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Mels Hole Tags: Melshole artbell melwaters
Mel’s Hole: A Sensational Urban Myth of a Mysterious Bottomless Pit
1990s | September 5, 2018

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On February 21, 1997, a gentleman called into the radio show, Coast to Coast AM, hosted by Art Bell, with a sensational and unbelievable tale. His name was Mel Waters. He told Bell and his listeners about a strange and mysterious bottomless pit on his rural Washington state property and the eerie qualities surrounding the pit, which became known as Mel’s Hole. Many people became fascinated with the bottomless pit…the problem was, Mel Waters refused to give its exact location and no one could find it. Was Mel’s Hole a hoax, or was it, as Waters himself claims, purposely covered up by the United States government? Let us peer into Mel’s Hole.

Art Bell, host of Coast To Coast AM

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Mel Contacted a Paranormal Radio Show
When Mel Waters called into Art Bell’s hit syndicated radio show in 1997 to tell the world about Mel’s Hole, he was contacting the host of a well-known show that featured tales of the unexplained. He knew his sensational story would be delivered to the right audience. The late night radio show, which combines long-format interviews with call-ins, has a weekly audience for close to 2.75 million people and the show is carried on more than 600 radio stations in the United States, Canada, and Australia. Originally created and hosted by Bell, who passed away on April 13, 2018, Coast to Coast AM deals with paranormal topics.

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Mel’s Claims About the Pit
According to Mel Waters, the pit is a natural hole on his property in Kittitas County, Washington, about nine miles from the town of Ellensburg. He used the pit as his own personal dump, tossing trash and discarded items in the hole. He noticed, however, that he never heard any of the discarded items hit the bottom. Curious about the depth of the hole, Mel did an experiment. He used a fishing pole with a weighted line and dropped it in the pit to measure its depth. To his astonishment, the fishing line went down to more than 80,000 feet and still hadn’t hit the bottom.

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Mel Stated That the Pit Had Strange Properties
A bottomless pit as deep as 80,000 feet would be odd enough, but Mel had more to tell about the mysterious place. He claimed that the hole did not produce an echo when he yelled into it. He also stated that his neighbor threw the carcass of his dead dog into the pit, but a few days later, he encountered his dog, alive and well, in the nearby woods. He knew for certain it was his dog because it was wearing the same collar. Mel’s own dogs, however, were terrified of the pit and refused to go anywhere near it. Mel also stated that he once brought his radio to the site, but he couldn’t tune into his favorite station. Instead, the radio played unknown voices and old music.

Art Bell

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Mel Waters Called Into Coast To Coast AM Several Times
In addition to the 1997 call to Art Bell’s Coast to Coast AM, Mel Waters appeared on the show in 2000 and in 2002, each time telling more sensational claims about Mel’s Hole. According to Waters, he once saw a black beam shoot out from the hole. He also stated that if he held metal objects near the pit’s 9-foot wide opening they would magically change into other metals. These claims were enough to arouse curiosity and skepticism.

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Waters Claimed the Government Took Mel’s Hole
Adding fuel to the controversy was Mel Waters claim that the government was covering up the wonders of Mel’s Hole. Waters stated that, one day, he was walking toward Mel’s Hole when a man wearing a suit approached him. Behind the man, Waters could see several other people wearing official-looking biohazard suits. The man told Waters that the area had been closed off due to a plane crash and that Waters was no longer allowed near the pit. Next, Waters said, the government leased the land from him and paid him a generous amount of money to leave the property. Waters used the money to move to Australia.

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Was Mel Waters Telling the Truth About Mel’s Hole?
Mel Waters’ story was sensational and unbelievable, but was it true? Many people say ‘no’. Investigators soon determined that there was no person living in the area by the name of Mel Waters. No one by that name ever owned property in Kittitas County. Furthermore, Waters had claimed that his wife worked for Central Washington University, yet that fact was untrue.

DNR geologist, Jack Powell

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Was Mel’s Hole a Geological Impossibility?
Certainly, there are very deep holes found at various locations around the globe, but none as deep as Mel’s Hole was said to be … 80,000 feet. The deepest known cavern is only 7,188 feet deep and the deepest mine shaft is 12,672 feet. In 1989, the Russian drilled a bore hole to the depth of 40,230 feet, but that is still only half the depth that Mel Waters claimed his pit was. Jack Powell, a geologist with the State Department of Natural Resources, explained that a hole as deep as 80,000 feet was a geological impossibility. Going so deep into the earth’s core would cause the hole to collapse from the tremendous pressure and heat.

Gerald Osborne, also known as Red Elk

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No One Can Find Mel’s Hole
Mel Waters was careful not to give out the exact location of Mel’s Hole, but a handful of people say that they have seen it themselves. One of them was Gerald Osborne, who also goes by the name Red Elk. This half Native American-half white medicine man told journalists in 2012 that he had been to Mel’s Hole several times, beginning in 1961. He backed up Waters’ claims about the strange bottomless pit. Red Elk went so far as to state that the United States government had a secret base at Mel’s Pit where the government scientists were researching ‘alien activity’. But when investigators asked Red Elk to take them to Mel’s Hole, he inexplicably could not find his way back to the site.

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Mel’s Hole: Fact or Fiction?
While most experts believe that Mel’s Hole is a fantastic urban legend with no basis in fact, there are others who believe Mel’s account of the mysterious bottomless pit and the ensuing government cover-up. There are numerous abandoned mine shafts in the area that could have served as the inspiration for the tale. There are, of course, a number of odd and unexplained geological anomalies around the world, and supporters of Mel Waters believe he stumbled upon one of these mysterious locations in Washington.

Scary picture from my old house. Tags: Haunted house ghost ghost hunter scary ghost ghost picture

I bought this house 12 years ago last April. Not long after we moved in we had a lot of paranormal things happen at the house. This picture was taken by my then stepson for his Facebook page. If you look in the right side of the picture you can see what appears to be a little girl hanging down from the celing upside down. I also have EVP of a little girl answering a question Jason and I ask. This house was definatly haunted.


Bigfoot Is Real Tags: bigfoot sasquatch

The legend of Sasquatch won’t die. (But if just one Bigfoot would — die, that is — Ron Judd would become a believer.)


Professional Bigfoot believers keep believing, and profiting, but they lack one thing — evidence.

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CONSIDER THIS MINOR miracle: Over the course of a 30-year career that has often taken me deep into the woods, cracks and crannies of the Northwest — and even deeper into the mythology, paranoia and psycho-quirks of the region’s inhabitants — I have until now managed to avoid writing a piece exclusively about the legendary Sasquatch.

In the same spirit, I have never written a piece about flocks of flying hippos circling above Duvall, the miracle cure that is the copper bracelet or the discovery of what could be remains of Amelia Earhart at the bottom of a hip-deep pothole on Aurora Avenue North.


Equal weight for equal evidence, folks. Even-Steven.


We kid the Bigfooters here. But just a little.

Like everyone else upright and breathing, I have heard all the (mostly fake) tales, seen all the (fake) footprint castings, viewed the (fake) videos, heard recent (real) podcasts, even perused the (fake) “field guides.” I’ve also read large numbers of Sasquatch sightings, and believe that many reporters probably thought they saw something.

It just wasn’t an elusive long-lost subhuman, ape or shape-shifting alien species. Of this I am dead-dog nearly certain.

Can I prove this? Of course not. That’s not my job. But I am happy to be the guy who publicly looks into the glassy eyes of the professional true believers — especially those profiting from the mossy-roofed cottage industry feeding off this remarkably resilient fantasy — and issues a long-overdue ultimatum:

Show me a dead one, and we’ll talk.

