». Strictly speaking, to recognise a cartoon character from some stroke of pen, is a pareidolia.
The most well known pareidolia is the «face on Mars». Not only it is very realistic, but in more it really looks like a Greek warrior, see like Ares himself. When this image appeared in 1976, on low resolution photographies, it was possible to wonder if it was a statue. But since, better photos excluded this hypothesis. This interpretation still stayed around, as a conspiracy theory, or as boosting disinformation against UFOs and extraterrestrials.
Numerous sources call pareidolia a «psychological phenomenon» (meaning: anomaly, madness). This is a lie, of reducing disinformation this time: pareidolia is a neurological phenomenon, false positives caused by the normal working of the visual cortex, without any relationship nor with psychological troubles neither with psychiatry troubles.
On the other hand, to believe that a pareidolia is real is actually confabulation, see a psychiatry symptom. And to say that it is real is a lie or a manipulation. The most notorious case is the «lizard on Mars», widely popularised by the media, in order to normalise other psychiatry troubles such as the negation of climate change.
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Statute: exaggeration, then boosting disinformation.
Description: in the 1980 years it was claimed that some Philippine healers were able to magically remove tumours from the body of their patient, with their bare hands. They exhibited blood and tissues removed from inside the body of the patient, while the skin showed no wound.
Explanation: I know two persons who went in the Philippines to study this method, with a master called Sony. What they found was a local Christian-Animist religion, that they called Baba nam, practising healing prayers and healing rituals. Although in France they were rumoured to be able to perform bare hand surgery, when I precisely asked the question to my two direct witnesses, they had to admit that they never actually saw this in the Philippines. So that we have to conclude that, if even it exists, bare hand surgery is very likely only a mise en scène, for ritual purposes. If people had such magical powers for real, we can safely assume that they would not be unnoticed.
On the other hand, wikipedia says that bare hand surgery is widely employed. If I believe my direct witnesses, I must then admit that wikipedia lies by exaggeration, like in the Bugarach affair and many others.
Wikipedia also adds in the very first sentence that bare hand surgery is «a fraud». While admitting two lines later that it produces «placebo effect». When lies ant truth as so deeply intertwined, we need to carefully unravel the truth:
In the hypothesis that such practices are not merely intended to extort money from patients, then the bare hand surgery mise en scène is actually a healing ritual. And healing rituals are well known to modern science for producing real parapsychological effects. Oh no no, they will not admit it, but instead they call this «placebo effect», and invoke despising ad-hoc «psychological» explanations to avoid recognizing heretical facts.
Even if placebo involves lie, it is widely considered as a legitimate help to any sick person. For this reason, scientific physicians in modern western hospitals often make placebos with high flown chemical names, and even sometimes placebo surgery. But since it is atheistic, wikipedia does not rise to call this a fraud.
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Status: likely explained, natural phenomenon.
Description: The Pioneer interplanetary probes showed a small but unexplained acceleration. The proposed explanations were a ninth planet, a non-Newtonian gravitation, dark matter, and others.
Explanation: (Added August 2018) A careful analysis of the radiative balance of the probe shown that it emits more photons in one direction, producing the acceleration in the opposite direction. The interesting conclusions are that there is no hidden mass in the Solar System, nor unknown planet neither dark matter.
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Status: legend, conspiracy theory.
Description: A planet which should reappear, one of the often invoked causes for the supposed disaster from 2012.
Explanation: Although new dwarf planets have been discovered recently, they are on distant orbits, and none can approach Earth. An extrasolar planet could appear, but this is very unlikely. And it did not happened anyway in 2012. Will the authors of books of false prophecies will repay their readers?
Recently (March 2014) the WISE telescope excluded any body of this kind into the distant solar system, as well as any body of the «Nemesis» type. For comparison, it allowed to discover the Luhman 16 brown dwarves pair at 6.5 light years, that is much farther than the supposed Nemesis. But they are not threatening Earth.
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Statute: Explained, officially checked.
Description: A luminous spiral appeared in the night sky in Norway, before dissipating. Numerous photos are circulating. As usual, the media see here UFOs, Youtube see interdimentionnal vortexes, etc.
Explanation: During a test, a Bulava Russian missile had a nozzle anomaly in the third stage. As the exhaust was shooting laterally, the missile started to rotate, cancelling any thrust. This made that, as the missile and its exhaust travelling together in the same speed, the exhaust was forming the spiral around the missile.
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Statute: False mystery, perhaps organized propaganda or social experiment.
Description: Numerous youtube videos claim that people hear strange sounds coming from the sky, in various parts of the world.
Explanation: If there were so numerous cases, we would hear these sounds in the physical world, not just in Youtube. If there was something censored, it would be censored in Youtube too.
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Statute: No interest, belief or scam.
Description: After various numerological systems, numbers obtained by transpositions of the letters and digits of our name, date of birth, etc. would have a strong symbolic load, influencing our characters, our behaviour, our destiny, etc. Some make of numerology a basis of spirituality.
Explanation: There is today no known theory or facts allowing to give any value of one or the other numerological system.
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Statute: Resolved, false mystery, photographic artifact.
Description: On movies or photos taken at night (sometimes in infra-red) appear clear circles overlapping the image.
Explanation: It is well known that bright lights, even off-screen, can produce various artifacts on the image. But also, photographers are not always aware of the presence of insects, dust, etc. in the field of vision (I know, it happened to me). If they use of a flash, these objects are then strongly lighted, and in the same time blurry, taking the appearance of clear circles. In the so-called films of orbs, their fluttering insect-like fly is clearly recognizable. In addition, in recent movies shot with devices with a much more compact optics, the «orbs» are much sharper, and they appear for what they are: mosquitoes, moths, etc. But these images are still presented as «UFOs»... At least a reproducible observation, ha ha ha!
Added in June 2017: A novelty is the «tubes of light», which are perfectly explained with the new cameras, capable of flashing in pose B. Then, insects, or even the fog drops of the photographer's breath, appear as light trails, instead of the classical fixed orbs.
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Statute: Very trouble.
Description: A group of people are gathered around a table, each with a finger on an overturned glass or planchette. This glass can slide on the table, where an alphabet is drawn with two boxes «yes» and «no». People invoke a disembodied spirit, and ask him questions. This spirit is then meant to guide the glass toward the right answers.
