An Ode to Air

Air, one of two life sustaining elements on Earth; water the other, two opposing bodies of molecular beauty. They are as the singing song bird is to the ear and yet they comingle and set out to destroy both rock and rod.

On the whole of it, molecules of water and molecules of air are the most abundant substances on the planet, though their total volumes are finite.  Trillions upon trillions of microscopic particles packed together; oxygen, hydrogen, helium and a host of other exotic elements, all make up the wall that is water and wind.

It has been said that with every breath you take, you are partaking in at least a molecule or two of Julius Caesar’s last breath.  This idea first brought to the fore by Enrico Fermi, renowned physicist and Nobel laureate, and one of the scientists to work closely with J. Robert Oppenheimer on the Manhattan Project, both often referred to as the fathers of the nuclear age.

The actual calculations that prove the above to be true are thus: Assuming Julius Caesar’s last breath was one litre of air it would have consisted of about 1022 molecules. As he died a long time ago and the air has been all mixed up since then, and atoms don’t go away, those molecules are assumed to have been evenly spread throughout the entire Earth’s atmosphere, a total of about 5.1×1018Kg of air, a total of somewhere around 1044 molecules. The conclusion, if atmospheric mixing is perfect and the majority of the oxygen in our bodies ultimately comes from the atmosphere (possibly via plants and animals that we eat – possibly by breathing) – then there are half a million oxygen atoms of Caesar’s last breath in each of our bodies.

And still they amaze the mind.  These molecules, of air and of water, they hold the power to sustain life and to destroy it.  One must imbibe both water and air to remain among the living, but too much of either and even the strongest stone will wash away, and the most virile man will wither and die.  When molecules of air band together and push all in one direction, a wind do we see.  When their temperature varies by enough of a degree, a storm do we get.  Even the force of a hurricane is still just molecules of air, all moving in one direction, with enough of their friends in tow.

When you feel a cooling breeze on a hot summer day, you are quite literally being bombarded by tiny particles of air.  And when you feel the bite of strong winter wind, again are you assailed by they air around you; and thus is the chaotic nature of air current. This mixture of air around the globe is as the flapping of butterfly wings is to the patterns of weather a world away.

Synesthesia, Can You Hear The Colours?

What colour is the sound of a dog barking?  What does brown taste like?  What does red paint sound like?

To many people the above questions may be nonsensical and confusing, but to a select few people they make perfect sense.  That group of people are referred to as Synesthetes, or are afflicted by Synesthisia.

Synesthesia (from the Greek syn-, “together” and aesthesis, “perception”) is defined as a condition whereby sensory information is combined by the brain in unique ways.[1]  Simply put, it is a unique condition wherein a person’s senses get scrambled.  When they hear a sound, say the musical note C, they may also see the colour red.  When they see something blue, they also taste, say, cheese.  It can be a combining of any two or more senses.

“Most of us experience various pieces of sensory information as independent from each other, because our five senses enter our brain through different, independent sensory organs and travel along sensory pathways that are completely separate from one another.  Our brains combine information from these sensory systems into a coherent package that we experience as the external world.”[2]

However, there is a place in our brains where these signals come relatively close together, close enough to get jumbled in a small percentage of the population.  That place is called the angular gyrus.  This is a small part of the parietal lobe that lies near the superior edge of the temporal lobe; it is involved in a number of processes related to language, mathematics and cognition.  Oddly enough, the angular gyrus is considered to be linked in some way to Out of Body Experiences (OBE’s), and has shown damage following Near Death Experiences (NDE’s).

It is believed that a malfunction of the angular gyrus is responsible for Synesthesia.  Neurologist V.S. Ramachandran has proposed that Synesthesia results from “cross talk” between the different pathways that run through the angular gyrus.[3]

The most common form of Synesthesia, known as grapheme (color Synesthesia or color-graphemic Synesthesia), results in letters or numbers being perceived as inherently coloured. Ramachandran described a case of a colour-blind Synesthete who saw colours associated with numbers.  Colours he normally couldn’t see were evoked by certain numbers.  The colours were so alien to the Synesthete that he referred to them as “Martian Colors”.

There seems to be some scientific merit in the idea that Synesthesia is connected in some way to clairvoyance and premonitions, among other things.  Neurologist Richard Cytowic found that 17 percent of Synesthetes have a high frequency of “unusual experiences”, and near-death researcher P.M.H. Atwater claimed to have psychic abilities and several interconnected senses following her NDE’s.  She claimed to see music, hear numbers and smell colours.  In addition, it seems that there may be link between autistic savants and Synesthesia.

Interestingly, psychics who claim also to be Synesthetes, also tend to be able to see auras, which, in these cases, are colours that are believed to be connected to personality types.

True Synesthetes tend also to have incredible memory abilities, or fund knowledge.  They tend to score high on traditional IQ tests.  Indeed, a Synesthete performer known by the pseudonym S, made a living by displaying his ability to remember series of numbers and words and he also claimed to have some psychokinetic ability as well.[4]  Unfortunately his abilities out ran his ability to cope, his memory was far more than just eidetic.

Though Synesthesia isn’t all red roses and candy floss, often Synesthetes tend to have brain hemisphere damage and hemispheric dominance issues, they have difficulty deciphering left from right, and often have personality disorders.

The first brain imaging study of Synesthesia was done by Cytowic more than 20 years ago.  His subject had an unusual form of Synesthesia; he claimed that he felt spheres, cones, columns and other shapes press against his skin whenever he smelled different fragrances.

While cross-sensory metaphors (e.g., “loud shirt,” “bitter wind” or “prickly laugh”) are sometimes described as “Synesthetic”, true neurological synesthesia is involuntary. It is estimated that Synesthesia could possibly be as prevalent as 1 in 23 persons across its range of variants.  Synesthesia runs strongly in families, but the precise mode of inheritance has yet to be ascertained. Synesthesia is also sometimes reported by individuals under the influence of psychedelic drugs, after a stroke, during a temporal lobe epilepsy seizure, or as a result of blindness or deafness.

Any way you slice it, Synesthesia is one of the stranger areas of psychic research, it clearly has ties to neurological processes that are both mysterious and elusive.  Typical Synesthetes live normal lives and are contributing members of society, but whatever the tastes of the day may be, our world remains as colourful today as ever, and I can’t help but draw correlations between the effects of Synesthesia and the conclusions I have made in my previous article titled PSI…Where Does It All Come From.

[1] Diane Hannacy Powell, The Esp Enigma, The Scientific Case for Psychic Phenomenon pp.148

[2] Diane Hannacy Powell, The Esp Enigma, The Scientific Case for Psychic Phenomenon pp.148

[3] V.S Ramachandran and E.M Hubbard, “Hearing colors and tasting shapes,” Scientific, April 13, 2003.