SERIOUSLY, FOLKS. This overripe argument about the hairy ape-beast out back has long ago passed its best-by date. And if that question is seen as a put-up-or-shut-up demand, well, it is.

The imaginary Squatch was cute for a while, and any legend that spawns generations of coloring books, postcards, plush stuffed animals and fantastically bad late-night cable TV is harmless in my book — to a point.


In the present era of post-truth, what once qualified as playful mythology increasingly feels like overlooked symptoms of early onset societal nutjobbery, which at some critical-mass level becomes a dangerous thing. So please forgive me for attempting here to point at least one little LED headlamp beam of reason upon the logic-suffocating rot behind the Bigfoot industrial complex.

(He pauses to clear throat and pen the requisite qualifiers.)


An underlying premise here is that trying to prove a negative is sheer folly. No one can scientifically prove, for example, that a giraffe has never risen from the depths of Lake Union, marched down Westlake and taken a big dump atop the grassy knoll at Gas Works Park. But a reasonable person can apply her/his own probability mathematics to the question.

Accordingly: It’s impossible to prove that forested areas of the Northwest are not home to stealthy, apelike creatures standing 8 feet tall; weighing up to 800 pounds; constantly emitting putrid, gaseous odors; and prone to issuing earsplitting, guttural, train-whistle screams — yet managing at all times to conceal themselves more effectively than a thimble-sized hummingbird.


It is equally impossible to prove that the Mariners won’t win the 2019 World Series.

Some things, the sane people just know to be true.


As mentioned, the burden of proof here is not on me, or anyone else who finds better things to do than stumble around in the dark in the soggy hills of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest wearing night-vision goggles and carrying an AR-15.

All that’s on Team Squatch. And to that organization, I reissue the plea:

Please, oh please, just show me a dead one.

THE SAME POINT has been made, repeatedly, by the handful of scientists who took time away from real research to study the matter, and came to a near-unanimous conclusion: Despite a century of mythology surrounding Sasquatch “sightings” and supposed footprints and other circumstantial “evidence,” no scientifically acceptable proof of said mossbacked super ape exists. It just doesn’t.


This includes the absence of hair samples, scat and other matter that can be eliminated as belonging to other, well-known mammals. And it also includes the obvious starting point for the existence of any species, short of having one walk up to the Burke Museum and book its own display case: a nonliving, nonbreathing body, or any portion thereof.

Please don’t just take my word for it. In one admirable, comprehensive recap of the Squatch mythology, local writer Bruce Barcott (who is not insane), writing in Outside magazine, quoted pseudoscience debunker Michael Shermer, author and publisher of Skeptic magazine, as saying the lack of any identifiable body part renders the entire Sasquatch legend just that.


“New species of smaller organisms are found all the time, and most of the people I meet who are into cryptozoology seem OK,” Shermer told Barcott. “But Bigfoot really isn’t in that category anymore. After 100 years of anecdotes, stories, sightings and footprints, it’s time to cough up the body or forget it. To name a new species, we need to have a complete type specimen. But they’ve got nothing.”

The kicker: This was in 2002.

Seventeen years later, despite what, remarkably, appears to be only growing interest in “proving” the Squatch’s existence — and despite a bevy of what should be beneficial new technology, including drones; heat sensors; and, especially, remote-triggered wildlife cameras — what do “they” have today?

Zip. Nada. Zilch. The Big (University of Oregon logo) Zero.


NATURALLY, SOME PEOPLE will dispute that. In today’s world of digitally interconnected nut merchants, you can get someone to dispute anything (proof residing in your own hands, or on your own screen).

In response to any good, show-me-a-body taunt, Team Squatch will point to boxes of physical “evidence,” including casts of hundreds of supposed footprints (some of which do contain levels of fine detail that would be difficult to fake).


This, more than anything else, has kept the mystery alive.

True believers, in fact, insist the lack-of-body concerns are overblown. Reasoning: Dying Squatches know when they’re about to go to the big tree stump in the sky and make sure they never die at, say, Northgate Mall. A noted Bigfoot researcher, Jeffrey Meldrum, an anthropologist at Idaho State University (he picked up the mantle from late WSU anthropologist Grover Krantz), often explains that all traces of these unusually big bodies are then scattered and consumed by scavengers. And in the Northwest’s acidic soils, Bigfooters maintain, the bones eventually just … vanish.


You don’t see skeletons of many other scarce creatures, such as grizzly bears, around, do you? (No, but unlike the mythical Squatch, they leave hair, scat and other evidence almost everywhere they exist.)


Others among the faithful offer their own, even-more-creative explanations for the lack of found Sasquatch bones: “No one is actively looking for them!” proclaims the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO).

Sasquatches, in fact, might have learned to bury their dead — and even cover their own tracks, the society speculates.


Well, OK, then.

SLAPPED UPSIDE the head with the absurdity of this argument, the ardent Bigfooter will open the door to his or her ultimate escape hatch, the same one that “explains” the lack of reliable recorded visual evidence: The woods out there are SO VAST. There are, this theory holds, entire areas of the Western United States onto which humans simply never set foot.

Not to get all technical, but there’s a scientific term for this sort of application of logic: Pfft.

Sure, the Northwest, which seems to lead the world in this crazed pursuit, is a big place, major parts of it still uninhabited, with large swatches rarely visited. But never? We should be so lucky.


The statement might have been truthy a couple hundred years ago. It isn’t true today, when tromping through the underbrush in the rain has gone from something one might be sentenced to do for committing a minor crime to something embraced by tens of thousands of people just looking for excuses to try out their new Pertex and Primaloft exoskeleton parkas and $800 GPS wristwatches.

Very few wild places in the Northwest today are not at least occasionally tromped through, flown over, or even surveilled by well-equipped backcountry fiends. And increasingly, even the wildest corners often are outfitted with high-tech stand-ins that, unlike people, never fall asleep on watch with a bottle of hooch between their boots.


Trail cameras, triggered by remote sensors and placed by wildlife observers or hunters, surely number in the thousands in the Cascades and Olympics, says Conservation Northwest’s Mitch Friedman, an expert on forest dwellers who does not count himself among the Bigfoot believers.

Total number of allegedly nocturnal giant apes happening by even one of these night-vision-capable traps and leaving that long-sought, verifiable image? You guessed it.

AND YET, they persist.

Bigfoot hucksters not only have failed to succumb to their deserved fate — fading farther into the woods than the subject of their obsession — they seem to have proliferated.


Stories in reputable media shops, including this one, continue to quote Squatch carnival barkers and document their activities because, well, people continue to search, and we don’t really know for sure … do we?

Countless Squatch-hunting societies exist around the globe, an inordinate share of them in Washington, Oregon and Idaho, the apparent Bermuda Triangle of thought and reason.


From these groups spring regular Bigfoot festivals and symposia, such as the annual International Bigfoot Conference in Kennewick, and the recent Spokane Valley Washington Sasquatch Roundup. A handful of outfitters will take curious seekers out on their own “expeditions” in Squatch “hot spots.”

Most prominent among the Northwest bigfooters assemblies is the above-mentioned BFRO, an organization claiming 3,000 members who field countless Bigfoot reports, the more relatively credible of which are posted online.

And the ongoing, ultimately pointless hunt for Bigfeet, naturally, is tailor-made for reality television, and producers of same for decades have gone into full ape mode (sorry) to meet this demand.

In one current incarnation, “Killing Bigfoot,” a team of Southern good ol’ boys tromps through the woods at night on a regular basis wearing camo and packin’ high-powered rifles, determined to do the world a favor by not just finding a Squatch, but dropping one in its expansive tracks.


(As part of his journalistic duty, your humble scribe watched two episodes — just enough to plead: Please, oh please, spare the beast, and just kill me now.)