Explanation: Without excluding possible real cases, the causes of error are very numerous. It is very easy for a person to push the glass without being spotted, unconsciously or for deliberate manipulation. Other participants then «confirm», as much unconsciously. In addition the meeting often turns to the psychodrama, or to uncontrolled laughter, which of course disgusts all the spirits around. Ideally, a scientific study should get answers that the participants cannot know. This phenomenon was studied by most renowned scientists, at the end of the 19th century; but they could not get any serious results at the time. Today, parapsychologists do not study this phenomenon, preferring other more controllable ones, without the group psychodrama dimension.
Some religions consider the ouija as a mean to be manipulated by demons. Without necessarily accepting literally such an assertion, we can still recognize that the demons do not need to exist to harm us (chapter V-10). Anyway a group of practitioners believing the replies of the ouija will necessarily be manipulated by the most perfidious among the group.
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Statute: Scientifically proven, but hardly repeatable. Materially unexplainable, proof of the existence of consciousness independently of the body.
Description: A person perceives his body from the outside. He can then wander elsewhere, far away, and bring back from this journey memories and perceptions of other places that she could not physically see.
Explanation: The phenomenon occurs during an NDE or a sleep paralysis (this happened to me once). Its rarity makes the scientific study difficult. However some people seem to be «gifted» for this, and this allowed for controlled laboratory tests. This phenomenon strongly advocates a consciousness existing outside the brain.
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Statute: explained, natural phenomena.
Description: In the cold climate lands, frozen a part of the year, there are a series of regularly aligned mounds, or stony areas without earth, etc. The literature of mysteries even claims that they grow...
Explanation: Water has an almost unique property: below 4 ° C, it becomes less and less dense as it cools. This can lead to unusual convection patterns. These patterns then create regular structures, called Bénard cells (note 33) in the lands which regularly freeze and thaw each year.
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Status: Urban legend.
Description: In the years 1945-50, a ship of the U.S. Navy would have created a space-time portal, using the latest discoveries of Einstein physics. The crew would have returned transformed, with strange powers, or were killed in weird ways.
Explanation: There is no factual evidence of this history. The invoked physics does not stand either. Finally, if the U.S. government was able to do such things, it would certainly not have just closed the case, from fear. When we see how, at the same time, it deliberately sacrificed the offspring of soldiers by exposing them to radioactive fallout, it was certainly not «afraid» of losing crews.
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Statute: common experience, physically unexplainable, proof of consciousness existing independently of matter.
Description: People have the premonition of an event, or an unpredictable encounter, of a hidden danger. This can happen in the ordinary consciousness, or in the irruption of a special state, or in a premonitory dream.
Explanation: of course the premonition is real only if nothing allowed to predict the event. For example, to see in a dream a person we never saw, and meet her the next day, is a premonition.
This phenomenon happens often enough to be considered common (many experience it at least once in their life). This is probably the most common proof of the existence of parapsychological phenomena, and of a consciousness which can influence matter. Recent public cases relate to soldiers in Iraq, who had the «gut feeling» of the presence of an explosive trap (IED). I personally have several premonitions, dreams on people that I was to meet, or invisible dangers.
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Statut: Unknown astronomy event.
Description: An acute excess of radioactivity is visible in growth rings of trees for these years, in Japan.
Explanation: The excess of carbon14 and berylium10 shows an unusual shower of interstellar cosmic rays. A supernova event is suspected. See article on space.com.
Added Dec 2022: it was a global event, usually known as the Miyake event. It was accompanied with a large augmentation of Carbon 14. See on wikipedia and on Phys.org. Other similar events were found earlier, so that they are thought to be caused by huge solar flares.
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Statute: A credible natural explanation is available.
Description: Strange light and dark patterns are visible in a place on the surface of the Moon, forming swirls and spiralling forms. See here, at 7°36 -59°
Explanation: The place has a strong enough magnetic field, able to form a local ionosphere. Thus, it directs the solar wind in some places, and protects other places from it. As the solar particles darken the moon surface, some places are protected from darkening.
This is interesting to compare with Lycus Sulci on Mars, where similar patterns appear on the ground, although in a much smaller scale.
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Statute: Unexplained, crucial information not tested.
Description: Ross128 is a red dwarf star close to the sun (10.9 light years). In April and May 2017, a campaign of observations with the Arecibo telescope, yielded ten minutes of unusual radio signals, «pulses of variable frequency». This signal has been dubbed signal weird!», By analogy with the signal wow!
Explanation: Not clear. Astronomers first announced that this signal is unlike anything known, and that its spectrum showed a spread typical of distant space sources. Then, as usual, other astronomers indicated that the signal was «probably» due to a geostationary satellite in the same area of the sky. However nobody tried to listen the satellite in question, to see if the signal matches.
Ross128 is a flares star, which can emit ten thousand times more X-rays than the Sun. Which rather pleads against the presence of life. However, an Earth-sized planet has been found since in the habitable zone. Ross128 is therefore a privileged target for the exobiologists and SETI, especially since it is very close and thus easy to observe.
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Description: In a dry Lake in Death Valley, California, called Racetrack Playa, stones move, leaving streaks in the dried mud from the bottom.
Explanation: The classical explanation is that a sheet of ice forms on the surface of the water, catching the stones and dragging them. As the Lake fills up rarely, the phenomenon took long before being actually observed with a webcam.
The main place is visible on Google Earth at 36°68'13''N 117°56'27''W. However the traces are too small to be visible on Google Earth.
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Statute: unexplained. Investigated as Extraterrestrial Intelligence signal.
Description: SETI spotted three times an unknown signal from the same spot.
Explanation: none known.
There is an ongoing discussion on the supposed Doppler shift of the signal. In each case, the signal started from the same frequency, and after shifted as an emitter on a rotating planet would do. However an emitter on a planet would each time start at a different frequency. My opinion is that the hypothesis used by the SETI engineers may be wrong (such as an emitter fixed on a planet, and shifting in frequency without correction). These hypothesis would lead them to miss signals behaving otherwise (If extraterrestrials emitted toward Earth, they would correct their frequency)
Also, given the very hight number of SETI work units, the most improbable coincidences become a certainty.
This said, SHGb02+14a is still one of the most probable extraterrestrial intelligent activity that SETI found to date.
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Statute: Paleoartifact candidates, possible natural explanation.
Description: In the «Death Valley», a hardly known region of Siberia, testimonies speak of metallic looking structures strewn in the forest
Explanation: None known. The testimonies date back the first half of the Twentieth Century, and the persons are dead since. The structures would have a cauldron shape of about ten metres. They would have a hole allowing to enter in, where it would alway be warm. Some sank in the permafrost. Some unscrupulous authors add their boosting disinformation, saying that «scientists recognized the objects are real». In facts, no science examination took place, since nobody found back these objects.
