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frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Trigger warnings: Paranormal phenomena.

This month, paranormal investigator and cryptozoology blogger Lon Strickler1 posted a witness report (purportedly collected in 2009) from a correspondent named only as Dee, regarding her sighting in 1990 of short, elf-like humanoids who emerged from a portal in New York. The portal was an area of open air that shimmered like water, accompanied by a humming sound.2

Paranormal investigator Robert Goerman, of the Nonhuman Research Agency, noticed that Dee’s report closely resembled another report. As Goerman pointed out in Fate Magazine,3 the similar report was published in Philip Imbrogno’s and Marianne Horrigan’s Celtic Mysteries in New England (2000), in which an anonymous team of paranormal investigators saw bearded, dwarf-like humanoids emerge from a buzzing, shimmering portal in New York in 1992. As with the other story, the portal appeared near a group of boulders.4

As always with witness reports of paranormal phenomena, both reports could be fabrications. The many similarities between the two reports suggest that one may have been based on the other. If they are merely tall tales, it's still interesting to track elf and dwarf folklore in modern New York.

- O. Scribner

Sources )
frameacloud: A stylized green dragon person reading a book. (Default)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Trigger warnings: paranormal events and creatures. The linked article includes a disturbing photo of people dressed as blood-covered zombies.

Lincolnshire, England, 2011: According to the International Business Times, a member of the public named Alexis D. interviewed the Lincolnshire police to collect data on what kinds of emergencies of a paranormal nature had been reported to them from 2006 to 2011. He found that during this time, there were “nearly 1000 ‘paranormal’ activities reported to Lincolnshire Police over the past five years, with nearly two-thirds of these cases listed reports of ‘demons.’”

These included “2 reports of werewolves” and “5 reports of vampires,” by far in the minority.

The reports aren’t described in detail, but still provide some documentation of paranormal activity in the United Kingdom.

Source )
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Trigger warnings: spirituality and science together.

A study carried out by Dr. Jason Braithwaite and published in the journal Cortex last July showed that instability in the temporal lobe— even in sober, mentally “normal” people— correlate with out-of-body experiences (OBEs) as well as sensations of shape-shifting.

Braithwaite explains that the temporal lobe is the part of the brain that “interprets the sensory and other information coming in from the body and places it on a body map, giving us our sense of being inside our body, of looking out from our eyes. If this interpretation goes wrong, a hallucination can occur …”1 Braithwaite performed the study upon “63 University students, 17 of whom (26%) claimed to have experienced at least one OBE in their lifetime.”2 The subjects were healthy, mentally “normal” people who were not under the influence of drugs.

The questionnaire part of the study included asking the subjects questions from the Cardiff Anomalous Perception Scale (CAPS), which includes in the “body distortion” section the question, “Do you ever have the sensation that your body, or part of it, is changing or has changed shape?”3 The original research article does not state how many subjects answered “yes” to this specific question or scored high in the “body distortion” section of CAPS. However, it does state that subjects who had experienced an OBE were more likely to have experienced body distortion than subjects who hadn’t experienced an OBE.4

Braithwaite summarized some correlations found in the study: “OBEers reported significantly more perceptual anomalies … relative to the non-OBEers. … OBEers had a tendency to be more hallucinatory-prone compared to non-OBEers.”5

Readers interested in this study can download a PDF of Braithwaite’s original research article via the ScienceDirect database, accessible via your local or school library. Each library’s web-site has a different route to access the article databases; please ask your librarian how.

- O. Scribner

Sources )

frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Trigger warnings for this article: none I can think of. Work-safe, too.

According to a North Virginian news site, InsideNoVa: on October 17, 2011, an unnamed resident of Woodbridge, Virginia contacted the police. The resident reported a werewolf sighting in the woods at 10:05 PM. No other witnesses came forward. The Prince William County police searched the area and found nothing.

Source )

frameacloud: A stylized green dragon person reading a book. (Default)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Trigger warnings for this article: environmentalist issues, suffering nature spirits, credulous and incredulous views of supernatural. Work-safe.

