The Artful History of UFO’s on Earth

In the history of the world there have been many periods of advanced enlightenment, the most intellectually compelling being the ancient Greek Scientific Awakening and the Renaissance of Italian History, though certainly there have been more periods of social development than most are aware.  Each step of cultural evolution has brought with it an influx of new ideas, altered perceptions and changing social tides.  In recent history, much like our ancient history, our ancestors of the turn of the 20th Century witnessed such revolution in the form of war, scientific and technological advance, political strife and even mass emigration from areas whose controlling factions resist such change.

Alas, humanity has a selectively narrow focus and relatively short attention span; we see the changing tides of social evolution as a new and frightening phenomenon, though if we, collectively, were able to look past our own selfish perspective, we might notice that violent and tumultuous change is a species characteristic for mankind, one well document through the works of great philosophical, artistic and scientific masters.

Through the many ages of the earth – through the countless environmental, biological and even structural changes witnessed by man and by the innumerable species of life that our planet has therein been endowed – some suggest that our history has been permeated with a presence, a constant element through time, of an other-worldly companion that may be depicted through the most stunningly beautiful artworks of Antiquity.  Those who would make such a suggestion have gone further on occasion, they sometimes go so far as to say that even a cursory study of the art history of our global community exposes the watchful presence of someone not-of-this-world.

That someone being the stereotypical extraterrestrial influence so popularly bandied about in internet forums and on blogs such as this one.

While we use the infantile term, ‘Unidentified Flying Object’, as a label to form the syntax of our limited understanding, I think it hardly does justice to the scope of UFO phenomenon in our history.  This isn’t necessarily to say that every photo, every painting and every out-of-focus video is evidence of a greater conspiracy of aliens among us.  What follows is simply an examination of what many claim is an ever present cultural companion in extraterrestrial intelligence.

Regardless of our ability to understand the relationship between humanity and these so-called visitors, the artefacts of their existence may lay hidden in the fresco that is our colourful prehistoric, ancient religious and Renaissance art history.  The inclusion of UFO imagery in such great and studied pieces as those offered below is obviously not limited to any one race, sect or region of the globe.  For some it may not be necessary to suggest, but for those who would be sceptical of the following views, I ask simply that you try, in earnest, to suspend your disbelief and to consider the far reaching implications of what follows.  It would be easy to dismiss this thread of apparent connection between the ages and between many, many cultures on earth, but I ask only that you Sceptics leave your autodebunking nature by the wayside temporarily.  In any event, regardless of what you may believe is depicted in the following presentations, the artwork is stunning and worthy of awareness.

From early Sumerian depictions (between 4,000 and 5,000 BC) of Gods in strange dress, using what should have been unknown tools and objects, as well as Sumerian figurines of what are, presumably, alien greys and even reptilians; to ancient Nepalese (approximately 7,000 BC) ceremonial plates depicting alien and UFO story lines.

[cincopa AUIAiQag5G-c]

Reaching even further into the past, we can see what appears to be the influence of technology depicted in cave drawings (Italy – approximately 10,000 BC); the above slide show brings into focus, a plethora of prehistoric evidence for the argument of extraterrestrial influence on early earth cultures.  We can clearly see, as each slide passes before us, that no race of culture on the globe has been spared.  We see examples of alien influenced art from Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Japan, Australia, China, Tanzania, and the Americas; pieces which span a swath of history longer than 11,000 years.

One might, if they had not heeded my earlier request for humility, argue on the infallible scope of the human imagination.  They might cite the vast array of zany, whimsical and often incomprehensibly odd examples of prehistoric and even modern art that are clearly not influenced by UFO’s or extraterrestrials.  While I would not hesitate to agree that in the vast majority of cases, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, especially when it comes to certain periods of artistic development, I find it more difficult to agree with anyone denying a certain consistency depicted in these images.

As will be illustrated in the following slideshow of more modern examples of such art, some of the more masterful works of religious artisans demand a more critical examination.

We know, as history tells us, that religious art holds a duality that can be deceiving.  The masters were keen to mix metaphor with truth, to show the face of one thing while offering a key to another.  Oppression of religious, artistic and personal freedom forced artisans, during enlightenment periods of our history, to conspire against their patrons and to building dual meaning into nearly every piece.  Seldom does a painting or sculpture offer only one perspective.  Yet throughout history, great works of religious significance seem to betray their true meaning to subtle and cryptic messages of what can easily be interpreted as alien influence.

[cincopa AUNAeQaI5C_Q]

I invite you to spend some time viewing and reviewing the above images, for they are profound in their content and meaning.  Each image on its own can, for the most part, easily be explained away, though collectively one begins to see an inescapable pattern.  I refrain from a piece-by-piece examination and critique as all who read this are capable of the same on their own, though to offer my perspective on the phenomenon in its entirety seems fitting.

What strikes me immediately is the remarkable consistency, we are viewing a collection of artworks with origins spanning nearly the entire length of human culture – more than 12,000 years – and in that period there seems to have been no drastic change in the portrayal of these alien elements.  Disks, saucers, fireballs and spacesuits (arguably), as well as tools and possibly weapons which seem to be inconsistent with the period from which the images come.  There seems to be a complete inventory of science fiction technology readily available throughout the art-history of humanity.

I believe that there remain a certain number of alternate explanations for this cross-cultural, globally historic phenomenon.  Would persons of prehistoric, Renaissance or even Medieval mindsets view stratospheric events that are completely natural with similar or divergent imagery? I tend to think that depictions of cosmic events (which might explain a portion of the imagery found) would take on drastically different interpretations between the various ages and regions in question, though the above artworks don’t seem to show such divergence.  Some have said that the scientific principal of Occam’s Razor should be applied – the simplest explanation, however fanciful and strange, is the most likely.  However, the reality of such conspiratorial questions is of course, that it is better for one to make up ones own mind, until better evidence is available.

Unfortunately, since the arrow of time points only in one direction, we aren’t likely to be privy to any new evidence in this regard.  As such, I invite you only to consider the various implications presented above, using your own intellect and intuition to determine the answer for yourself.

Art, Imitating Life, Imitating Extraterrestrials

Are we a culture obsessed with our own mortality? For centuries, and even millennia, man has documented, foretold, chronicled and prophesized over the end.  Our art, our history, and our literature have focused on apocalyptic visions and a future leading only to Armageddon.

Hollywood blockbuster films have offered us a grand selection of doomsday imagery and storyline; as far back as the early 1950’s, screenplay writers have been recording the product of their morbid and disturbed imaginations, all for the entertainment of the masses.

In most cases it’s an easy journey from real life to the apocalyptic vision of Hollywood’s jet set, and back again; but occasionally, there comes a story that is more difficult to reconcile with our fragile sense of reality and which becomes an icon within our culture, serving to shape our own understanding of what it means to be a human in our galaxy.

One such story, which admittedly was not made into movie form until many years after its debut, is said to have sparked the global pandemic of UFOism, Orson Well’s �?War of the Worlds’.  Most everyone is familiar with the basic outline of the story, both the written tale and its original telling, and since that time, the creative minds of storytellers worldwide have capitalised on the base fear that Mr. Wells accidentally preyed upon, to sell theatre tickets and concession stuffs.

Hollywood has pushed forth a plethora of fantastic and brutally grim fiction for our entertainment, all of it backed by big money and even bigger business.  No one would argue that the business of making scary movies is anything but a success, but the slight of hand magic of big budget movie houses may have pulled more wool over our eyes than you think.

WarWorldsDVDcoverIn recent years there seems to have been an influx of movie scripts mixing Armageddon, or near apocalyptic threat with an alien presence.  Often the story line warns of an inability to control our own technology and/or progress and, whether by proxy or direct influence, we suffer confusion, attack or simple domination at the hands of an outside intelligence.

Zombie hordes brought on by genetic and chemical manipulation, alien invasion by malevolent DNA farming ET’s, and even heavy handed judgement of our ecological impact on the planet by an all powerful entity and its robotic bodyguard.  From the satirical to the horrific, we’ve been inundated by every vision of doom and gloom imaginable, and yet, in this process we happily integrate these new perceptions, new ideas and new horrors into our psyche, all the while maintaining our sense of self and carrying on with our lives as if nothing could sway us from the inevitable conclusion of our existence.

