RIP Harold Ramis (aka Dr. Egon Spengler), writer of Caddyshack, Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day, a man who made me laugh hard and often during my teens. Thank you sir and safe voyaging...
- Man who 'died' for 45 minutes and had a near-death experience talks about his experience.
- Heart surgeon confirms near-death experience account that challenges mainstream scientific view of consciousness.
- Could SETI be funded via a lottery with a cash prize?
- Mysterious glowing 'butterfly cloud' in Alaskan sky was a fuel vent related to a rocket launch.
- Strange 200-year-old bone cylinder that mystified archaeologists turns out to be a feminine hygiene product.
- Largest recorded meteorite impact on the Moon captured on video.
- Is information physical?
- Your gut bacteria can affect your mind. So can they be hacked to make you smarter?
- The puzzle of the Universe's giant cosmic sparks.
- Strange state of matter found in chicken's eye.
- Research by French neurosurgeons sheds light on the neural basis of consciousness and dreams. Although the end of the post could just suggest the opposite...
- Every night at the same time, hundreds of Swedish students scream their anxieties into the sky, creating the 'Flogsta Roar'.
- Turns out last week's Viking (non-)apocalypse was just a marketing stunt.
- Was major security flaw in Apple operating system actually an NSA backdoor?
- Bible in front pocket may have saved bus driver's life during early morning shooting.
- Visit the Rat Temple, where 20,000 roaming rodents are worshipped by locals.
- More proof a giant prehistoric shark did not swim with the Nazis. And it sounded so plausible!
- Image of the Day: The thin blue line.
Quote of the Day:
My career happened as a result of a tremendous synergy of all the talented people I've worked with, all helping each other, all connecting, and reconnecting in different combinations. So…identify talented people around you and then instead of going into competition with them, or trying to wipe them out, make alliances, make creative friendships that allow you and your friends to grow together
A number of people have asked, if there is a government UFO cover-up, why haven't documents relating to them turned up in the massive intelligence leak by Edward Snowden. Well, in a new document released at The Intercept, the new website devoted to publishing information about the leaks, the flying saucers have arrived. Though where they've turned up might be cause for concern for the Fox Mulder's out there.
That document is a Powerpoint presentation from the British intelligence agency GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters), titled simply enough "The Art of Deception: Training for a New Generation of Online Covert Operations", in which three of the fifty slides are images of 'UFOs'. Unfortunately, there is no text related to the images, so there could be a number of reasons for them being included - from pointing out people's belief systems, through to them possibly being part of actual psychological operations (psy-ops). The only clue might be that the images are listed under a heading of "Influence and Information Operations".
Besides the UFO references, there are a number of allusions to magic, from the mission statement to produce "cyber-magicians", to another slide listing the historical involvement of professional magicians with psy-ops, through to finishing with an image of Teller beside a quote, "Conjuring with Information".
Glenn Greenwald has written some commentary on the latest release of documents, pointing out how they show intelligence agencies are intentionally manipulating online discussions:
Among the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG are two tactics: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable. To see how extremist these programs are, just consider the tactics they boast of using to achieve those ends: “false flag operations” (posting material to the internet and falsely attributing it to someone else), fake victim blog posts (pretending to be a victim of the individual whose reputation they want to destroy), and posting “negative information” on various forums.
Returning to the topic of UFOs, writer/film-maker Mark Pilkington is well-acquainted with the dual topic of UFOs and intelligence agency deceptions via the intensive research he did for his book and related documentary Mirage Men. On his blog, Mark notes that "it’s clear that [intelligence agencies] consider the UFO subject, its attendant beliefs, and the vocal community surrounding it, to be a useful field of operations for their activities". He also points out that not much has changed in the last six decades, given the similarities between the newly released document and a research paper released in 1950 titled "Exploitation of Superstitions for Purposes of Psychological Warfare" - right down to the listing of magicians who have participated in psy-ops.
If you'd like to learn more about this subject, take a look at the lecture Mark gave a couple of years ago (embedded below), titled "The Abuses of Enchantment: Folklore and Deception in the Disinformation Age":
As Greenwald points out, "these GCHQ documents are the first to prove that a major western government is using some of the most controversial techniques to disseminate deception online... Claims that government agencies are infiltrating online communities and engaging in “false flag operations” to discredit targets are often dismissed as conspiracy theories, but these documents leave no doubt they are doing precisely that... No government should be able to engage in these tactics".
Or, as Fox Mulder told us all those years ago: "Trust no-one".
- Oldest piece of the planet found on Australian sheep farm. We evolved from sheepsh#t?
- Has the legendary Nibelung Treasure been found?
- Are people breeding 'chupacabras'?
- The surveillance state is metaphorical: They’re already in your head.
- Sealed bottle garden still thriving after 53 years.
- Could scientists at Stanford’s Bio-X lab have discovered how to end pain as we know it using light?
- Could Ayahuasca cure cancer?
- Ray Kurzweil, Google's new Director of Engineering, on the rise of the robots.