During this July in the village of Bolungarvík in Iceland, human construction of an avalanche wall and a tunnel through a mountain were halted by strange accidents, including an accident with dynamiting in which flying debris caused damage to the village. Seer Vigdís Kristín Steinþórsdóttir claimed that the accidents were caused by the spirits who live in the hills, including both elves (huldufólk, hidden folk) and giants. (No relation to the Earth Liberation Movement [ELF], which has also been known to sabotage construction.) These spirits were angered because the humans didn’t ask for permission to work in their hills. According to Steinþórsdóttir, some of the spirits had been hurt or killed by the construction.

To appease the spirits and give them time to safely evacuate, locals held a ceremony in their honor, and sang for the elves. Local musician Benedikt Sigurdsson performed and said, “I have now been asked by both elves and men to broker a compromise here, and I hope that this song will suffice.”

Officials avoided associating themselves with what they saw as an irrational explanation. “The mayor Elías Jónatansson did not attend the ceremony.”1 “Seers requested the Bolungarvík municipal government make a full apology to the hidden people [but] the council … refused to co-operate.”2 After the ceremony, construction resumed.3

The hidden folk are a significant part of Icelandic folklore. The Icelandic Elf School (Álfaskólinn), established 1991, educates about this folklore by collecting stories about them and offering field trips to sites thought to be haunted by hidden folk. The head of the school, Magnús Skarphéðinsson, claims that according to a 2006 survey, “26% of Icelanders believe in elves.”4


Sources )
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Trigger warnings for these articles: disillusionment, ghosts. Work-safe.


Unicorn hoax revealed

The Ontario Science Center revealed that it ran a hoax in order to promote its new exhibit on “Mythic Creatures.” The hoax consisted of a video of a white horse posted on YouTube, encouraging people to debate whether it was real. The science center had also created a unicorn sighting hotline before letting people know that it was a publicity prank. Read more about the science center's unicorn hoax and see the video for yourself.


In UK, 755 friendly supernatural entities reported in past 25 years

Rev. Fanthorpe, “one [of] the UK’s leading authorities on the paranormal,” concluded research on the Supernatural Angel Report, having “found that in the past 25 years there have been a staggering 755 official reports [of friendly supernatural sightings] to police and councils in the UK.” These reports are of sightings or interactions with helpful or benign supernatural entities, and the numbers break down like this: “192 sighting of benign entities - ghosts which just appear and vanish without scaring viewers - 127 friendly entities, which smile or wave at people, 104 angelic visions, 99 helpful entities which actively help people who see them, 69 animal spirits, 44 sightings of fairies, 41 visions of saints, 32 of white witches, 24 guardian angels and 23 healing entities. Last month it was revealed in a study by the same organisation that there had been 227 ‘evil’ paranormal reports in the past 12 months in the UK.” It's a pleasant surprise to hear that pleasant ones are several times more frequent than malevolent ones.

- O. Scribner

Sources )

frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Trigger warnings for this article: none that I can think of. Work-safe.


Note: I found out about a dragon-related seasonal event that I’d never heard of before. I wrote this article last year, but the research took so long that I couldn’t post it in time for that October. I decided to wait until this October to post it. Another thing… despite all the tourism this event attracts, I couldn’t find any satisfactory photos or drawings of it anywhere! So I drew it based on the descriptions.

Every year around this time, on the last night of Buddhist Lent, hundreds of glowing fireballs float up from part of the Mekong River in Thailand. According to legend, these are the fiery breath of the Naga, the supernatural serpents who live underwater. In mythology, the Naga are shape-shifters who have much wealth and magic. Stories about the Naga influenced the development of stories about dragons in Chinese mythology. Other explanations for the fireballs are being sought, but so far, the event’s cause is still a mystery. 

