Sunday, 31 January 2016

Ghost Adventures -Black Dahlia. Where Is The Shovel?

So I decided to watch the first episode of this series while working.  Then I stopped working to watch it properly.

That good?

That BAD

Bagans and his old pal, Billy, were up to their usual bad acting and "let's not let facts get in the way" methods.  If that 'psychic' they had on the programme was not a bad actress then I think it proved my point several times over about psychic fakery.

More of "adult content and situations" special effects.  Hey, Zack -how many times can we mention the 'killer' (according to his son who is an ex cop and seems obsessed with writing books about his father's alleged crimes -as an ex cop you'd think he might have heard of hard facts and evidence rather than conviction by trying to sell books) had "incestuous sex" with his daughter -and her daughter seems to be thriving on that notoriety- of which he was not convicted?

Sensationalist bull crap from start to finish.  In future it isn't even going to be on in the background.

Bury the damn show -because that is what it is: fantasy entertainment.

Friday, 29 January 2016

Babylonians Used Geometry? So Where Do The Aliens Come In??

And once again we "Lost History" buffs sit back smugly.

Babylonians did this and not an alien in sight History Channel!

Babylonians used geometry to track Jupiter 1400 years before Europeans

Astronomers discovered how to calculate Jupiter’s position with geometry between 350 and 50 BC, predating work of European scholars by 14 centuries
A fragment of one of the Babylonian tablets studied and which contains geometrical calculations.
A fragment of one of the Babylonian tablets studied and which contains geometrical calculations. Photograph: Mathieu Ossendrijver/British Museum
Babylonian astronomers calculated the position of Jupiter using geometry 1,400 years before the technique was previously believed to have been developed, according to an expert.

The finding, published in the journal Science, is based on analysis of ancient Babylonian tablets, believed to have been written between 350 and 50 BC.

They depict two intervals from when Jupiter first appears along the horizon, calculating the planet’s position at 60 and 120 days.

Previously, it was thought that Babylonian astronomers operated exclusively with arithmetical concepts, but the texts contain geometrical calculations based on a trapezoid’s area and its “long” and “short” sides, writes Mathieu Ossendrijver.

Ossendrijver, professor of history of ancient science at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, says the ancient astronomers also computed the time when Jupiter covers half of the 60-day distance by partitioning the trapezoid into two smaller ones of equal area.

European scholars in Oxford and Paris were previously credited with developing such calculation in the 14th century, but Ossendrijver suggests they were far behind their ancient Babylonian counterparts.
“These computations predate the use of similar techniques by medieval European scholars by at least 14 centuries,” he writes.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Weird 'fish with legs'

 This 10-inch specimen, thought to be a type of frogfish, was found by Claudia Howse, Glenys Howse and James Beuvink while snorkeling in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand. It was sent to the Museum of New Zealand in Wellington for analysis, Jan. 19, 2016. (Photo: Glenys Howse)

If you read my books you would know why a "fish with legs" stirs up memories of Canvey Island, UK, Kilwa, Tanzania and other reports of Dead Aquatic 'Humanoid' Creatures!

Weird 'fish with legs' found by New Zealand snorkelers puzzles scientists

An odd specimen found recently by snorkelers in New Zealand is being studied by experts to determine what it is.

The black creature, about 10 inches long, looks something like a fish with legs but also bears some resemblance to either a bird or a bat.

It was found by family members Claudia Howse, Glenys Howse and James Beuvink as they were snorkeling close to shore in New Zealand's Bay of Islands, according to the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington.

Glenys Howse took a photo of the fish and sent it to the museum to ask for identification, spokeswoman Rebecca Edwards said by email Tuesday afternoon (Wednesday morning in New Zealand).

"This weird creature is likely to be a species of Frogfish, but we won't know until we have a chance to examine it closely!" the museum said Friday on its Facebook page. "Frogfishes have the fastest bite of any vertebrate. Their mouths expand at the speed approaching a .22 rifle bullet - and that's in a medium 800 (times) denser than air."

Andrew Stewart, the museum's fish expert, said by email that he would be thawing the specimen later in the day and would have an identification after examining the head.

The fish was found in about two meters (about six feet) of water close to shore on the northeast coast of North Island in the Bay of Islands.

Unbeknownst to the snorkelers, it was included in some kelp that was collected and put into the live bait well at the back of the boat.

"It was very alive when found but, sadly, it died before it could be re-housed in the Aquarium at Auckland (Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World), so it will now 'live on' as a scientific specimen in the National Fishes Collection held here at the Museum of New Zealand," Stewart's email said.

I'm surprised that they need to puzzle over this as it clearly looks like a Black Frogfish. There are different species of frogfish but you can find out more about this type and why it might cause a bit of confusion here:

 Sisters Island, Aug 07

Monday, 25 January 2016

The Fox In The Tree

Now, for many decades I've specialised in felids and canids. Canids, particularly foxes, have taken up most of my time.  1977-2007 I was a UK police forces advisor of exotic fauna but also, inevitably, canids in some cases.

So, when I tell someone that foxes have been known to live or sleep in trees, possibly even stash food in trees should I expect the looks or comments that say I'm 'joking' or have no idea what I am talking about?

Also, Wikipedia's entry on foxes, particularly in the UK seems a bit "off" because there were definitely foxes in UK cities prior to World War 2 as my book Red Paper: Canids shows.  But who am I to question Wikipedia?

But foxes are great at leaping and if a domestic dog can climb a wall or wire fence to get out of a garden then you can be sure a fox can.  I've seen then shoot up a 7feet high obstacle with a mouth full of sausage rolls!

Here are some photos to prove a point -all (c) respective copyright holders!

 Below: I think a lot of people have seen or heard of foxes sunning themselves on shed rooves or on top of house extensions, however, some will not believe foxes can get onto roof houses.  They do. If there is a way up there -shed, wall, out house or even a tree then do not be surprised: cats get on rooves, too, you know!