Note that the stars of the show, each of them clearly held back at least a year in school, represent the extreme, bag-’em-and-tag-’em side of one of the longest-running arguments in Bigfooting — whether killing one should ethically be allowed, to prove once and for all its existence.


This argument, in the minds of Squatchers, is a serious thing. Some of them have convinced local governments to approve ordinances actually proclaiming their lands Sasquatch “refuges” (please do not alert the unicorn lobby; it remains unclear exactly what legal fate would await the killer of either non-species).

ALL OF THAT is amusing, but allow us to get real and consider the nonpseudo-scientific arguments in play here. Pro-Squatchers believe the big ape exists largely because:

• Tales of the big bruiser are told around the globe, in countless cultures (this includes Native American lore; the word “Sasquatch” is an adaptation of a Coast Salish word meaning “wild man”).

• Eyewitness accounts number in the hundreds or even thousands in the Northwest alone. These range from the farcical account of a bunch of drunken miners engaging in an extended rock-throwing skirmish with a grouchy band of Bigfeet in Ape Canyon, near Mount St. Helens, in 1924, to a Squatch crossing Interstate 5 just south of Bellingham in “about 1980.”


• Countless bits of what Bigfooters deem “physical evidence” exist, including casts of tracks and hair and scat samples not definitively linked to other species. The faithful even insist that multiple confessions of Bigfoot-track hoaxsters, including a notable one first recounted in The Seattle Times, cannot explain all the “real” tracks found in the same and other areas.

• There’s some sketchy visual imagery, most notably the famed Patterson-Gimlin Film, which purports to show a female Squatch (they are spectacular, but are they real?) strolling along a river bank in Northern California in 1967. The film has been deemed legit by analysts who say the look and walk of the creature depicted are nonhuman, and in any case, it appears too advanced to represent a hoax that could have been pulled off by Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin, two yokels from Yakima. Others disagree.


• After investing all this time, and so much money in Squatch-detection gear, they really, really want to believe the thing exists.

Skeptics counter that all of the above is fanciful nonsense, because:

• Plenty of consistent tales of purely imaginary creatures exist across time, places and cultures, all products of the human imagination (see: any freshman-level myth and folklore course). This no more establishes the reality of the Sasquatch than it proves the existence of the Easter Bunny.

• The vast majority of sightings, once investigated, are proven to be known mammals, and all too often, a result of the reporting party’s overactive imagination, or undue consultation from a common friend, Jack Daniel’s.


• People who study mammals point out what should be obvious: A species can’t maintain itself, even enough to create sporadic sightings, without some legitimately sized central breeding population.

• The available “physical evidence” really isn’t. In 2014, 30 hair samples believed to be of Squatch origin from around the globe were DNA tested, with all but two immediately deemed to come from common mammals — and those two later linked to a rare type of brown bear. (Researchers note a strong correlation between “Bigfoot hot spots” and bear hot spots.)


• The Patterson-Gilman film is indeed a landmark piece of evidence — of a person of George Costanza stature sauntering around in a lovely monkey suit. (Note here that the much-publicized confessions of a Florida gorilla-suit merchant and of a third Yakima man, an acquaintance of the filmmakers who claimed to have been Monkey Suit Individual 1, have supposedly now been thoroughly debunked by Bigfooters but then subsequently un-debunked, re-debunked and un-de-re-debunked so many times that the entire grainy-film affair today stands most notably as proof only that too many Americans — or at least people from Yakima — have entirely too much time on their hands.

• TL; DR summary: Please show us a body.

AND THIS is the problem with Bigfootery in general: Not even confessions of admitted hoaxsters and hucksters will deter the faithful — as any observer of the U.S. Congress can attest, a telltale sign of cultlike behavior.

Does it mean, definitively, that the beast either doesn’t, or never did, exist? No. See above section on proving negatives, and if you really feel the need to believe, well, have at it. Just don’t expect the rest of us to share in your delusionary diversionism.


Sorry; it isn’t personal. But we have come to the point in our human devolution where facts matter. And the fact is, nobody’s proved the existence of a hairy/smelly/gigantic beast prancing around in Northwest forests — or anywhere else.

Could I be wrong about everything written here? Sure. I’d be the first one to eat crow if that proved true. Am I sweating this? Nope.


So save the Squatch talk for someone else, unless you can do the one thing that would make you credible (all together, class): Show Me A Dead One.

I’ll pledge right now to give the deceased a proper burial, in the most fitting place for a long-sought, oft-misunderstood creature: a glass case at Marsh’s Museum in Long Beach, right next to Jake the Alligator Man.

Even among the fictional, misery loves company.

John Titor Traveler 0 Tags: Timetravel johntitor


A person named "John Titor" started posting on the Internet one day, claiming to be from the future and predicting the end of the world. Then he suddenly disappeared, never to be heard from again.


This is our planet’s bleak future: a second Civil War splinters America into five factions, leaving the new capital based in Omaha. World War III breaks out in 2015, starting with Russia and the U.S. trading nukes and ending with three billion dead. Then, to top it all off, a computer bug delivers where Y2K sputtered, destroying our world as we know it. That is, unless an audacious time traveler successfully traverses the space-time continuum to change the course of future history.

In late 2000, that person signed onto the Internet.

A poster going by the screennames “TimeTravel_0” and “John Titor” on a variety of message boards, beginning with the forum at the Time Travel Institute, claimed he was a soldier sent from 2036, the year the computer virus wiped the world. His mission was to head back to 1975 in order to snatch-and-grab an IBM 5100 computer, which had the necessary equipment to fight the future virus. (His detour to the year 2000 was simply to get a little R&R while visiting his three-year-old self, ignoring every fabric-of-time paradox rule from time-travel stories.) Over the next four months, Titor responded to every question other posters had, describing future events in poetically-phrased ways, always submitted with a general disclaimer that alternate realities do exist, so his reality may not be our own. In between dire urgings to learn first aid and stop eating beef—Mad Cow was a serious threat in his reality—Titor provided a number of technical specs regarding how time travel worked, with overly complex algorithms and grainy, hard-to-make-out photos of his actual machine. (Which, yes, of course, was an automobile: a 1987 Chevy Suburban.) He even showed off his cool futuristic military insignia.

On March 24, 2001, Titor offered his final piece of advice (“Bring a gas can with you when the car dies on the side of the road”), signed off forever, and returned home. He was never heard from again.


IN 2003, TITOR FAN Oliver Williams—some may want to put “fan” in quotation marks, simply because of the numerous unsubstantiated theories that Williams himself is/was Titor—launched, which tracks Titor’s predictions and offers a compendium of all of his 151 posts. In 2004, members of George Mason University threw together a multimedia rock opera based on Titor. A summary of the tale at garnered over 103,000 hits in 2011. And, according to IMDB, a feature-length film about Titor is in the pipeline. What seemingly should have been dismissed as a four-month hoax, the work of some nerd killing time at his boring temp job, somehow turned into a phenomenon.

Since the beginning of the mysterious posts, Art Bell's popular late-night radio program “Coast to Coast AM,” a nationally-syndicated show that covers pretty much everything that'd fit comfortably into an episode of The X-Files, has been the go-to place for all things Titor. George Noory, who replaced Bell in 2003, has continued carrying the torch, devoting entire episodes to the ongoing mystery, fielding inane questions from callers and somehow answering with a straight face. (Examples: “Is there any way that Titor could be a godsend, sent as an angel, to warn us?” and “Do you think there's any possibility he was a space alien? I'll hang up and listen.”) In 2006, a lawyer named Lawrence Haber, who claimed to represent Kay Titor, a woman alleging to be John's mother, contacted Noory. An interview followed between Noory and Kay—with Haber acting as a phone go-between—and it ended up answering, well, pretty much nothing at all.