[4] A.R Luria and Jerome Bruner, The Mind of a Mnemonist: A Little Book About A Vast Memory, Harvard University Press.

Michael Talbot’s The Holographic Universe – Reviewed

With the intention of forwarding an inclusive Theory of Everything (or TOE) Talbot has weaved a convincing argument. Enfolded reality, interconnectivity, auras and frequency matter.  These are just some of the concepts put forward in The Holographic Universe.

This is a well researched and well executed book, though I found myself doubting many of his assertions.  Talbot is utterly convinced of the value of his theory and while much of what he writes feels intuitively correct, anyone versed in physics knows that much of reality is counter-intuitive.  But despite my doubts I did enjoy this book.

Talbot has done much research in the realm of the paranormal, and it’s nice to see someone trying to bring that which is considered woo into the fore of natural science.  I’m not sure I completely buy his entire hypothesis, but I do sympathise with Talbot’s position. I give The Holographic Universe three out of five.

Bigfoot is REAL!

As some may already know, a monumental milestone in cryptozoological research has been realised.  Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch, has been brought into the light of day.  In a press release dated November 24, 2012, DNA Diagnostics Inc has revealed that a five-year long genome project, led by Dr. Melba S. Ketchum of Nacogdoches, TX has confirmed the existence of Bigfoot.

“Dr. Ketchum can confirm that her team has sequenced 3 complete Sasquatch nuclear genomes and determined the species is a human hybrid:

“Our study has sequenced 20 whole mitochondrial genomes and utilized next generation sequencing to obtain 3 whole nuclear genomes from purported Sasquatch samples. The genome sequencing shows that Sasquatch mtDNA is identical to modern Homo sapiens, but Sasquatch nuDNA is a novel, unknown hominin related to Homo sapiens and other primate species. Our data indicate that the North American Sasquatch is a hybrid species, the result of males of an unknown hominin species crossing with female Homo sapiens…””

So what does this mean? Quite simply, it means that Dr. Ketchum has potentially discovered genetic evidence that supports the existence of Sasquatch. Even though we’ve still yet to get a good glimpse of the big fella, if true, this revelation does much to legitimize cryptid research.  As noted above, the findings suggest that Sasquatch’s maternal lineage is human, which begs the question, when did they diverge from our evolutionary path?

The details of Ketchum’s study are set to be published in the near future, and it’s likely to spark a frenzied discussion about exactly what these findings mean.  However, sceptics are already decrying the discovery, citing Ketchum’s methodologies and past behaviour as reason to deny her findings.  It should be noted that, in general, scientific findings such as these are not announced in this fashion.  Typically the results of such research would be published for peer review and confirmation before being brought into a more public forum, but this fact alone does not negate the potential of her discovery.

In light of her results, Ketchum, for one, is already calling for legal action to protect Bigfoot.

“Genetically, the Sasquatch are a human hybrid with unambiguously modern human maternal ancestry. Government at all levels must recognize them as an indigenous people and immediately protect their human and Constitutional rights against those who would see in their physical and cultural differences a ‘license’ to hunt, trap, or kill them.”

Whatever these findings mean in the long run, it’s encouraging to see that mainstream science is beginning to take paranormal topics seriously.

For more information, see the preliminary press release here:


As many already know, this story has developed into an internet fiasco.  Read more about the Ketchum drama here:  Bigfoot; The Ketchum Story

Here on Earth, by Tim Flannery; Reviewed

As almost a sequel to his best selling book Weather Makers, Tim Flannery has presented what many would call a cogent argument against our borderline Medean society, in favour of a Gaian outlook.

This book has received high praise from the standard reviewers, even enjoying a listing as A Globe and Mail – Best Book of the Year.  But I can’t say I agree with them.  I don’t necessarily disagree with the science of Here on Earth, but I wasn’t impressed with the manner in which that science was presented.  Aside from a few interesting anecdotes, I didn’t really take much away from this book, and that may be my own failing, not Flannery’s.

I certainly didn’t find it to be paradigm shifting or life changing, as some of the printed appraisals on the back cover made it out to be.  In any event, it is well written and easy to follow, and for those interested in ecological politics, this is the book for you.  I give it two out of five.

4 Not-So-Simple Rules For Ghost Hunting

In hot pursuit of my tepidly popular and rarely cited piece titled: 5 Simple Rules For Ghost Hunting, the following is a concerted effort to build the Second Law of Thermodynamics into a sequential blog post.  Success will be measured by a complete lack of response, precipitated by a total lack of comprehension and/or acute disinterest by my readership.

Ghost hunting has become something of a hobby these days, with popular media pretty much jumping ship on the likes of so-called reality TV stars of the paranormal genre.  Nonetheless, there are many hundreds of thousands of enthusiasts who, for whatever reason, decided to emulate their favourite wanna-be paranormal super sleuth, by founding their very own band of merry ghost hunters.

Well, since there seem to be few among the pseudo-intellectuals guiding the paranormal investigators of today with a desire to speak of methodology, I’ve decided that it would be prudent, if not terribly snide, to recommend that those who wish to “hunt ghosts” should adhere to a few basic scientific principals.  Though, the caveat in all this would be, simply, that these are real scientific principals as opposed to those offered by the likes of Chip Coffey et al.

Learn The Difference Between Correlation and Cause/Effect

I noticed when I flipped the light switch in my office, the light fixture in the room illuminated.

Is this a description of two correlated events, or is it a description of one event causing another?  Even the smartest among you will likely get this wrong.

It is clearly a description of the former, in that, to the casual observer there is no evidence that the switch I flipped was indeed connected in any way to the fixture that became illuminated.  Nor does it mention the delay between when I flipped the switch and when the fixture illuminated.  The above description affords only a glimpse at the causal effect between the switch and the fixture and thus the two elements can only be considered to be correlated.  In truth, the light could be controlled by a completely different toggle switch, or it could be controlled by photocell, or by a motion detector…or even a timer.

Had I included a laborious accounting of the wires connecting the two elements, the electrical charge controlled by the switch and thus used by the light fixture, and perhaps even a brief tutorial on electromagnetic theory, then it could have been considered the latter, though experimentation would be necessary to confirm this hypothesis.

The relatively common nature of the elements in question, light switches and light fixtures, notwithstanding, this is the easiest way to illustrate the fallacy of assumed causal relationships.  Proving (and thus claiming) a cause/effect relationship between any two elements of any situation is exceedingly difficult, and this relates to “ghost hunting” in a most unfortunate way.  From evidence of haunting – which can manifest in the form of sounds of any variety, optical effects, both real and photographic, and physical perturbances that may or may not leave quantifiable evidence behind – to EVP, to psychic phenomenon, all are bound by these same rules of observation.

