August 23, 2013

Strange Phenomena

An occasional feature of the MAGBAG is Strange Phenomena. Culled from the pages of magazines like FATE, Fortean Times, and Strange, these oddities give perspective to our workaday world, and enrich our humdrum lives with a taste of the unexpected. Here then is a compendium of a few of the conundrums of science we’ve highlighted in past issues.
The Strange Stench of the Great Salt Lake. On February 5, 2007 a strong unexplained odor redolent of burning tires emanated from the Great Salt Lake in Utah, a phenomenon said to occur 3 or 4 times a year. Oddly, the smell is said to be different every time. — Fortean Times

The Man Who Met the Girl of His Dreams. After a night of drinking with friends, a London man woke up with a phone number running through his head. Though he and the young lady the number belonged to knew nothing of each other prior to him calling the number, contact led to romance and marriage. — Fortean Times

The Horned Man of Yemen. When a man named Saleh, now aged 102, was 77, a 20-inch horn started growing out of his head. — Fortean Times

Indigo Children. Said to be the next phase in human evolution, an Indigo Child has high self-esteem, refuses to accept authority, is easily bored when not using his superior creative intelligence and seems to possess a full range of psychic abilities from telepathy to precognition. They are on a mysterious mission to improve the world. — Fortean Times

The Tombstone Thunderbird. A pterosaur-like flying reptile with a wingspan of over 25 feet. One such was shot by ranch hands in 1840 and nailed to the side of a barn. Photos are said to exist.– FATE

The Devil’s Cottage. A one-room cottage built in Alberta by the RCMP in the early 20th century for their Indian scouts, though none of them dared live there. It would light up at night and smoke would rise from the chimney. Upon investigation it would always prove unoccupied, dark, and the stove would always be cold and unused. When the mounties got far enough away it would light up again. — FATE

The Gravity Hills of California. There are at least five of them scattered across the state of California. They’re called ‘gravity hills’ because each of these hills has displayed gravitational anomalies, usully taking the form of spots where a car in neutral will roll uphill. — Atlantis Rising

Healing Tears Of Chittagong — A weeping statue of the Virgin Mary in the village of Patharghata in the Chittagong province of Bangladesh is leading millions of Muslims to convert to Christianity, according to local church officials. — March 25 SUN

The Dwendi — A small bigfoot-like bipedal man-beast inhabiting the dense forest of Belize, it’s existence has never been conclusively proven. — April Fortean Times

Vigilante Elephants — In April, 2003, 11 elephants suddenly appeared at an encampment in southern Africa where conservationists had a herd of antelope that they’d captured for relocation in an enclosure. The elephants surrounded the enclosure and then the herd’s matriarch approached the gate, undid all the latches with her trunk and swung open the gate. The elephants watched as all the antelope escaped into the night. — March FATE

The Jesus Cat. Brandy, a seven-year-old tortoiseshell cat owned by Mike and Margaret McGregor of Edinburgh, Scotland, has unusual markings in his fur. After seven years, Mike, an atheist with three ministers in his family, noticed an uncanny resemblance to the face of Jesus Christ in them, in the style of the shroud of Turin. — Fortean Times

The Oicumene. A group of Sun-worshipping pyramid-builders (from whose name the word ‘ecumenical’ is derived) whose global dominion in an ancient Golden Age is evidenced by the presence of pyramids in Egypt, Europe, and the Americas. Less known are the pyramids of China and Japan, which demonstrate the true omnipresence of the Oicumene. — Atlantis Rising

The Hand from Nowhere. A group of revelers on a boat just off the Lawrence Village Marina on Long Island, New York were having a boat party when a severed human hand dropped out of the sky and landed on the deck of their boat. Police have no idea where it came from or whose it is. — FATE

Nguyen Thi Suong, the Human Nightlight. For six consecutive nights in February 2003, this 56-year-old Vietnamese woman glowed in the dark for about five hours after she went to bed, according to her husband, Le Hop Dung. — FATE

Arboreal Boulders. In 1997, in Brown County, Indiana, a 500 pound sandstone rock was found wedged in an oak tree about 35 feet from the ground. Since then, four more boulders have been found in trees nearby, one nearly 45 feet up. No one seems to have any idea how they got there. — Fortean Times

Banana Squash Seeds of Mystery. A restaurateur in Salt Lake City, Utah, cut into a banana squash on the 13th of March, as he does several times every day. The seeds of this squash, which would normally be smooth, were etched with letters, numbers and Arabic symbols. — Fortean Times

Yey Prahao, the Healing Elephant of Cambodia. An 87 year old tusker, Yey Prahao travels from village to with his owner Pang Hy, curing illnesses by blowing water on sick people with his trunk. — Fortean Times

Muhnochwa, the Scratch Monster of Lakhimour Kheri. A luminous aerial entity that severely scratches its human victims. — Fortean Times

The Big Hairy Monster of Bolam Lake: A Bigfoot-like enormous humanoid, spotted in a country park in Northumberland. — Fortean Times

Lethal Yellow Jelly. A biohazardous “live, amoeba-like substance” that was released from three luminous hovering spheres in Hungary. — Fortean Times