After that episode, the show intermittently tracked Titor's proposed timeline, looking at current events like tea leaves, possible harbingers of a nuclear armageddon. But as the false predictions piled up—while many of Titor's descriptions are vague enough to be considered “not yet disproved,” he did also claim there would be no Olympic Games after 2004—the search for Titor shifted from “Is this real?” to “Who deceived us?”

IN 2003, THE JOHN Titor Foundation, a for-profit Limited Liability Corporation, self-published John Titor: A Time Traveler's Tale, which is essentially a bound copy of the message board posts. (Used copies of this are currently going for $130 a pop on Amazon.) The Italian investigative TV show Voyager took up the case in 2008, hiring a private eye to locate the folks behind the LLC, and a search led back to the aforementioned Lawrence Haber, who was listed as the company's CEO. An investigation by amateur sleuth John Hughston, who also goes by the name “Razimus,” uncovered a mysterious P.O. Box in Celebration, Florida, belonging to the LLC. A group of friends with some downtime between gigs at their production company checked out the P.O. Box themselves but found nothing worthwhile. At some point, was created, offering some kind of nonsensical secret code to digital passersby. And just a week ago, Hughston released another video—this one 40 minutes long—in which he names Haber’s brother, Morey, as his prime suspect by using a side-by-side analysis of phrase-usage, which, to be kind, is not exactly a slam dunk.

(Weirder side note: In 2004, a computer engineer named Marlin Pohlman filed a patent for a time travel machine that “back-engineered” concepts in the Titor posts. This started another round of speculation that Pohlman, himself, was the original Titor poster. Last March, he was arrested for drugging and sexually assaulting four women.)

The search for Titor, then, has become more convoluted than Oliver Stone taking on the 9/11 conspiracy. A new piece of information comes out, a tech-savvy kid with some time to kill sees it, decides to give the puzzle a shot, and on and on it goes, the cycle never reaching an end. The trail burns hot, the trail goes cold, but the trail never disappears. There have been countless blog posts and armchair investigations—a Google search for “John Titor solution” bounces back with 325,000 results—but nothing’s come close to finding a worthwhile solution. An itch in the back of the throat remains, unscratched.

But why?


LAST MONTH, BRIAN DUNNING, a writer and producer specializing on the subject of skepticism, devoted an entire episode of his aptly-named podcast Skeptoid to the John Titor phenomenon, less focused on who it might have been and more about that question: why does something without any merit still have legs as an urban legend?

“Now that the number of unsubstantiated claims on the Internet is somewhat larger than the factorial of the square of all the large numbers ever conceived separated by arrow notation,” said Dunning on his podcast, “it would be a lot harder to achieve John Titor's celebrity.”

Today, everything posted online gets a healthy dose of skepticism. Let's call it the Post-Snopes Era. We've been conditioned—from everyone having access to Photoshop, to Punk'd and Jackass, to found footage films, to big budget viral marketing campaigns, to emails from faux Nigerian princes offering a portion of their riches if we simply send them our bank account number—to suspect everything. Every video of a cat performing a spectacular feat is met with at least one commenter decrying “FAKE!” The Titor story, from a time when we were all so innocent, a time that was less than 15 years ago, came right before things started to change.

And the Titor legend persists, in part, because no one ever claimed to be behind it. Now that we won’t be fooled, we need an answer. It’s the Zeigarnik effect; when something’s not wrapped up, it preoccupies our memory. Our skepticism needs a party responsible, a grand designer that allows it to make sense. When we find out—think the wizard behind the curtain in Oz, or whoever Jacob was supposed to be in that final season of Lost—the mystery ends. No one has claimed Titor, so the story continues.

There are some obvious connections for conspiracy theorists—the fracturing of governments, underground bunkers—but, for everyone else, there’s this: time travel stories are freaking cool. “This is a superpower that everyone would love to have,” said Dunning. “We all want John Titor to actually be from the future.” Who among us didn't spend idle moments of our youth wondering about flying cars and hoverboards, or what life was like back in the Old West. In fact, when I asked Hughston, the sleuth blogger, why he was initially drawn to Titor, he said that he'd been “a big fan of time travel since about 1985,” the year Back to the Future was released.

But there's also a much easier explanation. “The John Titor story is popular,” Dunning said, “simply because that happens to be one of the stories that became popular.” If Titor wasn't leading conspiracy-minded white dudes in their post-graduate years of boredom and confusion down a rabbit hole of mystery, something else would. It's Urban Legend Darwinism. Among all of the hoaxes, Internet rumors, ghost stories, and Satanic voices you can hear if you play the vinyl backwards, some have to become popular. Might as well be Titor.

There is one other (distant, remote, nearly scientifically impossible) possibility, though.

“ONE OF THE KEYS to cracking the Titor question,” starts an email by someone who goes by the name Temporal Recon, “is to just allow for the possibility that time travel very well could be true.”

The great thing about time travel: the story cannot be refuted. If events don't happen as the traveler says, that's because the traveler changed the timeline. “Many never even get off the ground in their research due to this very limiting view,” T.R. said. “They simply don't believe that the human race will ever conquer time. 'Ever' is a very long time, Rick.”

There's a particular point-of-view that seems to evolve within every amateur Titor investigator I encountered. As the puzzle fails to be solved, when no serious candidates present themselves, the goal of locating the hoaxster morphs ever so slightly, allowing in the possibility that maybe, just maybe, time travel could be real. “Look, of course John Titor didn't travel through time,” they’ll say, only to dramatically shift with the addendum, “but let's say he did.”

If you squint hard enough—and forget about the last four Olympics—things will always begin to resemble what you want to see, especially when reality’s only a minor quibble.

I mean, couldn't the political differences that continue to separate America into red states and blue states be precursors to the Second Civil War?U.S.–Russian relations have been kind of strange lately, haven't they?The history of 2015, when Russia and the U.S. nuke each other into oblivion, is still yet to be written!

Then T.R. writes a sentence that haunts me, one that will no doubt tip me over the edge on a course to try to solve the mystery, to locate the poster, or maybe a precocious kid now armed with a learner's permit who once met his future self. Graphs and charts will mass, blanketing my small studio apartment, where I'll only need a bare mattress in the corner, a pizza on the way, and a computer with browser tabs parked on obscure pages of note, set to auto-refresh. Friendships and relationships and family will drift into the ether; there are only so many hours in the day. Hands will blister, fingers will ink-stain, eyes will learn to scan for men in black suits, or white coats, or some combination thereof.

He writes: “And there are others.”

And down I'll go, into the abyss.


Event 201

The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation hosted Event 201, a high-level pandemic exercise on October 18, 2019, in New York, NY. The exercise illustrated areas where public/private partnerships will be necessary during the response to a severe pandemic in order to diminish large-scale economic and societal consequences.

Statement about nCoV and our pandemic exercise

In recent years, the world has seen a growing number of epidemic events, amounting to approximately 200 events annually. These events are increasing, and they are disruptive to health, economies, and society. Managing these events already strains global capacity, even absent a pandemic threat. Experts agree that it is only a matter of time before one of these epidemics becomes global—a pandemic with potentially catastrophic consequences. A severe pandemic, which becomes “Event 201,” would require reliable cooperation among several industries, national governments, and key international institutions.

Ancient Giants in America Tags: giants ancient america Smithsonian

Ancient Giants
Midwest Mound Builders



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When the whites arrived in the Ohio Valley and Midwest regions , thousands of burial mounds dotted the landscape. Today, most have been destroyed as a result of development, looting, and natural forces. Archaeologists have assigned the mounds to various prehistoric cultures based upon their shapes and artifacts contained within.