Indeed, the place has a very difficult access, and one would need to explore hundreds of kilometres of taiga, where the view is only at some metres. A costly expedition, then, with an uncertain science return... although, if these objects exist, they would be proved paleoartifacts.
Of course, we get no coordinate on the Internet. I still managed to find the place, thanks to a site of local guides, who organise «cauldrons hunts»... with no warranty to find any!
Start from the mining town of Mirny (Мирный), 62°32'N, 114°E (airport). From here, the local guides can rent cars and harware. Follow the road to the North West, until a bridge at 63°41'38"N, 112°26'22"E. This bridge passes over the Olguidakh river (Олгуйдах, which would mean «place where there are cauldrons» in local yakut language) that one must follow. After, it is Siberia, manage yourself... The only transport means are boat or ULM (making sure that you can take off again). There does not seem to be more accurate information, and of course the zone is blurred in Google Earth.
Well, ma contribution is to say that, if somebody wants to put any effort in this story, the less costly method would be to buy high resolution satellite photos of the region, rather than starting some dahu hunt with more than uncertain results. Choose a picture taken in winter, at sunrise or sunset. In this way we have some chance to find objects the size of a house, between the trees, thanks to the shadow. If somebody finds something, then a travel on location may be worth it. Thanks to publish the coordinates.
At this point, since there are several additions, I reorganized them in a mini-blog, in chronological order:
Added March 2016: This story follow the general pattern of legends built on real facts. Yes, but which real facts? For information, the same sources also describe a «war between titans», with balls of fire in the sky, thundering noises, wind flattening the trees... This much look like the Tunguska event, that the same witness also saw. So the stories seem accurate, although they can still contain very gross misinterpretations. For this reason it would be interesting to know how they say «copper» and «metal» in the local Yakut language, to check for possible mistranslations. If so, the «cauldrons» could be much more mundane objects, like rock formations.
Added March 2016: It is also worth noting that the region has been extensively surveyed, in the search for diamond mines. In the non-blurred areas near the mining towns, a grid of straight paths is well visible in the forest, and sometimes it is visible in the blurred parts too. So if there is really something, it was probably found by the authorities.
Added September 2016: large swaths of interesting terrain is visible in the Michelin maps site, with enough resolution to clearly see a car or the power lines pylons. Yet the zone to examine is huge, and it will need weeks of work, so that some organisation is clearly needed. It is centered at 63°23'30"N 112°14'E, and extends from the road (east) to the Olguidakh and Ahtaranda rivers to the west
Added in October 2016: mystery solved?
I examined the above satellite photos, not systematically, but with enough persistence to spot several human artefacts in the lower valley of the Olguidakh and Ahtaranda (63°3'18.26"N 112°21'25.95"E, 63°21'58.00"N 112°6'43.25"E, 63°22'30.58"N 111°59'8.35"E, 63°26'1.14"N 111°51'27.25"E, not counting the electric pylons near the road). At this scale, these artefacts are clearly identifiable, so that 10m «cauldrons» could also be spotted without any possible confusion. So, if they were numerous, I could not miss them. Which was not the case.
However I ended to notice something odd. In this virgin landscape, all the valley floors are covered with swamps, and thus it is not astonishing to find thousands of ponds with rounded shapes. But it is more astonishing to find some on slopes, and even on top of the hills. There are some tens of them, with rounded or oval shapes, 10 to 50m wide, in the hills surrounding the lower valleys of the Olguidakh and Ahtaranda, precisely. On the photos they appear as small clearings, with often spots of different colour, telling a wet ground:
(These images come from the site viamichelin.com. Satellite not indicated)
Some even show a small pond:
(63° 9'45.86"N 112°5'48.52"E)
The most accessible is clearly on a hill, at only four kilometres by boat from the Chernyshevsky (Чернышевский) dam, which places it within reach of simple tourists (see higher for renting guides and gear):
(63°2'38.76"N 112°20'55.23"E. The grey zone at bottom left is a rocky hill top)
Would these clearings be the famous cauldrons? It is possible that the locals called them that way, from their shape. In more, observers of nature could not miss to notice their abnormal position. Hence probably the legends. And the conclusion of these legends, to explain that we no longer see them: they «sunk in the permafrost», once their protection role completed. Precisely impossible, as on the hills the ground is rocky.
Anyway, these «cauldrons» look quite natural, and really poor paleoartefact candidates. Unless to add a large dose of supposition: that the metal was looted, or removed by the soviet censorship, or that the structures really retracted underground.
If they are really natural, remains to explain their curious position. One of the hypothesis is linked to the permafrost: the later forms a waterproof layer. However the water under melts, from the geothermal heat. Then the «cauldrons» would be geothermal resurgences. Where the temperature could be «always warm», a very relative concept in Siberia. Maybe even these resurgences would change place, explaining that we also find such clearings partly grown with taiga.
Another hypothesis would be a peculiar rock at these precise places. For instance some ultramafic rocks like serpentinite (here and here) are toxic to plants. The surrounding rock may actually take a cauldron shape. There is a hint at this: the two rivers show, in a dozen of places, curious «kinks», which could be harder rocks, for instance volcanic pipes:
There is no data on the geological context, just that this is ancient terrain (presence of kimberlite pipes) looking like crystalline or metamorphic rock.
I claim precedence for this discovery of the «cauldrons» candidates, and these three possible explanations, starting October 1st 2016.
All these hypothesis can be checked only on the spot.
Added in October 2016: There are other zones swarming with these curious clearings, such as 63°52'59"N 111°58'6"E, and others more to the north, or around.
Added in October 2016: I found what could be the original russian text, seemingly the first to appear on the net, dating from «late 1990» (a precious information, in a case where all the publications quote each other). It translates well with Google translator: Looking Vilyuiskaya Death Valley, by Vadim Chernobrov
Added in April 2017: This document abundantly mentions the Vilyuy river (Вилюй), which is quite simply the one which goes through the Chernyshevsky dam (Чернышевский 63° 1'57.18"N 112°28'15.72"E). The problem is that it is very long, since its spring very far west of the dam, until it joins the Lena (64°21'58.68"N 126°24'59.47"E). The text however mentions a series of flood plains, which seems to match the lake formed today by the dam. If the objects exist, they would be today under the water. This makes maintenance times of the lake a very good opportunity to search there, as anything unusual would be very easy to spot. Via Michelin offers some good quality scenes of the Vilyuy river upstream the dam lake, but they show nothing interesting... save some of these endless tracks which go through the taiga over kilometres, but these ones are new.