 Below: Come on -it was a sunny day and, really? All that exertion to CLIMB a tree?  Why....not...just...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


  • The National Fox Welfare Society A voluntary organisation dedicated to the UK Fox Population
  • Long description
    National Fox Welfare Society have been in existence now for over 20 years dedicated to helping foxes across the UK. If you need mange treatment for a fox that you are feeding in your garden please visit our website and follow the links to our mange treatment section. We send it out free of charge so please just fill in our Free Mange Treatment Request form

    For fox t-shirts and other animal face t-shirts please visit our sister site

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Roman-Era Skeletons Found in York Surprise Some Scientists But NOT Historians!

I think some of these scientists need to a book.  That the results came as a surprise to them shows a real ignorance of life in pre and Roman Britain and after.  Hamian archers from Syria, Numidian archers and cavalry from North Africa.  Britons joining the Roman army would be posted in Israel or some other far off land -mainly to prevent rebellion back home.  North Africans and Middle Eastern auxilliaries in Britain and  Europe. And there is even more.
This from the National Archives web site.

Black Romans

The Multicultural Roman Empire

Our knowledge of Black people present in Britain in early times is scanty. However, studies by scholars, archaeologists and historians have pieced together evidence about the lives of Black Romans.

One historian, Anthony Birley, in his work The African Emperor: Septimius Severus, explains that between AD 193 and 211 the Roman empire embraced a multicultural mix of peoples from Syria, Germany, Britain, Spain and Africa. Eight African men had positions of command in the northern Roman legions, and others held high rank as equestrian officers.

One of these Africans was Emperor Septimius Severus (AD 145-211). He arrived in Britain in AD 203 and when he died in AD 211 he was cremated in York (Eboracum), the capital of Roman Britain.
back to top

An African Emperor - Septimius Severus (AD 145-211)

Septimius Severus was the first Roman emperor not born and raised in Italy. His father's family originally came from Libya (Leptis Magna) and his mother's family were Etruscans (Italian). His grandfather, a knight of the Roman empire, owned land near Rome, but Septimius grew up in North Africa with his father.

Septimius married Julia Domna, a Syrian, daughter of a high priest. The name Domna is derived from the archaic Arabic word dumayna, meaning 'black'. Septimius and Julia had two sons, Caracalla, the elder, born in AD 188, and Geta.

Because Septimius's ancestors were Roman citizens, he was entitled to be educated in Rome. He briefly practised as a lawyer, became a Roman senator, and from the age of 24 took part in campaigns in Spain, Syria, Gaul, Sicily and Athens. He spent much time extending Rome's borders eastwards across the Tigris in Mesopotamia and the Balkans. His education and experience won him strong support within the empire. He was described by contemporaries such as the famous physician Galen and the historians Herodian and Cassius Dio as 'a man of such energy...wise and successful...that he left no battle except as victor'.
back to top
In AD 193, following the assassination of Emperor Pertinax, Septimius Severus was proclaimed emperor.

Later, when the Caledonians (inhabitants of what is now Scotland) invaded Roman Britain in AD 208, Septimius travelled to this most western part of the Roman Empire. He made this remote region a separate province, under the commander of the Sixth Legion stationed at York, and launched an attack into Scotland.

Nearly a century earlier, around AD 122, the Emperor Hadrian (AD 117-38) had fortified the northern border of Roman Britain by building a defensive wall. However, Hadrian's Wall had been abandoned by a later governor of Roman Britain, Clodius Albinus, and the undefended frontier was overrun by the Caledonians.
Statue of Septimius Severus - opens new window
The African Emperor in Military Dress
back to top
 Map of Hadrian's Wall - opens new window
Map of Hadrian's Wall
Emperor Septimius spent the last years of his life reorganising Britain's northern border. In AD 197 he ordered the reconstruction of Hadrian's Wall, and in AD 208 the Romans once more took control of the wall. However, the region was abandoned again after his son Caracalla succeeded him as Emperor in AD 211.

Coins from AD 208 depict Septimius riding off to war, but due to a painful condition in his legs or feet (probably gout or arthritis) he was carried for most of the journey. During the winter of AD 210-11, his condition worsened, and he died at York in AD 211. His body was cremated, and his ashes - carried in an urn of porphyry (a purple-and-white stone reserved for imperial rulers) - were taken back to his homeland, Libya.

 You can find out more here:

So, perhaps a bit more reading so as not to be so surprised next time?

Epoch Times:

Roman-Era Skeletons Found in York, England Yield Interesting DNA Results

The DNA from seven Roman-era skeletons found in York, England indicate the Roman Empire included both locals and immigrants.

Six of the skulls contained DNA matching people living in modern-day Wales, Trinity College Dublin geneticist Dan Bradley and his colleagues said in a paper published this week in the Nature Communications journal.

That wasn’t too surprising, but the researchers were interested to find that the seventh skull’s DNA matched from the modern-day Middle East.

“The nearest genetic matches were from Palestine or Saudi Arabia,” Bradley told National Geographic. “He definitely didn’t come from Europe.”

The results came from DNA preserved in dense inner ear bones, and were confirmed with analysis of chemical signatures in the skeleton’s teeth.

“This Near Eastern chap really, really stands out. He was from somewhere arid and hot,” said Gundula Müldner of the University of Reading, who performed the chemical analysis. “Where he fits best is the Nile Valley or an environment like that—we can’t pinpoint it exactly, but somewhere in the Near East.”
Experts said the latest findings may be the first DNA evidence of the Roman Empire’s cosmopolitan character, showing how even non-elite Romans traveled great distances.

“It confirms the cosmopolitan character of the Roman Empire even at its most northerly extent,” said professor Matthew Collins, of the BioArCh research facility in the Department of Archaeology at York, who co-ordinated the scientific analysis, in a statement.

“This is the first refined genomic evidence for far-reaching ancient mobility and also the first snapshot of British genomes in the early centuries AD, indicating continuity with an Iron Age sample before the migrations of the Anglo-Saxon period.”

Previous analysis of the skeletons indicated that they may have been gladiators or soldiers, and that some of the men grew up in colder climates, perhaps Germany or further east in continental Europe. It also showed that the men had poor childhood health and that many had brown eyes and black or brown hair, while one had blue eyes and blond hair.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Found: New Planet In Out Space. Found In Scotland -UKs Largest Worm

In outer space we discover a possible ninth planet of huge mass.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, in the UK, we find the longest worm.

The worm and its kind are far more important to us than that planet....but I just love this stuff!

