Hi Wings, just to let you know I've been reading your blog from time to time - even though this is my first post in it. Anyway I've read quite a bit of the stuff, but I'm still trying to catch up with the nonsense.
Some great UFO vids you've posted btw - that one in Hawaii for example. Keep em coming!
Thanks Smersh! And a good Monday morning to you! Crystal
Good evening Crystal.... You will be sleeping peacefully right now.... Whereas my day is half way over.
I love the picture of the roo laying on the beach. I have seen them do that. Further up the road on the estuary near my home, about 5-10 minutes away by car, there are hundreds of roos... they lay in the fields and bask in the sunlight.... they don't bother about hiding during the day.... they have no fear of humans. Even the little babies come out of their mothers pouch to bask. I often take visitors there to see them. I noticed on my last drive up there that they are building a new housing estate, which made me sad. Roos are territorial and will be displaced or run over by cars. It makes me very sad. Whereas other critters like emus and possums will move on the roos won't.
Good evening Pen, I didn't know that the kangaroo's are as territorial as that. I was raised in Arizona and I saw the growth destroy the whole state. It's illegal now but they used to take BIG chains and hook them to two bulldozers and scrape the desert clean then build. Those poor kangaroo's sound like they don't have a chance. It breaks your heart. Crystal
September 12, 2010 Mapping Traffic’s Toll on Wildlife By MALIA WOLLAN
DAVIS, Calif. — To Ron Ringen, a retired veterinarian, roadkill is a calling.
Nearly every week for the last seven months, Mr. Ringen, 69, has driven the roads north of this college town near Sacramento, scanning the pavement for telltale bits of fur and feathers.
Pulling over, Mr. Ringen gets out, snaps photographs and uses his GPS device to record the precise location where creatures met their end. He has logged more than 1,400 animals, from the miniature (one-ounce song sparrows) to the gargantuan (a 1,500-pound black Angus bull).
“Most people don’t realize how many animals die on the road every day — they just don’t see it,” he said.
While Mr. Ringen’s friends goad him with nicknames like “Doctor Roadkill,” he is not alone in his peculiar pursuit. Hundreds of volunteers collect and upload roadkill data to the California Roadkill Observation System, a mapping Web site built by researchers at the University of California, Davis, to better understand where and why cars strike animals.
Begun a year ago, the Web site — www.wildlifecrossing.net/california — is the first statewide effort to map roadkill using citizen observers. Volunteers comb the state’s highways and country roads for dead animals, collecting GPS coordinates, photographs and species information and uploading it to a database and Google map populated with dots representing the kills. The site’s gruesome gallery includes photos of flattened squirrels or squashed skunks.
“For some people the only contact they have with wild animals is when they run them over,” said Fraser M. Shilling, the lead researcher on the project. “This is the first time people have been able to record roadkill online and I think it will change our understanding of what our road system is really doing to wildlife.”
The site’s founders hope to soon hire a software engineer to design a smartphone app. They think one would attract new and younger volunteers, speed up the process, and, with built-in GPS function, assure more accurate location information.
About 73 million GPS-enabled cellphones and 23 million automotive GPS units will be shipped in the United States and Canada this year, according to IMS Research, a market research firm. “GPS is very pervasive,” said Bill Morelli, an analyst with the firm.
“Everybody is interested in pursuing the benefits of getting data points from these devices,” he said. For example, wireless providers like AT&T and Sprint are looking into applications that would use drivers’ GPS smartphones to monitor traffic speed in real time.
The roadkill maps give researchers a better understanding of the environmental impacts of roads. They intend to use the data to build statistical and Geographic Information Systems models to predict roadkill hot spots and to determine where animal road crossings, culverts and warning signs may be most effective on current and future roadways.
Given the more than 258 million vehicles on the country’s four million miles of public roads, it is little wonder that cars regularly strike animals. Estimates for just how many run-ins occur each year vary widely.