A general rule to acknowledge and adhere to is: unless you can demonstrate a causal connection, in a repeatable manner, between all intermediate steps of each element of your observation, you cannot prove causation.  A causal connection, incidentally, must be demonstrable and must show a temporal break between events (causal events must happen before effects).  All paranormal investigators should hold this principal up as their cardinal rule.

Stop Buying Into The Technological Hype

There are very few segments of today’s culture that offer merchandisers so many opportunities to sell ineffective and, in some cases, ridiculous technology to an ever willing consumer base.  I have covered this before, several times in fact, and out of those other pieces and their accompanying commentary there is one bit of wisdom you should take away…there is no magic button.

Just the same as there is no “Easy Button” in any other area of your life, there is no technology available that will give you any realistic insight into the paranormal.  Whereas a device cannot be built upon knowledge that has not yet been achieved (Ovilus), it’s a suspicious thing to see high technology sold as toys and computer games instead of being heralded as cutting edge breakthroughs in physical science (Ghost Radar).  Better yet, it’s an annoyingly futile thing to see the layman using tools without even the slightest idea how they work or what they measure, and even yet, to see those same tools manufactured with this errant purpose in mind (K2 Meter).

The only tool a paranormal researcher need boast about having in their bag of tricks, is well informed methodology and accurate observation.

Educate Yourself, No One Else Will

It used to be thought that the paranormal research genre was a viable arena for Joe Layman to set up shop and carve out at least a way to pass his time productively.  But alas, I tell you this is not the case.  If something is worth doing, it is worth doing well, am I right?  So then why not take the time to educate yourself on the subject at hand?  And no, I don’t mean go get yourself a mail order degree in Parapsychology.  I mean read…read a lot.  Read anything and everything you can find on history and the physical sciences, after all, that is what you’re studying.

Take my word for it, whosoever happens to find proof of, say an afterlife, will not be an uneducated dullard.  Nor will they be a metaphysical guru, for the extraordinary proof mainstream culture requires, will not be stumbled upon absentmindedly or by magical means.  This is an endeavour of science, whether you want to admit it or not.

Empty Your Cup, Then Fill It Again

Once you’ve edumacated yourself, forget everything you know.  I know, its counter intuitive and oxymoronic, but – and I don’t think I can put this in a more concise way – as the fictional Tibetan movie monk says: “if your cup is already full, how can you fill it any further?”

And as an equally wise, albeit real, man once said “As for me, all I know is that I know nothing…” (Socrates – in a monologue on the virtue of justice), and such it should be for all those engaged in the pursuit of ghosts, for we have much to learn.  In fact we have everything to learn, so forget what you think you may know…and approach your subject with new eyes.


In closing…For my troubles above, what do I expect to receive in return?  Accolades?  No.  Criticism?  Possibly.  Notoriety? Certainly not.  Perhaps it is not what I expect to receive that will surprise me most.  I expect little more than the barn yard neglect an ugly mule might receive, but if by any chance even one person is swayed by my words to act in a more logical manner, and in whom the world may find a better researcher and – dare I say it – scientist, whose insights and observations just might lead to an answer to these nagging questions of pseudo-scientific pursuit, I would say that I have received all that I ask.

Melodrama aside, do as you will, just please…do it better.

The Myth of Positive Psychology – What The Guru’s Don’t Want You To Know

Tony Robins, Deepak Chopra, Oprah…I dare say there isn’t a soul alive in western culture who hasn’t heard these names.  And all who hear them associate them with good tidings, self-help, charity and the new American Dream.

These people and the many who stand beside them have more than one thing in common; they expound on the virtues of self-actualisation, visualisation, positive thinking and the idea that happiness is a place to be, a destination hard won after a tortuous journey of self-reflection and (in some cases) penance.  They have one other thing in common too…

Each and every one of them is filthy rich.

I love that term, “filthy rich”; it engenders the perfect notion of opulence, tempered with the ruthlessness that is necessary to reach such status.

Any way you slice it, self-help guru’s are at the pinnacle of an industry; a business sector that is poised to take the money of those who need it most, by offering instruction in methods of self-delusion and wish-thinking.  Though, they aren’t so much taking people’s money, as simply opening up their coffers and asking for a donation (with certain pointed exceptions).  But it is not their financially philandering ways I wish to speak about today, no it’s actually the fantasies they sell that I’m interested in.

Positive Psychology – as if the humanities ever needed to be supported by an unfounded value judgement.  The term itself is shrouded in relative mystery, proffering many vague and (apparently) deliberately ambiguous definitions, depending on who in particular is offering the explanation.

“We believe that a psychology of positive human functioning will arise that achieves a scientific understanding and effective interventions to build thriving in individuals, families, and communities.”[1]

It has been described as an endeavour: “to find and nurture genius and talent” and “to make normal life more fulfilling”[2].

As may not be apparent though, this wolf in sheep’s clothing is cunning.  But before I get to the myths let’s explore some of the truths.

Positive Psychology is, or rather was, the domain of the self-help guru – the mysterious and quirky eastern purveyor of introspective knowledge and personal wealth (al la The Love Guru?), but has recently become a widely studied domain of both the scientific establishment of psychology, and also that of TV talk show hosts.

The movement owes its existence to one Martin Seligman – an American psychologist and author (and quintessential self-help guru), who is now the Director of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania[3].  Though don’t let the idea that the mainstream establishment of psychology has accepted this questionable idea as a sign for its righteous inclusion as a valuable scientific pursuit.  Seligman wasn’t the first “Positive Psychologist” though, as the overall idea was the brainchild of Abraham Maslow[4] (Yes, the same Maslow responsible for the oft cited Hierarchy of Needs[5]).  Seligman however, is credited (by me) with the perversion of the original science – a model that has quite successfully been used over the years to describe and explain many instances of abnormal behaviour – into a money making machine, selling the wares of fantasy and wish-thinking to those who can afford it.

In layman’s terms Positive Psychology is the study of and eventual curricular pursuit of defining exactly what it is that makes one person successful (read: happy) and the next not-so-much.  It involves, or rather, has involved the much more laudable pursuit of wellbeing over health, emphasising the notion that modern medical science has typically been concerned with symptoms and illnesses as opposed to the overall welfare of the patient.  Some have incorrectly credited the positive psychology movement with the recent popularity of whole-body medical treatment in western culture; though in reality those recent trends are the result of a mixing of the philosophies of both western and eastern medicine as immigrants from eastern lands seek formal education in western medicine.

This, much as with many of my philosophical arguments, is highly semantic, all when there is a real world idea to identify and to vilify here.  Perhaps I fail to give credit where it is due; Seligman is a serious scientist, in pursuit of serious science…for the most part.  Where he and his science end, the grandiose charlatanism of the true self-help guru begins; there have been many willing to step into that role and to exploit any poor sap who happens to be looking for an answer.

