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Australian fortean Paul Cropper--co-author of two fabulous books, The Yowie: In Search of Australia's Bigfoot and Australian Poltergeist: The Stone-throwing Spook of Humpty Doo and Many Other Cases--has just started a new blog and his first post is a dozy. It's all about the "rain" of fish that took place in Texas on the afternoon of January 16, 2018. His investigation, conducted remotely we assume, is a model of how these things should be done. The report considers several proposed explanation and finds them all lacking. What better way to kick off a fortean blog! (PH)

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An independent researcher has cast doubt on the anomalous nature of one of the two videos publicly released along with the announcement of the existence of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) last December. Greg Taylor describes two videos produced by Ian Goddard that suggest features of the gimbal infrared system, when locked onto a jet aircraft, could cause results extremely similar to what the 2015 GIMBAL video portrays. The explanation is on its face impressive, although as Greg notes, it does not "prove" that the subject of the video was indeed a jet. Another quibble is that Goddard's explanation only applies to the single image on the video, when the accompanying audio includes the words "There's a whole fleet of them; look on the ASA". We do not hear that sentence in the Goddard videos, but the Metabunk people discuss this issue in their review entitled NYT: GIMBAL Video of U.S. Navy Jet Encounter with Unknown Object. Well, now that the U.S. has 'fessed up to its secret UFO program, will other countries also own up? In British Ministry of Defence Breaks Silence on Bombshell US X-Files Jon Austin gives us the English answer: No. (WM)

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We stay in chilly British waters for today's crypto-round-up, beginning off the coast of County Clare in Ireland, where the sighting of a fishy female with "well-shaped hands" occurred just before the death of Edward VII. Further north, Glasgow Boy heats things up a little with A Review of "The Loch Ness Mystery Reloaded" (Part II) which is a further exposition of his excoriating opinions of Ronald Binns' latest book. And finally, still in Scotland, Karl Shuker tells us I'd Like to be beside the Sea in a Water-horse's garden in the shade, which is a whimsical intro to his analysis of the Ord Water Horse's skeleton on the Isle of Skye. (LP)

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Ufology is as much about the witnesses and those who interact with them as about whatever is perceived. Penn State historian Greg Eghigian says a group of Canadian scholars is intensively studying the human response to UFOs, and we can expect some reports on their work eventually. Nick Redfern's already got one for us, as he relates in The Road to Strange: A New UFO Book Reviewed. Michael Brein and Rosemary Ellen Guiley emphasize how UFO experiences affect the witnesses themselves--how they and those around them deal with the aftermath. Ridicule is a prominent element in a number of instances. But maybe that is diminishing, as seen in Poll: A Majority of Americans Are Preparing For An Extraterrestrial Invasion. Yes, Jazz Shaw's title is a bit over the top. But Shaw aptly asks whether the perceived rise in public acceptance of ET possibilities may be somewhat connected to the revelations of the Pentagon UFO study program, either in a rise in belief itself, or just in the willingness to express that opinion. Some might even find that latter a job enhancement move, says Paul Seaburn in his Kim Wilde Sees a UFO and Fears an Alien Abduction. The English pop singer and personality recently mentioned a 2009 UFO encounter in an interview, just coincidentally on the eve of a new album and concert tour called "Here Come The Aliens." But promoting one's UFO interests can have its pitfalls, too; just ask the subject of 'Ghostbuster for Aliens' Investigates UFOs on the 'Paranormal Highway'. Michael Koenigs profiles Colorado's controversial ufologist Chuck Zukowski, who was fired by a Sheriff's office for mixing paranormal and police work. (WM)

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Bet this headline caught your eye. Maybe a diameter of 240 miles sounds more believable, but this is still really a BIG story and we'd have loved to have heard the debate in Chile that accompanied the 1999 TV broadcast of two images supposedly taken separately some years before. Inexplicata sitemaster Scott Corrales attaches another case that, if anything, seems wilder and "deeper" than the lead. Staying in country, Scott gives us Chile: A UFO Over Temuco--First One This Year (2018). Scott helpfully provides some translation to the associated video, whose witness reactions may be just as interesting as the intriguing photography. Our final South American case takes place in Argentina: New UFO Sighting in Pocito introduces us to a largely youthful group of "UFO Hunters." Whether the associated video shows one or multiple point light sources is unclear, but again the sound impresses upon us the wonder that celestial doings can inspire in us all. (WM)

