A New Bioengineering Plan to Fight Climate Change by “Brightening” Clouds

From the ever-growing “What could possibly go wrong?” file comes word that a group of scientists have proposed a way to fight global warming by making clouds whiter and brighter. No … this isn’t funded by a laundry detergent company, although that’s not a bad idea. They claim brighter clouds will reflect more sunlight, leaving the Earth cooler. Before you start wondering if this involves ‘chemtrails’, they’ve got an answer for that too. Is this the ‘holy grail’ of climate change solutions that doesn’t involve us humans changing our behavior, our pollution, our corporate profits or our politics?

“Led by University of Washington scientists, a team of researchers designed a program to explore marine cloud brightening as a mechanism for cooling climate while simultaneously providing insight about cloud-aerosol effects and their influence on climate.”

As long as it’s not making chemtrails …

The Marine Cloud Brightening (MCB) project is led by University of Washington cloud-aerosol scientist Dr. Robert Wood, and was inspired by a real phenomenon – ships at sea emit exhaust particles (aerosols) which mix with sea salt particles and carry them up to stratocumulus clouds over the ocean, brightening them to levels that cool the ocean below and offset increased levels of CO2. Seen from satellites, these “ship tracks” look suspiciously like airplane contrails (see for yourself here), so the purpose of the MCB Project is to ‘sea salt’ these clouds from ships without harming the atmosphere … or humans.

The arguments in favor of ‘sea salting’ clouds starts with the fact that sea water is free and environmentally harmless when it falls back to Earth. Aerosolizing seawater from sea level would use far less energy than cloud seeding by aircraft, resulting in lower costs and less polluting emissions. On the downside, the researchers don’t really know what will happen when they increase the amount of “ship tracks” to levels needed to cool off hotspots like the coast of California, Chile or south-central Africa. To answer the “What could possibly go wrong?” question, the project will entail three phases: aerosol spray development and testing, aerosol process experiments, and cloud-brightening experiments. Each will e fully completed before moving to the next phase, and the project will end if they find out what could possibly go wrong.

What could possibly go wrong?

With California redwood forests in danger of being destroyed by wildfires and coastal coral reefs in danger of dying from heat stress, the need for controlling climate change is urgent. Could a quick fix like “sea salting” clouds give us humans enough time to enact major changes … or will it give us an excuse to kick the climate change ball to another generation?

What could possibly go wrong?

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School Kids in New Zealand Discovered a New Giant Penguin Species

Giant penguins with very long legs and a lengthy needle-like beak roamed around New Zealand around 30 million years ago and school children were the ones who unearthed this newly identified species.

The fossil was actually found back in 2006 by children who were in Kawhia Harbour on a Hamilton Junior Naturalist Club fossil hunting field trip. However, when they noticed something sticking out of the ground, they initially thought that it was an old boat anchor or possibly a rusty propeller. Then in 2017, it was given to Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato and that’s when researchers from the Massey University began studying it.

After conducting extensive analysis on it for about three years, they realized that it was not a boat part but instead a new species of Waikato giant penguin that they have named Kairuku waewaeroa. They analyzed the fossil by using 3D scans and compared their findings to other penguin bones from different parts of the world. In an interview with Stuff, PhD student Simone Giovanardi explained what they found, “For this fossil we found that it’s relatively similar to term of characteristics to other South Island penguin, called Kairuku Penguin.”

Giant penguins

While the Kairuku genus had long wings and short legs, the Kairuku waewaeroa had much longer legs as described by Zoology Senior Lecturer Dr. Daniel Thomas, “These longer legs would have made the penguin much taller than other Kairuku while it was walking on land, perhaps around 1.4 meters tall (4.6 feet), and may have influenced how fast it could swim or how deep it could dive.”

Based on their analysis, the researchers believe that the Kairuku waewaeroa lived between 34.6 and 27.3 million years ago. Their research was published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology where it can be read in full.

