Archive for the ‘UFOs’ Category

Hitler’s Antarctic Base: the Myth and the Reality

April 15, 2012

I just had to share this

I can’t express how much I love academic styled articles on weird subjects!

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Doggone Dogon.

November 23, 2011

I was reminded today of the myth that a certain African tribe (the Dogon) were privy to special astronomical knowledge that could only have been conveyed to them by aliens. The best debunk I’ve seen of this is on a site that I wouldn’t necessarily expect to find it on – well done to the author. Absolutely nothing I could add.  There’s also a summary and a letters page of sorts on Skepdic.

The tl;dr is that it’s likely that the Dogon had taken on board new information about the star in question (Sirius) from prior western visitors. Rather than aliens.

 

Figment of Imagination enquiries

April 18, 2011

What an actual Welsh zombie looks like – see this superb BBC documentary series…

The always excellent Zed Word blog has reported some interesting supernatural-related enquiries made under the UK Freedom of Information Act to Dyfed-Powys police in Wales. You can read the various disclosure reports here (page over to the 2010 content for most reports – alternatively I’ve linked most of them below).

Before we have too big a laugh at the expense of others, I should point out that tragically, if inevitably, many calls/reports (and possibly even FOI enquiries) have been made by those with mental health problems. Others are obvious nuisance/time-wasting calls. The zombie incidents make for particularly disappointing reading even for a hardened sceptic;

Unknown 04.11.2006 A phone call made with strange noises and sounded like someone saying zombie.

Haverfordwest 31.10.2008 Report of a person acting suspiciously wearing a zombie mask and dressed all in black.

Pembrey 14.12.2009 Reporting that they are filming a horror in the park about zombies.

Not really in the spirit of the enquiry, I would suggest. More of a keyword search data-dump. Can’t really blame the Fuzz for that though; I’m pretty sure they have other jobs to be getting on with.
Other, slightly more interesting reports just from this constabulary include phantom cats (lots), witches (some) and werewolves (none). Relatively few suggest even a legitimate claim of a supernatural sighting, let alone any subsequent earth-shattering investigation that provided any evidence of one. A handful of ‘actual’ sightings of ghosts is, amusingly, outweighed in the same report by complaints of ghosthunters causing annoyance or alarm. And of course, there are the UFOs, none of which were followed up using police resources, clearly indicating a massive cover-up…or some common sense, depending upon your point of view. Equally encouragingly, it’s clear that in common with virtually all police departments worldwide, the services of psychics are NOT called upon (another denial here).

Some disclosures contain no information as the enquirer has phrased things such that to provide a proper answer would take too much time and money – one of the exemption criteria. Frustratingly, one of these relates again to the activities of amateur (is there any other kind?) ghosthunters. Had they been more specific we might have discovered more about the ‘supernatural’ denizens of Wales, or at least the loons who go looking for them…

I’ll have to see which other UK police services and perhaps even local authorities might have published similar data online – without submitting my own frivolous FOI enquiry, of course!

Skepticblog shoot down a UFO

April 11, 2011

Another recent report that I need not write up – Skepticblog has the measure of these recent claims of FBI proof of alien visitation on Earth. It does highlight how dangerous releasing unmediated documents like this onto the internet can be. I suppose it’s a catch-22 – release without interpretation or comment and you risk people using it in this way – release with and you will inevitably face claims by the UFOlogists that you’re attempting to cover up the truth. Still, something other than the government agency equivalent of ‘I’ll just leave this here‘, might have been a bit more responsible. The UK National Archives usually at least provide some context, if not always overtly sceptical comment.