Art, imitating life, imitating art; this profound statement is used in various contexts, in various collegiate settings and with varying levels of understanding, but seldom is it used to describe the potential for Hollywood to pull the wool over our eyes, while feeding us little tidbits of truth and slowly desensitising the global masses to the real inevitability.

What better machine of dissemination is there, what group of companies, financiers, unions and regulatory commissions are in a better position to influence the mindset of the population at large than the big budget apparatus of Hollywood?

If, as conspiracy theorists the world over have suggested, the governments of the worlds major powers are capable of large scale cover-up and secret endeavours of an extraterrestrial nature, all without anything more than a whisper of a conspiracy, what would stop those same controlling regimes from manipulating the content of our beliefs through the ever popular Hollywood machine?

In a matter of two generations, the horror movie genre has gone from black and white depictions of vampires and werewolves, and strange spaceships made of cardboard and bottle caps, to multi-million dollar computer generated worlds and entirely believable monsters.  Generations following the X’ers and Y’ers may find themselves at the mercy of cultural manipulation, the likes of which have never been seen before.

But to what end you might ask, to which I must answer that we may never know, at least until it’s too late.  Though for our part we can hypothesise, and we may actually come up with a reasonable piece of conjecture, though we must be careful to always mind that the foundations for our conclusion remain without support.

Since the days of Orson Wells, the most popular and possibly the longest lived conspiracy theory in our history, has been one of government collusion with alien technologies and even extraterrestrial beings.  That old chestnut about area 51 and an alien effort to infiltrate the hierarchy of our leadership has become the foundation of nearly every paranoid and irrational fear of government control over the individual since the end of the cold war.  But if we concede the possibility that the above couldbe true, then we’re faced with the idea that such a government would be obliged to desensitise its population through whatever means are possible, effective and efficient enough to succeed.

Having gotten to this point, and either jumping into this pool of wild accusation head first, or toeing the water at the shore, we all must admit that there is both a ring of familiarity to this proposal, as well as a small bit of credibility.

With a list of movie titles ranging from; Fire in the Sky, Independence Day, Men in Black (I & II), Close Encounters of the Third Kind, War of the Worlds (remake), Battlefield Earth, The Day the Earth Stood Still, and Knowing; one might be drawn to ask the question…are these works of pure fiction, or are we being led down the garden path?

Some might see this as entirely implausible and even a bit delusional, while others may be lining up behind me for their Government Issue foil hat.  Somewhere in between likely lies the truth, for what other global industry has the power to influence our beliefs, our ideas and our acceptance of new and even frightening circumstances, than the one we rely on for entertainment and even identity?

The Chinese Dropa Stone Conspiracy

The 8-track is dead, but the ancient alien record-disc is very much alive

An amazing discovery, a Chinese conspiracy, Russian collaboration and a world class UFO mystery.  The year was 1938 and the place was the foreboding and remote mountains of BayanKara-Ula, on the borders of China and Tibet.

Chinese archaeologist, Professor Chu Pu Tei lead a team of intrepid explorers on an adventure to survey the many known interlinked caves of the area; little did he know, the caves are the least interesting part of BayanKara-Ula.

The good professor, while exploring the caves, found himself in the company of some of the strangest ancient graves, possibly ever found.  He and his team found a series of neatly arranged burial sites containing the skeletons of creatures with spindly bodies and enormous skulls.  Originally thought to have been some heretofore unknown species of Tibetan Ape, though as pointed out by Chu Pu Tei, ‘since when do apes bury each other?’; more modern examinations of the burial site have led experts to agree that the skeletons are those of some unknown race of humanoid, though the samples are far too degraded for DNA or other biological testing to take place.

Opinions vary slightly, but the general consensus is that these beings, whoever or whatever they are, existed approximately 12,000 years ago, and that their enormous cranial capacity indicates that they possessed a heightened intelligence.

But the discovery of the skeletons isn’t exactly the interesting part of this story.

While examining the site and the surrounding caves, Chu Pu Tei and his team also discovered what may be the most significant and tangible artefact in recent human history.  I’m speaking of course, about the Dropa Stones.

A collection of large, approximately 2-3 foot in diameter and 2-3 inches thick, stone discs with a hole in the center, which on initial inspection could be mistaken for an early model of wheel, but on closer examination are an unmistakable analog to the phonophile’s coveted vinyl record.  Even back in 1938, these Chinese Archaeologists knew they had stumbled onto something unique.

The stones, 716 of which were reportedly found, are rumoured to have tiny spiralling lines of unknown and seemingly undecipherable hieroglyphs, emanating from the center hole and terminating on the outer edge of the disc.  The original telling of this story references testing that was done to confirm the discs age as exceeding 10,000BC, which would make this the most significant archaeological find in history.  A finely tooled artefact, containing evidence of a written language and culture, in such a remote region of the BayanKara mountains…that kind of find would change everything we think we know about the evolution of mankind.


In 1963, another Chinese professor, Tsum Um Nui declared that he had broken the Dropa Stone code, though as wouldn’t be surprising within the Chinese empire, was forbidden from releasing his findings by the Pei King Academy of Prehistory.  Two years later, Um Nui and four of his colleagues were given permission to publish their findings, which came in the form of the aptly titled “The Grooved Script concerning Space-ships which, as recorded on the Discs, landed on Earth 12,000 years ago”

“The ‘records’ told an astonishing story of a ‘space probe’ by the inhabitants of another planet which came to grief in the Bayan-Kara-Ula Mountain range. The strange, spiral script told how the peaceful intentions of the ‘aliens’ had been misunderstood and how many of them were hunted down and killed by members of the Ham tribe, who lived in the neighboring caves.

According to Tsum Um Nui, one of the lines of the hieroglyphs read, “The Dropas came down from the clouds in their aircraft. Our men, women and children hid in the caves ten times before sunrise. When at last they understood the sign language of the Dropas, they realized that the newcomers had peaceful intentions… Another section expressed ‘regret’ by the Ham tribe that the aliens’ spaceship had crash-landed in such a remote and inaccessible mountains and that there had been no way to building a new one to enable Dropas to return to their own planet.”[1]

It seems, from further research, that the Dropas were not well received by the indigenous people of the BayaKara area, and may ultimately have been hunted and slaughtered to near extinction; but the story doesn’t end there.

The Dropas King and Queen

In years since the discovery and subsequent translation of the discs, each of which is purported to offer it’s own story, history, technical information and astronomical driving directions, other archaeologists have explored and studied the area of the Dropa caves, and in a bizarre but predictable twist, there happens be both a Ham tribe and a Dropa tribe in the BayaKara-Ula Mountain range, and strangely enough, both tribes have uncharacteristically thin stature and larger skulls.

After Tsum Um Nui released his findings, Russian scientists became interested in the Dropa Stones and requested access, so that they might perform their own testing and research.  In what may be the only example of Chinese collaboration, the Pei King Academy of Prehistory agreed and released an undisclosed number of the discs to Russian custody.

To the surprise of many, the Russian Scientists found that the discs were comprised mainly of cobalt, an ore not found local to BayaKara; and as though they were acting with the thought of turning their tests into a feature movie, they somehow constructed a device for “playing” the disc like a record.  According to Dr. Vyatcheslav Saizev, who described the experiments in the Soviet magazine Sputnik – they vibrated or ‘hummed’ in an unusual rhythm as though an electric charge was passing through them.

So, what does all this mean?  Are we to believe the anecdotal evidence of long gone so-called scientists of an era where scientific advancement was in its infancy?  Why hasn’t this discovery been the flagship for academic investigation into UFO’s, aliens or extraterrestrial influence on early humans?

There may be many answers to those questions.

There is cause to be suspicious of the story on the whole; 716 artefacts recovered and not one available for public examination?  Previously published research papers suppressed and edited, and in certain cases, completely lost.

To many people this kind of discovery would be the most profound human development since the written word, so what gives?