(Not Kairuku waewaeroa)

Giovanardi went on to say that the fossil is a “…special discovery” and it will provide researchers with valuable information regarding the evolution and habits of Zealandia penguins. In fact, it is the “…most complete fossil of an ancient North Island penguin suggesting that maybe there’s more to uncover in the Waikato.” There haven’t been many fossils discovered in the Waikato and Taranaki as the majority of them were uncovered in Otago and Canterbury.

Pictures of the fossil as well as what the Kairuku waewaeroa would have looked like can be seen here.

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NASA Reveals Thousands of “Super Eruptions” From Martian Volcanoes

NASA has just revealed that there were once thousands of “super eruptions” from volcanoes on Mars. They were able to confirm this based on evidence found at a location called Arabia Terra in the northern part of the planet. These “super eruptions” occurred approximately 4 billion years ago and lasted for a period of about 500 million years.

These massive eruptions released a gigantic amount of molten rock and gas that ended up covering the surface of the planet for thousands of miles with a thick blanket of ash. To understand this better, the molten rock and gas that was spewed out of the volcano was equivalent to 400 million Olympic-size swimming pools. After the eruptions occurred, the volcanoes collapsed, creating a massive hole called a “caldera”.

Arabia Terra imaged by THEMIS. (Via Wikipedia)

Patrick Whelley, who is a geologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and who led the Arabia Terra analysis, went into further details, “Each one of these eruptions would have had a significant climate impact — maybe the released gas made the atmosphere thicker or blocked the Sun and made the atmosphere colder.”

At first, scientists thought that the depressions were the cause of asteroids impacting the planet; however, they found that they were not roundly shaped, causing them to wonder whether they were in fact ancient calderas. At that point, Whelley and his colleagues, with help from Alexandra Matiella Novak, who is a volcanologist at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, searched for evidence of volcanic ash from Arabia Terra by using images from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

They were able to find volcanic minerals that were turned into clay from water (these included montmorillonite, imogolite, and allophone) in canyon walls and craters located as far away as thousands of miles from the calderas. Furthermore, the layers of ash were exceptionally well preserved as if it had just happened.

An ice sheet in Oxus Patera which is a caldera in Arabia Terra. (Via Wikipedia)

This new research, combined with a previous study conducted in 2013 that originally found the calderas, allowed the experts to confirm that there were thousands of powerful eruptions. But this is only the beginning as Jacob Richardson, who is a geologist at NASA Goddard and who worked with both Whelley and Novak, stated, “People are going to read our paper and go, ‘How? How could Mars do that? How can such a tiny planet melt enough rock to power thousands of super eruptions in one location?’” “I hope these questions bring about a lot of other research.” This latest research was published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters where it can be read in full.

Another picture of several craters in Arabia Terra can be seen here.

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The Spooky Haunted Drakelow Tunnels of England

Truly one of the most frightening and sinister types of haunted places is that of the haunted tunnels of the world. The dim, dank corridors of such places and their pools of shadow seem to invite such tales to them, and some of the most supposedly haunted places in the world are tunnels. These subterranean lairs of the strange come in many forms, and one of the most haunted of all is a sprawling network of tunnels in England, which has a dark past and is among the most haunted places in the country, if not the world.

In April of 1941, England’s Ministry of Aircraft Production began an ambitious project to construct a sprawling underground military complex beneath the sandstone hills at a place called the Blakeshall Estate, at Drakelow, Wolverley, north of the town of Kidderminster, Worcestershire. The elaborate and vast system of tunnels and caverns was to act as a backup shadow factory for the Rover Car Company, which at the time was making guns engines for the Bristol Aeroplane Company, to take up the reigns in the event that the main factory was damaged or destroyed by the enemy Nazis during the fighting of World War II. When the over-budget and behind schedule project was finally finished in early 1943, the massive subterranean complex consisted of a sprawling warren of caves, tunnels, and caverns that spanned over 285,000 sq. feet and included various facilities, including dormitories, storage areas, workshops, offices, telecommunications facilities, all of it laden with acid resistant floors, and there were also surface buildings, which included a boiler house, coal stores, electricity sub stations and a fire station.

Drakelow Tunnels

Construction of the complex was far from smooth, with several tragic accidents causing the deaths of at least six men and one woman. The causes of death were varied, such as a roof collapse, a freak conveyer accident, a truck accident, and another death caused when a man was struck down by a coach bringing in workers for the next shift. So many deaths created rumors that the project was actually cursed, and in addition to all of the money being poured into it, it was a fairly unpopular endeavor.

When World War II ended, the Drakelow tunnels served as a storage area of machine tools and was involved with work related to the development and manufacture of the Meteor tank engine until the 1950s. After this, it was repurposed into a Regional Seat of Government during the Cold War, to be used as a shadow command center and government center in the event that there was a nuclear war. During the decades that it served this purpose, the tunnels and facilities were completely renovated and modernized with state-of-the art technology as the threat of nuclear missiles loomed. Fortunately, the Drakelow tunnels were never used for this purpose, and in 1993 the site was decommissioned and sold off. The plan was to demolish the site to make way for commercial businesses and residences, but strong resistance by locals who wanted to preserve the complex as a historical site prevented this from ever happening.

Considering the turbulent history of the complex’s construction and the general unsettling eeriness of these gloomy underground tunnels, it is perhaps no surprise that the site has gained a reputation for being intensely haunted. One of the first widely publicized paranormal happenings here was in 1993, when a caretaker heard old fashioned 1940s style music wafting through the gloom, but he was unable to figure out where in was coming from, and indeed he was unable to even find a device capable of playing music at all. Another caretaker was doing his rounds with two dogs in 1996 when his animals began barking and snarling as they entered an empty room, aggressively gathering at one of the walls to snarl. The caretaker was able to pull them away, but in one of the tunnels they stopped and began growling and barking again, and as he looked on the caretaker could see a mist forming ahead of them and flowing towards them down the tunnel. Thinking it was a fire, he ran out of there with the two dogs, and when he went back the mist was gone. His dogs refused to enter the tunnels from that day on. To this day, people have continued to report hearing the eerie disembodied music, and there have been other accounts of seeing the mist, which sometimes allegedly forms into a humanoid shape.

In addition to these, there are various other types of paranormal activity reported from the Drakelow tunnels. People have seen the apparitions of construction workers in 1940s uniforms, as well as the horrifying visage of a half man-half dog figure covered in hair, which haunts one of the tunnels and creates feelings of intense animosity and dread. There is also a ghost affectionately known as Oswald, who is known as a mischievous sort who pushes people over, pulls hair, and throws rocks. Add to this the typical paranormal affair of hot and cold spots, anomalous noises, voices, moans, or screams from the dark, and moving objects, and you have all of the ingredients for a place that has been called one of the most haunted locations in the world and has attracted numerous paranormal investigators. One of the most famous investigations done at the Drakelow tunnels was carried out by Nick Groff and Katrina Weidman, with the TV show Paranormal Lockdown, and they did not go away disappointed.

The crew would stay there for three days, in what would prove to be one of the most harrowing investigations they had ever carried out. Things kicked off almost immediately, when they were followed around by a shadow figure, heard loud bangs, and picked up a lot of Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP) activity, including a voice saying “Hi there,” “Who’s that?” and “Americans,” as well as “Killed”, “Appear” and “Computer.” During this time readings on their ghost detection equipment were going off the charts. On the second day they investigated a location known as the canteen, one of the more haunted sections of the tunnels, where they felt an electrical charge to the air, as well as heard a door suddenly slam shut, and at one of the tunnels they allegedly called out to any entities and heard the sound of people running even though no one else was there. The third day would prove to be the most frightening, when Nick got lost and became increasingly alarmed by a heavy sense of being watched and followed, eventually managing to get a photograph of a shadow figure looming nearby.

They would set up an experiment with lasers and lights at the location of this encounter, in which the lasers act as a tripwire that will light up the area if anything passes through. They then called out to the entity and the lights suddenly went on for no discernible reason, after which they received EVP that said “Into a trap,” “Sid Sick,” and “Secret bunker.” To punctuate all of this, a brick was then thrown at them from the darkness. They then apparently asked who had thrown it, and got an EVP voice saying “It was him.” The voice then said “Sid sorry,” and there was no further activity. It is spooky stuff, and the episode proved to be a hit. The Drakelow tunnels have also been investigated by the show Most Haunted, which also turned up a bunch of weird stuff. It all seems fitting for such a dark and gloomy place pervaded by tragic history, and the Drakelow tunnels remain one of the most haunted places there is.

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Facial Reconstruction of a 70,000-Year-Old Neanderthal Reveals Face Tumor

Thanks to facial reconstruction, we now know what a male Neanderthal who lived as long as 70,000 years ago looked like. His smiling face revealed very interesting details, specifically a lumpy tumor that was located above his right eye.

This ancient Neanderthal, who has been named “Krijn”, lived anywhere between 70,000 and 50,000 years ago in Doggerland (a former piece of land that linked the United Kingdom to mainland Europe but is now underwater). According to a statement released by the National Museum of Antiquities (RMO) in the Netherlands, Krijn would have lived alongside mammoths, horses, woolly rhinoceroses, and reindeer. While Neanderthals would have had a large assortment of food, the weather would have been very cold.

A portion of Krijn’s skull was located in 2001 at the bottom of the North Sea off the coast of the Netherlands by an amateur paleontologist named Luc Anthonis. And that piece of skull has recently allowed paleo-anthropological artists to recreate a life-like bust representing Krijn’s facial features.

A study that was published in 2009 revealed a few details regarding Krijn, such as he was a young man when he died; his diet contained a lot of meat and no seafood; and he had a tumor called an intradiploic epidermoid cyst that was located above his right eyebrow.

In the study, the authors explained that the type of cyst is not very common; it would have grown slowly; and it was probably benign. It may have caused Krijn to have headaches, dizziness, problems with vision, convulsions, seizures, or pain and swelling. On the other hand, he may not have had any symptoms at all. Furthermore, it was the first time ever that a tumor had been found on any remains belonging to Neanderthals.

In a translated video released by the RMO, Adrie Kennis, who is a paleo-anthropological artist with Kennis & Kennis Reconstructions, talked about the bust by stating, “Luckily, it’s a very distinctive piece.” The video, which shows the bust of Krijn’s face, can be viewed here.

Le Moustier by Charles R. Knight in 1920. (Via Wikipedia)

His skull is very significant in another way as it was the first time that a hominin fossil dating back to the Pleistocene Epoch (2.6 million to 11,700 years ago) had been discovered underneath seawater. Additionally, it was the first ever Neanderthal remains found in the Netherlands.

Krijn’s bust is part of an RMO exhibit called “Doggerland: Lost World in the North Sea” that is currently on display for the public to view until October 31st. A picture of the bust showing Krijn’s face can be seen here.

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The Mysterious Mummies of Guanajuato and Their Haunted Museum

In 1833, death came to the rugged region of the silver-mining town of Guanajuato, Mexico in the form of an epidemic of cholera that swept through poor and rural areas to kill indiscriminately. Cemeteries began to fill up with bodies at an amazing rate, with more cemeteries being created to deal with the influx of death. Considering that cholera was deadly and poorly understood, many of the bodies were buried immediately, with it estimated that in their rush to get them in the ground many victims were accidentally buried alive. The cemeteries would continue to overflow with the dead, the bodies often buried in mass graves, until the epidemic ended in 1851, and for a time these victims of the disease could rest in peace, but this was to change. This would be the beginning of the story of the mysterious mummies of Guanajuato, who would end up at a museum and remain haunted to this day.

In the 1870s, the government began charging a tax to be paid for a “perpetual burial,” an amount of money many of the poor people of the region were unable to pay. If the tax was not paid or a living family member could not be found, the corpse was simply disinterred and stored above ground in a warehouse, and in one particular cemetery, the Santa Paula cemetery, as the bodies came up some proved to be in a shocking state of preservation. It seems the hot, arid climate of the area, combined with the high-altitude and unique soil composition of the cemetery, had caused many of the bodies to naturally mummify, and the extent of their preservation was remarkable, with clothing intact, full heads of hair, beards, and faces clearly recognizable and often twisted into grimaces of pain, terror, or both. It is unexplained why some of the bodies were not preserved in this manner, but many of them were, and before long, curiosity seekers were coming around the cemetery in the hopes of seeing the macabre sight of one of these natural mummies. In response to this popularity, some grave keepers and other cemetery workers began charging a fee to see them, turning it into a morbid attraction to make some extra money. It was all pretty disrespectful to those who had died, with visitors sometimes breaking off pieces of the mummies as souvenirs, and at the time there was nothing really keeping people from getting as close as they wanted to them.

The mummy of a child

These mummies came in all ages, including babies and children, and in those days the mummies were just sort of propped up against the walls or held up with ropes, lurking there in the gloom like ghouls, the whole place more like a haunted house than anything else. With their twisted visages staring out into nothing, sometimes seeming to be screaming or grimacing, the faces contorted in agony and anguish, it was all a pretty gruesome sight, and it was not uncommon for people to leave in a panic or even faint while wandering through. The famous author Ray Bradbury came to see the mummies and ranked it as one of the most horrifying places he had ever seen, turning the experience into a story called The Next in Line. Bradbury would say of his visit:

The experience so wounded and terrified me, I could hardly wait to flee Mexico. I had nightmares about dying and having to remain in the halls of the dead with those propped and wired bodies. In order to purge my terror, instantly, I wrote ‘The Next in Line.’ One of the few times that an experience yielded results almost on the spot.

As the number of morbid curiosity seekers rapidly increased, the government moved in to control the spectacle somewhat, to try and maintain some respect for the dead, turning the place into a museum in which the mummies would be protected by temperature-controlled glass showcases, and in 1969 it officially became El Museo de las Momias, “The Museum of the Mummies.” Its halls are populated by around 111 mummies, some of them on display and others held in storage, and there is occasionally a travelling exhibit called “The Accidental Mummies of Guanajuato.” There are even portraits created by a forensic artist depicting how the individuals probably looked when they were alive. One of the most popular and horrific exhibitions in the collection is the mummy of a young woman named Ignacia Aguilar, who is believed to have been accidentally buried alive. She was found face down in her grave biting into her arm, her face twisted into a visage of terror, which eternally keeps as it gazes at visitors. Another is the mummy of a 24-week-old fetus that was found in its mother’s womb, believed to be the youngest mummy in the world. It is now a very popular tourist destination, complete with a gift shop that sells various mummy-themed merchandise and little skeletons dressed in clothes, called catrinas.

Mummies at El Museo de las Momias

Considering the macabre nature of the museum, the death it represents, and the general disrespectful treatment of the bodies, it is perhaps no surprise that it is also said to be haunted. There have been all sorts of reports of paranormal activity from El Museo de las Momias, including disembodied footsteps, the sound of sobbing, moaning, or screaming, whispered voices when no one is there, and shadow figures lurking about. There are also stories of the mummies being found in slightly different positions or poses and even moving while being watched, and this place has regularly attracted teams of paranormal investigators. One can probably understand why this place should be haunted, the corpses exhibited and treated like objects for foreign visitors to gawk and point at, taking selfies with these long-dead people whose names they don’t even know. Writer Marlene Melissa Davila has lamented this situation in an article on the site The Collective of Radical Death Studies, beautifully saying of it:

Looking at the mummies one can’t help but feel terrified by their expressions of suffering (many were mistakenly buried alive) and the way that they have been sold as inanimate objects. These were people, but even the museum has taken their names away from them: we don’t know who they really were except for a few, such as the museum’s first mummy, Remigio Leroy who we only know because of his foreign, upper-class status. As macabre as the museum may seem, many tourists, mostly Americans, enjoy taking selfies and pictures with the mummies to show them off on their social media, thinking it’s one of those “creepy” things one can see only in Mexico.