- Extraterrestrial dispersal vectors. Pigs in spaaaaaace!
- What would happen to your body on Mars?
- Assuming you are allowed to go there…
- Dr David Clarke asks "Where are the UFO whistleblowers?"
- What sleep paralysis looks like: a victim recreates his visions in photographs.
- Zombie sinkhole apocalypse or, if you prefer: Coffin-shaped depressions swallow graves in Gravesend cemetery.
- Northern lights create a dragon's head.
- Everything you need to know about corpse wax.
- Sea level rise the interactive map.
Link thanks to Greg and Cat
Quote of the Day:
Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.
A nice short lecture (27 mins) from Rupert Sheldrake on "how even in our most ordinary perceptions our minds are not confined to the insides of our heads".
A few years ago I posted a video interview with renowned heart surgeon Dr. Lloyd Rudy, in which he told of an experience he had with a patient who died on the table, had an NDE, and once resuscitated was able to describe to Dr. Rudy details of the operating theatre - which he had seen during his out-of-body experience - that he should not have known based on his state at the time (general anaesthetic, eyes taped shut, and then 'dead').
I wrote about this case in my book Stop Worrying! There Probably is an Afterlife (paperback version here), along with a number of other 'veridical NDEs' - that is, those cases where the person who died was able to accurately describe scenes in the operating room, and elsewhere, when their physical state should not have allowed them to do so. So I was very interested to hear that the NDE case recounted by Dr. Lloyd Rudy (see below) - who sadly passed away himself not too long after the video interview - has been more recently been verified by his assistant during the surgery, Dr. Roberto Amadao-Cattaneo.
In January 2013 Dr. Amado-Cattaneo commented on the YouTube interview, stating that "Everything that Dr. Lloyd Rudy explained in this video is absolutely true. I was there with him doing this surgery. The patient fully recovered and what he said to us after the surgery is what he experienced". When brought to the attention of NDE researchers Titus Rivas and Rudolf Smit, they contacted him to ask for more details about the case, and they have recently shared their discussion in the latest issue of the Journal of Near-Death Studies:
This case happened some time late 1990s early 2000s... I did witness the entire case and everything that my partner Dr. Rudy explained in the video. I do not have a rational scientific explanation to explain this phenomenon. I do know that this happened. This patient had close to 20 minutes or more of no life, no physiologic life, no heart beat, no blood pressure, no respiratory function whatsoever and then he came back to life and told us what you heard on the video. He recovered fully.
...This was not a hoax, no way, this was as real as it gets. We were
absolutely shocked that he would come back after 20 or more minutes,
we had pronounced him dead on the operating room table and told the
wife that he had died.
...we thought all along his description was quite accurate regarding things he said he saw or heard. Patients’ eyes are always shut during surgery, most of the time they are taped so they do not open since this can cause injury to the corneas.
To read the full account, get a hold of the latest Journal of Near-Death Studies (copies can be purchased from that link - and be sure to sign up as a member of IANDS, International Association for Near-Death Studies, to receive future issues). The article is in JNDS 31:3, "A Near-Death Experience with Veridical Perception Described by a Famous Heart Surgeon and Confirmed by his Assistant Surgeon", by Titus Rivas, M.A., M.Sc., and Rudolf H. Smit.
For more on veridical NDEs, and other evidence that suggests consciousness might survive our physical death, grab a copy of my book Stop Worrying! There Probably is an Afterlife (paperback version here).
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A summary of all the stories and news briefs posted on The Daily Grail over the past week - check 'em out if you missed any:
- Telepathy Between the Dead
- News Briefs 17-02-2014 (Monday)
- Music from the Butt: Recreating Music Hidden in a 500-Year-Old Painting
- Movies, Myths & Psycho-Magic: Jodorowsky's Dune
- News Briefs 18-02-2014 (Tuesday)
- The Batman: Daniel Kish Perceives the World Around Him Using Echolocation
- News Briefs 19-02-2014 (Wednesday)
- Has the Code of the Mysterious Voynich Manuscript Finally Been Cracked?
- Flying Amongst Galaxies: Your Personal Total Perspective Vortex
- News Briefs 20-02-2014 (Thursday)
- News Briefs 21-02-2014 (Friday)
- Graham Hancock 'Magicians of the Gods' Tour of Australia
Have a good weekend!
Good news, Antipodean Grailers: our good friend, 'hidden history' author Graham Hancock, is heading to Australian shores in May for a tour of major cities (and Byron Bay) discussing his 'Magicians of the Gods' research:
Ancient Mysteries, Altered States & The War on Consciousness. This May 2014, Graham Hancock, bestselling British investigative author of Fingerprints of the Gods, Underworld and Supernatural will share his radical theories and philosophy at a series of events across Australia.
Find out more details and book tickets at GrahamHancockTour.com.au.
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You really don't want H1N1 flu. It's deep misery for 10 days or longer. (What do you think I've been recovering from since New Years?) The CDC says H1N1 is still on a rampage, so, please, get vaccinated.
