The 2018 story of the year: Chile’s Mummy Mystery. Read my blog at: http://www.hauntjaunts.net/story-of-2018-chiles-mummy-mystery/.
Uncle Sam Wants Bigfoot Trackers?
Last week, news broke about Keith Barnes, a 46-year-old Arkansas man, who liked to dress up and pretend to work for the federal government. More precisely: Barnes claimed he was a “Bigfoot Tracker” for the Department of the Interior. Yes, Barnes claimed that the US government employed him as a Cryptozoologist. While he was under investigation for impersonating a federal employee, Barnes was arrested for possessing child pornography. It is unclear if the investigation as to his impersonating a federal employee continues and if the charges would be rolled into the criminal charges. Barnes’ next court appearance is scheduled for June 18, 2018.
No, the US Department of the Interior does not employ cryptozoologists. Although an interesting and ever-changing job, the position does not exist. However, should one exist, what would the job posting look like?
A Cryptozoologist is a person who studies the existence of “disputed or unsubstantiated species.” The most common are called Bigfoot, Yeti, and Sasquatch. Although a science-based college degree is not required, it is strongly encouraged that the person know about animal life. Further, by definition, it is implied that the Cryptozoologist be a “Zoologist,” someone who has an undergraduate degree in animal biology.
A “Bigfoot Tracker” is a person who tracks Bigfoot. No college degree or experience needed.
Ideally, the job would fall under the purview of the US Fish and Wildlife Service. A “Bigfoot Tracker” would probably apply for a Park Ranger position or any of the Biologist jobs. Both positions require an undergraduate degree or relevant work experience in lieu of a degree.
Extensive travel would be involved. Due to the large size of the nation and the varying reports, prospective applicants would need to travel. A lot. Outside organizations are better equipped to handle such reports. They have the infrastructure and network in place to maximize personnel. The US government does not.
The Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO) claims to be the largest virtual community of researchers, scientists, journalists, and enthusiasts. Founded in 1995, the organization’s mission is to explore the “bigfoot/sasquatch mystery” using scientific means. Membership is by invitation-only. The organization is most known for its connection to the Finding Bigfoot TV show that aired on Animal Planet. [Barnes was admitted to the BFRO. To date the organization has not released a statement about his arrest or the other investigation or whether he remains a member.] For more information, view their website at https://www.bfro.net/.
This is not to say that the government is not interested in the paranormal. While the government has paid contractors to investigate extraterrestrial life, the government does not maintain job lines, complete with pensions and limited job protections. Instead, the government monitors developments and then investigates. If the job title sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Barnes is another example of a paranormal scammer (#ParaScammer) who fed lies to fuel his ego.
Paranormal News for the Week of May 7, 2018
#ParaNews for the Week of May 7, 2018
- Keith Barnes, a 46-year-old man from Black Rock, Arkansas, claims to work for the US Department of the Interior as a “Bigfoot Tracker.” He dons a fake khaki ranger uniform with bogus patches pretending to be a cryptozoologist. Barnes is not a scientist. Nor does the US government employ professional trackers searching for Bigfoot. Barnes is another #ParaScammer. His story would not make the evening news, except that he was arrested for possessing child pornography. Barnes attracted the attention of law enforcement when he began wearing the “uniform” and telling people he tracked the movements of cryptids in North America. An investigation into whether Barnes was impersonating a federal employee when an anonymous source alerted authorities to the child pornography. Barnes posted bail and will appear in court on June 18th.
- FX has ordered 10 episodes of the TV version of What We Do in the Shadows, the 2014 mockumentary about modern-day vampires coping with adulting. The movie was set in New Zealand and starred Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, and Jonny Brugh. The TV series will be set in New York City and star Matt Berry, Kayvan Novak, Natasia Demetrious, and Harvey Guillen. The ½ comedy will debut in 2019 with Clement and Waititi serving as writers and producers. Wellington Paranormal, another TV spin-off based on the police officers in the film who investigate paranormal activity, is in development and scheduled for a 2018 release.