As though any of us has forgotten, we are talking about the two most secretive and oppressive nations and cultures on the planet here.  China and Russia aren’t exactly the picture of free flowing information, especially where it concerns matters of potentially transformational findings.  Both countries have cause to suppress and exploit this discovery for their own purposes; and the both may have done just that.

Now, what I’m about to lay out for you, is pure and unadulterated conjecture, there is no factual basis for this theorising, nor is there any reference for the ideas behind it, beyond what is commonly known of the issues at hand.

The Real Conspiracy?

Let’s consider the so-called facts of this “case”…

Evidence of an alien craft crashing in the Chinese/Tibetan BayaKaran-Ula Mountain Range, evidence which provides a written record of the events leading up to and following said crash is found by Chinese archaeologists. That evidence is then suppressed, and later partially released, and then seemingly suppressed again.

In years following, certain details of the original evidence are confirmed through developed scientific processes, such as the dating and analysis of the discs and the discovery of tribes known by the same names as indicated in the translation of the hieroglyphs on the discs.

Is it pure coincidence that China is in dispute over the right to control Tibet?  Is it coincidence that Tibetan elders are revered world-wide as some of the most enlightened and learned scholars ever to have graced this planet?  Is it coincidence that the evolution of the Tibetan mountain people is reminiscent of the apparently alien skeletons found in the 12,000 year old burial site?

Recent news coverage has indicated that the Chinese Empiric hierarchy is of the belief that extraterrestrial life is not only possible, but that a great many of the UFO stories of the paranormal subculture are completely accurate and true.

Are we looking at Chinese hoarding of tangible scientific evidence of an alien presence and/or contact, do they believe that they have the one and only fast-track pipeline to alien assistance and protection?

Whatever the case may be, the truth of the Dropa Stones is out there.  The stones do exist, they do have some connection to a strange occurrence from 10,000BC, and they were found suspiciously close to the graves of some very strange looking skeletons.


[1] Source: Posted by John Winston

What to do when Alien’s Attack – A Brief Field Guide

Little green men, flying saucers and ricocheting laser beams fill your field of vision; explosions, screaming and the distinct odour of burnt dog fill the air. Your mind races, your heart nearly beats its way right out of your chest and you can’t get your feet to move even an inch.

A bad dream? Maybe. Or maybe it’s your worst dream come true. Aliens are attacking, and they’re winning! Think genius, what do you do?!?

Well, short of risking my own life to hold your hand and lead you to safety, here’s a quick field guide for saving your neck, getting the girl and just maybe kicking a little alien ass while you’re at it.

There are three rules to surviving a global attack by interstellar beings, and none involve making tin foil hats.

Rule #1 – Trust No One

These alien bastards are ruthless, highly advanced and decidedly non-communicative. So how did they know just where to strike and how hard. They might have disguised operatives on the ground, or they might be in cahoots with government officials; either way, you’re safer on your own.

Actually, being on your own is probably going to be your best bet anyway. An alien attack would most likely resemble a mass extermination, and like any good exterminator knows, you gotta hit the big ant hills first.

So get yourself out of town, as fast as possible. If you have to travel with others (friends, family or your parole officer), keep your groups to a minimum and travel by the road least taken. Main roads will become jammed with panicked Suits and Soccer Moms in no time, so use that keen sense of direction and uncannily male ability to get lost…and get lost!

Wherever you go, it better be deserted. Congregating in large groups may seem prudent for long term survival, but you’ve got a more immediate problem on your hands; avoiding the alien death ray to be precise. Large groups have different problems than small groups. Staying organised, finding shelter and food, caring for fallen members, all of these things are going to slow you down, and slowing down is going to get you killed.

Rule #2 – Know Your Enemy

Watching all those episodes of the X-files and Unsolved Mysteries is finally going to pay off, unfortunately, Skully and Mulder aren’t around to help you now. You need intel and you need it fast. This is no time to duck and run, well ok, maybe it is a good time for both those things, but while you’re high-tailing it for the nearest exit, look back over your shoulder and try to get a look at the big Meany you’re running away from.

A few of things you need to know are:

How are they surviving in our atmosphere? Exo-technology, bioadaption, or are they simply compatible with us, biologically?

Are they using their impressive technology to overtake the planet, or are they bringing the fight to the streets, so-to-speak?

By what means are they sorting the masses for slaughter? Are they targeting groups? Focusing in on movement? Or just laying waste to everything?

This may seem like a strange time to be making pointed observation, as though you’re about to ask for an autograph, but the more you know about these issues, the better chances you have for survival. Each of the above three items will give you very specific and possibly diametric information with which to make split second decisions.

Assuming you make it out the door, your continued survival will depend on your ability to assimilate and process tactical information about your enemy.

Possibly the worst mistake you could make at this point is running wildly into the madness without a plan, and coming up with a plan requires information, about the situation and about your enemy.It may have worked out well for Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

Rule #3 Never Assume It’s Dead…Ever!

So you managed to get away, you fought your way, tooth and nail, through crowds of hysterical men and women, unruly mobs of soon-to-be-dead vigilantes, and of course, hoards of opportunistic looters. You survived frontal attacks, running escapes, close calls and near misses.You hid in dark corners, holding your breath and willing the creatures away.

And now you’ve come to it, a face-to-face encounter; hand-to-hand combat with a rogue alien assassin, and despite his technological advantage, you exerted your physical will on him and by the looks of it, you’ve won.

Or have you?

I’m telling you right now, if you fall for that old movie bit where the bad guy plays dead and then shoots the good guy in the back…I’m gonna come down there and gut you myself.

Forward momentum is your only advantage now, use it. This is one time when kicking a man when he’s down is called for. You keep firing that stolen ray gun until it runs out of batteries. Drop an anvil on his head, and then follow it up with a building. My point is…you make damn sure that thing isn’t going to get back up! I dare say, you should keep hitting him till he’s a steaming pile of green goo (unless of course, if that’s how he was to begin with).

Unfortunately for you, an alien attack pretty much means you’re on your own. Don’t expect to be rescued by your local fire department or National Guard. Don’t expect your knight in shining armour to show up and carry you off into the sunset. Your wits are the only help you’ll be getting from here on in, just remember, if a broomstick and a Twinkie can be a weapon in Jackie Chan’s hands, just imagine what you can do with a 2×4 and a tire iron.

NASA Researchers Find Microbes That Thrive On Arsenic


Mono Lake, California

So, the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) wowed us with their highly anticipated press conference labelled as an explanation of an Astrobiology Discovery.  This, supported by what we’re supposed to believe was an unintentional leak of the information to a few strategic sources, was actually much less about astrobiology than it was about biology in general.

The NASA press conference, which was scheduled for 2pm (EST) today (December 2, 2010), was little more than a panelled monologue by a few desperate public scientists, standing before the world saying: “Hey, look at us, we’re still scientifically relevant.  We’re still productive and valuable to the international scientific discourse…please, please don’t cut off our funding and put an end to our potential!”

I don’t want to give you the wrong impression though; their discovery is profound, and poignant. In lay-terms, they found (or rather, created) a microbial organism, specifically a bacterium that is capable, it seems, of substituting arsenic for phosphorus in it’s genetic structure.

If you’re not well versed in bio-chemistry and molecular biology, this will hold little meaning for you.  Even if you are conversant in these fields, this discovery, while interesting, seems almost inevitable.  There is a bit of PR sleight of hand going on here though, and I’ll do my best to illustrate the trick.


Microscopic Bacterium Using Arsenic in place of Phosphorus

This discovery is credited to Arizona State University Researcher Ariel Anbar and her team, who recently studied bacterial microbes harvested from Mono Lake in northern California, an area environmentally rich in arsenic.[1] Anbar and her team then grew these bacteria in laboratory settings, manipulating the levels of biological building blocks (specifically limiting the amount of phosphorus available to the culture, while adding what should have been a fatal dose of arsenic).  They ultimately found that the bacteria not only thrived in this environment, but that it had actually replaced the phosphorus in its DNA and RNA material with that of arsenic (a molecularly similar element to phosphorus).