 

It is known that Mexico’s perception of death is different from many western cultures; there is a great amount of humor involved, for example, in the famous calaveritas (satirical poems on Day of the Dead). where one writes a silly poem about the death of someone who is still alive. Not to mention as well all of the beautiful celebrations that take place on Day of the Deal: cempasúschil flowers (Mexican native flower known as Tagetes erecta), papel picado (colorful papers hung in ceilings depicting images of Day of the Dead), altares (altars) and other symbolic gestures to remember the dead.  Nevertheless, it is important not to confuse cultural heritage and a country’s perception of death with the morbid exploitation of the dead themselves. Dignity and consent should always come first. With dark tourism on the rise, the suggestion for curious visitors is that instead of looking at this museum and other similar ones (such as the Capuchin Catacombs in Rome) as haunted exhibitions, we should consider them as memorials, where the dead should be remembered as humans and therefore, be respected as such.

The museum continues to pull in tourists, curiosity seekers, and ghost hunters alike, and represents a dark and mysterious little corner of Mexican history. What were these people’s names, what were their stories, and are their spirits tethered here for reasons we will perhaps never understand? It might be worth it to book a trip and experience this morbid piece of history for yourself.

 

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New Study Shows Cannabis Can Trigger Psychedelic Experiences Similar to Psilocybin

Much attention in the psychedelics world has been paid recently to psilocybin ‘magic’ mushrooms and their value in the treatment of post traumatic stress disorder and other psychological ailments, and to micro dosing LSD in both medical and recreational applications. As always, marijuana – medical and recreational – is relegated to the sidelines and continues to get political abuse in the U.S. as states establish their own laws while the federal government confuses the issue. That wasn’t helped by a recent study showing an increase in heart attacks among 18-to-44-year old marijuana users. However, a new study may get cannabis some well-deserved acclaim as a psychedelic drug. Wait … what?

“Once the psilocybin labs started emphasizing that oceanic boundlessness seemed to be the mechanism underlying the molecule’s antidepressant effects, nearly every cannabis fan couldn’t help but ask, ‘Hey! Doesn’t marijuana have comparable effects?’”

Mitch Earleywine, a professor of psychology at the University at Albany, is the lead author of “Cannabis-induced oceanic boundlessness” published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. For those unfamiliar with the term, Cannabis Now explains that “Oceanic boundlessness” was defined by U.K. researcher and psychiatrist Ben Sessa in his book “The Psychedelic Renaissance” as the feeling of being at one with the universe that psychedelics can induce – causing the user to abandon personhood for an existence without physical, emotional or mental boundaries. To test whether cannabis can also induce this feeling, Earleywine’s team surveyed 852 cannabis users about their most intense THC experience – “the highest you’ve ever felt.” While that was often the result of smoking or eating more THC than expected, 20% of the volunteers described feelings that matched psychedelics-induced oceanic boundlessness, although not as intensely.

“Self-report data suggest that high doses of cannabis can create subjective effects comparable to those identified in trials of psilocybin that precede relief from cancer-related distress, treatment-resistant depression, alcohol problems, and cigarette dependence.”

Finally, a marijuana study focusing on psychological benefits rather than psychosis or paranoia. Earleywine suggests that additional lab testing be done using protocols from psilocybin research to further compare the THC-induced oceanic boundlessness to the psilocybin-induced kind – potentially leading to cannabis-assisted psychotherapy with benefits similar to those of psilocybin with the added benefit that cannabis is more accepted and mostly legal.

As always, Earleywine emphasizes that these were preliminary surveys and more research need to be done in controlled lab settings, warning:

“I don’t recommend the home game. Cannabis can make depression worse for some people, or so it seems.”

It also seems marijuana might be ready for some positive news as well.