A term I’ve used above, as well as in many other pieces, encompasses the true villainy at work here.  Regular readers won’t be surprised at my opposition to this particular idea, but either way, the idea bears explanation…though that will take some work.

Embedded deep within the subtle nuances of the Positive Psychology movement is a fundamental idea, on which the rest of the establishment rests as a foundation.  Namely, that everyone is capable of sustained happiness – and more to the point, that happiness is anything more than a physiological response to subjectively positive stimuli.  On top of this basic idea has been laid the notion that given certain assumptions – that sustained happiness is both achievable and desirable – one who is happy should be viewed as more successful than their competitors.  This position opens the door for exploitation on a grand scale, by allowing the purveyors of this “science” to package the tools needed to achieve such “happiness” and to market the erroneous idea that success or failure (supremely subjective and ambiguous terms) are contingent on this product.

Essentially, the packaging of happiness into sound bites and talking points, and in most cases, to volumes upon volumes of authority based books, preys on those who are already in a position of profound insecurity.  For why would they be seeking advice on ‘how to be happy’ if they had achieved that state on their own.  I call this predatory for a very specific reason: the “science” doesn’t work.

It has always struck me that the self-help (Positive Psychology) movement is unmistakably similar to the dogmatic product of mass organised religion.  In my view, as with many of my atheistic colleagues, blind faith leads only to wish-thinking.  This term (as alluded to above) is at the heart of this issue, it embodies the very nature of an intelligent, sentient being who strives to know more than what is currently knowable.  We as a species are driven it seems, to define our role in the greater scheme of the universe.  We have been obsessed with the idea for millennia; who are we, why are we here and what, ultimately, is our purpose.  Don’t get me wrong, I believe these are (and will remain) the ultimate questions for humanity to answer.  They are worthy of pursuit more than any other question we can conceive, however, since the nature of these questions is inherently spiritual (not to be read as religious), and the religious / scientific infrastructure in place for our time is incapable of addressing such spiritual notions, the inevitable outcome is a wish-thinking ideology.

The term describes precisely what it seems; a tendency to place responsibility for the outcome of life events in the proverbial hands of an outside influence.  Though in the context of the current discussion, it may seem somewhat counterintuitive, and to demonstrate, please indulge me in some literary pantomime.

If one is unhappy, as defined by the cultural meme of success, one needn’t take responsibility for their circumstance personally.  They may simply surrender to the idea that they haven’t been given the tools to be successful (read: happy) by their life teachers thus far.

Enter the self-help guru.

For the low price of whatever book, video or seminar is being sold at the time; this unsuccessful schlep can buy the instruction necessary to gain this success by practice, and in turn apparently takes responsibility for his or her own happiness.

This is false, and I’ll illustrate why.

Once indoctrinated with the vernacular and expectations of the Positive Psychology Establishment, the student (if you will), relinquished their entire faculty of logic and reason, and hands over their free will (in relation to their happiness).  This acquiescence to the tutelage of the “guru” puts all responsibility for the success of the teachings back in the hands of the instructor, even in spite of the usual fact that the specific instructions typically require the student to undertake the lifestyle changes, visualisations and reinforcements of the program themselves.  Ultimately, should the process fail, which it invariably does (and I’ll discuss this a little later), the blame for the failure rests not on the student, but on the instructor.  This fact is contrasted by the alternative; success in these teachings, however fleeting, is credited to the student and not to the teacher (though the money still flows to the teacher).

This is actually a feature of the ideology of the movement, in that the guru’s claim that everyone is capable of achieving “success”, but that those who don’t simply haven’t found the path.  It would be counter-productive for the process to lay blame for incremental failures on the student and so all failure is inherently absorbed into the process: ‘you can be happy, you just need to better understand the lesson’, as opposed to: ‘you can’t be happy, because, considering your life circumstances, you are currently incapable of happiness’.  All of this serves to displace responsibility for ones life circumstance from within their control, to entities, people and processes outside of their control, thereby avoiding any real culpability for the outcome.

One might suggest that this is only a problem in the cases where the student fails to achieve happiness, and to that I have a profound rebuttal.

As stated earlier; happiness is a physiological response to subjectively positive stimuli.  It is not a destination, nor should it be considered a perpetual state-of-mind.  To view it as otherwise is a potentially dangerous fallacy.  Hypothetically speaking, a person who is perpetually happy will fail to recognise and appropriately respond to stimuli that are subjectively negative.  Many may already be preparing to further rebut that we’re not talking about happiness, we’re talking about contentedness, and I wouldn’t disagree, but for the nature of reality.

No man is an island, entire of itself…” – John Donne[6]

No human lives in a vacuum; we are all affected, influenced and perturbed by the world around us.  We are the collective product of our past experiences, and as such, where those experiences are subjectively positive or negative, a particular state of mind results.  Note that there is no such thing as universal value-polarity.  The value of an event or circumstance can only be judged by the experiencer.

Photo illustration by Mindy Ricketts

The process, via Positive Psychology, of instructing students that happiness is a state of mind, to be controlled and generated in spite of life’s circumstances, is a potentially scarring fallacy indeed.  What is to happen to the devout student of a self-help guru when life invariably exerts itself on the student?  Humanity is endowed with a full compliment of emotional states, an array of feelings, intuitions and responses, all of which are necessarily present for reasons found in evolutionary development.  To deny the full potential of ones emotional self, is to set ones self up for emotional failure…and this is precisely what Positive Psychology portends.

The resulting dichotomy predictably presents us with an array of so-called abnormal emotional states and corresponding behaviours – depression, anxiety and stress for example.  While all of these things are present in the psyche of humanity to begin with, they are invariably exacerbated by the constant expectations presented by the incessant monologues of Positive Psychology proponents.  They cite success stories and herald them as examples of correct behaviour, as though unhappiness is something to be eliminated along with the common cold, all the while expanding the reach of their podium and, more importantly, increasing their bank accounts.

All this without even a cursory look at some of the unavoidable restrictions that go along with the self-actualisation ideas being offered in the same vein.  If anyone can become whatever they desire (including movie stars and sports legends), as long as they follow the visualisation techniques offered by the guru, then we, as a species, have a potential problem on our hands.  We already have enough celebrities and sportsmen, and notwithstanding the sobering fact that not all are capable of the job at hand, there simply isn’t room in Hollywood for 6.8 billion people.

I’m concerned though that this will all be taken in the wrong context.  Happiness is achievable, as long as we agree on a few important caveats.  Happiness should be cherished for what it is…a reward for making good choices.  It cannot be and should not be considered sustainable, and for Pete’s sake (whoever Pete is), when someone gets to be as rich as Oprah and all on the “happiness” of her fans, those fans should become suspicious of their real motives.