- MUFON, the Mutual U.F.O. Network, is quite active. In fact, last week I read a posting on my city’s neighborhood Facebook page where an investigator was asking for eyewitness reports of supposed U.F.O. activity in March. For more information on MUFON activity or to file a report, visit http://www.mufon.com/. Lesson: Always read your neighborhood posts. You never know what will brighten your feed.
Paranormal News Week of April 23, 2018
#ParaNews for the Week of April 23, 2018
- A government agency “accidently” emailed documents regarding “Psycho-Electronic” weaponry to a journalist. This sounds like a horror/science fiction/conspiracy theory film; however, it seems legit. According to David Grossman of Popular Mechanics, journalist and frequent filer of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests Curtis Waltman asked for information about white supremacists and Antifa groups from the Washington State Fusion Center (WSFC). He received responses along with a few attached documents. The two below are samples of what Mr. Waltman received. The .ZIP file was titled “EM effects on human body.” Read the longer article here: Coming Soon.
- The University of West Georgia announced the inaugural Ingo Swann Research Fellowship. Paranormal researchers have until May 1st to apply for a partial residence research grant of $3,000. The grant requires an on-campus presentation, as well. For more information, read the article https://thehauntedlibrarian.com/2018/04/22/uwg-announces-1st-ingo-swann-research-fellowship/.
- Ash vs. Evil Dead wraps up on April 29th. The cult favorite series starring Bruce Campbell was cancelled last week by Starz, the premium cable channel and production company. Although the series saw viewership slide in the 3rd season, fans remain hopeful another streaming service will pick up. Mr. Campbell tweeted his thanks.
- The independent British horror film Ghost Stories (2017) ranked #1 for indie films this weekend by holding exclusive New York City screenings. The movie generated $12,646 this past weekend. Directors Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman, who also stars, transformed the former West End play into a 90-minute full-length film. Watch for a review once I can legally view. [Note: Shame on the production company for announcing it was available to stream in the US when, in fact, it isn’t.]
Paranormal Radio Host Art Bell Dead at Age 72
On Friday the 13th, former syndicated radio host Arthur “Art” Bell died at his home in Pahrump, Nevada. An autopsy is scheduled for next week; however, Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly does not suspect foul play. In fact, Bell was a lifelong smoker and suffered recently from C.O.P.D. He was an incessant tweeter who posted about his declining health. Bell will be remembered for fueling conspiracy theories while speculating about extraterrestrial life.
Mr. Bell was a natural-born radio host. Born in Jacksonville, North Carolina on June 17, 1945, Bell became a licensed radio operator at the age of 13. Bell was always involved in amateur radio or as a professional host. After a stint as a medic in the US Air Force, Bell eventually became the owner of KNYE 95.1 and continued his late-night radio programming on Coast to Coast AM. He wrote, produced, and hosted the show from 1993-2002. At its peak, the show had 10 million listeners and broadcasted on 500 US and Canadian radio stations. According to ABC News, it was the most listened-to overnight program and the 4th overall. Bell had a second, short-lived radio show titled Art Bell’s Dark Matter on Siruis Radio in 2013. His final program was Midnight in the Desert, which was also short-lived in 2015. He finally retired on December 11, 2015 citing safety concerns.
Bell was inducted to both the Nevada Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame (2006) and the National Radio Hall of Fame (2008).
Bell is survived by his 4th wife, Airyn and their two minor children Asia and Alexander. He is also survived by three adult children. No funeral arrangements have been made.
Announcement: Skeleton Crew for Haunt Jaunts
As I return from Spring Break 2018, I have exciting news to share: I am joining the Skeleton Crew at Haunt Jaunts, https://www.hauntjaunts.net/. I am thrilled to be writing about the paranormal for another online website!