Added on April 2021: This study finally showed that everything started from a single source (In more Russian, not Yakut). The lack of results suggests that this source may simply be a literary fiction. Otherwise, we need to assume that all the objects were destroyed by the Soviets, and the only place where there might still be some would be in the Chernyshevsky dam lake. We then need to monitor the emptying of this lake.
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Statut: not enough studied, unexplained, probably natural.
Description: A radioastronomy experiment, the ARCADE balloon, intended to detect the heat of the first stars of our universe (shifted to the radio frequencies by the expansion of the universe) detected six times more energy than expected.
Explanation: None known.
«My» explanation (assuming the phenomenon is real and non-local) would be light produced by the re-ionisation of the interstellar gas under the influence of the same ultraviolet-rich first stars. (I claim precedence for this explanation, from May 2014).
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(Added in January 2017)
Statute: unexplained. Possibility of an extraterrestrial activity.
Description: «Taby star» is one of the strangest recent astronomy discoveries. It is a Sun-like star, which exhibits unexplained variations of luminosity. There are two categories of variations:
- An irregular decline (20%) in luminosity, traced back since the beginning of the 20th century from old astrophotographies.
- Fast dips in luminosity, about 5-20%, on timescales of some hours.
So far, the only spectral results show an ordinary star spectrum, with no excess of infrared. No spectrum was taken yet during a dip.
Explanation: none known.
The hypothesis of interest here is that these phenomena could be caused by a Dyson sphere, or more accurately a Dyson swarm (large structures in stellar orbit, built by an extraterrestrial civilisation). However a Dyson swarm would produce an excess of infrared, equivalent to the visible light absorbed. But no excess infrared was found.
More classical explanations invoke large swarms of comets.
Yet the possibility of an extraterrestrial explanation brought a rash of article in the style «it is not extraterrestrials, a rational explanation was found». The most elaborate suppose that KIC 8462852 swallowed one of its planets some centuries ago. This would have produced a heating of its surface, and we would observe today the cooling off. The short dips in luminosity would be caused by clouds of debris left in orbit. This hypothesis has the «advantage» of eliminating the extraterrestrials, but it also eliminates an element of reality: clouds in orbit would emit an excess of infrared, just as a Dyson sphere would. None is observed.
Let us instead reason rationally (true sense of rational, see chapter II-6). The dips have a slow onset and slow fading out, about 10 hours in total. But the central part is much faster, sometimes only one hour (each dip is different, and they often happen as several overlapping dips). If we admit that these dips are caused by objects moving between us and the star, then simple geometry consideration lead to:
- From the dips duration, we infer that the objects move at linear speed between 100 and 400km/s, making them orbiting very close to the star (laws of orbital speed), between 10 and 30 millions kms only.
- At this distance of the star, their temperature would be in the hundreds degrees, making a very noticeable infrared bump in the spectrum. None was found.
- At such a speed, they would orbit the star in some days or weeks, making easily noticeable patterns in the dips, at this timescale. None was found.
- From the dips curve shape, we infer that the objects are about a million kilometres wide, to entirely intercept the star disk (Interesting comparison of the dip curve would be with a Sun eclipse by the Moon). Yet they are partly transparent, to intercept only 20% of its light.
The lack of infrared rules out any object like comets, dust cloud, debris cloud, and Dyson swarm.
The only remaining extraterrestrial Intelligence object fitting the lack of infrared would be shaders, huge mirrors reflecting away the light of the star, to protect a planet, or as an energy source. Yet this is still inconsistent with the lack of period in the dips.
So that whatever causes KIC 8462852 strange behaviour is yet to be discovered, but it probably lies within the star itself. A possibility would be huge transient sun spots, or eruptions caused by a very close companion, in the process of being absorbed by the main star, probably already inside. If this is true, we could witness a nice firework before the end of the 21th century (prediction made in January 2017, see wayback machine).
Added June 15, 2021: It has recently been noticed that red giants often have regular eclipses. This implies that the eclipsing body has a diameter comparable to the one of the giant star. The explanation is that this body, a small star or a large planet, would capture some of the red giant's matter emissions. Thus, it would form an accretion disc, or a globular cloud, large enough to eclipse the giant star. How does this relate to Taby's star? This explanation does not hold, since it does not emit enough matter. However, there is another possibility: that it encountered a proplyd, a solar system in formation, still in the stage of a dark dust cloud without yet a central body. Tidal forces would have torn the proplyd apart, which would then form smaller clouds, passing in front of the star. As to the proplyd's halo, it would be responsible for the gradual fading since the 19th century. A possibility at this point is that the star forming inside the proplyd be finally revealed, in the following tens of years.
I hope that Taby's star has no inhabitants, because it would be a disaster for them, with cold spells and a massive comets bombardment.
Added January 2022: Scientists have spotted some tens of other stars which light also fluctuates in a more or less erratic way. In the case of TIC 400799224, they suppose it is a disintegrating planet. In other cases, unusual rings are considered the cause. For Tabby Star, the dimming object is still unknown, so it is too early to consider that my previous hypothesis has been confirmed or disproven.
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Statute: Proven, materially unexplainable, major parapsychological phenomenon observed in public.
Description: When a spiritually advanced person dies, the heart stops, but the body can remain for several days or even weeks without visible decomposition. This is not mummification: the body remains fresh and odorless.
Explanation: I personally witnessed this phenomenon, at the Buddhist centre «Institut Vajra Yogini» in Lavaur, France. The person, a Tibetan master named Geshe (Doctor) Lobsang Tengye, manifested this state for five days. When I saw him, his complexion was normal, and there was no smell. The case was also witnessed by the doctors and nurses, and several hundreds of visitors. Another person I knew remained in this state for nine days, according to a direct witness I know.
The Tibetan Buddhist explanation is that the person's consciousness is still present. His or her spiritual body (Vajra body) is then able to maintain the physical body in good shape, until this consciousness leaves.
Catholicism evokes similar phenomena, but far in the past.
Classical materialist science says that correct observation criteria were satisfied. But it is unable to explain this phenomenon.