You might be thinking…”Yeah?  So what?”  And you’d be more on the ball than you think.  What this discovery means is that Anbar and her team succeeded in confirming a hypothesis that, contrary to NASA’s PR machine, was actually fairly widely held throughout the biological sciences community, not to mention a notion that has been the foundation of the astrobiology “sciences” for decades.  That notion being, that life elsewhere, life on planets other than Earth, need not conform to the biological requirements of life on Earth.  Though personally, I fail to see how this discovery is any more relevant than the discovery of water on both the Moon and Mars.

I suspect that many lay-people will be somewhat disappointed with the results of all this fan fare, and I can’t say I’d blame them.  I had the misfortune of watching the press conference on CNN, wherein the host-of-the-hour, who seems to lack a basic understanding of science in any venue, was far less than charitable with the presentation than I would have expected, openly mocking Andar following the initial release, then handing over commentary to Bill Nye (The Science Guy) and a SETI Researcher, whom the CNN host claims (erroneously) was Carl Sagan’s inspiration for the screenplay for the movie Contact, staring Jodie Foster.

All-in-all, as I said earlier, this is a profound discovery, though twitter, facebook and many, many internet message boards will certainly now be a-buzz with chatter on the deeper, hidden meaning of this discovery.  Those meanings however, are bound to be fewer and far subtler than these conspiracy theorists will be willing to admit.  I reported mid last year on the discovery of water on the Moon by the Indian Space Research Organisation’s Chandraayan 1 probe, and then by subsequent NASA missions.  I exclaimed, without answer, about the media’s apparent lack of interest in such a profound discovery…apparently this press conference is an answer to that claim.  (As though NASA gives a damn what some obscure blogger says)

Either way, stay tuned for commentary and analysis by every Tom, Dick and Harry on the significance of this discovery, whether they actually understand it or not.

[1] NASA Funded Research Discovers Life Built with Toxic Chemical, NASA.gov

That’s No Moon; That’s A Space Station!

I see the moon

And the moon sees me.

God bless the moon

And God bless me.

The moon, that big pie in the sky, la Luna, the Earth’s only natural satellite and a celestial wonder in human eyes; the moon has been the focus of human poetry, art, music and folk lore since long before the invention of the written word.  The moon lights up our night sky, it controls our oceanic tides and stabilises our weather patterns; it is a companion and an icon, and it fills our hearts with a connection to other places, other times, and other people, but there actually may be more to the moon than meets the eye.

The cold war era race to the moon culminated in a series of American and Soviet space missions, seven of which were manned landings while many more were unmanned sensory missions.  The moon had been the perfect object to focus the technological, scientific and political wills of the most powerful nations on Earth; you could even say that reaching the moon was an international obsession for the better part of a century.

That official interest in the moon dissipated following the final manned landing of Apollo 17 in 1972 and the subsequent end of the Apollo program in 1975.  Right off the top it seems somewhat odd that the climax of NASA’s accomplishment should precipitate a fizzling of scientific and public interest in that national obsession all within a matter of less than 20 years, and there may be cause to be suspicious of that seemingly convenient subject change by America’s defence leaders.

The moon can essentially be split into two halves, the dark side and the light side.  Its orbit is such that only one side of it can ever been seen from Earth, hence that familiar landscape of pockmarked craters and lines we consistently see at the pinnacle of its monthly cycle.  Metaphorically speaking, those two halves can be made to represent two categories of knowledge regarding our constant companion; what we know and what we don’t know.

What follows is a somewhat brief examination of both categories, an ode to our galactic partner and its role in our lives.

What We Know

Aside from the mundane facts about its circumference, geological make up and orbital precision, mankind really doesn’t know a whole heck of a lot about the moon, and often, what we do know tends to bring up more questions than anything else.

First, we can deal with what it is, rather than what it is not.  To say that the moon is Earth’s only natural satellite is a little simplistic, though in simple terms is exactly correct.  It is an organic body, comprised mainly of the same material as the Earth, and is locked in a synchronous orbit around us.  Its own rate of rotation is timed near exactly perfect to cause only one side of its surface to be visible from Earth, though the light and dark side analogy isn’t really correct, since the far side (commonly known as the dark side) receives precisely as much exposure to sunlight as the near side does through our synchronous orbital path around the sun.

Compared to its contemporaries throughout our galaxy, the moon is small, basic and not exactly exciting; it hangs in the sky as a constant reminder of our position in the solar system, but recent international efforts to further explore our own space faring capabilities have yielded some unexpected fruit.

On September 24th 2009, India’s first lunar mission, Chandrayaan-1 has made what many are calling a definitive discovery via their infrared scanning experiments in relation to the lunar poles.  In a news conference of September 25, it was announced that water does in fact exist on the moon.  Now, scientific news has been talking a lot lately about the search for water on Mars, but few were talking about finding it, essentially, in our own back yard.

This was a momentous occasion, one to be celebrated for the technological achievement and for the scientific ramifications of this discovery.  Many have wondered and speculated about what it would mean to find water on a celestial body, and many theorists and cosmologists have presented differing ideas; but, along a line of logic derived from the purpose of that search for water, one must acknowledge a simple yet profound inevitability.  If water exists on the moon and below its surface, which is now all but confirmed, then the statistical probability of it existing on other celestial bodies is a near certainty; and by further extension of that logic and that of the purpose behind the search for water, if water exists on other planets, then the statistical probability for the existence of extraterrestrial life is a virtual certainty as well.

This of course doesn’t speak of the development level of that life, or of its potential to exist during our brief time in the universe, but the probabilities have increased dramatically in favour of those seeking to prove the existence of life elsewhere in the universe.

The moon itself may not be particularly interesting when considered next to Jupiter or even Mars, but the potential it holds for unlocking some of the mysteries of the universe is vast; which leads us to a particularly disturbing question.  Why did national and international interest in the moon wane in the wake of the Apollo program?

What We Don’t Know

In the early 1970’s, during a period of advance psychometric experimentation by the CIA, a remote viewer in their employ was tasked with focusing his large prefrontal lobe on the so-called dark side of the moon.  What Ingo Swann discovered was both terrifying and in an oddly conspiratorial way, self fulfilling.

For those who aren’t familiar, remote viewing is the psychic process of searching with one’s mind for images, information and thoughts from or about people, locations and facilities as far away as the exact opposite side of the Earth, or, as Swann would say, as far away as the moon.

CIA Remote Viewer Ingo Swann

Swann, a man with confirmed top secret clearance and a documented track record of inexplicable accuracy with his gift, published this story in his 1998 autobiography Penetration: The Question of Extraterrestrial and Human Telepathy, and at the time of it’s release, he was the focus of a great deal of scrutiny and ridicule, that is until the declassification and release of the CIA STARGATE documents, which served to substantiate Swann’s claim.

During his intense remote viewing sessions, which were commissioned, guided and controlled by the CIA, Swann claims to have seen an enormous base of operations and several factory-like facilities on the far side of the moon.  He detailed the alien race that occupied and operated the base, as well as their space craft, and in an eerie climax, explained that these mysterious beings were not friendly and “did not want humans on the moon”.

Now, you’ll notice that the time frame of this remote viewing operation coincides with the final Apollo missions and the subsequent end of the program, which means that Swann and his CIA compatriots were looking into the so-called alien occupation of the moon at the same time that Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong were wowing the world with their space walks and eternally poignant commentary from the lunar surface.  So, if Swann were right about all this, wouldn’t Aldrin, Armstrong or any one of the two dozen or so other astronauts have seen something?

Well, in the immortal words of Astronaut James Lovell “Please be informed that there is a Santa Claus.”

In recent years, since approximately 1998, and coinciding with the inevitable retirement of the aging Apollo program astronauts, rumours and campfire stories began to surface about the truth of those missions.  Early speculation led many conspiracy theorists to believe that these rumours meant something altogether different, namely that the lunar landings never took place, though at the behest of some of the most famous names in space flight, we’ve come to believe something altogether more disturbing.

Since ’98, some of the marquee astronauts, names like Aldrin, Armstrong and Lovell among many others, have been speaking out about their experiences during the Apollo missions.  Lovell’s infamous comments above, as recorded during the Apollo 8 mission, are as significant a commentary about UFO’s as can be found.