The fireballs happen yearly, and they have done so for over a century, which is confirmed by the writings of contemporary monks.1

Location: Along a 100-kilometer stretch of the Mekong River, near the ancient Wat Paa Luang temple and the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge, in the Nong Khai province in the Issan region of Thailand.2 Sometimes, the fireballs appear simultaneously in ponds in a neighboring province, where they had various colors: red, yellow, and green.3 “[S]cientists found that 90 percent of the fireballs appear near the confluence of the Mekong River and estuaries of secondary streams, while ten percent of the fireballs appear at inland water ponds.”4

The fireballs are called bung fai paya nak (Naga fireballs) because the locals believe that the fireballs are breathed out by supernatural water-serpents called Nagas. Because the fireballs coincide with the end of Buddhist Lent, it’s thought that the Nagas are celebrating the return of Buddha from heaven.5

The fireballs happen like this: they are luminous orbs, usually red or pink in color. One by one, they float above the water, moving straight up into the air, and then disappear high up. The fireballs are silent, odorless, and leave no debris; they range in size from grapefruits to basketballs.6 They appear on the last night of Buddhist Lent in October, on the full moon of the 11th lunar month.7 The fireballs appear again in May.8 They begin to appear starting at 6 pm.9 There are usually hundreds of them. In 2002, “at least 1,000 balls of light were spotted despite clouds and rain.”10 In 2007, there were only 67 fireballs in total, the majority of which were in the Ratana Wapi sub-district.11 Read more... )

frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Trigger warnings for this article: description of intimidating creature. Work-safe.

          From the Birmingham Post: A paranormal researcher's study on sightings by region shows that in the past 25 years in the UK, 21 werewolf sightings have been reported.  I'm surprised; that's not all that rare.  I expected that there would be lots and lots of ghost stories and UFO sightings, but I would have thought there would be maybe only two or three werewolf stories.  The study includes a supposedly famous creature called the “Cannock Chase werewolf.”1
          This is subject matter quite at home in the cheesy supermarket tabloids (since it is a comment upon them), so I might as well take a look at The Sun's article about this study.  It which has a (simplified) map of the sightings by region, and has a little more to say about the creatures in question here: “Werewolves have turned up 21 times - all but one on Cannock Chase in Staffordshire. A paranormal group visited Cannock Chase in 1975 - and several of them claimed they saw the snarling beast rear up on its hind legs and run into bushes.”2  That sighting might have been one described in Nick Redfern's Memoirs of a Monster Hunter: A Five-Year Journey in Search of the Unknown, but I don't have a copy on hand to check.  Anyone familiar with this?

- O. Scribner

Sources )
frameacloud: A white dragon with its tail in a knot. (Heraldry transparent)
[personal profile] frameacloud
Trigger warnings for this article: none that I can think of. Work-safe.

Reported Sept. 8, 2009, in the Daily Mail, a British tabloid est. 1896: One night in 2007, Phyllis Bacon, a 55-year-old woman living in New Addington, near Croydon in South London, casually took a photograph of her garden without looking into the camera.  To her surprise, the photograph—shown in this news article—looks as though the flash has illuminated a fairy.  The light shape looks like a small creature flying through the air, with wings, legs, and a head with antennae.  Either it has awfully long arms, or it’s carrying something crosswise.1

To me, the fairy in this photograph looks like it’s not real… but not an intentional fake, either.  It’s probably just a blur caused by a slightly shaky camera and a long exposure.  Compare another photo with a similar apparition, where a winged angel seems to be standing beside a girl on stage, analyzed by the skeptical blog Forgetomori.2  There are other floating white dots in the “Croydon Tinker Bell” photo, and one of them has a double-image look to it, suggesting that the fairy is indeed an artifact of long-exposure blur.

I wonder what these motes are?  Insects, perhaps, or cottonwood, or snowflakes.  The photographer didn’t say what time of the year it was, and that would make a difference.  

That said, this “fairy” is a pretty neat-looking example of an accidental film artifact.  I’m impressed at just how fairy-shaped it is.  I’d sure be tickled to see one of my photos come out with a fun surprise in it like this.

Years ago, I remember happening across a website about artifacts that mysteriously appear in photos.  (Unhelpfully, I have no idea of the site’s name, or where to look for it now.)  Most of them looked an awful lot like dust on the lens or the flash, or a hair hanging into the frame… rather boring.  None of them looked so intriguing as this one!  The people running the website believed that these motes represented paranormal activity, or that a spirit had been present at the time when the photo was taken.  I suppose they would look at this photo and say, “Yes, there are indeed ‘motes’ in this photo, but they are fairies, too, and not cottonwood at all.”

- O. Scribner

Sources )

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