We saw no skeptics trying to find a hoax. Which quite well proves that they denounce only the hoaxes, but that they keep silent on real cases, in order to make believe that there are no real cases. Anyway, it would be difficult to stage such a phenomenon in public, without the collusion of all the witnesses. But I am not part of any collusion. Nor were the many visitors from all walks of life who were freely admitted in the presence of the body. None of them denounced any staging.
From the point of view of Logical self-generation theory, the Vajra body is an experience of consciousness. Buddhist emptiness meditation (non-neurological consciousness) eventually produces a kind of «entanglement» between the Vajra body and the physical body (Chapter V-7, the «dissolution» of consciousness). The latter then receives eutropy (Chapter V-7) which maintains it in shape.
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Statute: proved, proven by official science, unexplained. Censored.
Description: some people report seeing unexplained flying objects. In some cases there are indirect physical evidence (radar recordings, photos, traces on the ground). Some cases describe meetings closer objects which look like «extraterrestrial spaceships», with «characters». There are approximately 150 cases of persons having being «hijacked» in one of these «spaceships», where they describe an impossible physics, and are subjected to biological or psychological «experiments».
Explanation: No sure one. All the hypotheses which are considered need to seriously rethink what seems to be known.
Government's scientific agencies of several countries have proven the physical reality of the phenomenon. The most common hypothesis is the extraterrestrial hypothesis, where UFOs are spacecraft, but this does not explain everything. Facing numerous inconsistencies and impossibilities of the extraterrestrial hypothesis, appeared the psychical hypothesis, where the scenario of the experience is more or less created by the mind of the witness, in a process similar to the dream, but appearing physically by some parapsychological effect. This hypothesis requires no extraterrestrials, but they may use this phenomenon to communicate. Finally the plasma hypothesis explains the UFOs and other phenomena like ball lightning by a yet unknown plasma state. This hypothesis therefore requires no unknown physics, but it also poses some problems. See Chapter VII-2 for a more detailed discussion of these hypothesis.
It is worth noting that the phenomenon is targeted by two forms of censorship, both as idiotic as pointless:
1) The CIA (Robertson Panel, 1953) has undertaken a systematic denigration of the facts (debunking), which created a culture where anyone interested in the phenomenon is ostracised, including in the official science milieu. This «debunking» continues actively today in the media, administration and official science, although they probably forgot why they do it.
2) Many self-appointed «alternative researchers» produce wacky conspiracy theories, used to ridicule or blame those who are seriously studying the UFOs (boosting disinformation). The media widely contribute to this misinformation, which also uses the tools of freedom of expression, such as the Internet.
Facing the first censorship, private organizations were still able to objectively study the phenomenon, bringing together an impressive list of carefully described and verified cases. But the second censorship has virtually destroyed any serious study, amateur or professional.
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Statute: Unexplained, probably natural origin.
Description: the NOAA hydrophones have repeatedly detected inexplicable noises, displaying a high power. The best known is the «Bloop».
Explanation: Scientists have no definitive explanation. The most likely would be the fracturing of icebergs (icequakes). Volcanoes could also produce intense noises. Listen to the wikipedia list of unexplained sounds.
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Statute: some explained, others not. Possibility of parapsychological or UFO phenomenon.
Description: in some places, unexplained lights appear at night. In some cases, people report various phenomena when approaching, but usually the lights fade out or recede, as if they reacted consciously.
Explanation: none applies to all the instances. Some has been positively checked as being car lights in the distance: Marfa lights (Texas, USA), Paulding Light (Michigan,USA). A common «rational explanation», swamp gases, does not hold, as phosphine is produced in trace quantities, while methane is not pyrophoric.
Others cases are more ambiguous, or may have multiple explanations. I checked the Brieselang lights (Germany) on a map, the geometry is also conductive of car lights confusion. In the case of the Hornet Spooklight, also called Hollis Light or Joplin SpookLight (Missouri, USA), some identified the lights with car lights, but 19th century stories and close approach stories are uncompatible with this explanation. There had been close images on the net, but lost. Same thing with the St. Louis Light (Saskatchewan, Canada).
In other cases, even wikipedia does not offer any serious or «rational» explanation: Arbyrd/Senath Light (Missouri, USA), Brown Mountain lights (North Carolina, USA), Gurdon Light (Arkansas, USA), Light of Saratoga (Texas,USA), Maco light (lost)(North Carolina, USA), Will-o'-the-wisp (marshy places all over the world), Naga fireballs (Mekong river around Phon Phisai), Chir Batti (Gujarat, India), Min Min light (Australia), Martebo lights (Sweden), Paasselkä devil (Finland), Ballybar, (near Carlow, Ireland) Ferbane (County Offaly, Ireland) Romney Marsh (England), Bewdley, (Worcestershire, England) Dwaallichtjes (Netherlands, Belgium), Sheeries (Ireland), Liam na lasóige (Ireland), Wu Tan Shan (Chine, most probably here 38°54'43.7"N 113°31'20.9"E). See a video from this list, I did not checked.
The idea is that, while car lights are often found by inquireers, they may act as a screen hiding a less common but much more interesting phenomenon, in several cases testified well before cars existed. It is difficult to know what is going on, without a case-to-case inquiry on rare and ellusive phenomena. Hence the interest of having more scientific culture in local committees, as it was done in ufology in the 1970 years.
Also see the Hessdalen lights, Ball lightning and Earth Lights.
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Statut: Curiosity. But well... and if Google had its ears pulled for showing things they should not?
Description: Some highly spiritual places are not visible on Google Earth, just like the Hogwart school is unplottable.
Explanation: These places do not appear in Google Earth, due to diverse circumstances.
-Taktsang in Bhutan is hidden by a huge overhang of the cliff where it sits
-The Thirteen Golden Stupas in Mont Kailash are also hidden by a huge overhang.
-The Lusignan Castle in France (or what remains of it), former seat of the Melusine fairy, is hidden by a cloud, a single very tiny cloud in hundreds of kilometres.
Well, with the thousands of satellite images available today, it is really funny that Google had no better images from these places. See also «are there mysteries visible on Google Earth?»
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Statute: proven, materially unexplainable.
Description: A person moves an object from his only thought, without any material means.
Explanation: The Pear Laboratory studies have identified a small but reproducible effect, thanks to a large number of random draws. The obtained statistical accuracy is much higher than many pharmaceutical studies! This small effect would come in addition to testimonials of spectacular but non-reproducible actions. The most frequent cases happen during NDE (unexplainable healing) and in sleep paralysis. Telekinesis having no plausible physical explanation, it strongly suggests a consciousness existing on its own, able to interact with matter, but not reducible to it.
