CNN Investigates Aliens & UFOs

CNN is running a series of stories looking at aliens and UFO sightings. The "American Morning" show will feature space correspondent Miles O'Brien visiting a selection of people and organizations to discuss the possibility of intelligent life beyond Earth. See the introductory video here and watch the same page for more videos over the next week.


Robbie Williams, Ufologist

UK pop star Robbie Williams has tried re-inventing himself a few times but lately he's been showing signs of moving in a non-musical direction towards the world of UFO investigation.

Robbie's famous compliment of tattoos includes the Eye of Horus on the back of his neck. As well as being a protective symbol, the Eye of Horus is used by the U.S. organization Enlightened Contact With Extraterrestrial Intelligence (ECTI), which Williams has recently been working with on UFO research. Williams is said to be close to Ufologist James Gilliland.

Williams claims to have experienced several alien encounters, including one when he was working on the song 'Arizona' (which is about alien contact). He is quoted as saying: "Seriously, I want to go out and investigate these things. I'm stopping being a pop star and I'm going to be a full-time Ufologist."

Williams has an interest in other areas of the paranormal as well, for example, he reportedly spent Halloween at a seance in Stoke-on-Trent.

Ref: www.icelebz.com, www.mirror.co.uk


New Articles - November 2008

The Miracle of the Sun: Famous 1917 event in which thousands of witnesses reported seeing the sun "dance" for about 10 minutes.

Champ: Common name for the cryptozoological Lake Champlain Monster.

Automatic Writing (Autography): The practice of writing text while in a trance or state of altered consciousness, usually as a medium for spiritual communication.

The Third Eye: Often associated with the pineal gland, said to be the mystical center of the body and the focus for meditation.

Close Encounters of the 1st Kind: UFO sighting at a distance of 500 yards or less.

Bennington Triangle: A wilderness area in Vermont, USA, where a number of people have mysteriously disappeared.


New Articles - October 2008

Cold Reading: Cold Reading is a technique in which one person (the reader) makes it appear that they know more about another person than they actually do.

Close Encounters: A system of classifying UFO sightings, originally suggested by ufologist Josef Allen Hynek in 1972.

UFO Radar Sightings: Sometimes considered the most compelling evidence for the existence of UFOs, radar sightings are relatively common and well documented.

South Atlantic Anomaly: One of the 12 Vile Vortexes, a region of intense radiation caused by a dip in the Earth's magnetic field over the lower coast of Brazil.

Reincarnation: The belief in continuity of life through the rebirth of the soul in a new body.

Palmistry: Divination by reading the lines and mounts of the hand.

Spontaneous human combustion: Do people really burst into flame without warning or apparent cause?


The Age of Stonehenge

Archaeologists have performed the most detailed carbon dating procedure ever on the famous Stonehenge site, pinpointing its construction to around 2300 BC - several centuries later than previously thought. Professors Tim Darvill and Geoff Wainwright believe the area was used as a healing center, with people travelling from far and wide seeking cures for serious injuries and ailments.

The full story can be read here. The findings will feature on BBC Timewatch (BBC Two, Saturday 27 September).


New Articles - September 2008

Bridgewater Triangle: Although not an 'official' Vile Vortex, the inland Bridgewater Triangle is likely one of the world's most concentrated areas of diverse paranormal reports.

Orbs: Anomalous globe-shaped spots, either white or colored, that occasionally show up in photographs.

Phrenology: The study of the elevations and depressions of the skull, based on the belief that they indicate a person's character and mental capacity.

Psychokinesis: The movement or change of physical objects without the application of physical force. In other words, mind over matter.

Spritualism: The belief that, after death, life continues in a "Spirit World" and that the deceased can communicate with the living using a medium.


Portal to Maya Underworld Found in Mexico?

A labyrinth filled with stone temples and pyramids in 14 caves — some underwater — have been uncovered on Mexico's Yucat√°n Peninsula. According to scholars, ancient Mayans probably considered the labyrinth a portal for dead souls to pass into the underworld. This story offers a fascinating insight into the life and beliefs of the Mayan civilization.

See the story at NationalGeographic.com.


Latest Bigfoot Claims

A few people have asked me what I think of the claim by Matthew Whitton and Rick Dyer that they have a Bigfoot corpse in their freezer. Frankly I'm skeptical. Whitten has already admitted faking a video and there are numerous reports of other hoax activity from the pair.

