Extraordinary claims. Ordinary investigations.

Archive for July, 2009

Psychic powers: video proof?

psiwheel1

This is honestly one of the most curious videos purportedly showing paranormal abilities I have ever seen. It’s not an extraordinary feat like the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, after all it’s just a piece of paper spinning. Hardly useful. But the many ways by which the author tries to make it clear there’s no trickery involved turns this boring spinning piece of paper into something genuinely intriguing.

Before explaining this video, however, I would like to ask for you to write down, Windows Notepad would do, how would you briefly answer to a friend the following questions: 1-“Does this video proves the paranormal?”, and 2-“How was it created?”. It’s important that you write down your answers, as they may surprise you later.

Keep reading for the whole story.

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Google and the Conspiracy of the Triforce Doodles

triforceFor almost a year the big G.’. is surreptitiously inserting a symbol in some of its Doodles. The small symbol looks like the Triforce from the Zelda series of videogames, “a triangular relic featured as a nearly-omnipotent sacred item representing the essences of the Golden Goddesses”, also made popular in the Internet (“newfags can’t”).

earth-day 
Earth Day 2009 Doodle

The “Conspiracy!” seems to have been first noted last week over at the ATS forum, and it has just hit mainstream through Google Blogoscoped. There are many theories already.

Blogoscoped writes that it could be simply an easter egg or the signature of the artist. Who may be a big Zelda fan. Speaking of conspiracies, though, we can’t stop speculating since the Triforce is such an irresistible invitation to paranoia.

triforce_dollarThe most obvious association of the Triforce is with the “All Seeing Eye”, nowadays an almost universal symbol for god, and particularly, to the Freemasonry, even though it was already current before the foundation of the secret society. The Eye of Providence is highlighted in the verse of the Seal of the United States, and for more than half a century circulates in all dollar notes.

Since we mentioned Freemasons, there’s another use more similar to the Triforce and that can be more properly associated with the group. It’s the three dots, initially used in the late 18th century by French freemasons instead of the usual periods to mark an abbreviation. “G.’. O.’. de France” for instance would be a fashionable abbreviation of Grand Orient of France easily noticed as related to the brotherhood.

And as we also mentioned the dollar, one can find a surprising Triforce there:

one_dollar_triforce

Impressed? You may be starting to take this seriously, but those are just coincidences. Three triangles forming a larger one is not a symbol so complex so as to not come up independently several times over.

In feudal japan, many family crests incorporated it, and its probable that the Zelda game itself, from Nintendo, is a reference to this use rather than the western tradition of the All Seeing Eye or Freemasons. Nintendo will probably deny reference to any of those.

Three triangles forming a larger one are also a suggestion of a fractal object in themselves. It’s a Sierpinski triangle:

sierpinsky_triforce

From Freemasons, the dollar, Nintendo and fractals, we may well return to the Doodles. Far from suggesting an evil “Conspiracy!”, the most recent Google this past July 9th honoured Nikola Tesla. And, this is relevant, the artist seems to have mixed the Triforce with the letter “T”. Abbreviation for Tesla, of course, and also the unit for magnetic flux honouring the same genius.

tesla_triforce

Back to where we started, without much surprise all suggests it’s indeed just an Ester Egg and/or some sort of signature used by the artist, willing to play with the sacred Triforce and turn it into a “Teslaforce”.

So, to some ordinary investigation. The artist, by the way, is Susie Sahim. She didn’t insert the Triforce in all of her Google Doodles, and is directing inquiries to Google. But if you look at her Twitter profile image you will find another reference to Zelda. And as friend Renê Fraga pointed to me, she also inserts Triforce in other works (the panda was used in an April Fools Google site).

I will update this post when we get some official word from Google, but I wouldn’t count on a Great Conspiracy of Freemasons and Fractals. I do hope however that this little Conspiracy trip was fun.

Kudos to Sahim for her great art and allowing me to rave so much from such little Zelda triangles. Or sacred Triforce.