Haunt Jaunts is an online zine focusing on the paranormal, horror, travel, and Halloween. It is curated by Courtney Mroch, Ambassador of Dark and Paranormal Tourism. It started in 2010 and has been named a Top 50 Paranormal Blog by Feedspot. Needless to say, there’s something for everyone including articles, forums, conference listings, and a link Courtney’s ParaMania Radio show HJ, which airs live on Tuesdays at 8 PM EST.
As I prepare for my summer vacation, I am planning out my own paranormal travel trips. Look for my articles to begin shortly…like the end of this week. Woo hoo!
Read the announcement from Courtney here https://www.hauntjaunts.net/parapower-partnership-haunt-jaunts-welcomes-the-haunted-librarian/.
5 Best Stephen Hawking Quotes:
Professor Stephen Hawking (01.08.1942-03.14.2018) died at the age of 76 years old this past week. After earning his Ph.D. in 1965, Hawking went on to author many academic papers and books. He was a cosmologist armchair space traveler who enjoyed being lost in space. Although confined to a wheelchair since his ALS diagnosis in 1963, Hawking remained active and researching up until the end.
Below are 5 of his best quotes about the universe, extraterrestrial life, and the future of the human race. R.I.P. Professor. May your journey be filled with stars.
- “Hawking described Homer Simpson approvingly as a guy who ‘is always trying to get something for nothing.’ That’s the universe in a nutshell.”
- “I think the conventional afterlife is a fairy tale for people afraid of the dark.”
- “I think the human race has no future if it doesn’t go into space. I, therefore, want to encourage public interest in space.”
- “I think it would be a disaster. The extraterrestrials would probably be far in advance of us. The history of advanced races meeting more primitive people on this planet is not very happy, and they were the same species. I think we should keep our heads low”
- In Naked Science: Alien Contact, the National Geographic Channel, 2004
- “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race. It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate… Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded”
- Interview, BBC, December 2014
ParaNews for March 12, 2018
Paranormal News for the Week of March 12, 2018:
- Media outlets seized on the Amelia Earhart disappearance by covering Dr. Richard Jantz’s overhyped article in Forensic Anthropology To be clear: Jantz does not proffer any new evidence or even support his theory that the infamous Nikumaroro Bones found in 1941 belong to the aviatrix. Read my blog titled “The Nikumaroro Bones Have Not Been Proven to be Amelia Earhart” detailing the serious flaws in his “research.”
- The sequel in The Strangers franchise debuted on March 9th. The Strangers: Prey at Night (2018) garnered poor reviews despite landing the talent of Christina Hendricks and Bailee Madison. The US gross totaled $10.4 million. Part 2 takes Bryan Bertino’s 2008 film The Strangers and places the unsuspecting family in a mobile home. Both were “based off a true story.” Unfortunately, it seems that it’s the same story—a fairly common one where kids reported strangers knocking on doors. Bertino also cited the Manson Family murders. Neither theme is supported in the scripts. The film is rated R and runs 85 minutes.
- My copy of Dr. Michio Kaku’s new book The Future of Humanity: Terraforming Mars, Interstellar Travel, Immortality, and Our Destiny Beyond arrived last week. Give me a few days to read; however, I will leave you with the alarm that Dr. Kaku recommends to humans interacting with extraterrestrials: RUN!
The Nikumaroro Bones Have Not Been Proven to be Amelia Earhart
Eighty years after her disappearance, Amelia Earhart is in the news again. Researcher Dr. Richard Jantz, University of Tennessee, believes 13 bones discovered in 1940 belong to Amelia Earhart. The bones are known collectively as “The Nikumaroro Bones” and were discovered on the remote coral atoll Nikumaroro 3 years after Earhart disappeared. Unfortunately, Jantz uses a rhetorical fallacy to support his claims. He states that “until definitive evidence is presented that the remains are not those of Amelia Earhart, the most convincing argument is that they are hers.” No credible researcher says this.