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Status: Unexplained, probably natural.
Description: For centuries astronomers observe points of the surface of the Moon becoming unusually bright or blurred, sometimes even colourful. These phenomena were known by other names, such as ULE (Unidentified Lunar Events) or TLP (Transcient Lunar Phenomenon). Some think they are UFOs, and in fact ufologists were interested in their study. Scientists recognize the phenomenon, and observations were attempted during space missions.
Explanation: The most popular hypothesis is that of lunar dust being held in levitation by electrostatic forces. However this assertion has not been tested, and it is difficult to do so. Other plausible hypothesis are solar particles, or volcanic gases. However the atmosphere sensors on the Moon detected no gas (they were accurate enough to detect the exhaust from the Apollo rockets).
During the Apollo flights in Moon orbit, the NASA called for amateur astronomers to report such phenomena to the astronauts. Neil Armstrong reported that an area in the Aristarchus crater, a frequent spot for TLE, was much clearer than the surrounding, as it it was fluorescent. The Clementine probe was tasked for photographing places before or after a TLE, but no differences were found.
Some Apollo flights into orbit around the moon also saw an aurora (before sunrise), on which were projected the shadow of mountains (fan effect). This cannot be an atmosphere, because no gas has never been discovered. However dust would perfectly explain this vision. This article from NASA shows that the dust grains are in the 0.1 to 0.5 microns size range, at less than 100 kilometres in altitude on the Moon, without however concluding on their origin or their mode of levitation (ballistic, orbital and electrostatic are mentioned). Other Apollo flights saw nothing. So I conclude that the very variation of this dust shows that it comes from separate and frequent events. The TLE may be newly created such clouds, and still dense enough to produce the visual effects observed in the telescopes. Impact of meteorite could vaporize rocks and produce such clouds of dust, but I have no knowledge (2014) of any relationship between TLE and impacts.
See an article of Universe Today on this theme, or the Moonblink project.
There are of course more extraordinary assumptions, such as unknown physical phenomena, UFO activity, and even extraterrestrials. However the extraterrestrial explanation goes against the complete lack of any trace of their activity.
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Statut: A plausible natural cause was found. But still presented as a mystery.
Description: In February 1994, at the Riverside General Hospital in southern California, a 31-year-old woman, Gloria Ramirez, was dying of a cancer. When the emergency medical team tried to draw her blood, white crystals appeared in it, with a foul odour. A total of 23 persons had to be evacuated from the emergency room with debilitating symptoms, and one was seriously ill for several months. No toxic substance was found, and official inquirers concluded to a «sociogenic disease» (accusing the victims of being mad).
Explanation: Since I heard of this story, I suspected some unusual chemical reaction taking place in the body of this person. However, nothing was detected for months, until an inquiry by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory found an unusual chemical substance in her blood: Dimethyl sulfone. Knowing what was done to the victim, they proposed a plausible scenario: the victim used DMSO as a pain relief. When she got an acute kidney failure, this substance accumulated in her blood, well beyond any usual level. Then she was given oxygen, which reacted with the DMSO to form the dimethyl sulfone. Their tests even showed the white dimethyl sulfone crystals. The later in turn reacted with other components of the blood, to form dimethyl sulfate, which is a powerful nerve gas, producing precisely the symptoms the medics suffered. And after, the dimethyl sulfate just decomposed, leaving no trace!
What is interesting to note again, is that the media which advertised this affair carefully avoided since to publish this solution. And it is re-hashed again and again many years after as a «mystery»...
Other sad note, the usual immature reaction of the authorities, facing an unexplained phenomena: blame the witnesses, accuse them of having psychology troubles. Just as with UFOs. Happily this one happened only once, but it is clear that in case of recurrent problems, the authorities do not protect us. Oh, is this a new discovery?
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Statute: Not clear.
Description: Listening to white noise or similar sounds, we often have the impression of hearing voices, or even messages. This experience was often proposed throughout the 20th century, and interpreted as real parapsychological messages, similarly to spiritualism.
Explanation: the ear has neural circuits able of identifying speech words in a noisy environment. Such circuits could provide false positives from a white noise. However we cannot exclude a real parapsychological phenomenon from an analogical noise source. Indeed such a source has the properties described in chapter V-4 and in chapter V-18, allowing it to be more easily influenced by telekinesis, than a digital noise source.
Intrigued, I had build a correlator, using threshold detectors with transistors, able to detect statistical relationships. (According to the idea that a parapsychological phenomenon can more easily skew a statistics, than violate the conservation of energy). The noise was produced by a base-emitter junction of a transistor, in a bandwidth of a few hundred kilohertz. I could not really use or keep this instrument, being at the time in a difficult context. However some tests showed no more signal.
Today it is possible to make such a device on a PC, using a software like Audacity, by saturating a white noise produced by a microphone input left open (analogical noise). The saturation plays the role of a threshold detector. High-pass filtering allows to get an intensity in proportion of the number of passages through the threshold. Finally we need to accelerate the signal by a factor of about 10, to bring the averages in the normal spectrum of speech and eliminate unwanted frequencies. Of course for something to happen, it is better if we are meditating during the sound recording.
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Statute: trouble, probably simple play on statistics.
Description: In an area between the Bahamas, the United States and Bermuda, ships and aircraft would disappear. Speculations involve Extraterrestrials, Atlantis, etc.
Explanation: of course every sea in the world has its lot of bizarre disappearances or vessels sinking without ever be found. However the literature of the mysteries quickly spread the idea that an abnormal numbers of ships or aircraft would disappear without trace, see all. These stories often add weird circumstances, without quoting sources.
Many enquiries reduced the number of cases to more modest proportions, and brought natural explanations for some of them. However, in a context of denial of the unexplained facts, these inquiries may not appear credible to the eyes of a person who does not know the case, and personally I cannot guarantee anything. We indeed saw numerous «investigations» made long after the facts, pretender to «explain» yet safe and well established UFO cases.
See also the case of the Mary Celeste.
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Statute: Most likely a false relic. But the ideological polemics did not end and is still requesting checks and counter-checks, for example on the way samples were collected for radiocarbon dating.
Description: a piece of fabric appeared in 1357 shows the trace of a recumbent man, front and back. Traces of blood corresponding to the Passion of Christ accredited the idea that this would be the Shroud used for Him, between His death and the resurrection.