The Little People of Skara Brae. The long gone residents of a stone age settlement unearthed in Scotland. Judging by the size of their underground homes, they couldn’t have been much more than three feet tall. Are they proof that fairies were real? — FATE

The Grassman. A gorilla-like creature living in the wilds of Ohio. A Midwestern bigfoot known for killing deer. — FATE

The Mysterious Vibrating Building. The 11-story Eurocity Tower, an office and shopping complex in Lille, France, has been inexplicably vibrating so powerfully that 3,000 people had to be evacuated. — Fortean Times

The Blond Beast of Dragon Lake. Bigger than a cow, with a square head, horns, a long neck, and a duck-like beak, this golden monster reportedly lives in China’s Lake Tian Chai. — FATE

The Snarly Yow. A spectral hound sighted in Western Maryland, it appears and disappears suddenly, and has the ability to walk through fences and other solid objects. — Strange

Mexico’s Zone of Silence. Sort of a Bermuda Triangle in the desert near Ceballos, where radios stop working and “hot pebbles” inexplicably fall to the earth, where strange looking people appear suddenly and disappear just as quickly, and fireballs float in the night sky. — FATE

The Hantu Pocong. Javanese zombies that are either goatlike or beautiful women, they exude a putrid pong. — Fortean Times

The Manangaal. A bloodthirsty, vampire-like being from the Phillipines. It appears as a beautiful woman by day, but at night its upper body detaches and flies around the Pampanga Province feasting on the internal organs of barmaids and nightclub workers. — Weekly World News

The Mumbu Mutu of Burundi. A brain-eating mermaid that’s been sighted along the shores of Lake Tanganyika and the Lukuga River. — Bizarre

The Giant Slug of Ogden Clough. This whalelike apparition slides around making a “funny, gritty noise like feet on wet gravel” near Torside Castle in an area of England known as the Devil’s Elbow. — Fortean Times

Kap Dwa, the Two-Headed Patagonian Giant. Over 12 feet tall, he was captured by Spanish sailors in 1673. After he’d killed four of them, his captors plunged a boarding pike through his heart. His stuffed body has been on display in English sideshows since 1900 and in America since 1980. — Fortean Times

The Tongue-Eater. Said by native Nicaraguans to be part turkey, part cat, this creepy critter tears the tongues out of cows and other domesticated animals and then drinks their blood. — Strange

The Tasmanian Globster. A huge, mysterious lump of decaying tissue that washed ashore north of Zeehan in late December of 1997, it weighed about 8,000 lbs, smelled very badly, and seemed to have a large number of paddle-like flippers. — Fortean Times

Left-Handedness — the Atlantean Trait. According to some, the residents of the lost continent of Atlantis were all left-handed and any lefties around today are descendants of Atlanteans.
Atlantis Rising

The Paulding Light. Five miles north of Watersmeet, Michigan, this paranormal manifestation is visible virtually every night. The only explanation ever offered for these eerie lights involves the ghost of a brakeman on a long-lost railroad line.
TAPS Paramagazine

The Sweating Idol of Dolakha. On May 21, pilgrims rushed to this corner of Nepal to see a statue of Bhimeshwor, the Hindu god of Trade, because it was sweating again. Previous sweats preceded — and some say portended — a massive earthquake in 1934 and the murder of the king by the crown prince in 2001. — Fortean Times

Phantom Clowns. Since 1980 there have been dozens of reports of carloads of child-molesting clowns prowling the streets of cities across America for juvenile victims. In every case there has been not one piece of supporting physical evidence, nor have any of the greasepainted offenders ever been apprehended. Could they have been part of a covert government op? Perhaps they were ghost clowns. In any case they were only ever spotted by children. — Fortean Times

Therian Thropes. Essentially ‘manimals’, these half-human/half-beast creatures have been seen by people in trance states since cavemen painted them — especially when these trances were induced by hallucinogens like psilocybin and LSD. — Mysteries

Transient Lunar Phenomena (TLP). Through the centuries Lunar observers from Renaissance astronomers to Neil Armstrong have reported seeing lights, fires, mists and other mysterious luminosities on the surface of the moon. — Mysteries

The Unphotographable Man. Ye Xiangting, a man from China’s Henan Province, has been repeatedly digitally photographed by the Yangzhuang police department and yet, none of the photos contain his image. Even when they tried putting other people in the photo with him, they were clearly visible but he wasn’t. — Mysteries

Themselves. In the Irish Sea, the Isle of Man is said to be inhabited by a variety of supernatural beings referred to collectively as “themselves” by the Manx. These include a warning spectre called the dooinney-oie and an amorous sprite called the thiannan-shee. — Fortean Times

Green Fireballs — Between the years 1948 and 1951 these oddly-colored streaks of light passed over the Southwestern Untied States on an almost nightly basis, often in the vicinity of highly-guarded military installations, which yielded unusually reliable eyewitness ac-counts. — August FATE

The Chernobyl Generation — Kids growing up near the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster are said to have higher IQs, stronger immune systems and unheard-of growth rates, according to Russian doctors who have been keeping close track of them. — Sep/Oct Atlantis Rising

The Lolloping Cut-Out Man — Spotted in southeast London, this eerie figure was thought to be a man with a bouncy walk, but as it grew closer it became clear that it was totally black and seemed flat and two-dimensional, and not any kind of intelligent creature at all, but something dangerous and otherworldly. — August Fortean Times

The Hidden People of Iceland — 54% of Icelanders believe in them, over 700 admit to having seen them. They come from another dimension and know more about how to cross over than we do. Their existence explains persistent stories of elves and so-called imaginary friends. — Oct. Fortean Times

The Ukumar-Zupai. Inhabiting the mountains and deserts of Argentina, this hairy hominid is known to savagely ransack eagles’ nests, “leaving dead and injured birds in its wake.” Resembling a large, agile monkey, the ukumar-zupai is smaller than the yeti of the Himalayas. — FATE

Green Sweat. In China, a man noticed green stains on his white tee shirts. Soon he sought medical help as it became apparent that the green color was from his own sweat. A doctor at the Guangzhou Friendship Hospital said he had read of cases of red and blue sweat but never green. — Fortean Times

The Mozart Effect. Multiple studies have shown that a brief stint of listening to the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart appears to improve learning and memory abilities. — Phenomena

The Beast of Bolam Lake. A seven-foot-tall ape-like creature living near Bolam Lake in the north of England, one of many British bigfoots that were reported between 2001 and 2003. — Phenomena

Photosynthesis Man. NASA is studying an Indian man who stopped eating in 1995 and has subsisted on liquids and sunlight ever since. — FATE

The Dog That Wouldn’t Die. On April 15, 2003 in Clearwater, Florida, a 10 month old mixed breed dog was hit by a car. Thinking its wounds were fatal, a policeman shot her in the head. The dog was then zipped into a body bag and put in a freezer to await disposal. Two hours later the dog was found to be alive and standing and is recovering nicely. — Fortean Times

Angel Feathers. Several people have reported finding white fluffy feathers in odd places, after asking for a sign that angels exist. The feathers have been known to subsequently disappear. — Fortean Times

The Green Lightning of Beaver Sands. Over the last several centuries, several documented cases of people disappearing in the Beaver Sands region of Oklahoma have been associated with eyewitness accounts of an eerie green lightning. From Spanish explorers to modern-day bank presidents, all have vanished when the green lightning appears. — FATE

The Carnivorous Hippopotami of Ginbo Woreda. In Ethiopia’s Kaffa province, a herd of hippos — traditionally vegetarian beasts — have inexplicably killed and eaten eight cows over the course of two months. — FATE

Acote, the Phantom Peddler of the Stagecoach Inn. He checked into this small Rhode Island hostelry, but he never checked out, as he was found murdered the next morning. His spirit is said to have haunted the inn ever since. — FATE

The Giant Mutant Owls of Veliki Popovac. Said to be the result of radioactive dust, these enormous raptors are said to attack everything from cows to airplanes. — Fortean Times

Fudu, the Beast of the Forbidden Valley. Taller than the tallest man and bulky as the largest gorilla, this gigantic and “incredibly menacing” man-ape informs part of African folklore. — Fortean Times

The Zero Effect. Starting in 1840, every American president elected in a year that ended in zero died in office. The only exception was Ronald Reagan, who survived an assassination attempt. Our next president will be elected in a year that ends in zero. — FATE

Aquatic Foam Balls. Hundreds of balls of foam, some the size of people, washed up on the shores of West Sussex, England in January of 1999. Environment Agency experts are investigating. — Fortean Times

The Loveland Frogmen. About 3 feet tall and weighing in at a sturdy 60 lbs., these creatures have leathery skin and huge, bulbous eyes. Shy, when spotted they will disappear into the waterways of the Ohio valley. — SUN

Mutual Dreams. When people find that they both had the same dream. Mutual dreams suggest some sort of a psychic bond. — FATE

The Ciguapa. The Ciguapa, a howling nocturnal female entity native to the Dominican Republic, has feet that are on backwards, which makes tracking it difficult. Its appearance heralds its witness’s death. — Alternate Perceptions

The Man Who Took His Pond With Him When He Died. Freeman Whitney was the driving force behind the establishment of Mill Pond Park, in Harrison, Maine. The day after he died, the pond mysteriously emptied itself. — Fortean Times

The Mongolian Death Worm. Know locally as the allghoi khorkohi, it’s 3 – 5 feet in length, spits corrosive poison, and can kill in a mysterious manner resembling electrocution. — Bizarre

The Triple-Toed Honey Island Swamp Monster. Pretty much your run-of-the-mill swamp monster, it has a more colorful name than its 2-toed cousins, the Wisconsin Werewolf and the Scape Ore Swamp Lizard Man. — Fortean Times

The Taos Hum. Enigmatic low-frequency vibration heard incessantly by some residents of, and visitors to, Taos, New Mexico. It sounds like a truck might be coming up the road, but there is no truck and the hum doesn’t stop. — FATE