- Man dead for 45 minutes says he awoke after seeing afterlife.
- Cosmic harassment, stripping, strangulation, and cannibalism? Astronomers' theories of where galaxies come from.
- Physicists control quantum particles by looking at them.
- Scientists ‘freeze’ light for an entire minute.
- New find hits Cambrian fossil jackpot - again.
- Amateur discovers Roman-era German treasure linked to Wagnerian Nibelung legend.
- Been to the pyramids of Giza recently? You might be one of the last.
- Old Arctic ice is disappearing and taking the rest of the ice with it.
- Brain scans show striking similarities between dogs and humans.
- Honeybee virus is now spreading to bumblebees, which also pollinate crops, dealing a potential double blow to agriculture.
- The behaviors of captive rhesus macaque monkeys and the banking industry both comprise complex networks, and researchers say monitoring changes in these internal networks could help banks avoid catastrophic collapses. Don't forget the cocaine.
- Caffeine kick not doing it for you? Try a mild electric shock - the Pentagon is.
- My cat bit me, and now I'm turning into a cat!
- Vast stores of helium are escaping from the steam vents and hot springs of Yellowstone National Park.
- Snowden documents reveal covert surveillance and pressure tactics aimed at WikiLeaks and its supporters.
- CCTV footage of a werewolf terrifies locals in Brazil.
- Wired: What you need to know about the heroes in Guardians of the Galaxy. I'm warmin' up to these aliens.
- Signs of the impending Robopocalypse: Fall for a robot to fend off heartache.
A big thanks to RickMG and Red Pill Junkie.
Headline & Quote of the Day:
Smartest Kid Ever Sells Girl Scout Cookies Outside a Medical Marijuana Clinic
Duuude. It is a rare magical moment when the invisible hand makes a shaka sign and supply wafts up to mingle with the perfumed plumes of demand.
Am I the only nerd on the Interwebs who is not in the slightest excited about this?
- Rocket Raccoon fans should consider donating to writer Bill Mantlo's ongoing care.
- Open Minds Video: Former NASA scientist claims conspiracy about Mars photo.
- Lisa Romanek responds to his husband Stan's child porn allegations.
- Brien Foerster talks about the Paracas skulls, Puma Punku & Egypt in Where Did the Road Go?.
- Ghost caught by CCTV cameras in UK's oldest pub?
- Facepalming: 1 in 4 Americans don't believe the Earth revolves around the Sun --but you've still got them nukes! dontcha, boys?
- Obama look-alike who played Satan in 'Son of God' edited out in the final cut.
- The Process: An inside look into an Apocalypse cult of the 1960's.
- 84-year-old nun sentenced to 3 years in prison for breaking into nuclear weapons complex.
- Eyes Wide Open: Crashing into a party of one percenters.
- Newly elected president of Institute of Medicine is on the PEPSICO board of directors. Conflict of interests, you say? Shut up & have some Cheetos!
- Smokers rejoice! Researchers have grown human lungs on the lab for the 1st time.
- British surgeon successfully 3D-prints & implants a pelvis to a bone-cancer patient.
- An experiment that might let us control events millions of years ago --time to save the dinos!!
- And so it begins: Watch the trailer for the 1st film made for the Oculus Rift --better than the 1st pron title?
- Red Pill of the Day: THIS is why men stare at goats.
Thanks to Rick & to Bill Burns, for perfectly conveying what most of us think of Yoko Ono.
Quote of the Day:
"Dogmatism and skepticism are both, in a sense, absolute philosophies; one is certain of knowing, the other of not knowing. What philosophy should dissipate is certainty, whether of knowledge or ignorance."
In his wonderful fictional series The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the late Douglas Adams introduced the ‘Total Perspective Vortex’ – a machine built by inventor Trin Tragula, who after being constantly nagged by his wife to “Have some sense of proportion!” (sometimes as often as thirty-eight times in a single day), decided to build a machine “just to show her”. Into one end, he plugged the whole of reality (in classic Adams fashion, extrapolated from a piece of fairy cake), and into the other he plugged his wife, so that she would be shown in one instant “the whole infinity of creation and herself in relation to it”. To his horror, Trin Tragula realized that this single, devastating shock had completely annihilated his wife’s brain, but to his satisfaction “he realized that he had proved conclusively that if life is going to exist in a Universe of this size, then one thing it cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion”.
I don't have any fairy cake on hand, but the above video is pretty close to being a Total Perspective Vortex: it's an accurate 3-dimensional model and animation created out of data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), showing some 400,000 galaxies in their actual position in the Universe.
High resolution and full-screen recommended! Remember: each of those points of light is a complete galaxy, each with 100 billion stars or more within them. And in case that all doesn't blow your mind enough, it's worth pointing out that this 3D representation only includes all objects out to redshift 0.1 - roughly 1.3 billion light years from Earth, about 1/10 of the distance to the edge of the known Universe. And the perspective given in this video is actually impossible, as to see the Universe in this way would require traveling at many times the speed of light.