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For those of you wondering what a hard core weather nerd with a penchant for the strange likes to read, wonder no more and welcome to meteorological heaven. For those of you wondering what knocked those old growth trees down in the wee hours of January 27, the short answer is "Wind." The long answer reads like a mystery novel with an incredibly well thought out plot. Other puzzling news includes two videos from Coast To Coast AM. The first Video: 'Time Traveler' Passes Lie Detector Test? is a lengthy display of ambiguity, which is quite disappointing because we really want to believe this is a real time traveller. Sadly it's just too easy to fake results on a video recording. Next, we Watch: Ghost Knocks Ball Down Stairs? Creepy? Yep, we got goosebumps, too. Sometimes the simplest things are the hardest to explain away. Now we're itching to go ghost hunting. (CM)

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Aleister Crowley, portals, and the "origin" of UFOs--Andrew Arnett's article has it all. It's a fascinating and densely informative read, and the links will be especially helpful to those new to this particular fringe-element to the wild "extra"-world of ufology. On a lighter, and nearer in time, note, the Missing Wreckage of UFO Which 'Crash Landed' in Yorkshire is Found, 60 Years On, says David Clarke. Clarke relates the story of the "Silpho Moor Object," its strange message "You will improve or disappear," its disappearance, and the recent reappearance of parts of it that had been stowed in 1963 in an archive. Sarah Knapton fills out the story of the Lost Wreckage of 'British Roswell' Flying Saucer Discovered in Science Museum. It turns out that Dr. Clarke himself had recently given a lecture there, and afterwards "One of the museum staff tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I was aware that 'bits of a flying saucer' had been kept in a cigarette tin in the museum group store for decades." Amazing. (WM)

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In the first half of an outstanding Paracast, Biblical scholar and ufologist David Halperin debates Erich von Daniken on Ancient Astronauts, then continues on with host Gene Steinberg in a discussion of Halperin's own sense as to what UFOs are and what they are not. Halperin pursues von Daniken doggedly across time and cultures, praising the Swiss raconteur for bringing out the "mystery" of antiquity while differing with him on almost every other point. In the process von Daniken also gets his views and methodology across. The second part of the podcast brings out the basic perspectives that inform and animate Halperin's excellent blog articles. Though one may come away unconvinced by Halperin's theories, he or she may very well feel they have a richer understanding of the UFO subject. With "Chariots of the Gods?"--Erich von Daniken and the Book of Enoch Halperin expands upon one of the contests he had with von Daniken in the Paracast debate. Again, Halperin finds something to praise in von Daniken's overall work, while strongly disagreeing with his theme and methods. In the process Halperin highlights the frustrations historians have with conveying to non-historians--and beginning students in particular--what historians know and what they reconstruct about the past. (WM)

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Columnist Brad Dickson has some well-deserved fun poking the squatchy possibilities with a long scratchy stick. That's the thing about forteana--if you're in it for the long haul, you better have your sense of humor somewhere next to your monster spray and holy water. You also need to have a bit of a stubborn streak. A columnist in South Whidbey thinks Lawmakers Should Pass Sasquatch Bills and is as disappointed as the rest of us that the recent bill aimed at making Bigfoot the official cryptid of Washington wasn't passed. Or perhaps there's some tongue in cheek going on there--we'll let you decide for yourselves. But Beware of the Beastly Bunyip. Don't be lulled into a false sense of safety because the Bunyip seems to stick to Australia. Nor should you think it's not a predator just because Bunyip is so darn fun to say out loud. (CM)

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Paul Seaburn strikes again with an entertaining tale cooked up by Greek thinkers who've squeezed out "history" from a story in a book by Plutarch. Plutarch was a 1st-2nd CE biographer of famous Greeks and Romans who also wrote a book called Moralia, and it's from the latter that the current Greek team has drawn its inspiration. Seaburn points out some of the weaknesses in the "Greeks in Canada" theory, most glaringly that there is absolutely no physical evidence to support it. Jason Colavito exhaustively attacks the theory in Greek Scientists Claim Plutarch Recorded Ancient Greek Voyages to Canadian Colony. Colavito points out astronomical, geographical, literary, mythological, and historical knowledge problems in the authors' attempt "to reduce myth and legend to historical fact," and sets the story in the Moralia into a larger Greek speculative context. (WM)

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