Explanation: Carbon 14 dating irrevocably gives a date corresponding to its appearance, while many other similar shrouds show images varying with the time of their manufacture. In all likelihood the shroud of Turin is a fake relic (several other shrouds are known, more tens of nails, and enough pieces of the cross to build a ship) This practice exist in almost all religions, for the purpose of producing visible objects of worship (or sometimes to support personal interests). The capacity of the artists of the time, and the materials at their disposal, perfectly allowed them to make this object. They even went as far as using real human blood, a plausible detail in a context of penance.
Personally, I find unrealistic that the body could be extended perfectly, without having to push it or adjust it (which would have left traces). Also there are two perfect projections, one front and one back, whereas a wrap would have shown the top of the head, the sides, etc. However it could not show the hair like solid objects! Finally traces of blood are too regular, and the body shows curious mottling.
It is worth noting that the Church never recognized the authenticity of this object.
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Statute: Explained, natural.
Description: June 30, 1908 at 7 h 13 in central Siberia, a huge explosion blasted the forest for kilometres. However no crater was found. For a long time, this hyper-violent and elusive phenomenon remained misunderstood, due to the lack of any evidence about its cause, giving rise to speculations: explosion of an extraterrestrial spaceship, meteorite of antimatter, or even mini-black hole.
Explanation: Only the recent understanding of certain atmospheric entries helped to explain these phenomena. Indeed some meteorites (pieces of comets) have a powdery nature, containing no stones. Subjected to the friction of the air, they split into smaller pieces, for which the ratio friction over strength is even higher. This therefore accelerates the fractionation exponentially, up to produce an almost instantaneous total dislocation. All the grains then emit their energy at the same time, in a restricted area. This energy localized in a small volume produces an explosion, much stronger than the supersonic bangs produced by the flight of the stones. These explosions do not necessarily lead to falls on the ground, save perhaps the metallic spherules found at the Tunguska.
This explanation was perfectly corroborated during the explosion of the Chelyaninsk meteorite in 2013. Numerical simulations also show that even if each debris produced its own shock wave inside the trail, these waves are catching up one another, forming a single bang of a great power. It is this bang which produced the damage observed at Chelyabinsk. It was followed by several minutes of secondary bangs, from parts of the trail located further away.
To be noted that the Tunguska event was the topic of a book «The Tunguska Mystery» by one of my former Internet friend Vladimir Rubtsov, from Kharkiv, Ukraine. Due to the extraordinary power of the event, he though that the Tunguska body had an intrinsically explosive nature, different of any meteorite or comet.
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Statute: unexplained, possible recurring UFO phenomenon.
Statute: Updated December 15, 2017: probable natural phenomenon.
Description: (Added June 2017) On the road to the Col de Vence, a very high voltage line sometimes produces an unusual noise, resembling some gear turning badly. The phenomenon would be accompanied by stone falls (poltergeist). The area has a lot of more or less credible stories: two UFO sightings that the GEIPAN rated C (inexplicable, but not enough data to conclude), numerous photos of Unidentified Flying Ornithoes, «orbs», rocks with fantastic shapes, a mention of a «cult» which tried to meet extraterrestrials, and so on.
Explanation: The prospect of an «Hessdalen in France» was worth checking: I organized an «expedition» on the spot! I rented a room in the rural guest house in the town hall of Coursegoules (which I recommend).
However the area is vast, and I was unlikely to «catch an UFO» by randomly walking in the wild. So I concentrated on what seemed the most verifiable: the noise. I got on the lookout near the pylons. It took me three days to finally hear the noise, which is thus real (and very different of the usual buzz). There are recordings, for example on Youtube, which well match what I heard, including the background noises. It emanated from a precise point of the cables of the high voltage line.
At this point, it is difficult to safely conclude to a phenomenon of the UFO type: the precise association of the noise with the high voltage line suggests instead a technical explanation. However, an investigation on the Internet did not allowed me to find such an explanation. I even phoned RTE, the company which manages the power line, but they provided no answer about this noise. Since UFO fans have already phoned them, it is likely that if RTE had an explanation, they would have proposed it to me.
At this point, it is difficult to go any further, because it requires measuring instruments that I do not have.
It should be noted that in the UFO plasma hypothesis (chapter VII-2), the discharges surrounding the high voltage cables (which produce the usual buzz) could be at the origin of different types of phenomena:
-Purely electromagnetic phenomena such as synchronous discharges, amplifying the natural buzz;
-Being receptive to the influence of a consciousness, which would then organise the discharges in a way to produce the noise. This second case could easily be confused with the first.
(Modified on August 17, 2017) In order to avoid the propagation of confusions or lies, let us be accurate: -the noise does not come from galloping cables: it takes a strong wind for that, and there was none. See here a swaying day marker similar to the ones in Vence, at 4'30". -The noise is very different from the usual crackling of high voltage lines. -The noise is not produced in the cables, it does not propagate in them. If this was the case, it would be heard coming from the cables in front of us, like the rolling sound of a train coming from the rails in front of us. But I heard it from a direction tangent to the cables, like the whistle of the train, which propagates in the air. So the sound is produced in the air around the cables. Hear here the noise of the cables, at 0'23". -The noise analysis (FFT) of the several Youtube recordings shows no relationship with the 50Hz, which excludes any electromagnetic phenomenon. -The pylon 85 produces a metallic rattling, because there is some part moving in the wind. -The pylon 86 whistles naturally with strong wind. These noises have nothing interesting, but they often are presented as «the noise», from confusion or lie. Ok, I understand, on the spot I also thought it was it. Until I heard the real thing.
(Added on August 17, 2017) I found that the GEIPAN (French state-led UFO study group) is not interested in the phenomenon! I must say that I am as much flabbergasted as you, that they do not jump on this Graal of the ufologists: a reproducible case. Finally found after 70 years of uselessly chasing such an elusive phenomenon.
About RTE, the company managing the power lines, several Internet sources curiously tell the same story than mine: a constructive dialogue with them, on the metallic rattle of pylon 85. But this interaction stops when we come to the unexplained noise itself. I also wrote to the Dervaux company, builders of the day markers attached to the wires. I asked if the noise could be generated by the wind in these day markers. Sent on July 3, 2017, waiting for a reply.
In fact, all these people's reactions have in common a notable characteristic: they avoid any interaction with us on this topic. It is then difficult and risky to speculate on what they think. The only plausible guess, is that they have no worldly explanation for the phenomenon. Indeed, if they had one, they would give it readily. At least it would be useful for science, and especially to avoid rumors and useless inquiry costs.
Well, since «official science» withdraws itself, only General Epistemology remains in the race.