[1] Seligman, Martin E.P.; Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly (2000). “Positive Psychology: An Introduction”. American Psychologist 55 (1): 5–14. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.55.1.5.PMID11392865

[2] Compton, William C, (2005). “1″. An Introduction to Positive PsychologyWadsworth Publishing. pp. 1–22. ISBN 0-534-64453-8.

[3] Positive Psychology CenterUniversity of Pennsylvania



[6] The opening line(s) of the most famous poem written by English Poet John Donne (21 January 1572 – 31 March 1631):

Exposing the Mystery of Past Life Regression

In the realm of psychic phenomenon, amongst the many teachings and talents and mysteries, there are some ideas that hold tight to the sympathetic fancies of certain subcultures.  Many of these ideas require, as a fundamental component of their practise, a suspension of the practitioner’s belief in certain scientific truths.

Past life regression is one such idea, in the eyes of the scientific world, those of psychologists, psychiatrists, neurologists and the like, past life regression is a broken shard of medieval medicine, something to be regarded as a parlour trick or carnival side show.

To believers however, past life regression is a powerful tool in the quest to understand one’s purpose, path and destiny in life.

Unlike many of the popular ideas within the spectrum of psychic phenomenon, past life regression is now, and has historically been synonymous with religious dogma and practice.  The concept of regressing ones self into the memories of a past life (or lives) is a particularly ancient teaching.  Reference to the subject has been found as early as the Second Century BCE in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.  This ancient Hindu scholar taught that the human soul was burdened with impressions of previous incarnations, and that these impressions were connected to the soul’s karmic energy, influencing the specific form of it’s reincarnation on this plane.

Now obviously, belief in past life regression requires an intrinsic, if unspoken, belief in reincarnation on at least a basic level; though so many who feel curious about past life regression will deny such a belief on questioning.  It seems silly to hold even a passing interest in your memories from previous lives if you find reincarnation to be fanciful, but such is the case with these kinds of wildly infamous ideas.

Past life regression, or PLR, gained its infamous stature in the early to mid 1950’s, through the equally infamous Madame Blavatsky, co-founder of the Theosophical Society.  From her teachings, many so-called credible practitioners popped up in western culture, and due to their credentials, which were often in completely unrelated fields and disciplines, the phenomenon gained momentum among the medium-crazy, death-obsessed upper-middle class of early America.

By this time, however, new techniques in hypnotism and mesmerism were widely used as tools for healing nearly any ailment even remotely concerning the conscious mind.  Combining these two concepts proved to be a fantastic pairing for the future of past life regression; hypnotism, especially in its early use, is a highly suggestive and unreliable means of recounting, uncovering or relaying memories, of past or current life situations.

The problem, then as with now, lies both in the practitioner and in the unreliable nature of human memory.  Hypnotism remains capable of planting, manipulating and creating memories that, once realised, are just as real to the experiencer as any actual memory.

History and science are really only a small part of the phenomenon of past life regression however, in recent times, the idea of bringing to bear any memories that might be retrievable from past lives has become a hugely popular part of earth based religious sub-cultures.  Within the purview of Wiccan teachings, there are many spells, incantations and rituals that deal with either bringing forward these repressed memories, or with protecting them from negative energies.

What’s now somewhat unique about past life regression, in contrast to its practise even a few decades ago, is that it requires little more than basic Wiccan ritual items and an ability to meditate.

In my research, I came across an interesting technique for brining forward memories and visions of previous life incarnations that requires nothing more than a table, a white candle and a fixed or handheld mirror.

I have transcribed the technique verbatim for your interest:

 Past Life Spells: Magic Mirror

Do not expect immediate results from this spell.  It takes practise; an extended period of time may be required before results are achieved.  It is more difficult than it seems; do not perform the ritual for more than fifteen minutes at a time, until a successful momentum is achieved. You will need a chair and a table, with a white candle and either a fixed or handheld mirror.

  1. Take all spiritual precautions. Cast a [protective] circle around the table and chair.
  2. Burn Mugwort and Sandalwood within the circle.
  3. Light the candle and place it between you and the mirror.
  4. Keep your mind clear and calm.
  5. Gaze at your face in the mirror neutrally – this is not the moment to count pimples, wrinkles or despair at your nose.
  6. Call your own name clearly and distinctly three times.
  7. Eventually you may be tempted to call another name, or another name will simply fall from your lips.  Try it, ask the mirror to show you who you were.

Source: The Element Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells, by Judica Illes

Now, my own scepticism tends to get in the way of these types of ideas, and even though I personally know two people who claim to have achieved successful results from this “spell”, I still cannot help but wonder if wishful thinking played more of a role in their results than did magic or actual memory.

Regardless of what I think, I invite you all to try this simple recipe for reaching out to your previous self through the looking glass.

UFO’s in Southern Ontario Accompanied by Strange Sounds

The following is an article found in the Canadian MUFON UFO Journal, it is the story of a UFO sighting in Southern Ontario, near Erin (which is less than 60kms north of Waterloo Region).  By all accounts, the story is real and the events did happen as described.

The article appears below, exactly as it did in its original publication within the October 1994 (number 318) MUFON UFO Journal.

Lindy Tucker
P.U.R.E. Research


UFOs are associated with bright, silent lights;
it’s nice to be reminded that bells & whistles
are sometimes attached.

There are plenty of sighting reports of unidentified flying objects, but very few reports of sounds associated with these sightings. This has been the major focus of my research as an independent investigator over the past few years. My observation that aerial and audio phenomena can be linked together is based on the fact that I was a direct eye and ear witness to the combined phenomena back in the mid 1970′s. It was that experience that started my research and it is due to the greater cooperation and interest available in this field that I have pursued this further.

I lived in a small, rural town called Orton, in Southern Ontario back then. It was part of an area that experienced a “flap” of UFO sightings. My husband at that time had given me a daily journal for Christmas, so I happen to have the events and dates recorded. Starting on March 3, 1975, my neighbours and I began to witness aerial phenomena: brilliant white, red, and green lights would do impossible aerobatic manoeuvres in the night sky, darting about in angular or triangular movements. Sometimes they would band together into one bright light, only to blink out, re-appear and split again into several more bright lights. One of the more spectacular displays looked like The Star of Bethlehem one night. The rays from this “star” took up a good 60 degrees of the horizon, and there was this tiny red light that kept darting in and out of it. My girlfriend Julie and I watched this display for a good two hours. I noted in my journal we both experienced headaches that night afterwards.

The sightings always seemed predictable, at least by me; I always seemed to be aware of when they would appear. On the evening of April 26, 1975, I heard a strange, loud, metallic beeping sound coming from the woods behind our home. It sounded mechanical, like the pings of submarine sonar, and it had a peculiar rotational quality to it, like a Doppler effect. I even wondered if someone was out in the woods- with some type of broadcasting equipment; the sound didn’t seem natural and it was too loud to be anything else. You could hear this sound from a quarter mile away and even from inside the house with the doors and windows closed.