Largest Earthworm in the UK Found on Scottish Island of Rùm, Study Says
The worms are the size of small snakes

 Dr. Kevin Richard Butt/University of Central Lancashire
Dr. Kevin Richard Butt/University of Central Lancashire

The largest earthworms in the United Kingdom were found on a Scottish island, Rùm, according to a recent study.

The worms are as large as small snakes, and they’re considered the largest earthworms ever found in Britain, according to results from the University of Central Lancashire’s Earthworm Research Group.
A team of researchers led by Dr. Kevin Richard Butt found dew worms (Lumbricus terrestris) that have an average weight of 11.6 grams, with some specimens reaching 12.6 grams.

Some of the worms got to be as long as 15.6 inches (39.6 cm), which is about three times the length of a normal earthworm.

Experts say the worms have flourished on Rùm island due to a lack of predators and rich soil.

Dr. Butt told the BBC: “These things weigh about twelve and a half grams – but the normal size for these things is about four to five gram.”

“When these things came out of their burrows they were like small snakes.”

Elaborating to the U.K. Telegraph, Dr. Butt said the worms are a significant member of the island’s ecosystem.

He noted, “Without their activities we’d be a lot worse off. They’re just as important as bees are in pollinating plants. They help aerate the soil and drain away water and stop surface erosion. These things have just have been left and have grown bigger and bigger.”

Dr. Butt’s findings were published in Scottish peer-reviewed scientific journal, The Glasgow Naturalist.
Google Maps
 Google Maps
“I first noticed the large worm burrows in 2005, so I had my suspicions that there may be some pretty big worms in the area. We went back out to investigate the following year and finding worms of this size was very exciting, especially when the Natural History Museum team confirmed that they had no specimens like this,” he explained on the university’s website.

“There are still unanswered questions and we plan to continue our research to find out as much as possible about these creatures. We’re also looking forward to exploring more rural areas in the UK and abroad, in the hope that we will make more exciting discoveries of this nature.”

There IS A Ninth Planet!

My late colleague Franklyn Davin-Wilson would be jumping up and down, pointing at me and shouting "Nyah! Nyah! In your face!" -or something similar.

But this IS exciting news.

New evidence suggests a ninth planet lurking at the edge of the solar system


This artistic rendering shows the distant view from Planet Nine back towards the sun. The planet is thought to be gaseous, similar to Uranus and Neptune. Hypothetical lightning lights up the night side.

Credit: Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC)

By Joel Achenbach and Rachel Feltman

Astronomers at the California Institute of Technology announced Wednesday that they have found new evidence of a giant icy planet lurking in the darkness of our solar system far beyond the orbit of Pluto. They are calling it "Planet Nine."

Their paper, published in the Astronomical Journal, describes the planet as about five to 10 times as massive as the Earth. But the authors, astronomers Michael Brown and Konstantin Batygin, have not observed the planet directly.

Instead, they have inferred its existence from the motion of recently discovered dwarf planets and other small objects in the outer solar system. Those smaller bodies have orbits that appear to be influenced by the gravity of a hidden planet – a "massive perturber." The astronomers suggest it might have been flung into deep space long ago by the gravitational force of Jupiter or Saturn.

Telescopes on at least two continents are searching for the object, which on average is 20 times farther away than the eighth planet, Neptune. If "Planet Nine" exists, it's big. Its estimated mass would make it about two to four times the diameter of the Earth, distinguishing it as the fifth-largest planet after Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. But at such extreme distances, it would reflect so little sunlight that it could evade even the most powerful telescopes.

Confirmation of its existence would reconfigure the models of the solar system. Pluto, discovered in 1930, spent three-quarters of a century as the iconic ninth planet. Then, a decade ago, Pluto received a controversial demotion, in large part because of Brown.

His observations of the outer solar system identified many small worlds there – some close to the size of Pluto –and prompted the International Astronomical Union to reconsider the definition of a planet. The IAU voted to change Pluto's classification to "dwarf planet," a decision mocked repeatedly last summer when NASA's New Horizons probe flew past Pluto and revealed a world with an atmosphere, weather and a volatile and dynamically reworked surface.

Brown, who tweets under the handle @plutokiller and who wrote the book "How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming," said now may be the time to rewrite the textbooks yet again.

"My daughter, she's still kind of mad about Pluto being demoted, even though she was barely born at that time," Brown said. "She suggested a few years ago that she'd forgive me if I found a new planet. So I guess I've been working on this for her."

NASA's director of planetary science, Jim Green, cautioned Wednesday that there could be other explanations for the observed motion of the small bodies in the outer solar system. He referenced the famous dictum from Carl Sagan that "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

“The Sagan Rule applies. If it's there, find it. I challenge you. Somebody out there oughta find it," Green said.

But he said he was personally excited about the new research: "What an era we're in, where we’re discovering new things about our solar system that we never thought possible even a handful of years ago."

Brown and Batygin initially set out to prove that Planet Nine didn't exist. Their paper builds on earlier research by two other astronomers that revealed a peculiar clustering of the small, icy objects discovered in the past decade or so in the remote regions of the solar system.

In 2014, Scott Sheppard of the Washington-based Carnegie Institution of Science and Chad Trujillo of the Gemini Observatory in Hawaii published a paper in the journal Nature that discussed the potential existence of a giant planet affecting the orbits of those dwarf worlds. Sheppard and Trujillo noted a similarity in the motion of those bodies when they are closest to the sun.

"We thought their idea was crazy," Brown said, explaining that extra planets are always the "go-to suggestion" when astronomers find orbital behavior they can't explain. But he and Batygin struggled to debunk that hypothetical ninth planet. They used mathematical equations and then computer models, ultimately concluding that the best explanation for the smaller objects' clustering was the gravitational effects of something far bigger.

Such clustering is similar to what's seen in some asteroids that are about as close to the sun as the Earth. They wind up in stable orbits that keep them far from Earth and free from any significant disturbance by the Earth's gravity.

"Until then, we didn't really believe our results ourselves. It just didn't make sense to us," Brown said. But their modeling showed that a planet with 10 times the mass of Earth would exert an influence over the orbits of the smaller bodies and keep them from coming as close to the sun as they should. It would also slowly twist these orbits by 90 degrees, making them periodically perpendicular to the plane of the solar system.

"In the back of my head, I had this nagging memory that someone had found some of these modulating objects and not known what to make of them," Brown said. "And sure enough, these objects do exist. And they were exactly where our theory predicts they should be."

That's when the Caltech researchers started to take Planet Nine seriously. "That was the real jaw-dropping moment, when it went from a cute little idea to something that might be for real," he said.

Sheppard, who co-wrote the paper that Brown and Batygin set out to disprove, says the existence of a hidden planet is still a big unknown. "Until we actually see it for real, it will always be questionable as to whether it exists," he said, cautioning that the latest calculations are based on a relatively small number of known objects and that further observations and detections of perturbed bodies would bolster the hypothesis.

Still, Sheppard significantly upped the odds of discovery – from 40 percent before to 60 percent now. “Some people took it seriously, but a lot of people didn’t," he said of his own study's findings. "With this new work, it’s much more rigorous, and people will take it more seriously now.”

Brown said he puts the odds of Planet Nine being real as "maybe 90 percent."

From the Côte d'Azur Observatory in Nice, France, planetary scientist Alessandro Morbidelli agreed that the evidence was stronger this time. "I immediately felt that this paper, for the first time, was providing convincing evidence for a new planet in the solar system," said Morbidelli, an expert in these kinds of orbital movements who was not involved in either study. "I don't see any alternative explanation to that offered by Batygin and Brown."

"We will find it one day," he added. "The question is when."

The past two decades have seen a burst of discoveries as astronomers have scrutinized the light of distant stars and looked for signs of orbiting planets. More than a thousand such planets have been detected through analysis of starlight that has traveled across the vast interstellar distances. Brown and Batygin, however, have been searching closer to home, looking for objects that orbit the sun and remain unseen only because the outer regions of the solar system are exceedingly dark.

The thought of a hidden planet larger than Earth is intriguing, but for now it's difficult to say too much about the hypothetical conditions there. Brown believes it's probably an icy, rocky world with a small envelope of gas – a planet that could have been the core of a gas giant had it not been ejected into a wonky, highly elliptical orbit. It might not make its closest approach of the sun more than once every 10,000 years, and even then it would remain far beyond the known planets.

The situation mimics what happened in the 19th century when careful observation of the seventh planet, Uranus, indicated that there must be another body in far-distant space influencing its orbit. That work led eventually to the discovery of Neptune.

It would be difficult to see the ninth planet if it's not at or near its closest approach to the sun. Brown doesn't believe the object is at that point, saying it would have been spotted by now. But he does think that the most powerful telescopes on the planet, if pointed in precisely the right direction, might be able to detect it even when it is most distant from the sun.

"We've been looking for it for a while now, but the sky is pretty big," Brown said. "We know its path, but not where it is on that path."

He and Batygin hope their paper's publication will infuse the search with new energy. "If other people – better astronomers – get excited about the idea of finding Planet Nine, we could hopefully see it within a couple of years," he said.

The two know they may not get credit for that discovery. Until the planet is spotted directly with a telescope, any work surrounding it is theoretical. Brown, Batygin and other scientists who have made the case for Planet Nine's existence are providing treasure maps and clues – but someone else could very well strike gold before they do.

If and when it's spotted, Planet Nine would be evaluated by the same criteria that got Pluto demoted. Brown isn't concerned about that.

"That's not even a question -- it's definitely a planet," he said. One of the trickiest criteria for planet status, based on the standards set by the International Astronomical Union, is that a planet must "clear the neighborhood" around its orbital zone. It needs to have the gravitational prowess to change the orbits of other objects.

"Planet Nine is forcing any objects that cross its orbit to push into these misaligned positions. It fits that concept perfectly," Brown said.

The "Pluto killer" added: "Not to mention the fact that it's 5,000 times the mass of Pluto."

Monday, 18 January 2016

Do NOT Panic -The planets are about to align

Image Credit: Dr Alan Duffy using SkySafari

Australian Geographic
  • BY Anne Johnston |

On 20 January, all five bright planets – Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn – will appear in a line, visible to the naked eye.

FROM 20 JANUARY to 20 February, all five visible planets will sit in a line from the horizon to the moon - for the first time since 2005.

Dr Alan Duffy, research fellow at Swinburne University in Melbourne, said that this reasonably rare alignment is “essentially a quirk” of the universe. All the planets sit on a flat plane but have different yearly cycles – so for all five visible planets to happen to line up is “something well worth seeing,” he said.

According to Dr Tanya Hill, senior curator at the Melbourne Planetarium, there will be another chance to view the planets lined up in August, but then not again until October 2018.

From Wednesday 20 January, star gazers will have a 5.30am-5.40am AEDT (Australian Eastern Daylight Time) window to get the best view of the alignment.

Venus and Jupiter will be easiest to see and Mars, while a little harder, will have a distinctive red glow to look out for.

“The big challenge will be Mercury,” said Alan. Because Mercury is so close to the horizon, there is only a small time period when it has appeared before the sun comes up. Tall buildings and trees could also block your view of the final planet.

Alan’s advice is to find as clear a horizon as possible and, most importantly, a dark sky. While it isn’t impossible in the city, light pollution and sky scrapers will make the viewing much harder.

The alignment will be visible from 20 January until 20 Feburary and Alan suggests to go out on more than one day to watch the event if you don’t quite catch it the first time.

“There are only a few amazing things in the night sky that can be seen without any equipment,” Alan said, adding that it is worth the early morning rise.


  • The alignment will be visible to the naked eye from 20 January from 5.30am-5.45am AEDT until 20 February 5am-6am AEDT.
  • Hold your arm up in a straight line from the horizon to the moon and the planets should fall along that line.
  • Try to find a flat horizon and a dark sky.
  • Don’t give up! It may take more than one early morning to see the full alignment.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Notes: The German Study Group of Sub-Human Primates and British Wild Man

The  The German Study Group of Sub-Human Primates site has not been up-dated since 2011 and my emails keep bouncing back.  Sadly, I think it fair to say the group must now be defunct.  Anyone knows any differently please let me know.

Still a couple weeks until the deadline for any reports of "British Wild Men".  Anonymous reports are never accepted, though none has been received by me.  People I have contacted regarding alleged photo evidence are either not responding or refuse to allow their images to be scrutinised -particularly photographs of alleged wild men.

It does not look good.  You ask for "the experts to look at the evidence" and then refuse to cooperate you have no reason for complaint when results are announced.

This is AOP blog is public with a world wide audience including naturalists and other professionals but guarantees strict confidentiality.  The offer is still open.

Humans visited Arctic earlier than thought

More "Lost History" being unearthed and I love this. We learn how resilient and adventuring Humankind was and what have we come down to in the comments on Science News' article?

" Or, maybe this was one of the earliest known UFO cattle mutilations? Check for surgical excision of the lips and anus."

It makes one so proud.  

Anyway, always remember what I keep saying/writing: We do NOT know the full history of Humankind nor its various "failed" off-shoots so keep on expecting more discoveries!

Humans visited Arctic earlier than thought

Weapon marks found on mammoth bones dating to 45,000 years ago

mammoth bones
EARLY ARCTIC HUNTERS  Mammoth remains (left) dating to 45,000 years ago and found in Arctic Siberia show signs of hunting injuries (right) premortem (red arrows) and postmortem (blue arrows). The discovery puts humans in the Arctic earlier than previously thought.

A frozen mammoth carcass in Siberia hints that humans roamed the Arctic earlier than researchers had thought.

Cuts and scrapes on the mammoth’s bones came from human hunting weapons. And dating of the bones puts humans well north of the Arctic Circle 45,000 years ago, scientists report in the Jan. 15 Science. Researchers had assumed that humans didn’t reach the Arctic until between 30,000 and 35,000 years ago.

The find shows that humans worked out how to cope with the Arctic’s extreme cold and sunless winters much earlier than experts thought, says Robin Dennell, a paleoanthropologist at the University of Sheffield in England who wasn’t involved in the work.

At 66.32° N latitude, the Arctic Circle skims the top of Canada and Russia.

FATAL THROW A gash on one of the mammoth’s rib bones likely came from a hunting spear and caused a lethal injury. 
V. Pitulko et al/Science 2016
Except for one site in eastern Siberia, also reported by the team in the new paper, other far-north archaeological sites 40,000 years or older sit around 55° N, just south of the Arctic Circle.
“The mammoth is almost 72° North,” says paper coauthor Vladimir Pitulko, an archaeologist at the Institute for the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg. That’s a huge latitudinal difference between the old human habitation sites south of the Arctic Circle and the new mammoth find well north of it — about 1,700 kilometers, he says.

The team pulled the mammoth, a 15-year-old male, from a frozen coastal bluff in the central Siberian Arctic. Carbon dating of the surrounding sediment and of a leg bone pinned the mammoth’s age at 45,000 years old.

Marks on one of the animal’s tusks and slices on many of its bones were similar to patterns on mammoth bones from a younger Siberian archaeological site where humans hunted mammoths, the researchers found. Human weapons such as spears probably caused the damage that killed the mammoth.

Humans entering the Arctic by 45,000 years ago is “a mighty, impressive achievement,” Dennell says. “What we don't know is whether this was a successful long-term adaptation or a short-lived heroic failure.”

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

The Red Paper: Canids Was NOT Meant To Earn ME Money.

Someone, who really has no idea and knows NOTHING about me, said that maybe my book Red Paper: Canids was a disappointment to me because it never made me any money?

Firstly, there is over 40 years of research in the book so it does NOT disappoint me.

Make ME money? That was never the intention. Any profits were to go to the UK Wolf Conservation Trust which does a LOT of educational work including with schools and The National Fox Welfare Society who do things like give advice on sick or injured foxes and FREE mange treatment.

 I am only disappointed (almost ashamed really) in that I have been unable to contribute to these two organisations.

The Red Paper:CANINES vol.1
 Terry Hooper
The Red Paper: Canids
A4 (21 x 30cms)
202 Pages 
Photographs, illustrations and maps
Price: £10.29
Ships in 3–5 business days
By the 1700s the British fox was on the verge of extinction and about to follow the bear and wolf having been hunted for sport for centuries. 
The answer was to import thousands of foxes per year for sport. But foxes kept dying out so jackals were tried. Some were caught, some escaped. Even wolves and coyote were released for hunting and "country folk" were very far from "happy" -some even threatening local hunts -one intending to release a wolf for a hunt- with legal and other consequences.
The summation of over 40 years research by the noted naturalist and former UK police forces exotic wildlife consultant reveals the damnable lie of "pest control" hunting but also reveals the cruelty the animals were subject to and how private menageries as well as travelling shows.
Private menageries, or single exotic "pets" as well as travelling shows helped provide the British and Irish countryside with some incredible events such as the 1905 "vampiric" sheep killer of Badminton, the mystery hounds of Cavan and Coyotes of Epping Forest. 
The Girt Dog of Ennerdale is also dealt with in detail -was it a tiger? A Tasmania Thylacine? This book gives the exact facts and details for the first time.

Up-dated 2013 edition includes a section on sarcoptic mange in foxes and treatment plus a list of wildlife sanctuaries and rescue centres in the UK.

"Wow!" Signal -Just Hydrogen?

Famous Wow! signal  might have been from comets, not aliens

I have to say that if -IF- a natural cause for the Wow! Signal was found it might seem sad but, again, you have to dismiss the false data to get to the True data.

A lot of Signals from Space that the AOP Bureau under Franklyn Angus Davin-Wilson looked into did have natural causes because planetary noise, pulsars and so on were not known at the time.  However, I have to agree that I am doubtful because of the hydrogen factor.  I can't see this being correct but....|NSNS|2016-GLOBAL-twitter

Famous Wow! signal might have been from comets, not aliens

On 15 August 1977, radio astronomers using the Big Ear radio telescope at Ohio State University picked up a powerful signal from space. Some believe it was our first interception of an alien broadcast. Now it seems something closer to home may have been the source: a pair of passing comets.

The signal – known as the “Wow! signal” after a note scribbled by astronomer Jerry Ehman, who detected it – came through at 1420 megahertz, corresponding to a wavelength of 21 centimetres.

Searchers for extraterrestrial transmissions have long considered it an auspicious place to look, as it is one of the main frequencies at which atoms of hydrogen, the most common element in the universe, absorb and emit energy. What’s more, this frequency easily penetrates the atmosphere.

But in the 40 years since, we’ve never heard anything like it again. Analysis of the signal ruled out a satellite, and a reflected signal from the Earth’s surface is unlikely because regulations forbid transmission in that frequency range.

The signal’s intensity rose and fell over the course of 72 seconds, which is the length of time that the Big Ear could keep an object in its field of view due to the rotation of the Earth. That meant it was clearly coming from space. So what was it?

Antonio Paris, a professor of astronomy at St Petersburg College in Florida, thinks the signal might have come from one or more passing comets. He points the finger at two suspects, called 266P/Christensen and P/2008 Y2 (Gibbs). “I came across the idea when I was in my car driving and wondered if a planetary body, moving fast enough, could be the source,” he says.

Hydrogen clouds

Comets release a lot of hydrogen as they swing around the sun. This happens because ultraviolet light breaks up their frozen water, creating a cloud of the gas extending millions of kilometres out from the comet itself.

If the comets were passing in front of the Big Ear in 1977, they would have generated an apparently short-lived signal, as the telescope (now dismantled) had a fixed field of view. Searching that same area – as subsequent radio telescopes did – wouldn’t show anything. Tracing the comets’ positions back in time, Paris says that the possible origin for the Wow! signal falls right between where they would have been.

Neither comet was known in 1977; they were both discovered in the last decade, which would mean nobody would have thought to search for them. The odds of any telescope catching them in the region of the Wow! signal by chance were vanishingly small.

To test his idea, Paris proposes looking at the same region of space when the comets are back. Comet 266P/Christensen will transit the region first, on 25 January 2017, then P/2008 Y2 (Gibbs), on 7 January 2018. An analysis of the hydrogen signal of the comets should reveal if he is correct.

Doubts signalled

Some researchers are sceptical, saying it isn’t clear the comets would release enough hydrogen to generate something like the Wow! signal. James Bauer of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, agrees that the hydrogen from comets can extend quite far, but still thinks the signal won’t be strong enough. “If comets were radio-bright at 21 centimetres, I would be puzzled as to why they aren’t observed more often at those wavelengths,” he says.

Paris says future observations will determine whether he is right. One crucial piece of evidence will be how fast the comets move across the sky. Too slow, and the Big Ear would have seen another signal 24 hours later as they rolled back into view, unlike the solo blast of the Wow! signal. “The hypothesis must be tested before it is ruled out,” he says. “Science 101.”

Journal reference: To appear in the Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences, preprint
(Image credit: The Ohio State University Radio Observatory and the North American Astrophysical Observatory (NAAPO)

New Details on Ceres

Some great photos from NASA JPL. I'll say the bright spots are Cereseans with laser pointers!

New Details on Ceres Seen in Dawn Images

Kupalo Crater from LAMO
This image from NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows Kupalo Crater, one of the youngest craters on Ceres. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

Features on dwarf planet Ceres that piqued the interest of scientists throughout 2015 stand out in exquisite detail in the latest images from NASA's Dawn spacecraft, which recently reached its lowest-ever altitude at Ceres.

Dawn took these images near its current altitude of 240 miles (385 kilometers) from Ceres, between Dec. 19 and 23, 2015.

Kupalo Crater, one of the youngest craters on Ceres, shows off many fascinating attributes at the high image resolution of 120 feet (35 meters) per pixel. The crater has bright material exposed on its rim, which could be salts, and its flat floor likely formed from impact melt and debris. Researchers will be looking closely at whether this material is related to the "bright spots" of Occator Crater. Kupalo, which measures 16 miles (26 kilometers) across and is located at southern mid-latitudes, is named for the Slavic god of vegetation and harvest.

"This crater and its recently-formed deposits will be a prime target of study for the team as Dawn continues to explore Ceres in its final mapping phase," said Paul Schenk, a Dawn science team member at the Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston.

Dawn's low vantage point also captured the dense network of fractures on the floor of 78-mile-wide (126-kilometer-wide) Dantu Crater. One of the youngest large craters on Earth's moon, called Tycho, has similar fractures. This cracking may have resulted from the cooling of impact melt, or when the crater floor was uplifted after the crater formed.

Guess what the bright spots are
A 20-mile (32-kilometer) crater west of Dantu is covered in steep slopes, called scarps, and ridges. These features likely formed when the crater partly collapsed during the formation process. The curvilinear nature of the scarps resembles those on the floor of Rheasilvia, the giant impact crater on protoplanet Vesta, which Dawn orbited from 2011 to 2012.

Dawn's other instruments also began studying Ceres intensively in mid-December. The visible and infrared mapping spectrometer is examining how various wavelengths of light are reflected by Ceres, which will help identify minerals present on its surface.

Dawn's gamma ray and neutron detector (GRaND) is also keeping scientists busy. Data from GRaND help researchers understand the abundances of elements in Ceres' surface, along with details of the dwarf planet's composition that hold important clues about how it evolved.

The spacecraft will remain at its current altitude for the rest of its mission, and indefinitely afterward. The end of the prime mission will be June 30, 2016.

"When we set sail for Ceres upon completing our Vesta exploration, we expected to be surprised by what we found on our next stop. Ceres did not disappoint," said Chris Russell, principal investigator for the Dawn mission, based at the University of California, Los Angeles. "Everywhere we look in these new low- altitude observations, we see amazing landforms that speak to the unique character of this most amazing world."

Dawn is the first mission to visit a dwarf planet, and the first mission outside the Earth-moon system to orbit two distinct solar system targets. After orbiting Vesta for 14 months in 2011 and 2012, it arrived at Ceres on March 6, 2015.

Dawn's mission is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Dawn is a project of the directorate's Discovery Program, managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. UCLA is responsible for overall Dawn mission science. Orbital ATK Inc., in Dulles, Virginia, designed and built the spacecraft. The German Aerospace Center, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Italian Space Agency and Italian National Astrophysical Institute are international partners on the mission team. For a complete list of mission participants, visit:
More information about Dawn is available at the following sites:

Monday, 11 January 2016

Whatever Happened To Phenix Adams?