Scholars have debated the origin of these mounds. The Smithsonian Institution investigated them and conducted excavations in order to determine their origins . The mounds were apparently built by a series of prehistoric Indigenous American cultures spanning thousands of years.

Many were not built by the race of people we have come to know as "Amer-Indians" , but by a race of prehistoric Giant Human beings. Both Legend and Archaeological evidence supports this statement.

Native Legends


sketches of ancient history of the Six nationsGiants, mound builder in sketches of ancient history of the Six nations

The Ronnongwetowanca

Among the legends of the ancient native Americans there was once a powerful tribe called Ronnongwetowanca. The Ronnongwetowanca were giants, and had a "considerable habitation." David Cusick, a Tuscorora Indian states that " when the Great Spirit made the people, some of them became giants. They made themselves feared by attacking when most unexpected.

After having endured the outrages of these giants for a great long time, the people banded together to destroy them. With a final force of about 800 warriors, they successfully annihilated the abhorrent Ronnongwetowanca. There were no giants anywhere after this, it was said." This supposedly occurred circa 1,000 B.C.




Drawing of Ancient Giants from Sketches of Ancient History of the Six Nations

Sketches of Ancient History of the Six Nations   David Cusick Circa. 1780 - 1840

"Cusicks Sketches of Ancient History of the Six Nations has been proposed as a possible source for or influence on the Book of Mormon; it has also been advanced as evidence for the existence of Bigfoot and the Lake Champlain monster." Paul Royster Univ. of Nebraska

The Adenas and the Archaics

Other Indian Legends report two distinct races of unusual peoples that pre-existed their culture. The first was a slender bodied race with long narrow heads.. The other was a race with a massive bone structure and short heads. The first race, labeled by some as the Archaics were living in the Ohio River Valley around 1000 BC.  The second race, labeled the Adenas moved into the area from the South at a later date and claimed control of the territory.. A great war was fought in which the Archaics were destroyed by the more advanced Adenas.

It is believed that the Adena were related to the tribes of ancient Mexico. DNA testing has found no specific match between the Adena and any existing Native American group of the region, but does show a relationship to the tribes of ancient Mexico. - Adena PeopleAdena People Book  by William S. Webb, Charles E. Snow ]

".. In this connection I would say that Mr. Jonathan Brooks, now living in town, stated to me, that his father, Benjamin Brooks, who lived with the Indians fourteen years, and was well-acquainted with their language and traditions, told him and others that it was a tradition of the Indians that the first tribe occupying this whole country, was a black- bearded race, very large in size, and subsequently a red bearded race or tribe came and killed or drove off all the black beards, as they called them."   The Firelands Pioneer 1858

Many burial mounds have yielded remains of relatively Giant Human Beings, as well- artifacts and randomly discovered remains have lent much support to the Indian legends.  The Indians know nothing of the origins of these mounds, as per the Scientific American when an investigator asked an aged Indian in the 19th Century what his people knew of these ancient grave yards. He answered: "

"We know nothing about them. They were here before the red man".



It is believed that the practice of mound building was established by the Adenas.  These "mounds" were burial mounds in which the remains of many native American remains have been discovered over the years.  What is unusual about these remains is that they support the Indian legends of Giants as the remains are frequently of people  8 to 12 feet tall.    In addition to their height there are at times other physical anomalies which would tends to point to the fact that they are not of the same race as the current peoples labeled "native Americans".  Findings such as Red hair, and double rows of teeth, not found in the known indigenous populations

Timeline of Documented Giant Discoveries in America

Natural and Aboriginal History of TennesseePaperback February 15, 2015, describes "very large" bones in stone graves found in Williamson County, Tennessee. Author John Haywood describes "very large" bones in stone graves found in Williamson County, Tennessee, in 1821. In White County, Tennessee, an "ancient fortification" contained skeletons averaging at least 7 feet in length.

In Braton Tennessee footprints believed to be human were found in solid rock 33 inches log and one foot wide. These have six toes each.

1792 New York, Buffalo: Turners History of the Holland PurchaseHistorical Thesis reports that 7 and 8 foot skeletons were found at an earthen fort in Orleans county with broad flat topped skulls. 

1800 Ohio, Conneaut: Among the normal size skeletons found in the remains of mounds were found gigantic bones. Some of the skulls and jaws were large enough to fit over the head and face of a normal man.

1829. During the construction of a Hotel in  Chesterville. Workers digging up a mound discovered a large human skeleton. The local doctor examining the skeleton said that the skull could have easily fit over a normal man's head , In addition , the skeleton had more teeth than modern man.

1845 "On the Wappatomaka have been found numerous Indian relics, among which was highly a finished pipe, representing a snake coiled around the bowl. There was also discovered the under jawbone of a human being (says Kercheval) of great size; and, what is more remarkable the teeth stood transversely in the jawbone. It would pass over any man's face with entire ease."  ...Historical collections of Virginia;: Containing a collection of the most interesting fact, traditions, biographical sketches, anecdotes, &c., relating ... sketch of the District of Columbia

1856 A decayed human skeleton claimed by eyewitnesses to measure around 3.28 metres (10 feet 9 inches tall), was unearthed by laborers while ploughing a vineyard in November 1856 in East Wheeling, now in West Virginia. Forbidden landForbidden land Book by Robert Lyman



1872  Seneca Township, Noble County, Ohio, 3 skeletons , all were at the very least eight feet tall , with bone structure in proportion to their height. These skeletons all had double rows of teeth.

1875  Workmen were constructing a bridge near the mouth of Paw Paw Creek at Rivesville. While digging through heavy clay soil they were astonished to uncover three giant skeletons strands of reddish hair clinging to the skulls. A local doctor was called to examine the remains.

1876 J.N. DeHart, M.D. found vertebrae "larger than those of the present type" in Wisconsin mounds in 1876.

1877 W.H.R. Lykins uncovered skull bones "of great size and thickness" in mounds of Kansas City area in 1877.

1878 Ashtabula County, Ohio. Mounds were excavated on land belonging to Peleg Sweet, yielded askull and jaw large enough that the skull would cover Sweet's head and the jaw could be easily slipped over his face. Excavating further, they discovered these mounds contained the graves estimated between two and three thousand. Many of the other skeletons found were of gigantic proportions.

In 1879, a 9'8'' skeleton was excavated from a mound near Brewersville, Indiana by George W. Hill, M.D.,  . A mica necklace still hung around the giant's neck. The bones, which were stored in a grain mill, were swept away in the 1937 flood. .....Indianapolis News, Nov 10, 1975  ....  "The giant skeleton was examined by scientists from Indiana and New York, and it remained in the possession of Mr. Robinson, who owned the land on which the mound stood. Unfortunately, the curious bones were washed away in a flood in 1937." 

1880 "A skeleton which is reported to have been of enormous dimensions" was found in a clay coffin, with a sandstone slab containing hieroglyphics, during mound explorations by a Dr Everhart near Zanesville, Ohio. (American Antiquarian, v3, 1880, pg61).

1880 An excavation in Brush Creek Township, Muskingurn County yielded the bones of men and women, buried in couples. The length of their skeletons exceeding eight and even nine feet! The excavation was started in early December 1870.

The Brush Creek Tablet was found among skeletons of people over 8 and 9 feet tall
in Muskigum County, Ohio, in the early 1880's. The whereabouts of the Tablet today are unknown.