Astronaut James Lovell

Astronaut James Lovell

Obviously Lovell wasn’t talking about a jolly fat man in a red suit, and he wasn’t making a cute spectacle in the spirit of Christmas.  He was in fact speaking in code about an alien craft escorting his vessel along its route to the moon.  This may seem a little more than fantastic in light of what the public thinks it knows about the moon, but then again, this section is subtitled ‘What We Don’t Know’.

In a series of spectacular and risky public conversations, statements and releases, several of the Apollo programs astronauts have made shocking testimonials about their own personal experiences with UFO’s and aliens on the moon’s surface and in the space around the moon.

In turn, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, has become one of the most outspoken of his crowd, he claims to have captured colour still and movie film of the alien craft and of their operations on the lunar surface.  Some of his most infamous radio dialogue from the Apollo 11 mission is as follows:

NASA: Whats there?
Mission Control calling Apollo 11…

Apollo11: These “Babies” are huge, Sir! Enormous!
OH MY GOD! You wouldn’t believe it!
I’m telling you there are other spacecraft out there,
Lined up on the far side of the crater edge!
They’re on the Moon watching us!

Now, unfortunately for us, you won’t find that commentary in any official NASA transcript or mission log, you won’t hear NASA commenting on Aldrin’s surprised and exited report, and that’s because in typical form, the CIA, who it is widely known was and is now in control of all mission data that gets disseminated to the public, censored the entire report.

So how does anyone know about Aldrin’s comments?  During the mission, which was the flagship spectacle for NASA’s public image at the time, the entire world was watching and listenng, some closer than others, several unnamed, VHF capable, Hamm radio operators were aiming their antennae at the moon and in effect, got a front row seat for the mayhem that followed.

Sometime after that mission, and following the completion of Neil Armstrong’s space flight career, a brief on record exchange occurred between Armstrong and an unnamed professor during a NASA symposium.

Professor: What REALLY happened out there with Apollo 11?

Armstrong: It was incredible, of course we had always known there was a possibility, the fact is, we were warned off! [by the Aliens]. There was never any question then of a space station or a moon city.

Professor: How do you mean “warned off”?

Armstrong: I can’t go into details, except to say that their ships were far superior to ours both in size and technology – Boy, were they big! and menacing!  No, there is no question of a space station.

Professor: But NASA had other missions after Apollo 11?

Armstrong: Naturally – NASA was committed at that time, and couldn’t risk panic on Earth. But it really was a quick scoop and back again.

James Lovell it seems was fortunate (depending on your perspective) to have encountered Alien escort during space flight on more than one occasion, what follows is a brief flight control transcript from his famed Gemni 7 flight:


Capcom: This is Houston. Say again 7.


Capcom: Gemini 7…is that the booster or is that an actual sighting?


Capcom: …Estimated distance or size?


In lieu of presenting all of the pages upon pages of leaked radio transcription, symposium dialogue and public statements by the Apollo astronauts, I will simply say that there is a veritable mountain of anecdotal evidence available, as presented by some of the most credible and famous government sources around, but the astronauts are not the only one’s to have had experiences of this nature.

Among the many thousands of technicians, managers, servicemen and specialists that are continually involved in joint NASA, DoD, NSA and CIA operations with regard to space flight and previous lunar missions, Karl Wolfe was one such nameless face in the crowd.

Wolfe is noted as being one of only two qualified technicians capable of operating and servicing the high tech photographic equipment that processed data from U-2 spy planes.  Due to his specialty, his security clearance was higher than most, and he was privy to classified data from many sectors of military and defence action.

In a private telling of his experience, Wolfe tells of one particular day during his service, when he was ordered to assist NSA officials with a malfunction in similar equipment to what he was already working with, on one of their top secret programs.

Wolfe claims to have been led to a military facility, where he was tasked with diagnosing and repairing said photographic equipment, during which time he happened upon photographic evidence of enormous, organised structures on the far side of the moon.

Shaken by what he was seeing in the photographic data, he claims to have held conversation with an unnamed Airman who had been posted to oversee the repair work.

“We discovered,” the airman said, “a base on the back side of the Moon.”

Wolfe was obviously stunned by this extraordinary disclosure. He remembers literally “shaking” trying to take in the enormity of what he had been told. Seeing Wolfe’s disbelief, the dark room attendant continued;

“Yes, a base on the dark side of the Moon.”

What We Shouldn’t Know

So what does all this conjecture, anecdotal testimony and assumption get us?  Are there aliens on the moon?  Are they operating some kind of lunar base, and are they opposed to our interference?

To the layman, this may all be too fantastic to fully comprehend, it may be easier to roll our collective eyes and chock this whole story up to a few paranoid conspiracy theorists with too much time on their hands.  But what is easy isn’t necessarily correct.

I’m not about to tell you that every shred of evidence of the existence of an alien base(s) on our beloved Moon is 100% real and accurate, I’m not going to suggest that we should all don tin foil hats and start checking our neighbours for strange non-human body parts (though you can if you’d like).  What I am going to do is ask you to consider the abstract possibility that the above is true.

What does that mean for us?  Once we get over the shock of the discovery, and get past that running around the room with our hair on fire type of reaction, we can consider what the various assertions might mean for humanity.  To break it down into simple terms, what we’re faced with is an alien race (or possibly more than one race) that has constructed and is using some type of base or facility on the far side of our only natural satellite in this, our solar system.  That alien presence has made it known, in their own special way, that our presence and/or our interference in their operation is not welcome, and they have, as described by Scott Carpenter made their feelings in that regard perfectly clear:

“At no time, when the astronauts were in space were they alone: there was a constant surveillance by UFOs.”

Are we in danger?  Likely not, at least in any immediate way.  Is our culture or way of life in jeopardy?  Possibly, depending on how our collective governments deal with the issue.

Which segues nicely into my final point; why was all of this hidden from Earth’s population at large?

Being Canadian, I am angrily offended at the American government’s audacity to speak and act, by proxy, on behalf of my government, and in turn on my behalf; as I’m sure is the case with a great many people who live outside the United States.  Whether contact has been made between the US government and the alien presence or not, US officials took it upon themselves to make decisions regarding what was best for the entire planet.

Their decisions may have been the correct ones, or they may have been rooted in some conspiratorially greedy endeavour, but as long as we’re theorising here, lets turn that critical eye toward the possible motives for keeping such information secret for so many years.

To my mind there are three main possibilities for the secretive actions of the US government on this issue.

1)    An altruistic sense of social responsibility to shield humanity from something we are not collectively ready to comprehend.

2)    An opportunistic military development plot.

3)    A dire need to protect humanity from interplanetary conflict, in which we would be fatally outmatched.

There are valid reasons to believe any one of these possibilities, I happen to be in favour of the last reason, though, as was poignantly stated by one of my all time favourite Science Fiction characters.

“…people are dumb, panicky animals, and you know it!” – K (MIB)

The Sulphur Springs Hotel – continued

Having completed my first tour of the century old building, now known as the Preston Springs Gardens, my brother, best friend and I each carried with us a sense of relief upon walking out the rear service doors.  Though I carried a little something extra, something I would come to regret soon enough.

Beaming proudly and with the naïve confidence of a young husband who should have thought through his choice of gift a little further, I presented the beautiful fluted vases to my now ex-wife (though the vases we hardly the reason we’re no longer together).  Her reaction was somewhat diminished from the one I imagined when I plucked the opaque glass ornaments from the pile of rubbish inside the old hotel.  Though, in hindsight, I can see where I went wrong.  One man’s garbage can be another man’s treasure, but it seldom is the treasure of his wife…to her it’s still garbage.

To appease the look of disappointment that I’m sure was growing on my face; she graciously cleaned the vases and placed them on our main bathroom windowsill, to await long stemmed roses, which I was now expected to provide.  Little did I know that I would have only a small window of opportunity to do so.

While I held the position of caretaker at the hotel, my wife and I resided in the detached servant’s quarters, which was the run of a small two story home, situated just next to the hotel.  It was cozy accommodation, but it served our needs quite nicely at the time.

The windowsill in question was quite large, approximately six inches in depth and more that three feet long.  It was topped with a wooden sill plate, which was laminated with a melamine sheet (what can I say, it was a classy joint).  Having been built around the same time as the hotel, and seldom updated, the home was sturdy and utilitarian in nature, and we had no reason to believe that the vases would be in danger on that sturdy shelf of a window ledge.