Upon walking down to the woods to investigate this sound, I noticed my cats had beaten me down there and were sitting on fence posts facing the sound and listening attentively. I decided to tell my neighbours about it. I heard later they were making fun of me; not only was I seeing strange lights in the sky, but now I was hearing strange sounds in the woods.

Several weeks later, on the evening of May 19, 1975, my neighbours and I had been sitting around a bonfire in front of our large garden. There was a rest-less excitement in the air: you could feel. Even the animals were reacting to it. At 10:30 p.m. the roosters were crowing, the chickens clucking, and you could hear dogs barking and the pastured cows bawling for miles. I even remember remarking that Orton sounded like the introduction to an old TV series I watched as a child called “Rawhide,” starring Clint Eastwood. The program starts off in the middle of a cattle drive. It was that noticeable. We soon ended our conversation and went back to our homes. A couple of hours later, while taking the day’s garbage out, I noticed these loud, peculiar beeping sounds again and I decided to get my neighbours over to investigate. I called Bob and Lynn Adams from across the street and Cal Stodts, a paramedic who lived next to me. Standing there, we could see red lights in behind the trees while we faced the beeping sounds.

All of a sudden, the beeps stopped and everything got deathly quiet. Just as I pointed to the woods, a bright light rose out of the trees from the brush at the rear of our property and made a right-angle 90 degree turn, and started slowly to approach us in a wide arc. I ran behind a shed to get a better look at it, as our shadows were being cast over the yard by our back door spotlights, causing a glare. I could see that it was silver and disc-shaped with a soft white dome on top of it. It appeared to be larger than a long van, approximately 20 to 25 feet in length and maybe 8 to 10- feet wide in the middle. It was very low, not more than 100 feet up, and was coming in over my neighbours’ pine tree, about 150 feet from where I was standing. When I could count the several red lights moving about its perimeter counterclockwise, 1 started to become alarmed, thinking this thing was going to land in my back yard! I ran back to my neighbours who were just as alarmed as I was. We were ready to take shelter, when the craft shifted its flight path and passed slowly off to the east. We were all shaken, but I was exhilarated too. I noticed my knees felt weak.


The UFO sightings persisted, along with the beeping sounds, but not necessarily together. Something unusual was happening in our little community and the word spread fast. One night, Harry Walker, who lived around the corner from us, had been putting his tractor in his drive shed when a disc-shaped object hovered over him beneath a low cloud ceiling. He hollered for his family to come outside and look at it, but his cries went unheard. His son Patrick came running down to tell me what his Dad had just seen and that he was “white as a ghost.”

I immediately went down to interview him and was slightly relieved that another resident had seen some-thing similar to the rest of us. I also talked with Jim Overland, a teenager back then who lived about a half mile from us on the same county road. He claims to have been out ploughing his field one day when a small, silver disc-shaped object came over him and his tractor. I believe he said that it chased him and that he ran into the house.

Recently I was sent a clipping from the Letters to the Editor of the Toronto Star from a fellow who lived near me during those years. He requested that “perhaps someone else residing in Orton could share their experiences with me.” I have since talked to this fellow and heard another story of a spectacular close encounter that he and his brother had 18 or 19 years ago. They had a boomerang-shaped craft hover motionless above them. They also saw the “light shows” along with their neighbours and described the aerial phenomena exactly as I remember it. This fellow plans to go back and interview our old neighbours. There will be more to this story as time goes along.

The editor of our local newspaper, Bill Doole, had wanted to print my story for some time. I was reluctant to let him write up a story for The Erin Advocate because of the ridicule I was getting from the neighbours who hadn’t seen anything. Finally, a year later, he ran a story on our sightings and was surprised by the number of calls he got from other local residents who had seen various types of craft flying around. Several described these UFOs as shining pencil-thin beams of light on to the ground. These articles caused some alarm and other articles were written trying to “explain it all away.” Talking recently with our old post mistress, Evelyn Nevifles, I learned that some of the village people still talk about the old sightings.


I felt these unusual sightings should be documented so I contacted and met with J. Allen Hynek (then the Director of the Center for UFO Studies) and Henry McKay, who was then the MUFON Director of Canada. I invited Chris Purton, then a Professor of Astronomy at York University in Toronto to come over and record the sounds, as he lived not far away from me in the village of Erin, Ontario, and he could come over quickly should the sounds occur again.

The opportunity came the evening of June 14, 1975. The beeping sounds were loud and constant. At first, his tape recorder refused to work. Thinking perhaps we were in some type of electromagnetic field that might be affecting the batteries of his recorder, we moved further away from the source of the sound and were able to obtain a two-minute recording. This tape was the catalyst for me to start researching the audio phenomenon and has since proved invaluable to me. Others came out to investigate the sounds and the sights, bringing along with them parabolic micro-phones and infrared cameras. Biologists were called in to try to explain the beeps as a bird call, all to no avail.

Through the following year, the sightings continued on an irregular basis and so did the sounds. I was fascinated and would notice my heart start to race when-ever I heard the now familiar metallic sounds. I found I could approach the source of the sound. Having had by that time acquired aerial maps of my location, I was able to gauge how far away from me the sound was. I figured that I could get as close as 50 feet, then the sound would stop and instantaneously be in a location about 200 feet away.

The sound also appeared to have a biological response to your actions. if you approached the source of the sound slowly and talking quietly, the beeps would be low and steady. If, on the other hand, you were loud, excited and moving quickly, the beeps would get louder and faster in direct relation to your excitement. When I wonder about this many years later, I feel the sound was similar to a biofeedback machine, which I certainly didn’t know about then.

One night while investigating the sound with friends, Pat Walker claimed he couldn’t hear the beeps at a distance of about 200 feet because he thought the batteries in his hearing aid weren’t working. Directly in front of this “wall” of sound, which was about 50 feet. from us, he claimed he still couldn’t hear it, but that he could feel it in his chest. I thought this was a good observation as I had noticed on other occasions that the beeping sound seemed to penetrate the center of my chest as well. My friends then encouraged me to whistle the pitch of the beeps and after some prod-ding I decided to try. Immediately upon whistling the same pitch, we were astonished to experience the beeping sounds speed up and turn into a vibration that shook the ground we were standing on! I tried this several times with the same results until we were all huddled together in amazement and ready to get back to civilisation. It was just too much to take.

I noticed a compass spun rapidly in my hand when I got back to the house after this event. There were other unusual events happening at that time as well. I saw orange, gaseous balls of light in our backyard, drifting slowly along the ground. There was one occasion I re-member of long, gossamer threads of spider webs about 30 feet long flowing through the town of Orton. Since then, I have read about the “angel hair” seen in con-junction with some UFO sightings. After a while, living in Orton began to resemble something out of the “Twilight Zone.”