The one thing you find while trawling through newspaper archives are stories that have absolutely nothing to do with what you are looking for.  However, these stories pique your curiosity and they are little windows into the past that you would never normally get a chance to look through.

There are, of course, reports of murders, great cruelty to other humans but also -sadly- to animals simply because they are animals and what better way to have 'sport' and 'fun' than running down a badger or feeding hedgehogs poison to see whether it is true that none affect them.

Then you have cases like that of Phenix Adams.

Phenix Adams was a Private in the First Somerset Militia and, as you'll read below, sought medical aid for an ulcerated wound in the arm.  Help was denied and Phenix deserted but was caught but while in gaol another wound appeared on his leg.  All self inflicted or "occasioned by his own contrivance".  But then he fell down some stairs and blood poured from his ears.

After that, Adams slipped into a coma -at first the only conclusion the doctors could make was "fakery".  They tried all the tricks but it appears Adams was not faking. The last written about Adams was that  "The man now remains in the same state of mental insensibility."

That was it.  I can trace no more of Adams. Was he really causing problems by tampering with an old wound?  Then self-inflicting a new wound?  And the "fall" -did he pass out and you cannot really fake blood coming from your ears -a self inflicted cut in either ear wouldn't go unnoticed, especially if blood was "pouring out" and then the gradual slip into a coma -and it seems the doctors tried every trick to prove a hoax or medicate him.

First thing I thought was  hemorrhagic fever of some kind?  Without being able to find and read the notes of the doctors at the time we will never know.  Phenix Adams was declared a faker, deserter and genuine medical mystery all in one newspaper column.

The Taunton Courier for 1811 lists:

1811 18Jul Adams Phenis - private 1st Somerset Regiment wound

So, we're not even sure whether the name is "Phenis" or "Phenix" is the originalo item picked up and published by The  Liverpool Mercury, 16th August, 1811

Now,once I get the whiff of a puzzle or mystery I stick with it.  After all, I doubt I can afford 30-40 years to solve cases at my age!

So I dug and dug and then succeeded -don't ask how because one mention leads to nothing which get the point? Somerset and Dorset Notes & Queries Volume 12 - Page 339:

A Somerset Militia Man - From "The Times" of Saturday, Sept 14, 1811.
"Our readers will recollect a statement respecting a soldier of the First Somersetshire Militia, who had lain in a very surprising state of insensibility from the 26th of April, in the present year, down to the 18th of July. Various means had been resorted to for the purpose of ascertaining whether the illness was real, such as thrusting snuff up his nostrils, administering nitrous oxide gas, electrical shocks, powerful medicines, etc, all of which proved utterly unavailing in the attempt to arouse him from the unaccountable torpor in which he had laid so long ; nor, indeed, did any of these expediants produce in him the slightest symptoms of animation.

We have now to add to this account a few facts, which, for there singularity, may challenge competition with the most marvellous occurrence that ever reached the public notice.

A few days after our account appeared, Phineas ADAMS, the subject of this curious narrative, and whose age was no more than 'eighteen', on the 6th of June last, was removed from the goal in which he then was, to the parish of Bickenhall, a small village seven miles from Taunton. His parents residing at that place, but being unable to recieve him in there own habitation, Adams was lodged in the poor-house - a small cottage adjoining the churchyard. In this situation he continued to be without exhibiting the least evidence of an improving condition.

In this hopeless condition, he was visited by Mr. WELSH, surgeon of Taunton, who suggested the propriety of performing the operation of 'scalping' the patient, with a view to ascertain whether the fall, to which the illness was attributed, might not have produced a depression of the brain. The proposal was communicated to the parents of Adams, who expressed there willingness that the experiment should be made. Accordingly, at the time appointed, the surgeon accompanied Adams's father to the bedside of his son, and there, in the presence of several respectable persons, described to both the young man's parents the nature and precise course of operation about to be performed. The incisions were made, the scalp drawn up, and the head examined ; during all which time the young man manifested no audible sympton of pain, or sensibility of suffering whatever, until the application of an instrument, with which the head was scraped in a particular part, and then, and once only, he uttered a groan.

No beneficial result appearing from this experiment, and as his case seemed absolutely remediless, application was made to his regiment for his discharge.

On Tuesday, August 20, the discharge arrived, and was taken over to Bickenhall by the sergeant. On the Tuesday following, old Adams brought his son downstairs in his arms ; and on the 28th he again brought him down, the son still remaining insensible. Next night (the 29th) he was seen sitting in the poor-house, with a gun in his hand, conversing with his father ; and on Friday, the 30th (our readers will participate with us in the complete astonishment excited by the fact) he was at Mr PALMER's a farmer, two miles from Bickenhall, cutting spars, carrying reed up a ladder, and assisting his father in thatching a rick!

The extraordinary rapidity of this young man's recovery, after obtaining his discharge from his regiment, having excited, in combination with the other circumstances which we formerly stated, an opinion that imposition had been practised, some of the neighbours reported that a press-gang was coming for him. This, it is supposed, having reached his ears, he absconded, and not a syllable has been heard of him since. . . . " 

Was it possible -had Phineas Adams faked it all?  Eight days after the military discharge Phineas was still being carried downstairs by his father and was, supposedly, still insensible. What of the reed cutting and carrying?  Surely what the doctors were putting him through was worse than military life?

Whatever, this is a fascinating story and shows what I can get side-tracked with during a day. Damn but I can't ignore a mystery!

I hope Phineas Adams had a good life!

Light Infantry uniform plate: British Light Infantry by Bryan Fosten from Osprey's Men-at-Arms No.119

Sunday, 10 January 2016

"Had any British Bigfoot reports yet, then?"

I was asked, rather sarcastically, "Had any British Bigfoot reports yet, then?"

Well, the response to that question is a resounding "No".  Obviously the guarantee of confidentiality hasn't been much use as a couple people I contacted regarding photographs of broken tree limbs, "knocking sticks" and what they claim might be a wildman/bigfoot in the distance have refusede to respond.

Now, I made the publicly open offer to look at any material or evidence with an open mind and this should have encouraged the people who keep screaming that "science will not look at our evidence!" but they seem to failto understand that if you do not provide your evidence then science cannot examine it.