Time passed fairly quickly, the move was uneventful, cleaning, renovating, assessing the property and securing the hotel to my satisfaction.  I spent many hours inside the old building during the first few months of our two year stay, securing doors, boarding up windows, cleaning graffiti and just generally patrolling the grounds.  I came to find the old sits baths embedded in the garden hill, just behind the hotel.  Large oval cement pools which were once filled with heated sulphuric water from the bowels of the hotel.  Guests would venture from their opulent rooms to the garden, by way of a short iron bridge connecting the garden to the fourth floor, and they would partake in the so-called healing effects of sulphur water baths.  I can only imagine what it might have smelled like, though it’s hardly a drastic difference from people today, injecting poison into their faces, all in the name of aesthetics.

The hotel became familiar, and places that once bore trepidation in me, now felt comfortable; I would walk the grounds, travel the hallways and descend into the bowels of the building without the slightest thought to what else might be there with me.  Except that is, for those rare occasions that I needed to visit the top floor.

Many who are familiar with the hotel, and who have heard some of the stories told over beer at the local pub, are also familiar with the figures that stand in the windows on the top floor, those figures that illuminate the stale air inside those old walls at night.  It should be noted that well before my arrival at the hotel, all electrical power had been severed to the upper floors, save for the necessary smoke detectors, which had been installed in recent years, and were powered by a separate electrical system.  Even so, many people have reported lights shining brightly from the windows on the top floor.

I avoided the top floor if I could, it was the remnants of the original service quarters, and in recent years it had been the residence of elderly dementia patients, as it was the easiest floor to secure.

At some point in the past there had been a leak in the roof, and the resulting water damage was never adequately repaired.  This effectively turned what might once have been a decent and welcoming area into a place of nightmares and horrible fantasies; peeling paint and perpetually wet walls, cold even in summer months and a heaviness to the air that made breathing difficult at the best of times.

Thankfully there was no outside access to this floor, so my work seldom required me to spend more than a few minutes at a time in that place.

As I became more familiar with the grounds, I began to notice odd occurrences all around the property.  Tools would go missing and after a search would be found right back where they were supposed to be.  Doors would open and close without assistance and occasionally I heard what, to this day I will swear, was the old decommissioned iron and brass mechanical elevator rising between floors.

Some things were innocent enough to pass off as a weird coincidence, and some I eventually discovered were the work of air currents and drafts through the old building, other things I’ve yet to explain.

A short while after moving in, my wife gave birth to our first son, and life for me changed for the better.  We adapted what I had once used as an office to be a modest nursery and began our life as a family.

Soon after bringing my son home from the hospital, both my wife and I noticed strange things happening inside our little house.  One Saturday afternoon, after returning from a quick trip to the market, I sat in the kitchen as my wife began putting away our fresh groceries.  We talked and laughed about little things and scarcely noticed as a new loaf of bread lifted off the kitchen counter and slowly floated across the kitchen, coming to a rest on the dinette table next to me.

I was unnerved, to say the least, though my wife was not surprised.  She explained that she had seen the same thing several times since we moved in and began to tell me of the spirit she believed was sharing the space with us.  She told me of waking in the middle of the night to feed our son and finding his toys dancing above him as he watched with glee from his bassinette.  She told me of the woman she’d heard through the baby monitor, and had initially dismissed as an intercepted signal from some other nearby home.

My shock at this news was tempered by the strange experiences I had, and when we began to compare notes, a striking similarity came to light.  We discovered, to our own satisfaction, that there were two different entities at work; one we believed was a woman, possibly a nurse of chief medical attendant for either the first nursing home, or from the original hotel.  She seemed nurturing and caring, and made us both feel welcome.

The second was mischievous and spiteful, and gave us the distinct impression that we were not welcome.  It was this second entity, we believe, who did not appreciate our adoption of artefacts from the hotel.

Less than three months since our move in, our beautiful vases stood, empty on the window sill, and each time I noticed them, I felt more and more guilty for not fulfilling my promise.  That guilt finally won over and on one cold January day, I purchased two long stem roses from a near by flower shop, and placed one in each vase as a surprise for my wife.

She was surprised (which I’m not sure is a compliment to my romantic habits), and late as I was, the romance of it won her over for the night.  That feeling was short lived however, as early the next morning; we were awoken by a loud crash and the sound of a thousand glass pieces bouncing across linoleum.

I raced to the bathroom, my expectations not yet formed, I was ready to confront an intruder, though not the one I found.

Top 10 Most Haunted Places in North America

Ghost and haunting stories are becoming more and more common all across North America; sightings, encounters, apparitions, nightly hauntings and spooky happenings, all of it happening right in our own back yards!

Here is the ultimate top ten list of haunted places in North America! (Clicking a link will open another page.)

1) Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery, Midlothian, IL

This 1800s-era cemetery has been largely abandoned since 1965, and since then has fallen victim to vandals. Among the toppled tombstones it is said that satanic and occultist groups perform ceremonies, and over 100 reports of strange phenomena have been collected.

Among them, ghost lights, inexplicable lights and voices, apparitions, strange photos, anomalous recordings and sightings of unbelievable creatures. There is also a nearby haunted lagoon, a phantom farmhouse and a stretch of haunted turnpike near Bachelor’s Grove.

2) The Old Spaghetti Factory, Gastown, Vancouver, British Columbia

If you are looking for eerie eating in Vancouver, check out the Old Spaghetti Factory in the Gastown neighbourhood. You may hear stories of inexplicable cold drafts and moving table settings, shenanigans attributed to the ghost of a certain train conductor who met his end during a tragic collision on the underground railway track upon which the restaurant is built. Enjoy the delicious food, but watch that your cutlery doesn’t float off on you!

3) The Lemp Mansion, St. Louis, Missouri

Built in the 1860s by the Lemp family (who created “Falstaff” beer), the Lemp Mansion is said to be haunted by the family, which was surrounded by tragedy. William Lemp’s son died in 1904, and afterward William committed suicide in the house. In 1920, his daughter also committed suicide, and later so did William Lemp, Jr., and Charles Lemp, leaving the family completely torn apart.

Since then, the house was sold and became a boarding house and later, in 1977, a fine restaurant (which is still open today). Workers and boarding tenants have reported feelings of being watched, vanishing tools, strange sounds, apparitions, glasses flying through the air, a piano playing by itself, voices and other strange occurrences.

4) Villisca Axe Murder House, Villisca, Iowa

In 1912, the J.B. Moore family (the parents and their four children), along with two children who were staying over that night, was murdered in their beds in a shocking crime for this otherwise small, peaceful community. The murders were never solved, but since then many unusual phenomena have been reported in the house. The Moore home was restored and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998, and today is open to overnight visitors.

Guests have reported children’s voices and laughter, falling lamps, moving objects, and odd sounds, while others have recorded audio, video and photographic evidence of supernatural activities. Psychics who have visited the home have also reportedly communicated with spirits.

5) Banff Springs Hotel, Banff, Alberta

A blocked off stairway, said to be haunted by a tragic bride, and a mystery missing room, rumoured to be locked forever to contain the family of ghosts that inhabits it, give rise to multiple tales of hauntings and eerie events in this historic and beautiful chateau hotel.

6) St. Louis Ghost Train, St. Louis, Saskatchewan

If you pass through the village of St. Louis, Saskatchewan, late at night, be on the lookout for the phantom lights out on the dirt road where the train tracks used to be. Whether these lights are a paranormal phenomenon or the perfectly natural occurrence, the curious appearance of these lights nearly every night has attracted curious onlookers for over thirty years. Some say the light is a ghost train, others the lantern held by the spirit of a conductor who lost his head on the tracks and searches eternally to find it. The realists claim that it is simply a refraction of headlights from the highway a few miles off.

7) The Old Slave House (Hickory Hill), Junction, IL

The Hickory Hill mansion was built in 1842 by a wealthy man, John Hart Crenshaw, who owned several salt tracts. Although it was illegal to own slaves in Illinois at this time, it was legal to lease slaves from other states to work in the salt mines.