I moved out of the area in 1977 and didn’t encounter the phenomena for another 10 years. A series of events led me back into my search for answers. On a return trip to Canada in 1989, I met with Henry McKay in his home in Toronto, as he said he had a couple of tape recordings of UFO-related beeping sounds that might be similar to mine. I was very excited when I heard them, as they were the same as the ones I had recorded in my own backyard. I was relieved I wasn’t “alone” in my experiences; someone else was reporting and recording the same phenomena in other locations! The tapes Henry presented to me were from a flap of UFO sightings and audio phenomena that happened in Alberta and British Columbia in the late 1960′s. For a detailed report on these sightings and the subsequent analysis of the beeping sounds, see pages 177 to 206 in the 1979 MUFON Symposium Proceedings.

Quietly, I started making contacts and inquiries, looking for more cases. I attended a MUFON conference in New Hampshire in the fall of 1992 to meet with my friends Colin Andrews and Dr. Steven Greer of CSETI to compare notes and update our research. Dr. Greer plays a portion of my beep tape at his lectures. Cheryl Powell, then a MUFON investigator, was in the audience and was floored when she heard the recording! She had one just like it, recorded by a New Hampshire family on their camcorder during an encounter with a huge, triangular-shaped craft that flew over their house in the spring of that year. Unfortunately, only the audio- came out on the tape, the video part was black. Steven briefly introduced us and I was able to obtain a copy of her tape at a later date. I was stunned when I heard it; the phenomena was still happening!

I was really excited by now and wanted to know more. I placed an ad in the MUFON Classifieds and was immediately assisted by Ron Johnson, the late Deputy Director of Investigations for MUFON. He filled me in on the UFO flap in the Pacific Northwest that was accompanied by beeping sounds back in the 60′s and 70′s. The earlier cases from the 1960′s were thoroughly investigated by the Air Force and the Department of Civil Defence. These cases mostly occurred in the states of Washington and Oregon, along the Puget Sound.

Ron also introduced me to Dr. Ronald Stearman, an Aerospace professor who was interested in analyzing any recordings that might be UFO-related. Dr. Stearman has some of the most commercially advanced, acoustical analysis software currently available in the field. Now we should be able to get a better picture of how these various tapes from different locations in North America look on paper.

The basic procedure currently employed in analyzing these sounds is to sample them with a digital signal analyzer and then obtain a graph of the sound in the frequency domain. Further characteristics of the signals were also determined after filtering. This included variable speed analysis and strip chart time domain studies. The outcome of these preliminary results show that the sounds are remarkably similar! The peaks associated with the beep frequencies all match up at about 1050 HZ with the median beep-frequency interval occurring at approximately 1.7 HZ. (The assumption has been made that the Orton tape was recorded at a slower than normal rate due to the electromagnetic influences that initially stopped the recorder. A speed reduction of approximately 18% was made on the Orton sound to bring it into the range of the other tapes. Otherwise, the spectral peak associated with the beeping was found at 1350 HZ.) The beeps are roughly spaced at 0.6 to 0.7 seconds apart. The common spectral peak frequencies of the first four recordings varied only by 7 per cent. This variation was expected due to the various types of recorders and generations of source tapes available for use. The Professor and his students have just finished another 50-page report for me, which I haven’t finished absorbing yet. They are using newer, higher-order auto-bicoherence spectrum analysis software in this most recent study.


Working with Greg Long, who is also interested in the phenomena that acoustics play in the UFO field, I was able to learn about the Yakima Indian Reservation sightings in Washington State that he wrote about in his recent book, Examining the Earthlight Theory – The Yakima UFO Microcosm (The J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies, 1990). Beeping sounds were reported there as well, along with other locations in the state. While digging through his files, he found a cassette tape of beeping sounds recorded exactly one week to the day that they started for me in Orton, Ontario, over 2,000 miles away! Recent analysis of this last tape reveals that it is almost identical to the previous four.


As I stated before, the UFO beeping noise cases from the 1960′s caused quite a stir in the Pacific Northwest. The Air Force commissioned the University of Colorado to do a complete investigation and their findings were published in the now famous Condon Report of 1968. They concluded that these beeping sounds were being produced by a Saw-Whet Owl. Professor Stearman obtained recordings of the Saw-Whet Owl and did a de-tailed analysis of the owl versus the five beeping recordings I had given him. His conclusions are completely different. He says we can rule out the Saw-Whet owl. But what the beeps are, or what they represent, is entirely up for speculation now.


There are several things I want you investigators to know. Not only do these mechanical beeping sounds occur before and after UFO sightings, but they appear to produce electromagnetic effects as well. Battery and electrical failures have been noted on car radios and engines, flashlights, hearing aids, and indoor lighting. Most astounding of all is that the beeping sounds have been heard being broadcast over AM/FM, CB, long wave and short wave radios. That’s a pretty talented owl! In several cases that I have collected, those orange globes of light have been reported nearby. The beeps also affect the environment by causing excitement in animals, insects and humans, who report the unusual sounds to the police. Some note the date on their calendars or go out in search of the sound, which usually has no visible source. Others become afraid and return quickly inside because they “can’t stand it.” The earliest case I have is from 1962 and the most recent case is from 1992 – that’s at least 30 years of this phenomena. While detailing all the locations on a map of North America, I have noticed that crop circles are appearing in clusters within a 50 mile radius of where these beeping sounds have been reported.

This is even more intriguing. I have a reliable group of professionals to help pursue any other cases that might surface. Right now I would like more information on a case that comes from Bilbao, Spain (UFONS, #170, September, 1987). A family witnessed a UFO for 3 hours over their house and got a half-hour tape recording of this strange whistle, “similar to the sonar of a ship.” Apparently it was analyzed by audio frequency experts. This information was published in the Croniga, a newspaper in Buenos Aires, Argentina on March 12, 1983. The exact date of the incident is unknown at this time. Anyone with knowledge of this case or others such as I have described in this article are encouraged to write to me at P.U.R.E. Research, P. 0. Box 627, Sebring, FL 33871


I would like to thank the following people for aiding me greatly with contacts or information: Michael Strainic, present Director of MUFON, Canada; Henry McKay, past Director of MUFON, Canada; the late Ron Johnson, MUFON Deputy Director of Investigations; Dr. Berthold Schwarz, MUFON Consultant in Psychiatry; and Greg Long, author of Examining the Earthlight Theory

© 1994

The Cow Jumped Over the Moon; The Story of Cattle Mutilation

27.3 billion pounds of beef was consumed as a food product in the US in 2008, or roughly one trillion ¼ pound hamburgers.[1]  That number is actually down from the 28.1 billion pounds consumed in 2007, but even with some slight fluctuation (only in this discussion could we say that a difference of 800,000,000 pounds of beef could be a slight fluctuation) the consumer statistics of beef production are staggering, and considering that these numbers are related to US consumption only, this means every American has been personally responsible for consuming some 780 pounds of beef a year (Based on a population of 350 million).[2]

The domestic cattle rearing industry is by far the largest farming business sector in North America, and possibly the most expensive, with cattle ranging from $500-$5000 per head, depending on breed, lineage and location.  So when these expensive and market demanded bovine suddenly start falling dead with all sorts of inhuman mutilations and deformities, you’d think someone (not the least of whom should be insurance companies) would be asking some hard question, rather loudly.  Though it seems this isn’t the case.