If I wanted to treat the subject fairly then I would need to use example photographs to make a point or a photo of a footprint and so on.  I cannot.  Why? Because every photo of a twisted, broken or damaged branch or tree, or location or a stick has a big "C" (copyright) on it.  I abide by the laws and rules of publishing as well as image use. 

I cannot have copies to use?  Can I be taken to the area in question? NO! "We/I've secured the site and am not revealing its location".....HOW do you "secure" common land?  And I am NOT allowed to know the location which is odd because my head contains some very special site locations that if I revealed them WOULD cause major problems for the wildlife involved.  Information and locations from police, farmers, forest rangers and wardens and many others over 40 years.  But I cannot be told the location of a broken tree branch?

In fact, reading one account of "sounds" has told me that a certain animal only a very few people know about is still there and doing well -the location is spot on, too.  So, in a way, this has had some interesting results for me.

The lack of any cooperation of "British Wildman" people speaks volumes.  However, I am still determined to read or look at any evidence but the 31st January deadline still remains.  After that I base my report on what I have seen so far and I doubt in the future  any other naturalist will be anywhere as willing as I am to look at evidence.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Pursuing The Strange & Weird:A Naturalists Viewpoint

Pursuing The Strange & Weird:A Naturalists Viewpoint

Terry Hooper-Scharf
249 Pages
Highly illustrated
Price: £15.00
2013 UP DATE -From Dead Aquatic (Humanoid) Creatures, the giant squid and yet undiscovered sea creatures; submarine and ships crews encountering true leviathans.

There is a fully expanded section which also refers to the so-called ‘Ningen’ sightings and video footage. 
Extinct animals at sea that have been re-discovered. The subject of Sasquatch and other mystery Hominids around the world is dealt with including a look at the “Sasquatch-killer”, Justin Smeja.

Dr. Bryan Sykes and his DNA test results for TVs The Bigfoot Files as well as the controversial Erickson Project and Dr. Melba Ketchum’s Even more controversial Sasquatch DNA test results.

Also included are two early French UFO entity cases that still baffle. Ghosts, strange creatures and the Star-Child hoax. All dealt with by the naturalist and pursuer of the strange and weird

Loch Ness Monster A Giant Eel?

I've been trying to get to the bottom of this but so far nothing in the way of replies  and trying to contact reporters these days is ridiculous -but it does sound interesting!
A European eel with some fish in an aquarium; most European eels grow to 23 to 31 inches (60 to 80 centimeters).

Could Nessie the Loch Ness Monster be a giant, 15-foot Eel? (Probably not)

The Loch Ness Monster is again in the news, as a Scotsman says his 2007 footage probably was not of the famed sea monster, but actually shows a 10-15 foot (3- 4.5 meter) giant eel. This too is unlikely. There is only one type of eel in Loch Ness, and it grows at the very most to 5 feet (1.5 meters). There have been reports of 7- to 9-foot (2.1-2.7 meter) eels taken in Loch Ness, but these dimensions seem to defy science.

Loch Ness is long at 22.5 miles (32 kilometers) and deep at 755 feet (230 meters), so many people who’ve claimed to have sighted the monster have said it has plenty of places to hide. Loch Ness contains more fresh water than all the lakes and in England and Wales combined.
A view from the shores of Loch Ness, looking south
A view from the shores of Loch Ness, looking south. (Public Domain)

The Scottish press is reporting that the mystery of the latest footage of Nessie, from 2007, has been solved. The Scotsman writes:
“The man who filmed some of the most famous footage of Nessie has admitted it could have been a giant eel. Gordon Holmes, who filmed jet-black shapes moving in Loch Ness from the roadside in 2007, agrees a U.S. computer expert who analyzed the footage has likely solved the mystery. Mr. Holmes, of Shipley, in West Yorkshire, now believes the creatures are eels between 10ft and 15ft long. The retired university technician has visited Loch Ness six times in the past. His two-minute video, shot from a layby on the A82, showed a long black shape moving just under the surface of the water. It made headlines around the world, but many expressed doubt.”
But this too has to be taken with a grain of salt. The largest eels are moray eels that grow to 10 to 12 feet (2 to 3 meters). And moray eels are not freshwater fish. They live in the ocean. There is a type of eel that grows in Loch Ness—the European eel or Anguilla anguilla that grows to, at the utmost, 5 feet or 1.5 meters. However, it is usually much shorter than that, about half the size.

Bill Appleton, owner of a software company in the United States, stabilized the footage of the “eel” and sent it to a paranormal website. Holmes says the stabilized video proves he saw a giant eel.

The Press and Journal reported Holmes as saying: “After several estimations, I believe the creatures were approximately 12ft [3.7 meters] long. Since eels do appear strange, ancient, scary-like beasties that may explain several of the Loch Ness sightings over the centuries.”

Some people truly believe a monster inhabits Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. Popular interest and belief in the animal's existence has varied since it was first reported in 1933 and made famous by a photograph supposedly taken by Robert Kenneth Wilson in 1934, depicted below.
Photo of the ‘Loch Ness monster’ taken by Robert Wilson.
Photo of the ‘Loch Ness monster’ taken by Robert Wilson. (Fortean Pictures Library)

Evidence of its existence is anecdotal, with minimal and much-disputed photographic material and sonar readings. The most common speculation among believers is that the creature represents a line of long-surviving plesiosaurs, a Mesozoic marine reptile.

However, the scientific community regards the Loch Ness Monster, affectionately known as ‘Nessie’, as a modern-day myth, and often explains sightings as misidentifications of more mundane objects, outright hoaxes, and wishful thinking.
‘Loch Ness Monster, Seasnake, Seamonster, Seeschlange, Meeresungeheuer.’ By Hugo Heikenwaelder.
‘Loch Ness Monster, Seasnake, Seamonster, Seeschlange, Meeresungeheuer.’ By Hugo Heikenwaelder. (CC BY SA 2.5)

Featured image: A European eel with some fish in an aquarium; most European eels grow to 23 to 31 inches (60 to 80 centimeters). (CC BY SA 3.0) Insert: A representation of Nessie at the Loch Ness Exhibition Centre in Drumnadrochit. (Public Domain)

By: Mark Miller