1881 "In digging the cellar of the house, nine human skeletons were found, and, like such specimens from other ancient mounds of the country, they showed that the Mound Builders were men of large stature. The skeletons were not found lying in such a manner as would indicate any arrangement of the bodies on the part of the entombers. In describing the tomb, Mr. Albert Harris said: "it looked as if the bodies had been dumped into a ditch. Some of them were buried deeper than others, the lower one being about seven feet below the surface." When the skeletons were found, Mr. Harris was twenty years of age, yet he states that he could put one of the skulls over his head, and let it rest upon his shoulders, while wearing a fur cap at the same time. The large size of all the bones was remarked, and the teeth were described as "double all the way round."  ... History of Medina County, Ohio, 1812-1889History of Medina County, Ohio


1883  "Two miles from Mandan, on the bluffs near the junction of the Hart and Missouri Rivers, says the local newspaper, the Pioneer, is an old Cemetery of fully 100 acres in extent filled with bones of a giant race. This vast city of the dead lies just east of the Fort Lincoln road. The ground has the appearance of having been filled with trenches piled full of dead bodies, both man and beast, and covered with several feet of earth. In many places mounds from 8 to 10 feet high, and some of them 100 feet or more in length, have been thrown up and are filled with bones, broken pottery, vases of various bright colored flint, and agates ... showing the work of a people skilled in the arts and possessed of a high state of civilization. This has evidently been a grand battlefield, where thousands of men ... have fallen. ...Five miles above Mandan, on the opposite side of the Missouri, is another vast cemetery, as yet unexplored. We asked an aged Indian what his people knew of these ancient grave yards. He answered: "We know nothing about them. They were here before the red man."  The Scientific American

1883 Ten skeletons "of both sexes and of gigantic size" were taken from a mound at Warren, Minnesota, 1883. (St. Paul Pioneer Press, May 23, 1883)

1884 A skeleton 7 feet 6 inches long was found in a massive stone structure that was likened to a temple chamber within a mound in Kanawha County, West Virginia, in 1884. (American Antiquarian, v6, 1884 133f. Cyrus Thomas, Report on Mound Explorations of the Bureau of Ethnology, 12th Annual Report, Smithsonian Bureau of Ethnology, 1890-91).

1888 In Minnesota, 1888, were discovered remains of seven skeletons 7 to 8 feet tall. (St. Paul Pioneer Press, June 29, 1888). 7 skeletons, placed in a sitting position, were uncovered from a burial mound near Clearwater, Minnesota. The highly unusual skulls had double rows of teeth in both the upper and lower jaws. It was also noted that the foreheads were low and sloping, compared to "normal" human skulls.

 1892  "Where Proctorville now stands was one day part of a well paved city, but I think the greatest part of it is now in the Ohio river. Only a few mounds, there; one of which was near the C. Wilgus mansion and contained a skeleton of a very large person, all double teeth, and sound, in a jaw bone that would go over the jaw with the flesh on, of a large man; The common burying ground was well filled with skeletons at a depth of about 6 feet. Part of the pavement was of boulder stone and part of well preserved brick."  Ironton Register

1895 A mound on the outskirts of Toledo, Ohio, yielded 20 skeletons, seated and facing east with jaws and teeth "twice as large as those of present day people," each skeleton had a large bowl with "curiously wrought hieroglyphic figures." (Chicago Record, Oct. 24, 1895; cited by Ron G. Dobbins, NEARA Journal, v13, fall 1978).

1896 The skeleton of a huge man was uncovered at the Beckley farm, Lake Koronis, Minnesota; while at Moose Island and Pine City, bones of other giants came to light. (St. Paul Globe, Aug. 12, 1896).

Roy Norvill Bookbook

"In 1903, at Fish Creek, Montana, Professor S. Farr and his group of Princeton University students came across several burial mounds. They unearthed the skeleton of a man about 9 feet long. Next to him lay the bones of a woman, who had been almost as tall" Roy Norvill- Giants : The Vanished Race Of Mighty Men

 Kentucky folklore writer  Michael Paul Henson (1984) relates how he actually examined a body dug out from under a large rock ledge along Holly Creek in east-central Kentucky. In 1965, a landowner, was building cattle stalls when he found a "perfectly preserved skeleton" which measured 8 feet, 9 inches in length when reassembled.  "...The arms were extremely long and the hands were large. By comparison, the feet were very small." The skull was "30 inches in circumference. The eye and nose sockets were slits rather than cavities, and the area where the jaw bone hinges to the skull was solid bone. It would seem that the person could not have opened his mouth."  The skull was  30 inches in circumference.  A powdery white substance covered the skeleton, but no tools, weapons, or other human implements were found with the bones. The body was buried approximately five feet underground. The skeleton was assumed to be that of a large, deformed Indian.  White reburied the bones rather than taking them to a university for examination. Henson died in 1995, and any further notes he may have had on this fascinating story are unavailable 

Bluffton Chronicle, July 22, 1903 pg 2. A report of Giant skeletons unearthed in a gravel pit in Anderson Indiana is described. If these accounts do not come from excavations of burial mounds then they come from earth moving operations, well digging, railroad construction, washouts and other earth disturbing activities. As would be expected or is often unexpected as far as the finder is concerned when they encounter giant remains and report them. From the article, "workmen unearthed half a dozen skeletons, most of which were eight feet tall and over. One in particular was that of a man of great stature and all were far above the height of tall persons. Two of the skeletons were those of women. In the graves were found pieces of pottery, such as were unknown by the Indians, which leads to the conclusion that the bones are those of people of a prehistoric race. Two bodies were found close to an ancient mound." - Stone Builders, Mound Builders and the Giants of Ancient America -Facebook

"... three skeletons were found at the mouth of the Paw Paw Creek ... some men were digging for a bridge foundation and found these bones at the lower end of the old buffalo wallow. She thought it was Dr. Kidwell, of Fairmont, who examined them and said they were very old, perhaps thousands of years old. She said that when the skeletons were exposed to the weather for a few days, their bones turned black and began to crumble, that Squire Satterfield had them buried in the Joliffe graveyard (Rivesville). All these skeletons, she said, were measured, and found to be about eight feet long.  Now and long ago;: A history of the Marion County areaA history of the Marion County by Glen Lough

It is sometimes difficult to distinguish the place of sepulture raised by the Mound Builders from the more modem graves of the Indians. The tombs of the former were in general larger than those of the latter, and were used as receptacles for a greater number of bodies, and contained relics of art, evincing a higher decree of civilization than that attained by the Indians. The ancient earthworks of the Mound Builders have occasionally been appropriated as burial places by the Indians, but the skeletons of the latter may be distinguished from the osteological remains of the former by their greater stature. ...History of Logan County, Illinois

Suggested Reading

"It is time to consider the third, last, and most highly interesting class of Antiquities, which comprehends those belonging to that people who erected our ancient forts and tumuli; those military works, whose walls and ditches cost so much labour, in their structure, those numerous and sometimes lofty mounds, which owe their origin to a people far more civilized than our Indians, but far less so than Europeans. These works are interesting, on many accounts, to the Antiquarian, the Philosopher, and the Divine, especially when we consider the immense extent of country which they cover .. " Caleb Atwater {1778 -1867}

Antiquities of the New WorldBook Antiquities of the New World

Writings of Caleb AtwaterWritings of Caleb Atwater

Travels of William BartramHistorical Book William Bartram 1729-1823 naturalist/artist/botanist . Wrote frequently and in detail about the mounds which dotted the landscape in his day.