Crenshaw imprisoned slaves, some of whom were kidnapped, in the attic of the mansion in narrow cells and manacles. He reportedly tortured and beat the slaves for many years, and also “bred” his own slaves, until eventually his cruel practices were discovered and he retired to become a farmer.

In the 1920s, the house was opened as a tourist attraction where slavery existed in Illinois; however tourists began reporting sounds of people crying and moaning coming from the attic, cold chills, and whispers. Things intensified when a ghost hunter named Hickman Whittington went to the attic shortly after it opened and spent a few hours there. Though he was in perfect health at the time, he died a few hours after leaving the mansion.

Reportedly, hundreds of people tried to spend the night in the attic after Whittington’s death, but would leave, terrorized, before morning (one man did finally spend the night there in 1978, and reported strange sounds).

Currently, the Hickory Hills mansion is owned by the state of Illinois, and is scheduled to open as a historic site (but has not yet re-opened to visitors).

8) The Winchester Mansion, San Jose, California

Sarah Winchester, a wealthy widow, built the 160-room Victorian Winchester mansion in 1884. It was such an unprecedented project that construction workers worked on the home 24 hours a day for 38 years. The home has many bizarre features, built to keep out evil spirits, including false doors, a room built for séances (where Sarah developed building plans that ghosts sent to her) and a stairway that leads to the ceiling, and many supernatural occurrences have happened there.

Sarah Winchester reportedly spoke to spirits nightly at midnight and since then people have reported organ music in the Blue Room where Sarah died, apparitions, cold spots, a smell of chicken soup in the kitchen, red balls of light and more. Today visitors can take tours of the mansion (including special night-time flashlight tours).

9) Government House, Regina, Saskatchewan

Howie, the affectionately named ghost of Regina’s Government House, has been credited with the opening and shutting of doors without aid of human hands, unaccounted-for footsteps on the stairs and the mysterious movement of items from one location to another. Some theories hold that “Howie” is actually the ghost of the former cook of Lieutenant-Governor McNab, who died in the house. However, others claim that there are more than one ghost inhabiting this historical mansion which once served as home to Lieutenant-Governors of the Northwest Territories.

10) Fort Garry Hotel, Winnipeg, Manitoba

 This castle-like hotel in Winnipeg is rumoured to be haunted by a number of ghosts. Even a Canadian Member of Parliament was so convinced of a presence in her room that she fled from her room in the middle of the night.

The Winchester Mansion; Finally, A House Worth Haunting

The famously strange and hauntingly storied past of the Winchester Mansion is widely known the world over, though few people know the real history of this tragic tale.  The force of the ages, money, fame, power, love, passion, and the loss of a child and lover, these are the elements that lead to the legend of Sarah Winchester and the unending construction of her home in southern California.

Originally from the New Haven, Connecticut area, Sarah Winchester embarked on a journey of inspiration and construction that would last for 38 years.  The Mansion in question, located in San Jose, California, was built at the behest of the widow following the death of her husband, the famed William W. Winchester in 1881, and of their young child, Annie, in 1866.

One would think nothing particularly strange about a grieved widow commissioning the construction of a new home, perhaps in an effort to get away from so many domestic memories in their matrimonial home; though in this case her motives were a slight bit more ambiguous than grief.

The story behind Sarah Winchester is just as mysterious as the house itself, though the house continues to defy logical examination.  As with any story of this sort, there are more than a few versions, but for the sake of brevity, we’ll stick to the two most credible and oft repeated.

It is said that following her husband’s death, Sarah Winchester fell into a deep coma (many believe this detail to be false, as there seems to be no reason for such an ailment, for Mrs. Winchester lived a long and healthy life, with no apparent illnesses aside from arthritis); upon recovering from this period of illness, she either sought out or was encouraged to visit the now famous Boston Medium (Mina “Margery” Crandon).  This part of the story is widely debated, and unless my math is wrong, it seems unlikely that Mina Crandon ever had opportunity to meet with Sarah Winchester, since Crandon was only six years old or so at the time that this meeting is supposed to have taken place.

In any event, The Widow Winchester sought the advice of a medium in an effort to quell her deep seeded grief and feelings of guilt at the deaths of both her child and husband.  What that medium told her, whoever it was, is what sparked her nearly four decade long project.

It is said that the medium held a séance and successfully contacted the late William Winchester’s spirit in the hereafter, and through the medium, Mr. Winchester is believed to have warned his beloved that she must build a new home, and that, should she never complete the home, she will live forever.  This account is somewhat less popular among paranormal enthusiasts, but is supported by commentary presented by the remaining Winchester family.

16836684_43e74f8ab9The more popular version of this tale goes something like this: having been directed to this mysterious medium, Sarah Winchester was warned that her family was cursed.  You see, William Winchester was and is a famous man, especially in that particular era.  He was credited with being the man who developed and made available the gun that won the west, the American made Winchester Lever Action Rifle.  In light of this and of the apparent assumption that this gun was responsible for a great many deaths, the medium demanded restitution from the Widow on behalf of the many hundreds and even thousands of lives that were lost at the end of a Winchester rifle.  The form of that penance was to be in the continual construction of a home for the spirits, and some even claim that the medium even dictated the exact location for the home in San Jose.

Now, this version of the story, while being much more glamorous and memorable, isn’t really based in fact either.  The Winchester Rifle, while being a popular brand, is mistakenly thought to be the actual brand of gun that did in fact “win the west”, this is not necessarily the case however.  In any event, the Winchester rifle is no more infamous for murder and mayhem than say the Colt brand, so attributing such a curse to one gun maker seems a little grandiose.

One thing the various accounts of this story do hold in common, is that in 1884, the widow Sarah Winchester sold her New Haven home, moved to San Jose, California and began construction of her famed mansion.

winchester_stairsIn the death of her powerful and wealthy husband, Mrs Winchester inherited more than $20 million dollars, an amount that would now be in excess of $500 million, and an amount that was, at the time, well more than sufficient for funding her 38 year construction project.

Once the home was constructed to a point where she was able to reside there full time, Mrs. Winchester seldom left the property, which at the time was a vast 161.9 acres.  She commissioned a team of workers who toiled on the property day and night, seven days a week for the entire 38 years.

While the Widow’s demanding schedule was strange enough, the actual structure of the building is the real strange part.  The mansion boasts 160 rooms, 40 bedrooms and two ballrooms, 47 fireplaces, 10,000 window panes and three elevators.  Aside from the opulence of solid gold and silver chandeliers and the like, this is the only known house to have purposely built stairways that lead to nowhere, it has doors that open into nothingness three and four stories off the ground, it has windows that look to nothing but the interior walls.

All of this seemingly random design and construction was done by professional craftsmen at the direct guidance of Mrs. Winchester, who, it is widely known, demanded these odd elements as a means of warding off evil spirits and demons.

Because of her wealth and the largely reclusive lifestyle she lead, no one is truly certain of what the Widow’s motives really were, or whether or not she suffered from any form of mental illness (though the question begs to be asked).

Today the house is owned and maintained by the Winchester Investments (LLC) corporation and is held as a tourist attraction in San Jose.  Now thousands of people a year tour the house, marvelling at the insane or ingenious construction and design, and positing wild guesses about what it all means.

Some who visit the site claim to have had ghostly encounters and experiences, though nothing has been documented to date, and in large part, those reported experiences tend to be explained away as a sort of vertigo cased by the illogical and strange angles, doorways and windows throughout the house.  It does stand to reason though, that since the widow Winchester’s passing on September 5, 1922, also marked as the day construction on the house finally stopped, any spirits or ghosts that may be found there, could well be the walking soul of Sarah Winchester herself.

For more information about the Winchester Mansion and tour prices etc, visit the Winchester Mystery House website.

Lucid Dreaming – Take a Vacation in Dreamland

Lucid dreaming is precisely what it seems, entering a dream state and becoming or remaining lucid (aware).  It’s described as the process of realising that you are dreaming, and essentially taking the reins.  You can become the director in your very own grey matter powered action-adventure, you can battle monsters and bad guys, and you can get the girl or meet the tall dark stranger.  There’s no limit to where your wondrous mind can take you in a lucid dream.