A press conference is due to be held within the next 24 hours and we'll see what comes out of that. If we don't see full disclosure with an offer for the body to be examined by independent medical examiners, I won't bother spending any more time thinking about it.


Astronaut claims alien visits are real

Astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell, the 6th person to walk on the moon and respected scientist in his own right, has claimed in an interview with Kerrang! Radio that aliens are real and their regular visits to Earth have been covered up by Government officials. Interviewer Nick Margerrison was so stunned by the claim that it took him a while to regain his wits and start asking the right questions. The result is a slightly awkward but nonetheless remarkable interview.

"I happen to have been privileged enough to be in on the fact that we've been visited on this planet and the UFO phenomena is real," said Dr. Mitchell. "It's been well covered up by all our governments for the last 60 years or so, but slowly it's leaked out and some of us have been privileged to have been briefed on some of it."

Dr. Mitchell goes on the say that full disclosure is coming although he doesn't know when.

Interestingly Dr. Mitchell is almost flippant about the UFO claims, saying that he doesn't know everything about the situation because it's not his main area of concern. Personally I would have thought someone in his position with his alleged knowledge would make it his main area of concern, but I guess that's up to him.

NASA's official response is: "NASA does not track UFOs. NASA is not involved in any sort of cover up about alien life on this planet or anywhere in the universe. Dr Mitchell is a great American, but we do not share his opinion on this issue."


Does Homeopathy Work?

A new challenge has been offered to followers of homeopathic practice by two people well-versed in the subject: Professor of Complimentary Medicine Edzard Ernst and science writer Simon Singh. They have announced a £10,000 prize to anyone who can prove that homeopathy works, using standard clinical trials.

Professor Ernst appears to have strong credentials in this area. As well as being a medical doctor with a PhD, he has trained in acupuncture, autogenic training, herbalism and homoeopathy. Having studied alternative medicine for many years, he is of the opinion that approximately 5% of alternative medicines can be backed up with evidence. He believes homeopathy falls within the other 95%. It's important to note that he does support alternative remedies that come with evidential support, such as St John's Wort in the treatment of mild depression. In my opinion this gives him credibility (not to mention more than 700 peer-reviewed papers he's published).

Unfortunately homeopaths are reluctant to address the concerns raised by Ernst, Singh and others. In responding the the challenge, Steve Scrutton of the Alliance of Registered Homeopaths said "We have nothing to prove, and certainly not to people with closed minds." Dr Robert Mathie of the British Homeopathic Association, said "What is needed is more investment in homeopathy research, not facile enticements by scientists who should know better." Homeopath Frederiek Maddock added "Dr Ernst does not appear to have done his research properly and is very selective in what he decides to believe."

The problem for homeopaths is that the studies used by Ernst and Singh are open and peer-reviewed. Ernst and Singh are holding up evidence that homeopathy doesn't work and asking anyone to show where they've got it wrong. So far no one can point to anything that contradicts what they are saying.

Homeopaths can't just dismiss these concerns as being the biased opinions of closed-minded people. This is an issue of public health. It's not about prize money, it's about ethics. Most people would agree that knowingly selling a defective health product is morally wrong. Most people would agree that new drugs should be tested in clinical trials before being released to the public. Why does homeopathy get to bypass our normal requirements of accountability?

Here's my message to Steve Scrutton: I'm not the closed-minded person you refer to. I'm an open-minded person and I invite you to share any proof that homeopathy works. All I ask is the same level of evidential support I would expect from any health product. In particular, I want to see some evidence that homeopathy works better than the 10-30% positive result I would expect from a placebo.


Website Update

In July 2008 Paranormal-Encyclopedia.com will be 18 months old. The first 12 months were a bit chaotic as I experimented with various ways to build the website. The actual design didn't change much but I had a hard time finding the right people to help write the content. I tried a number of professional writers but none of them really delivered the consistent quality required by a website calling itself an encyclopedia.

Fortunately, this year I happened across a researcher/writer who was just the ticket. She has provided a couple of dozen articles which I'm very pleased with. I've also found another couple of writers to help when needed (or more specifically, when funds are available) so it's looking good for the future.

At this stage it looks like we'll be publishing one or two new articles most weeks. From time to time I'll have a burst and write additional articles myself. Of course you're all invited to contribute as well - I can't pay for public submissions but you get the intrinsic reward of helping build a worthwhile resource :)


New Blog

This is the new home of the Paranormal-Encyclopedia.com blog. Previously this blog was hosted at dave.co.nz - the old entries are still available here.

The RSS feed is still the same.