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Follow the “Alien Fetus”: graphic video

In the GRAPHIC video above presented on Italian television, an alleged aborted alien fetus is shown. You read that right, an aborted hybrid alien fetus shown on mainstream TV, in gory high-definition detail. That’s only part of a long, convoluted story told by a not-at-all anonymous lady abductee, Giovanna Podda.

You can read some translation of the video and story over at the ATS forum. And keep reading for what that “alien fetus” really is. With graphic, gory images.

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SUNlite vol.1 n.2

Tim Printy’s Skeptical UFO Newsletter Lite reaches its second number featuring great articles. The main feature is “Memory Metal Madness” addressing the recent revelations of Anthony Bragalia, according to some “the most important Roswell news since Frank Kaufmann spoke to Kevin Randle and Don Schmitt”. The title of the article may give you an idea if that is indeed so.

The newsletter is packed with fresh content, including articles by Matthew Graeber and Peter Brookesmith. You can read it above or download it here.

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“Extraterrestres ante las cámaras – Vol. 2”

ETscamaras

Freak Shows. There’s something irresistible about them. The strange, the bizarre, the unexpected and above all, the unexplained… curiosity we all have to see these “freaks of nature”.

Extremely popular for centuries and seeing their golden age at the second half of the 19th century, as epitomized by one PT Barnum, in recent years these “Freak Shows” have been declining for their exploitation of human and animal suffering, as science has shown the “freaks” are in fact victims of genetic mutations and diseases.

But are Freak Shows really a thing of the past? Or did they simply receive a cosmetic makeover? As I write this text one of the most searched terms in the Internet refers to one man from Java who, victim of an HPV infection, has large masses growing over his body which earned him the nickname of “Tree Man”. His drama has been documented by an international TV channel known for its science documentaries, and for all the elegance of contemporary superstring theories, the poor health condition of this man from Java manages to attract bigger popular interest. He’s not called a “freak”, at least not by the media, but his condition is exploited and the public loves it just a much as it always did. Freak Shows are still very much active, just in different packaging.

Which brings us to “Extraterrestres ante las cámaras, vol.2”, where author Luis Ruiz Noguez exposes just how the exploitation of a varied number of deformities and suffering is still practiced the old Barnum way: by calling them, not “freaks”, but “aliens”. Under this label, even in this age, everything goes. By suggesting to the public that what they are seeing is not actually human, not even terrestrial, and emphatically denying the science that showed how cruel the old “freak shows” were, quacks are able to turn our fascination with the unknown and innate curiosity into instruments to an atrocity. “Among all the photos of alleged extraterrestrials, the most vile are those that present children with several kinds of malformations”, Noguez points from the beginning.

Not everything is plain human suffering, though. Just like Barnum’s infamous Feejee Mermaid, modern day Freak Shows also feature all kinds of crude hoaxes, constructed from animals or just plain papier-maché. It’s all in the presentation, usually with some elaborate back story which only gets more complicated as the specimens are never properly analyzed. This is simply plain old Barnum’s saying that a sucker is born every minute.

Part of the excellent reference series of books recording, analyzing and explaining allegedly real extraterrestrial images, this volume is essential as it highlights that the interest in alien photos cannot be simple, uncompromised hobby. Everyone interested in the subject must do their proper homework to reasonably assess the origins and explanations for a given image, risking otherwise being the real inhuman creature in the process.

Ignorance is no excuse for calling other suffering people “freaks” or “aliens”. Proper skepticism is, perhaps much to the surprise of some, the proper, human and compassionate approach. Knowing that that famous photo is not of an alien, but of a poor suffering baby is the best we can do to pay our respects after the damage some have done.

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English translation of the preface I have written for “Extraterrestres ante las cámaras – Volumen 2” by Mexican author Luis Ruiz Noguez. The book is in Spanish, lavishly illustrated with over two-hundred images, and can be bought either in electronic or dead-tree format.

English publishers, do contact Noguez to make his reference books available to a larger audience.

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