But lucid dreaming isn’t all fun and games, there’s a serious side to dreams and dream psychology, so it follows that there’s a serious side to lucid dreaming.  The obvious benefits of being aware of your state and being in control of your dreams, besides having a whole lot of fun, lie in gaining greater control over your subconscious mind, which can bring you more self control during waking periods, increased mental agility and memory capacity.

There are three distinct types of lucid dream, they are as follows: Dream-Initiated Lucid Dream (DILD), Wake-Initiated Lucid Dream (WILD), and Mnemonic-Initiated Lucid Dream (MILD).  While the MILD type is the one we’re particularly interested in, it helps to know a little something of the other two types as well.

DILD type dreams are essentially accidental lucid dreams, they occur when the dreamer, already asleep and dreaming, suddenly realises that they’re dreaming, through no conscious effort of their own.  This is somewhat rare and affords very little control over dream sequences and events, but essentially allows the dreamer to experience an extremely vivid and lifelike dream with the added bonus of feeling like you can directly interact with the environment of the dream.

WILD type dreams that were specifically initiated while the dreamer was in a waking or conscious state; experiences of WILD type dreams are often associated with psychological conditions such as narcolepsy and sleep paralysis, but have also been attributed to certain forms of clairvoyance and other psychic phenomena.  People who experience WILD type dreams are often traumatised by the event and seek medical assistance in eliminating the problem.

MILD type dreams, not to be confused with dreams that are described as mild, are the most desirable and sought after form of lucid dreaming.  A MILD or Mnemonic-Initiated Lucid Dream is a deliberate and controlled lucid dream.  Meditation and directed thoughts are used, sometimes in conjunction with certain homeopathic medicines and even narcotics (though this is certainly not recommended), to facilitate an entirely lucid state throughout the dreamers sleep cycle.

There are many reasons for attempting and continuing to experiment with lucid dreaming, more famously to help control and eliminate nightmares, often recurring traumatic dreams, to cultivate and experience out-of-body experiences, to experiment with metaphysical meditation and time perception, and even to further map the human brain through Magnetic imaging and CAT scans.

Lucid dreaming has been a scientifically explored arm of psychology and neuroscience for decades and is readily accepted as a natural phenomenon within the realm of the human psyche, though it is widely regarded as exceedingly difficult to achieve on a consistent basis.

For the five basic steps to achieving successful lucid dreaming visit Bird’s Lucid Dreaming Website, you will also find tips and tricks to use to test you level of lucidity while dreaming, but beware, the subconscious mind is not a thing to be played with, you must be certain and convicted in your desire to achieve the lucid dream state and be disciplined with your mind once you’re there.

For those with less patience, here are the cheat sheets for Lucid Dreaming 101:

Step One) Doing the Mental Prep-Work

Do you think you can do this?” For starters, you must always have a positive attitude. If you have any doubts, then your first assignment is to replace each and every doubt with a self-empowering belief.

Do you think dreams are important?” Once you have a positive, confident attitude, the next step is to make dreaming a top priority.

Do you really want to have lucid dreams?” The key to this question is desire and enthusiasm. The more you cultivate your desire to have lucid dreams, the more emotionally charged your intent will be. The more charged your intent is, the more likely that these desires will produce results.

Do you know what you will do when you have a lucid dream?” The point of this question is to be purposefully prepared. It sounds so simple, but just by having a plan you increase the odds of becoming lucid. If you have a goal or a mission planned, you will have that much more reason to become lucid and carry out your mission.

 Step Two) Increasing Dream Recall

Here is a list of tips and techniques that will help increase your dream recall:

1.) Wake Motionlessly. Upon awakening, don’t open your eyes. Don’t move. Lie completely still.

2.) Wake Slowly. Allow yourself time to naturally remember your dreams. Don’t start thinking about what you are going to do for the day. Don’t allow your mind to be flooded by your waking thoughts or your dreams will start fading or may even disappear entirely like bursting dream bubbles. Let your mind be focused on whatever you were just dreaming.

3.) Let your mind drift. Allow your thoughts to meander through whatever mental imagery you may have. Once you remember one part of a dream. Relax and allow the rest of the pieces to fall into place.

4.) Drift through your dream checklist. If you have absolutely no initial recall, then start running through a dream checklist in your mind. This list should include people you know, activities, places, foods, smells, music, anything that may trigger a dream fragment to surface. Allow your mind to drift through this list and ask yourself if this person or this place was in your dream. Movement is very common in dreams so try to think about action. Were you walking or running or climbing or flying? Emotions are also very prevalent so try to think about your moods. Were you happy or afraid or surprised or confused? The more familiar you are with your dreams the better you will know which questions will most likely trigger your memory, but in the beginning you can use any list as long as it is a big one.

5.) Think and question backwards. Try to work your memory backwards from what you can remember. You will usually remember the most current dream scenario first so for maximum retrieval it is helpful to think backwards, or think in terms of effect and cause instead of cause and effect. If you can remember one part of the dream, ask yourself how you got there? Or where did a certain dream object come from? Did you find it? Was it given to you? One dream fragment will usually lead to another until the whole dream starts to take shape, and your dream memories can be jogged by questioning yourself about what you already remember.

6.) Try different sleeping positions. Try all your common sleeping positions before getting out of bed to maximize your recall. You will have the best recall when you are lying in the same position that you were in when you were dreaming. If you wake up on your right side don’t move until you recall all you possibly can, and then repeat this process on your left side, then your back, and your front. This may jar loose some memories and it certainly speeds up your recall.

7.) Keep Trying. Sometimes, you may have no morning recall but flashes of dream memories will surface during your day. Be prepared to jot down any time-released memories. They may unlock your access to more memories.


 Step Three) Keeping a dream journal

The single most important thing that you can do to increase your dream recall and to maximize your lucid dreaming progress is to keep a dream journal. This increases your recall by engraining the idea that dreams are important into your subconscious mind. It also helps you become familiar with your dreams which are the focus of the next step. The habit of writing down your dreams soon becomes a habit of recalling your dreams. If you seriously want to learn how to lucid dream, you MUST keep a dream journal. It is not an option.


Step Four) Become familiar with your Dreams

As your dream journal grows and your dream recall increases, you will naturally become more familiar with your dreams. Certain people, certain places, and certain activities may be more likely to appear in your dreams. For example, you may have a majority of dreams in which you are at your office or at school or at the beach. Certain dream themes might also be more common than others. You might dream of being a hero or you might dream of being chased. These recurrent patterns in your dreams are your dreamsigns, and they will be the first stepping stones on your path to lucid dreaming.

By learning your distinctive dreamsigns, your recall will increase further. Making a list of your dreamsigns is a great idea. If you are having trouble recalling any dreams, you can run down your list of dream signs and question yourself to see if any of them will spark a memory. Sometimes, by jarring just one dream fragment loose you can recover the whole dream, so knowing and using your dreamsigns will give you just the edge you need to overcome a morning bout of dream amnesia.

By working with your dreamsigns, you will develop an intimate relationship with your dreams. They will become more accessible and easier to understand. It is helpful to ask yourself why you are dreaming what you dream. What do these dreamsigns mean to you? The more you understand not only your dreamsigns but what they mean, the more you will benefit from them in both your dream life and your waking life.

Step Five) Adding Awareness to your Waking Consciousness

This step alone could be the source of countless books. It is almost a method in itself, but used in conjunction with the other steps, it becomes an optimal way to learn lucid dreaming. As a matter of fact, the whole process of lucid dreaming is achieved by training your awareness. The idea is to increase our daily awareness in order to benefit from the carryover effects it will have on our dreaming awareness. If you are more aware during the day, you will become more aware while dreaming.

There are many ways to increase our awareness, and we recommend sourcing, picking up and READING a reputable book on the subject, it will be well worth the effort.  Our favourite is ‘Exploring the world of Lucid Dreaming’ by Stephen Laberge

Everyone who tries lucid dreaming achieves a different level of success, the many variables at stake make the experience truly personal and spiritual.  Lucid dreaming is a rendezvous with your subconscious mind, just be sure you’re ready to hear what it has to say.