Behemoth: A Legend of The Mound-BuildersFictional literature re: Mound Builders Fiction based on Mound builder legends Cornelius Mathews (1817-1889)

External Links

Believers of Norse in Ancient America

Vanished Mound Builders in The Prairies

Suggest a Link










Isla de las Munecas - The Island of the Dolls Tags: mexico city dolls creepy haunted ghost doll island spirit possess

The Island of the Dolls Has a Murky and Terrifying History

By: Reuben Westmaas

There's just something really thrilling about a place with a dark and mysterious past. Take La Isla de las Muñecas, for example. An island covered with decaying old dolls strung up in trees is pretty creepy on its own — even before you get to the dark origin story.

October 31, 2019

Don Julian's Opus


The story of La Isla de las Muñecas ("The Island of the Dolls") is intimately entwined with the story of Don Julian Santana Barrera. A native of Xochimilco, a borough of Mexico City, Don Julian left his wife and family sometime in the mid-20th century to sequester himself on an island on Teshuilo Lake. His reasons for doing so are hazy at best, but as soon became clear, Santana Barrera was not necessarily of sound mind. Not long after relocating, he made a chilling discovery on the shores of his island: the body of a young girl, drowned in the lake. A doll came floating down the canals shortly afterward, changing the course of Santana Barrera's life and the shape of the island for years to come.


Alone on the island, Barrera took the doll and hung it from a tree in order to appease the spirit of the deceased girl. But, at least in the eyes of the man who now considered himself the island's caretaker, the one doll was not enough. For the next 50 years, Santana Barrera would scrounge dolls from the trash and from the canals, and hang them from the island's many trees. Some he'd hang whole, others in various states of disrepair — headless, torso-less, or taken apart in other ways.


These don't sound like the actions of a person with a healthy grasp on reality, and indeed, there are many doubts surrounding this legend. The biggest question? The reality of the little girl who died. Many people, including Don Julian's own family, didn't believe that he ever found the girl, although whether they believe he made it up, imagined the experience, or was somehow mistaken is unclear. What is clear is that whether the girl existed or not, Don Julian devoted the rest of his life to her. And perhaps creepiest of all, even the end of his life had clear ties to the story of the drowned child.


Death of a Doll Collector


In 2001, Don Julian Santana Barrera passed away. His body was discovered — you guessed it — drowned in the canal, in the exact place he always said he'd seen the little girl. In response, tourists began flocking to the island to pay tribute. They brought dolls of their own, and to this day people honor both Santana Barrera and the girl (whether she was real or not) by hanging up dolls in tribute. You can do so too. Many ferries stop here, making it a macabre must-see on any tour of these ancient Aztec canals.




This article first appeared on Click here to read the original article.

BIGFOOT Tags: bigfoot sasqautch yeti

How Chasing Bigfoot Can Lead to Actual Science

DNA studies haven’t led to the discovery of any mythical creatures, but they’ve helped us understand the evolution of real ones

Credit: Getty Images

As a biologist in a lab studying how monkeys and other primates are related, I’ve become fascinated with Bigfoot. Often described and portrayed as half man, half ape, Bigfoot (if it exists) could represent a possible link in the evolution of humans from our primate ancestors. Bigfoot also represents the realm of the unknown, the undiscovered. Rumors from all over the world about sightings of Bigfoot, Sasquatch and yeti tantalizingly hint that there are mythical creatures just waiting to be discovered.

So, the story of Charlotte Lindqvist and her own brief experience with the Bigfoot mythology, caught my attention. Lindqvist was probably the last person to expect a call about shadowy creatures rumored to live in Tibet. She’s a geneticist at the University at Buffalo in New York—quite a long way from the Himalayas—and she studies bears.

But in 2013 a documentary production company, Icon Films, wanted to find out whether the creatures known as yeti (or Bigfoot or Sasquatch) really existed, and they thought Lindqvist could help. The company had collected samples of fur and bone in the Himalayas, and Lindqvist had the technology to determine whether they came from a familiar animal or one unknown to science.


“I saw my opportunity to get hold of some samples that would otherwise be very hard to get,” she says.

Lindqvist didn’t believe that the samples were from mysterious yetis. Instead, she suspected that the samples were from bears—similarly large and hairy, but not mysterious at all.

“Bears in the Himalayan region and Tibetan Plateau are fairly elusive. We don’t know much about them, and the Himalayan brown bear is endangered,” says Lindqvist.

So, she said yes, she’d analyze the DNA. She knew that she could identify bear DNA and that the DNA of a mysterious monster wouldn’t look like any animal previously analyzed. In that case she would have discovered an entirely new species.

Although the film production company might have been hoping to pinpoint the elusive mythological beast, Lindqvist's instincts turned out to be correct. For the most part, the samples were from bears. Specifically, they were from Tibetan brown bears, an Asian black bear and a Himalayan brown bear. From bits of hair and bone, Lindqvist was able to sequence the bears’ mitochondrial DNA.


Usually, when we talk about DNA, we’re talking about DNA from the cell nucleus. Mitochondrial DNA is different from the genetic code that makes up our 23 chromosomes. It’s found in another part of the cell, an energy-producing organ. It’s not always good for identifying individuals, but it is good for distinguishing among species.

Mitochondrial DNA is also easier to sequence than the rest of the animal genome because there are more copies of it in each cell. Sure enough, Lindqvist was able to fully sequence the mitochondrial genome of a Himalayan brown bear—the first time that had been achieved.

Lindqvist didn’t stop at identifying the samples came from. Using this full mitochondrial DNA sequence, plus partial sequences from the regular DNA of Tibetan brown bears and an Asian black bear, and information about the geography of the region, Lindqvist concluded that 650,000 years ago, glaciers forced a single population of bears apart, creating two isolated populations. Over time, these populations became the two distinct subspecies—Himalayan brown bears and Tibetan brown bears—that they are today.

This was not the first time that legendary creatures had inadvertently lent a hand to genetics studies. In 2013, a geneticist at Oxford University, Bryan Sykes, also leveraged the yeti frenzy for genetics studies of bears to find the DNA of an animal related to Paleolithic polar bears.

And it doesn’t stop with yetis. I was surprised and delighted to find that other creatures of myth will benefit the field of genetics. In 2017, a scientist from New Zealand embarked on a sequencing journey similar to that of Lindqvist. Neil Gemmell, a geneticist at the University of Otago, proposed sequencing DNA from Loch Ness, the lake in Scotland where a well-known mythical sea monster is supposed to live (or to have lived at some point). The project is set to officially start this month, when Gemmell’s team will begin collecting water samples.


Gemmell, who studies environmental DNA—the DNA that animals shed in hair, skin, scales and feces—has never believed in the dinosaur-like sea monster. But he does believe in its ability to get people excited about science. Although some may not have been initially interested in Gemmell’s current work in New Zealand, the Loch Ness project is instantly accessible.

“Not that many people are interested in hearing about what we’re discovering, but they are interested in the Loch Ness Monster,” he says.

Although Gemmell is candid about the fact that he doesn’t believe the researchers will discover the elusive sea creature, he still believes the project will yield interesting results and be an influential science communication platform. Sure enough, thanks to the “Nessie” connection, Gemmell’s project has already made headlines around the world before it has even begun. “I think it’s neat!” he says. “And my kids think it’s neat.”

Regardless of whether Nessie is found, Gemmell and his research group will gather useful information about the population of creatures present in Loch Ness. He plans to test several hypotheses using sequenced DNA from the lake. “Hypothesis one is that [the Loch Ness monster] is an ancient remnant plesiosaur population or something like that—the so-called Jurassic hypothesis,” said Gemmell. “Which, let’s be honest, is basically bogus stuff—it’s just ridiculous. But nonetheless, we could test that.”

He also plans to test whether there is evidence of giant fish, such as sturgeon, or even evidence of sharks occasionally getting into the lake. And while he’s testing the water for things that might explain Nessie sightings, he’ll also be asking some questions that address different issues. For example, what is the microbial and bacterial diversity like in Loch Ness? And are there invasive species in the lake?