Updated on 15 December 15, 2017:
I finally found a possible natural explanation, on the Internet: a specific oscillation mode for cables, the «aeolian vibrations». This was not easy to find, from the scarcity of sources and unexpected key word.
To avoid any confusion or disinformation, we need to say that power line cables can oscillate in three ways:
-To sway right and left, with strong wind
-«Galoping» with violent wind: to jerk violently in all the directions
-The «aeolian vibrations», by gentle wind: the wing produces vortices, which detach from the cable, alternatively from above and from under. This phenomenon then produces an up and down vibration in the cable, between 30 et 140 Hertz, which excites high rank resonance modes in the cable. The resulting movement is of low amplitude (thus invisible). In more, from the fact that several neighboring resonance modes are excited, the wave shape varies in amplitude, resulting in this noise resembling a concrete mixer.
Information on Aeolian vibrations: Resources from the IEEE, Video showing the noise and the vibrations, Theoretical science study from Professor. J-L Lilien from the Université de Liège.
Comparison: at left, record od aeolian vibrations (EPRI 1979, see the study), at right record of the sound of the Col de Vence (John Constantine, 2014)
My observation was precisely done by low wind. The variations of the wind then explain very well the variations and displacement of the phenomenon. And of course by strong wind I did not heard it.
Well, it is disappointing to get once again a trite explanation. But this is the price to pay for truth: once eliminated all the sources of mistake, truth appears magnified. And remember, General Epistemology also includes the classical science method, without contradicting it.
Without the noise, and if we remove the orbs and all the mountain building from molehills, there does not remain much to study in the Col de Vence: two UFO cases which left the GEIPAN circumspect, a bizarre photo, and the poltergeists. Then, a lot of time to spend on the site, in hope to see something. Which restricts the study to local dwellers. A station in the Hessdalen way? Don't put it on the Saint Barnabé parking lot, in any case!
As to all the ones who are suddenly becoming mute when we ask them questions, I shall not spend time running after them in the wild. Don't tell them either, that way they will be forced to come here and read this book to know. Still, since 17 years that I work on this General Epistemology, everybody should know. Broutchemolles and floppy pitchaks for the others.
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Statute: wrong understanding of Hindu spirituality.
Description: Ancient traditional Indian texts feature descriptions of what looks like spaceships called Vimanas. They fly in the sky and take part into battles. This is often interpreted as evidences of ancient human science, or as ancient interactions with UFOs or extraterrestrials.
Explanation: In Indian or Buddhist spiritual traditions, persons having attained a high spiritual level can master their condition and live into spiritual worlds beyond death. They are then called «devas», a word which has been improperly translated as «Gods», but is better translated by «blessed» or «blissful ones», as in the Christian meaning. When they die and reach the spiritual worlds, they create Mandalas, which are spiritual universes and paradise-like dwellings or palaces, often featuring diverse protective shells surrounding them, symbolized with flames, lotuses, vajras, etc. As the Mandalas do not exist in our physical space, they seem to fly in space, just like the scenes in a virtual world. But in fact they do not fly, since there is no universe defined around them, and thus no fall, no movement and no place to go.
Vimanas are just one of the descriptions of such worlds, into some of the rich Indian traditions. And the main tower of an Indian temple is called the Viman, and it is a material representation of such an heavenly abode, with several enclosures and symbolic patterns, and, in its heart, the statue of the God who lives here. And an Hindu practitioner visiting the temple visualises that he visits the abode of the God, and he meets Him in person, as he would do while visiting a relative in his home.
So, ancient Hindu texts describing flying saucer-Vimanas flying in the sky or engaging in battles do not refer to UFOs or extraterrestrials, but to the traditional descriptions of mandalas as divine abodes. They even not are science-fiction, but spirituality-fiction, not referring to any known or expected science discovery. Just that some people in ancient India were understanding spiritual facts in a very mundane way, to imagine spiritually evolved Vimana builders engaging in war just like Muggles.
(I claim precedence for this explanation, from May 2014).
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Description: A strange Renaissance manuscript was found, written in an unknown language and showing strange images.
Explication: None known. The writing resisted any attempt to decipher it. However the images show for instance plants, which seem composites of actually existing plants. This points at a fabrication. For what purpose will probably never be known. But is it really worth spending time on this?
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Statute: unexplained, possible Extraterrestrial Intelligence origin.
Description: One of the earliest SETI search spotted a short narrow band emission from space.
Explanation: none known. Many natural cause have been proposed, such as a reflection on an Earth radio source on a satellite, and then ruled out.
The Wow Signal is one of the most probable extraterrestrial intelligent activity that SETI found to date.
Technical consideration show that the signal intensity curve matches the pattern that an immobile spot in the sky would produce, on the moving telescope, in one of its «reception lobe». However a second lobe passed a minute after, and picked nothing. The most unnatural feature of the signal is that most of the energy of the signal was only in a one kilohertz band. But the other bands of the receiving device show some activity in adjacent frequencies. Unfortunately only the amplitude of the signal was recorded, not the signal itself.
See also HD_164595
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Statute: Different from other stories of cryptozoology, due to the possibility of a rare species.
Description: A traditional Tibetan and Himalayan story reports the existence of a large human-like or simian-like creature, spotted here and there in wild regions. Similar stories exist in other parts of the world, see cryptozoology.
Explanation: DNA analysis performed by geneticist Bryan Sykes, Oxford University, and the Museum of Zoology in Lausanne, yielded nothing of interest in 30 samples from various places in the world, except one from the Tibetan plateau. This sample proved to come from a hybrid of brown bear and polar bear, believed extinct since the last ice age.
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Statute: disputable, probably natural phenomena.
Description: a rock structure with square angles is visible under the sea in the south of the Yonaguni island. It is often considered as an artificial structure, which would then be older than the sea rise at the end of the last ice age, 8000 years ago.
Explanation: Although there is no agreement among scientists, the structure can be explained naturally by a series of right angle faults in a hard rock layer. In this context, when a block gets loose, it is quickly removed by violent waves during typhoons (several per year). These waves however cannot harm the hard rock, as long as it is still attached to the land. Such a mechanism explains very well the freshly hewn square appearance of the structure, and the absence of erosion debris or sea life on it. (I claim precedence for this explanation, from May 2014.).
The structure is partly visible at 24°26'10''N 123°0'40''E on Google Earth. It is clear that the undersea part has been squared, while the above sea part is not, as it is safe from wave erosion.
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