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The City of London: Beware of its Mysterious Underground

A couple of days ago, I wrote an article here at Mysterious Universe on the subject of how – over the years and decades – the London Underground rail system has been utilizeded in more than a few TV shows and movies, and all in relation to strange creatures and monsters. As I said: “Such examples include (A) the 1967 production of Quatermass and the Pit, in which bizarre, mutated and diminutive ape men – who were the subject of advanced genetic experiments, undertaken millions of years earlier, by visiting Martians – appear in the London Underground of the 1960s in the form of spectral, manifested, inherited memories; (B) The Web of Fear – a Dr. Who adventure that surfaced in the following year, 1968, that sees the doctor and his comrades doing battle with robotic yetis on the Underground; (C) An American Werewolf in London – a 1981 film in which the beast of the title feasts on a doomed, late night rail traveler; and (D) Reign of Fire, a 2002 production starring Christian Bale and Matthew McConaughey…”

Today, however, I’m going to share with you a couple of true stories of strange “things” in the London Underground. I’ll begin with what is known as an “ABC.” An Alien Big Cat. As anyone with an interest in the field of Cryptozoology will know, numerous reports of out-of-place large cats have been made just about all across the U.K. Some researchers believe them to be escapees from zoos and private enclosures. Others, though – like me – ponder on the possibility of the ABCs being “daimons.” With that said, let’s look at one particularly fascinating story from the London Underground in the 1950s. It concerns a woman named Maureen Abbott;  she encountered a large cat, late at night, at the Bakerloo Line. Although the encounter was over in a flash, Maureen saw enough of the beast to realize something wild and potentially dangerous roamed the U.K.; something that – in her case – lurked far below the surface of the city of London. When I first met Maureen and we chatted about her experience, she was adamant that what she had seen was “a black panther.” It should be noted that, in reality, so-called “black panthers” are actually melanistic large cats such as cougars and leopards, whose bodies contain an over-abundance of dark pigmentation. Not only that: as the creature passed by, on the tracks, its eyes very briefly locked with Maureen’s. She said something very strange, but also eye-opening and illuminating, when she addressed this part of the story: “I thought its eyes were human, not a cat. They looked like that. I know cats are clever, but there seemed more.” Now, onto another strange story of London’s underworld.

The London Underground’s British Museum Station closed its doors on September 25, 1933. For many years prior to its closure, however, a local myth circulated to the effect that the ghost of an ancient Egyptian haunted the station. Dressed in a loincloth and headdress, the figure would emerge late at night into the labyrinth of old tunnels. In fact, the story gained such a hold that a London newspaper even offered a significant monetary reward to anyone who was willing to spend the night there. Somewhat surprisingly, not a single, solitary soul took the newspaper up on its generous offer. The story took a far stranger turn after the station was shut down, however. The comedy-thriller movie, Bulldog Jack, which was released in 1935, included in its story a secret tunnel that ran from the station to the Egyptian Room at the British Museum. The station in the film is a wholly fictional one dubbed Bloomsbury; however, the scenario presented in the film was specifically based upon the enduring legend of the ghost of British Museum Station.

Oddly enough, on the exact same night that the movie was released in British cinemas, two women disappeared from the platform at Holborn – which just happened to be the next station along from the British Museum. Strange marks were later found on the walls of the closed station, and more sightings of the ghost were reported, along with weird moaning noises coming from behind the walls of the tunnels. Not surprisingly, tales began to quickly circulate to the effect that the police had uncovered some dark and terrible secret – about a paranormal killer on the tracks – that had to be kept hidden from the populace at all costs.

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26.11 – MU Podcast – Castaneda’s Curse

Answering the phone to a strange and distance metallic voice set into motion a wild goose chase that would bring two very different but spiritually gifted people together. Who was the voice and the entity that came to be know as “You”? What was its motivation and how did following the path of the famed Carlos Castaneda lead to a series of high strangeness infused encounters?

Then in our Plus+ extension we take a look at a theory that completely reevaluates conventional ideas about UFOs. Time travel, false gods, Atlantis, extraterrestrials and much more could all collectively be the same UFO phenomena and a breakaway civilisation will stop at nothing to keep the truth from us.

Links

Towards the Moon with Fellini: Magical Realism
Federico Fellini
Carlos Castaneda
The Siren Call of Hungry Ghosts: A Riveting Investigation Into Channeling and Spirit Guides

Plus+ Extension

The extension of the show is EXCLUSIVE to Plus+ Members. To join, click HERE.