“There’s been an awful lot of people taking an awful lot of gear into Loch Ness over the years,” said Gemmell. “There’s suggestions that there’s an invasive shrimp species from the southern United States in Loch Ness. There’s been reports recently of pink salmon, which is of course a Pacific salmon, in the Ness River.”

There are just as many questions about species we know to exist as about species that probably don’t exist. Powerful datasets can come out of the search for elusive creatures, whether or not they are real. My fascination with Bigfoot aside, it might be time to start thinking about how we can leverage myths about fairies to study the skies. So, the question now for evolutionary biologists and geneticists alike is: what other mythological creatures can we search for in order to learn more about the less charismatic—but just as magical—creatures on Earth?

The views expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

Rights & Permissions
Is this bigfoot or something else? Tags: Bigfoot yeti
A Look At Ed And Lorraine Warren’s Occult Museum Tags: Ed Warren Lorraine Warren Ghost hunting Warren's occult museum

The Warrens began their research in 1952 and decided to open the museum in the early 80’s, after their collection of haunted objects began to accumulate. It lies in the basement of the Warren home in Monroe, Connecticut, and contains haunted artifacts and images taken from their cases and exorcisms. Some objects were gifted to the Warrens because of their reputation within the paranormal community.
It’s dubbed the “oldest and only museum of its kind” by Ed and Lorraine. They boast that their occult museum is home to the largest variety of obscure and haunted objects, and many of the items are dangerously evil.

Among their collection is the infamous Raggedy-Ann doll, Annabelle, which was featured in THE CONJURING and ANNABELLE. The doll looks nothing like the one shown in the films, but it is just as deadly. Annabelle sits behind an enclosed case, illuminated in red light. Above the case is a crucifix to shy away the evil, and a sign below it that reads “Warning: Positively Do Not Open.”

The Warrens are convinced the doll is behind the death of a museum visitor who provoked Annabelle to inflict him harm. Moments after leaving the museum, the man got into a fatal motorcycle accident.
While Annabelle is certainly the most famous entity in the museum, there are other objects that are just as terrifying. Another doll featured in the museum is the Shadow Doll. The Shadow Doll reportedly visits people in their sleep like Freddy Krueger, and it has the ability to stop one’s heart.

It stands just a few feet tall, covered in a black cloak and has a head full of feather-like hair. Its beady eyes appear to be peering into your soul, as its mouth remains open in a permanent scream. This doll looks more frightening than Annabelle, but it remains out in the open, free to haunt anyone who touches it.
At the entrance of the museum you are greeted with shelves of skulls and candles, as well as a conjuring mirror. The mirror is used for summoning spirits, and just maybe, a bit of evil can slip through too. Shrunken heads and voodoo dolls smile in the dim-lit room, as a skeleton sits in a chair holding a Ouija board on his lap.


Ed’s ominous paintings depicting demonic possessions hang high for all to see, while a Satanic idol stands tall underneath. The idol was discovered in the Connecticut woods, and its lanky body is topped off with a horned head.
Nearby are the remnants of “Ghost Flight 401” on display. The plane crashed in 1972 in the Florida Everglades, and over 100 people were killed. Some believe that the cause for the crash was a phantom spirit. Although, investigators insist there was a mechanical issue at play.


The museum also houses Egyptian curses and mummies, cursed objects from Africa, and contains death curses! A vampire’s coffin used by a modern vampire awaits you while a haunted organ that plays by itself rests in another part of the room. Signs warning visitors not to touch anything are scattered throughout the area, presumably to prevent people from becoming possessed or haunted.
All of the paranormal articles can be seen by anyone, because the Warren home is open to visitors on special events. Paranormal enthusiasts are guided through the museum, and given a peek at Warren case files as well as a history behind the museum’s items.

The museum is full of countless haunted objects taken from cases all over the world. The amount of evil energy residing within the home must be palpable, and entering the occult museum should be done at your own risk. Being present among malevolent spirits can make you a target to their wicked wrath. Do you dare enter?

Nazi seceret project

The Nazi Bell - Die Glocke

Die Glocke (German for "The Bell") was a purported top secret Nazi scientific technological device, secret weapon, or Wunderwaffe. First described by Polish journalist Igor Witkowski, it was later popularized by military journalist and author Nick Cook as well as by writers such as Joseph P. Farrell. Farrell and others[who?] associates it with Nazi occultism and antigravity or free energy research.

According to Patrick Kiger writing in National Geographic, Die Glocke has become a "popular subject of speculation" and a following similar to science fiction fandom exists around it and other alleged Nazi Òmiracle weaponsÓ of Wunderwaffen. Mainstream reviewers such as former aerospace scientist David Myhra express skepticism that such a device ever actually existed.


Arguments about the existence of Die Glocke originated in the works of Igor Witkowski. His 2000 Polish language book Prawda O Wunderwaffe (The Truth About The Wonder Weapon, reprinted in German as Die Wahrheit uber die Wunderwaffe), refers to it as "The Nazi-Bell".

Witkowski wrote that he first discovered the existence of Die Glocke by reading transcripts from an interrogation of former Nazi SS Officer Jakob Sporrenberg. According to Witkowski, he was shown the allegedly classified transcripts in August 1997 by an unnamed Polish intelligence contact who said had access to Polish government documents regarding Nazi secret weapons. Witkowski maintains that he was only allowed to transcribe the documents and was not allowed to make any copies. Although no evidence of the veracity of Witkowski's statements have been produced, they reached a wider audience when they were retold by British author Nick Cook, who added his own views to Witkowski's statements in The Hunt for Zero Point.


Allegedly an experiment carried out by Third Reich scientists working for the SS in a German facility known as Der Riese ("The Giant")near the Wenceslaus mine and close to the Czech border, Die Glocke is described as being a device "made out of a hard, heavy metal" approximately 9 feet wide and 12 to 15 feet high having a shape similar to that of a large bell.

According to Cook, this device ostensibly contained two counter-rotating cylinders which would be "filled with a mercury-like substance, violet in color. This metallic liquid was code-named "Xerum 525" and was otherwise cautiously "stored in a tall thin thermos flask a meter high encased in lead".

Additional substances said to be employed in the experiments, referred to as Leichtmetall (light metal), "included thorium and beryllium peroxides". Cook describes Die Glocke as emitting strong radiation when activated, an effect that supposedly led to the death of several unnamed scientists and various plant and animal test subjects. Based upon certain external indications, Witkowski states that the ruins of a metal framework in the vicinity of the Wenceslas mine (aesthetically dubbed "The Henge") may have once served as test rig for an experiment in "anti-gravity propulsion" generated with Die Glocke; others, however, dismiss the derelict structure as simply being a conventional industrial cooling tower.

Supposed whereabouts

Witkowski's statements along with Cook's views prompted further conjecture about the device from various American authors, including Joseph P. Farrell, Jim Marrs, and Henry Stevens. Farrell says that the device was considered so important to the Nazis that they killed 60 scientists that worked on the project and buried them in a mass grave.

In his book, Hitler's Suppressed and Still-Secret Weapons, Science and Technology (2007), Stevens states that Die Glocke contained red mercury and describes stories alleging that a concave mirror on top of the device provided the ability to see "images from the past" during its operation.

Witkowski stated that Die Glocke ended up in a "Nazi-friendly South American country". Cook, on the other hand, states that it was moved to the United States as part of a deal made with SS General Hans Kammler. Farrell stated that it was recovered as part of the Kecksburg UFO incident. This last theory was dramatized in 2009 by The Discovery Channel and again in 2011 by The History Channel's Ancient Aliens series.

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