The first known examples of cattle mutilation are born of early 19th century England.  Charles Fort, the world renowned American writer and researcher and father of the Fortean school of thought in paranormal circles, collected reports of and documented several cases of livestock excision around the turn of the century in Great Britain, but the phenomenon didn’t reach North America until the early 1960’s.  The event commonly (though wrongly) known as the first documented case of livestock mutilation occurred in September of 1967, near Alamosa Colorado, and is often referred to as ‘The Snippy Mutilation’.  This is the case of an adolescent horse named ‘Lady’, having allegedly been excised by an unseen “alien” force complete with supposedly clear evidence of some type of aircraft having landed near the carcass of the dead horse.[3]

Though citable statistics aren’t available to accurately estimate the number of mutilation reports since 1967, some have estimated the number to be between 8000-100,000, which is an almost unusable estimate, but does provide some idea of the naturally mysterious nature of the cattle mutilation phenomenon. Though that mystery is less about the means by which the cattle meet their death, than it is about the unorganized nature of research into the phenomenon.

To date, two official US Government investigations have delved into Cattle Mutilation phenomenon, though some argue that they barely scratched the surface of the problem with their cursory look into only a few cases.  The FBI conducted their investigation beginning in May of 1979, and carried on until the submission of Agent Kenneth Rommel’s final report, which was heralded as a serious case of lunch bag let down.  While simultaneously offering absolutely no explanation for what was happening, Rommel also claimed that there was no reason for continued law enforcement interest.[4]

Prior to Rommel’s investigation, the ATF conducted an independent look at the phenomenon, coming to much the same conclusions, though they did suggest that further investigation was necessary and with a much larger scope of research.  One does tend to wonder though, how cattle mutilation might fall under the purview of the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms administration.

It should be noted that many on-going local and state level investigations by both public and private sector investigators have provided intriguing results, such as the presence of tranquiliser and anti-coagulant compounds in the tissues of some of the animals, as well as describing a trend in pathology, wherein the mutilations seem to be growing more precise and professional as time goes on.  Though, as more media coverage takes place, the opportunities for disinformation and misnomer become much greater.

Canadian rancher and amateur researcher Fern Belzil has done much for the cause of finding a definitive answer to the sceptical cry of hoax, trickery and ignorance.[5]  Belzil has investigated an enormous selection of animal excision cases in and around western Canada and the North-western US, and though he is hesitant to offer any kind of hypothesis for what entity (whether alien or human) is responsible for the destruction of such valuable property, he is adamant that, with few exceptions, these cases are not the work of natural predation or post-mortem pathology.  His website, as with the many TV documentaries and viral videos he’s appeared in, offer an impartial look at only what can be seen and examined.  Belzil has compiled a startlingly gruesome and complete picture slideshow of many of the various cases he has personally investigated, and is adept at illustrating the unnatural similarities between each case, all the while maintaining a well earned air of respectability and credibility.

Fern Belzil

Fern Belzil

Conspiracy theorist Jeff Rense of the Jeff Rense Program draws connection between cattle mutilation and the obscure Indestructible Prions that are supposedly to blame for every major illness and disease known to modern man.[6]  He claims that the mutilations are a clandestine governmental conspiracy in the throes of testing and analyzing the effect of prions in the beef we consume; though his theory doesn’t account for the mutilation of horses, goats, sheep and deer.

Possibly the most popular answer to ‘why’ is the alien hypothesis, asserting that an extraterrestrial race is using their superior technology to inspect and analyze these cattle for means of either co-opting bovine DNA and engineering a genetic compatibility between aliens and humans, or as a pragmatic study of our climate and the effects of pollution on various forms of Earth life.  There seems to be an equal amount of supportive, albeit anecdotal, commentary for both cases, though one does wonder if repeated cattle mutilation is really the most efficient means for either scenario.

One other possible answer to ‘why’ is actually rooted in the age old military-industrial complex conspiracy of disinformation and social control through grand and sweeping sleight of hand.  This is the idea that the hidden cartel of super wealthy families and businesses behind the government is engineering these so-called mysterious phenomena in order to maintain a level of social control by way of a universal fear of what might be out there.  Majestic, as this group is typically called, is believed by many to be the controlling force on the planet, in areas such as commerce, manufacturing, fuel production, medicine and certain sectors of scientific research.  Such esteemed people as Dr. Steven Greer of The Disclosure Project fame have suggested that Majestic is responsible for nearly all negatively viewed UFO and alien phenomenon since the early 1950’s, including such peripherally connected ideas as Cattle Mutilation.[7]

Though it might be best to view these types of things with an eye toward more moderate explanations, taking the middle road and assuming without cause that these cases are benign and even natural is definitely not the right course either.  I would suggest we keep our minds open to the possibility that a combination of two or more of the above explanations is the truth.

At some point in our not-so-distant past the faculty of some unknown and mysterious entity or complex took to abducting and mutilating cattle for whatever purpose; whether every report of such activity is a true and accurate measurement of that entity’s scale and capacity is in question, but in-so-far as no plausible explanation has been put forward in the 40 some years since ‘Snippy’s’ unfortunate demise, we can safely say that whatever is going on, it remains organized and holds a consistent but evolving methodology.

Evidence is fairly clear for the argument that Cattle Mutilation is not a natural occurrence, in spite of certain government sources claiming otherwise, but no evidence exists to explain the problem beyond that point, which seems typical of such a conspiratorial subject.  All in all, the informational ammunition being gathered and inspected by people such as Fern Belzil and his colleagues will eventually amount to a smoking gun of evidence to be waved in the face of the so-called conspirators and sceptics alike.


[1] Source:

[2] These values are obviously skewed, as not all beef product is destined for human consumption; a portion is used in livestock and pet food as well.

[3] For a detailed telling of the Snippy Mutilation see:

[4] Rommel’s 300 page report is now available through the Freedom of Information Act, though it hasn’t yet been published for review.

[5] See:

[6] See: (with a grain of salt)

[7] For information about Dr. Greer, see: