- "The Life & Times of Aleister Crowley" by Phil Baker.
- "Crowley Lives!", by Dr Dave Evans, which analyses his impact on modern culture.
- "Crowley & The Spooks", by Richard McNeff.
- "The Tregerthen Horror" by Paul Newman.
- "Who let the greys in?" by Alan Chapman (on supposed parallels between LAM and 'grey' aliens).
- "The Wickedest Man in the World" by Gary Lachman.
- "Magick Potions" by Ian Simmons.
- "The Last Ritual" by Tim Weinberg, which looks at Crowley's death and funeral.
Lots more besides - further details at the Fortean Times website (and some interesting discussion of the contents of the new issue at Cabinet of Wonders too).
Amazon supremo Jeff Bezos has announced that his online book retailing company has won the auction for J.K. Rowling's ultra-limited edition The Tales of Beedle the Bard, paying an unbelievable £1,950,000 (for 1 - yes 'one' - book...give me the standard Amazon commission on that one). They have kindly displayed some images from the book, for those interested - and it looks gorgeous:
The Tales of Beedle the Bard is extensively illustrated and handwritten by the bard herself - all 157 pages of it. It's bound in brown Moroccan leather and embellished with five hand-chased hallmarked sterling silver ornaments and mounted moonstones.
Enjoy these first images of the book. We'll be adding reviews of each of the fairytales and more photos of this beautiful object as we can get them up in the coming hours.
Rowling has donated the proceeds of the sale to The Children's Voice campaign, a charity she co-founded to help improve the lives of institutionalized children across Europe. Speaking after the sale, the bestselling author said "I am stunned and ecstatic. This will mean so much to children in desperate need of help. Christmas has come early for me."
Auction house Sotheby's had originally predicted the book to sell for around £50,000. It is one of only seven handmade copies, with the other six being given to Rowling's closest friends. It's worth noting that the sale does not give Amazon the right to publish the book, as Rowling retains the copyright.
This should be enough news to keep you kids out of trouble for a while:
- New World Order is a brilliant new comic about a group of truthseekers called the Third Army, exploring such themes as secret societies, occult, UFOs and government/religious conspiracies. I hope to interview NWO's creators soon.
- The disturbing Holosonic billboard advertises Paranormal State, a reality-tv show about the Paranormal Research Society.
- An interview with Ryan Buell, star of Paranormal State.
- But is Paranormal State any good? It's awful, according to this review.
- Turn off the tv, and read Shadow World by Brad Steiger (Amazon US or UK), Daimonic Reality by Patrick Harpur (Amazon US or UK), The Mothman Prophecies by John A. Keel (Amazon US), Memoirs of a Monster Hunter by Nick Redfern (Amazon US or UK), or TDG's very own Darklore. That should cover your Christmas shopping.
- Tajikstan is cracking down on witch-craft and fortune-telling.
- 150 surgical instruments have been found in an ancient Roman doctor's surgery.
- Two massive Viking halls were discovered beneath the Borre mounds in Norway.
- Viking farms in Iceland tell a cautionary tale on climate change.
- Archaeologists uncovered a 2000-year-old mansion believed to have been the home of Queen Helene of Adiabene.
- Philip Coppens discusses Russia's twin 'pyramids' near Vladivostok: a sacred Shamanic site that could shed light on Japan's Shinto and Ainu?
- An excellent article exploring the Ainu and the Jomon of Japan.
- Physicists use muons generated by cosmic rays to probe the interior of the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacán. Hrmm, that'd make a good scifi plot...
- Another stone sphere, 1.1 meters in diameter, has been found in Costa Rica.
- I bet Lloyd Pye will want to wear a fedora when he sees the alien-like skull in the Indiana Jones 4 movie poster. Indiana von Daniken?
- According to this oddly-fonted website, the Nahual is the most feared creature of Mexican folklore. Nahual are actually protective spirits, animal alter-egos, each human having their own personal Nahual. Red Pill Junkie might know more.
- Erowid goes non-profit (no, that does not mean they are giving out drugs for free).
- What strange things float above our heads? Not haloes, nor pigeons I hope.
- Spend a day at Iceland's Elf School, a country where 54% of the population believe in otherworldly beings.
- The owners of a house in Ohio report strange shadow people on the stairs.
- Bruce Duensing explores alien abductions and possession.
- The box at the end of the world: homespun efforts to contact the spirit world.
- America's top scientists are pushing for presidential candidates to detail how their administrations would treat science. Coming soon to FOX: America's Next Top Scientist! Or Scientific Idol?
- A NASA spaceprobe has taken stunning images of Earth's highest and most mysterious clouds.
- The Grail mission isn't Greg boldly going where he hasn't gone before, but is NASA's plans to study the Moon's lumpy interior.
- Is it an optical illusion, or does this video (with Art Bell commentary) show an object belching smoke on the moon?
- A prehistoric fungus found in ancient amber lassoed its prey. Dubya's ancestor?
- South Korean scientists have genetically modified three kittens so they appear fluorescent under UV light. That'd be handy with my black calico cat.
- In Japan, they've genetically modified a mouse so it isn't afraid of cats. Now they need to make the cat not want to eat the mouse. Science is a can of worms.
- Cat survives being bitten by a copperhead snake wrapped around her neck.
- Firemen refuse to rescue a cat stuck up a tree for 10 days, saying it's a myth they do that sort of thing.
- How did a window-washer survive a 47-storey fall? The Mythbusters got it wrong.
Quote of the Day:
Today, nothing is more important to the future and credibility of science than liberation from the gravity-driven universe of prior theory. A mistaken supposition has not only prevented intelligent and sincere investigators from seeing what would otherwise be obvious, it has bred indifference to possibilities that could have inspired the sciences for decades.
David Talbott and Wallace Thornhill, from 'Thunderbolts of the Gods'(Amazon US).
Here's the rundown on the radio schedules for the second half of the week:
Whitley Strieber's Dreamland: Whitley Strieber introduces new Dreamland guest host, psychic Marla Frees, who interviews past life regression expert Dick Sutphen about his work as a hypnotist.
Coast to Coast AM: Friday is open lines. Early show Saturday "Art Bell- Somewhere in Time" returns to 5/29/01, with David Jacobs talking about alien abduction. Afterwards, Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince, the authors of The Sion Revelation, will discuss their research on Secret Societies through the ages as well as the role of Mary Magdalene in the story of Jesus. Sunday's guest is attorney and activist Daniel Sheehan, who represented Dr. John Mack during the Harvard Medical School inquiry, discussing his involvement in UFO research.
More details including relevant websites are available at the linked pages above. You can listen to C2C live, or to recent archived shows, at CJOB.com. Dreamland is freely available at their website, and also now offers a podcast of the most recent show.
Wired have picked up on a recent FOIA document posted to the Above Top Secret forums regarding the HAARP installation (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) in Alaska. The released document suggests that while HAARP may not be the superweapon envisaged by some, it still does have possible defence applications:
The document points out that "on the higher frequency end (VHF/UHF) transionospheric propagation is a ubiquitous element of numerous civilian and military communication systems, surveillance and remote sensing systems." In other words, messing with the ionosphere means you can shut down VHF radio, TV and radar signals at will. As radio hams know, the reflection and refraction effects of the ionosphere make a huge difference to long-range radio reception, and HAARP provides the only means of influencing that.
HAARP can also "induce precipitation of energetic particles" in the ionosphere, which "could impact the operation and lifespan of satellites." While this is mainly about protecting satellites from particles from solar flares or nuclear explosions, the phrasing suggests that it might be able to have a subtle negative impact on satellites as well...
...All in all, it's a set-up that can do a lot more than just basic research. And while this may not seem much compared to weather modification, remember that these are just the capabilities they're willing to make public...
See the above links for full details.
Painful news this morning with the BBC reporting that Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld novels (having sold around 50 million books in his career) has early onset Alzheimer's Disease. Pratchett, whose novels beautifully blend fantasy, sci-fi and oddball humour, announced the news on the website of Discworld artist Paul Kidby, in a news update titled "An Embuggerance":
I would have liked to keep this one quiet for a little while, but because of upcoming conventions and of course the need to keep my publishers informed, it seems to me unfair to withhold the news. I have been diagnosed with a very rare form of early
onset Alzheimer's, which lay behind this year's phantom "stroke".
We are taking it fairly philosophically down here and possibly with a mild optimism. For now work is continuing on the completion of Nation and the basic notes are already being laid down for Unseen Academicals. All other things being equal, I
expect to meet most current and, as far as possible, future commitments but will discuss things with the various organisers. Frankly, I would prefer it if people kept things cheerful, because I think there's time for at least a few more books yet :o)
P.S. I would just like to draw attention to everyone reading the above that this should be interpreted as 'I am not dead'. I will, of course, be dead at some future point, as will everybody else. For me, this maybe further off than you think - it's too soon to tell. I know it's a very human thing to say "Is there anything I can do", but in this case I would only entertain offers from very high-end experts in brain chemistry.
As someone who has had close personal experience with the disease, I can only wish Pratchett - and those closest to him - the very best.
We lost a Rick. Please hand him in at administration if you find him.
- Arthur C. Clarke's trees on Mars have been chopped down (figuratively).
- Hearing voices in your head? Fear not, it may just be the latest trend in advertising: holosound. Scariness personified.
- Does time slow in a crisis? LiveScience has a video report.
- The 70 best ideas of 2007.
- Time Magazine list their top 10 scientific discoveries of 2007 (also see their other categories for more lists).
- Muons to reveal secrets of the Maya?
- We know who drew the Nazca Lines...but why? You know how it is...you have a few beers with your mates, one of them suggests drawing a big monkey in the sand, and then it just gets out of control.
- Whatever happened to the Aquatic Ape hypothesis?
- Archaeoastronomer explains the Chaco Canyon solstice.
- Did Whitley Strieber see a 'Drone'?
- Dean Radin's Entangled Minds is now available in Japanese.
- Switching gayness on and off. Persecution has meant that most gay people know how to do this anyhow.
- Pilots' out-of-body experiences responsible from more than a quarter of fatal air crashes. Once again, a very liberal interpretation of what constitutes an OBE...
- U.S. eyes 'pain beam' for home security and law enforcement. Watching Dubya talk on TV does not constitute a 'pain beam', despite the obvious similarities.
- Mars Rover finds signs of life. Stop me if you've heard this one before...
Quote of the Day:
We are trying to unravel the Mighty Infinite using a language which was designed to tell one another where the fresh fruit was.
UFO researcher and author Keith Chester is currently getting some nice publicity in various forms of media, for his book Strange Company: Military Encounters with UFOs in WWII (Amazon US and UK). A recent news article profiled Chester, discussing his own early UFO sighting and how he became interested in the topics covered by his book:
In 1999, he began visiting the National Archives once a week to study military records for information about UFO sightings during the war. Throughout almost four years of research, Chester found documents detailing sightings described as objects, lights, flares, strange lights or rockets.
"The sightings that were documented were considered phenomena," he said. "The military thought that they knew what they were observing, but the objects didn't match anything that was known by military intelligence."
The sightings he found include a silver, cigar-shaped object that looked like an airship. He also found a preponderance of information about unexplained objects reported by members of the 415th Night Fighter Squadron, a former Army Air Forces fighter squadron that fought during World War II.
The article comes hot on the heels of Keith Chester's appearance on the Binnall of America Audio podcast, which was so big it had to be split into two parts (Part 1 and Part 2). Well worth checking out - Foo Fighters, possible German UFO technology, and so on...enough weirdness to keep you quiet for a few days that's for sure. And I should mention, it's published by the good folk at Anomalist Books, so you just know it's got to be good.
Hope the title didn't get your imagination running overtime...Rich Montalvo has posted an update over at the website of the James Randi Educational Foundation letting people know that videos of the 'Amazing Meeting' are being uploaded to Youtube for free viewing:
In an effort to educate the public and reach a younger audience I have begun posting sections of the dvds from our Amaz!ng Meetings. You can view these videos free of charge on our YouTube channel under AmazingMeetingVideos.
The videos are limited to 10 minutes each...Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel so you will receive the alerts when I post a new video. I try to post new videos each week. Don't forget that you can still purchase all the TAM DVDs in our online store under the DVDs section.
Randi wants everyone to spread these videos as much as possible and by provided them on YouTube it is easier to spread the message of critical thinking. Post these videos everyone, send links to everyone and most importantly watch these videos and learn as much as you can. Knowledge is power!
Featured speakers currently uploaded include Penn and Teller doing a Q&A, Phil Plait, Michael Shermer, and a group panel which includes Randi. Make sure you wear your "I'm a critical thinker" badge, or they'll stop you at the door and probably tazer you.
Sorry about the lateness. That time of the month.
- Microsoft's mind reading patent.
- Mars Rover finds signs of microbial life.
- Ancient stone circle found in Skane.
- Rapid acceleration in human evolution described.
- New dinosaur discovered in Antarctica.
- Brain scans: the new snake oil.
- NASA aims to look inside the moon to solve mysteries.
- Craig Venter's DNA driven world.
- Energy source of Northern Lights found.
- How to give credit where credit is due. Or a mark of the pointlessness of some research.
- To the moon in a minivan.
- Triton's ice geysers.
Quote of the Day:
Brain: an apparatus with which we think we think.