I've just received an interesting email from some guys who are planning a trip to the Republic of the Congo in search of New Species. One of their hopes is to capture footage of the elusive Mokele Mbembe. The team is looking for financial support, so they've opened a Kickstarter project looking for a total of $26,700. You can help them out or just find more information on their project page.
A Russian woman has released photos of what she claims is a small alien corpse that she has been keeping in her fridge. Marta Yegorovnam claims she found the corpse among the smoking wreckage of a UFO crash near her home in 2009. Unfortunately the corpse itself is no longer available, as it was allegedly confiscated by staff from the Karelian Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
The White House has issued an official response to two petitions calling for UFO disclosure. Both petitions were essentially the same; the first called on the President "to disclose to the American people the long withheld knowledge of government interactions with extraterrestrial beings" and the second "to formally acknowledge an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race".
To absolutely no one's surprise, the response begins: "The U.S. government has no evidence that any life exists outside our planet, or that an extraterrestrial presence has contacted or engaged any member of the human race."
You can see the entire response with the original petitions at the White House petition website.
Scientists from several countries, including Russia and the U.S., will gather in the Kemerova region of Siberia to hunt down the Yeti, after alleged sightings of the legendary creatures increased threefold in the area over the past 20 years.
In a first for Ireland and a rarity anywhere, a coroner has ruled the death of an elderly man was caused by spontaneous human combustion. Coroner Dr Ciaran McLoughlin noted that it was the first time in his 25-year career that he had recorded such a verdict.
Full story: www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-15032614
If you're interested in participating in paranormal research, I received an email today inviting our readers to help with a survey at http://psychicrevolution.com/2009/12/paranormal-research.html.
For the last week national news here in New Zealand has been dominated by the disappearance of two-year-old Aisling Symes. During that time, well-known Australian psychic Deb Webber appeared on television offering to help. The broadcaster, TVNZ, relayed the offer at a police press conference. TVNZ was then criticised in a Dominion Post opinion piece entitled Why psychics should butt out of Aisling Symes case. The opinion piece attracted well over 300 comments, including one from me in which I pointed out that Deb Webber has never provided any useful information in the many cases she has "assisted" with. Overall the comments were (as you'd expect) divided between strong supporters of psychics and strong skeptics.
Today the NZPA reports a scathing attack on Deb Webber by NZ Skeptics chair Vicki Hyde. In a reference to the TV psychic show that features Webber, Sensing Murder, Hyde said "It's not sensing murder, it's sensing opportunity, sensing exploitation and there's nothing worse than exploiting parents who are under such strain and stresses."
Webber had made this prediction: "...she's in a ditch, hole, in West Auckland". Aisling was found last night in a drain, which is not a ditch but does count as a hole. I predict more division over the "success" of this prediction. Followers will claim Webber got it right, skeptics will claim she got it wrong.
Things to consider when judging for yourself:
- The ditch and drains around the property where Aisling went missing were always the most likely places for her to have gone. There were only ever two possibilities: abduction or the drains. Child abductions are very rare in New Zealand.
- Webber covered herself by adding the word "hole". How many bodies in this type of case aren't found in some sort of hole? This prediction is very clever because it provides a specific answer (ditch) which has a good chance of being correct and providing the psychic with an impressive "hit", but it also provides a more general answer (hole) to use as a backup in case the preferred answer is a miss. Of course a hole could cover anything from a grave to a hole in a wall. This is a common trick - watch for it in future.
- It was practically a foregone conclusion that she was somewhere in West Auckland.
- Sensing Murder has been running for a number of years with several versions in different countries, and has yet to solve a single case.
- Webber may or may not have had a genuine insight but the point is that she provided no useful information. The case was not helped at all by her contribution.
This appears to be another case of a forensic psychic making a reasonably safe guess and using a tragedy to gain publicity (in this case her current tour got a good plug).