Closer Encounters
UFOs, Russian Meddling, Alien Encounters: A Strange Saga
Commie Contactees
Handbook of Nordic New Religions
Herald of the Cosmic Brother Hood: The Story of the Swedish Contactee Sten Lindgren
The post 26.11 – MU Podcast – Castaneda’s Curse first appeared on Mysterious Universe.

From the Planet Mars to the London Underground…and More

The U.K.’s famous London Underground serves commuters traveling throughout Greater London, as well as select parts of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, and Essex. It can also claim the title of the world’s oldest underground system of its type, given that it opened up for business on January 10, 1863. Today,  the London Underground has numerous stations and miles-upon-miles miles of track. There’s something else: for years, there have been claims of strange creatures prowling around the lower levels of the Underground. For some people, the stories are nothing but legend and friend-of-a-friend-type tales. Others aren’t quite sure the tales are just tales, and nothing else. In light of that, this particular article is a two-part one. Part One is focused on the ways in which the London Underground has been utilized in the world of entertainment – TV shows and movies, of course – and all in relation to horror, the supernatural, and the paranormal. Stories of strange creatures – many of a definitively cryptozoological nature – lurking in the London Underground have circulated for years, and chiefly in fictional, on-screen format.

Such examples include (A) the 1967 production of Quatermass and the Pit, in which bizarre, mutated and diminutive ape men – who were the subject of advanced genetic experiments, undertaken millions of years earlier, by visiting Martians – appear in the London Underground of the 1960s in the form of spectral, manifested, inherited memories; (B) The Web of Fear – a Dr. Who adventure that surfaced in the following year, 1968, that sees the doctor and his comrades doing battle with robotic yetis on the Underground; (C) An American Werewolf in London – a 1981 film in which the beast of the title feasts on a doomed, late night rail traveler; and (D) Reign of Fire, a 2002 production starring Christian Bale and Matthew McConaughey, that revolves around literal fire-breathing dragons burst forth from the old tunnels of the Underground and decimate Britain, and, eventually, the rest of the planet, too.

(Nick Redfern) From Mars to the London Underground

Some of the older tales of creature-like entities prowling the tunnels under London were incorporated into a less well known, fictionalized film. Its name: Death Line. Made in 1972, it starred horror film stalwarts Christopher Lee and Donald Pleasance, and related the saga of a collapse, in the latter part of the 19th Century, at a then new station being built at Russell Square – which happens to be a real station on the Underground. Unfortunately, when the disaster occurs, a significant number of workers – both men and women – are killed. Or, rather, they are presumed killed. And, when the company funding the project goes bankrupt, all efforts to try and dig out the bodies and give them a decent burial are quickly, quietly, and conveniently forgotten. Had the plans gone ahead, the company would have learned to its horror that the workers did not die. Instead, they found themselves trapped underground, and forced to make new lives for themselves in their permanent, sub-surface home – which they do by living on just about anything and everything, and anyone and everyone, that dares to cross their path or stumble upon their darkened abode.

And as Death Line tells it, some eight decades on, the final few offspring of the original workers are still valiantly clinging on to life. Their existence, however, is a distinctly poor one: afflicted by a host of genetic abnormalities caused by in-breeding and a lack of regular nourishment, their minds are reduced to truly primitive levels and their bodies are overwhelmingly diseased and corrupted. As for their only source of food, it comes in the form of the occasional, unfortunate user of the Underground who, if the circumstances are in their favour, they can secretly grab, kill, and ultimately, devour. Death Line is an entertaining and odd little film that seldom gets the airing it deserves, and it’s one that leaves the viewer with much to think about and muse upon when it comes to the matter of wild people living among us. There are, however, those who believe the film is more than just mere fiction; far more than just mere fiction. Some are firmly of the opinion that the story it relates is 100 percent fact – albeit, admittedly, difficult to confirm fact – and that far below the capital, primitive man-beasts roam, forage, slaughter and feed.

In Part 2, I’ll address the claims that there are real, strange creatures deep in the Underground…

The post From the Planet Mars to the London Underground…and More first appeared on Mysterious Universe.