Amelia Earhart is a mystery that needs to be solved. Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, were attempting to fly around the world when Earhart’s plane disappeared on July 2, 1937. Researchers and enthusiasts have sought to find them ever since. Richard Jantz desperately wants to solve this mystery. His paper “Amelia Earhart and the Nikumaroro Bones: A 1941 Analysis versus Modern Quantitative Techniques” has been published in the journal Forensic Anthropology this month.
- However, Jantz’s newly published study has several flaws. The 13 bones that were found in 1937 were examined by Dr. D.W. Hoodless in 1941. At that time, Hoodless determined the bones were of a 5’5” European male. Conveniently, the bones were lost, with some reports that Hoodless disposed of them. Jantz did not examine the bones. He examined the measurements Hoodless took.
- Earhart was a very tall woman. She stood anywhere between 5’7” to 5’9”. Hardly close to the measurement determined by Hoodless. However, Jantz uses the inconsistencies of her height as supporting that she was in fact shorter than she appeared. In the picture below, Earhart is standing with (L-R) Dr. Gilbert Grosvenor, President of the National Geographic Society; President Herbert Hoover; and First Lady Lou Henry Hoover. President Hoover stood 6 feet tall. Earhart appears to be in 2-inch heels. She would appear to be 5 feet 9-10 inches tall.
- Next, Jantz relies on computer technology to support his claim. He analyzed the measurements using ForDisc, a computer program used by forensic anthropologists. Jantz co-created the program. Further, the program documentation states that it “should not be used for classification of archaeological remains.” In addition, at least one research study shows the program as flawed.
- Using the computer program he co-created, Jantz formulated a conclusion (that the bones belong to Amelia Earhart) and then worked backwards to prove his claim. This is not how scientific experiments work. In fact, this is not the acceptable practice in science and is highly unethical.
- Finally, Jantz boldly stated, “The only documented person to whom they may belong is Amelia Earhart.” He declared that the he is “99% sure” the bones are Earhart’s. The word “documented” is troublesome. Jantz presumes (incorrectly) that every ancestry attribution is included in the program. As Marina Elliott and Mark Collard concluded in 2009: “Fordisc will only return a correct ancestry attribution when an unidentified specimen is more or less complete and belongs to one of the populations represented in the program’s reference samples.” But most importantly, ForDisc is only intended to identify sex and ancestry. It is not intended to identify people.
Amelia Earhart’s disappearance remains a mystery. However, the mystery will not be solved when people use dubious evidence to support a conclusion they have already made. Jantz wants to be the one to solve the mystery. Unfortunately, he has gone about it all wrong.
Paranormal News for the Week of March 5th, 2018
- The paranormal community lost an important member last week when Dr. John “Doc” K. Head, co-founder of the paranormal investigation team ESP—Explorers of Spirit Phenomena unexpectedly died. Doc formed ESP in 2009 with a group of friends who possessed a genuine interest in the paranormal. Over the years, Doc and his team have made friends with experts in the community, as well as, those who have a part-time interest in knowing more. Please visit the ESP page, http://www.espexplorers.com/, to learn more about Doc. He will be missed. THL sends healing energy and loads of love to Terri and Tracy.
- Jordan Peele made Oscar history—twice—last night by winning an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for his hit movie Get Out (2017). It has taken 90 years for an African-American male to win in this category. However, more importantly, Peele won the Academy Award for a Horror film. This is the first time a screenwriter for a Horror film has taken home an Oscar. The Exorcist (1973) won in the category: Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium; The Silence of the Lambs (1991) won for Best Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published. Huge win for the Horror Genre! And also for Jordan!
- I will leave you with a teaser to a longer article I am writing. Theoretical physicist Rockstar Michio Kaku, Ph.D. has proffered an answer for when extraterrestrials land on earth. Dr. Kaku was asked what he suggested humans do if they encounter aliens. He said, “If you’re in the forest, do you go around talking to squirrel?” He likened humans to the squirrels. When aliens arrive, they will not be interested in meaningful conversations. No, Dr. Kaku warns, humans should “RUN!”
Longer article is forthcoming.