The Humane Society of the United States estimates that a million animals are killed by vehicles every day, while a 2008 Federal Highway Administration report puts the number of accidents with large animals between one million and two million a year. The agency estimates such accidents result in over $8 billion in damages annually.
In addition, about 200 people die each year in accidents with deer and other animals, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Federal Highway Administration provides money to state transportation agencies to help minimize the number of animal accidents. “The methods are as varied as the wildlife themselves, ranging from fences, bridges and tunnels to electronic animal-detection warning systems,” said Victor Mendez, the agency’s administrator.
Still, Mr. Shilling and his colleagues think that drivers armed with keen eyes, GPS devices and smartphones are perhaps better suited than government agencies to map the cumulative effects of roadkill.
In late March, the researchers started a second Web site, in Maine, called Maine Audubon Wildlife Road Watch, available via wildlifecrossing.net. “There are so many miles of road, the more people you have involved looking for roadkill, the better,” said Susan Gallo, a wildlife biologist with Maine Audubon, the group that commissioned the site in partnership with the state’s transportation department and other state agencies.
Despite the grisly nature of the task, volunteers have been enthusiastic, Mr. Shilling says. Even with limited public outreach, the California site has almost 300 registered users and more than 6,900 documented kills.
In Maine, the most commonly counted roadkill species is the North American porcupine. “I see an awful lot of them. They just move so slow,” said Donna Runnels, 58. She uploads the data she collects while walking and riding her horse near her home in Burnham, Me.
The animal most likely to be found dead along a California road is the raccoon, though hundreds of species have been counted, including desert iguanas, black bears, tiger salamanders, brown pelicans and western shovelnose snakes.
During countless hours on hundreds of miles of road, Mr. Ringen’s eyes have become attuned to the tiniest tattered remains; he can spot a flattened mouse while driving 50 miles an hour, he says. Nevertheless, occasionally his eyes trick him. He regularly pulls over for what he thinks are bird remains only to find discarded banana peels.
Last spring driving on Interstate 80 crossing the Sacramento River Delta, he saw, to his disbelief, what seemed to be a small shark on the highway. He exited and circled his car back to the spot only to find a child’s stuffed toy shark. “This is how crazy you get,” Mr. Ringen said. “I’m almost a fanatic with it. You get hooked. You wake up wondering ‘What am I going to find out there today?"
September 6, 2010 Desert Roads Lead to Discovery in Egypt By JOHN NOBLE WILFORD
Over the last two decades, John Coleman Darnell and his wife, Deborah, hiked and drove caravan tracks west of the Nile from the monuments of Thebes, at present-day Luxor. These and other desolate roads, beaten hard by millennial human and donkey traffic, only seemed to lead to nowhere.
In the practice of what they call desert-road archaeology, the Darnells found pottery and ruins where soldiers, merchants and other travelers camped in the time of the pharaohs. On a limestone cliff at a crossroads, they came upon a tableau of scenes and symbols, some of the earliest documentation of Egyptian history. Elsewhere, they discovered inscriptions considered to be one of the first examples of alphabetic writing.
The explorations of the Theban Desert Road Survey, a Yale University project co-directed by the Darnells, called attention to the previously underappreciated significance of caravan routes and oasis settlements in Egyptian antiquity. And two weeks ago, the Egyptian government announced what may be the survey’s most spectacular find.
Zahi Hawass, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said the archaeologists had uncovered extensive remains of a settlement — apparently an administrative, economic and military center — that flourished more than 3,500 years ago in the western desert 110 miles west of Luxor and 300 miles south of Cairo. No such urban center so early in history had ever been found in the forbidding desert.
Dr. John Darnell, a professor of Egyptology at Yale, said in an interview last week that the discovery could rewrite the history of a little-known period in Egypt’s past and the role played by desert oases, those islands of springs and palms and fertility, in the civilization’s revival from a dark crisis. Other archaeologists not involved in the research said the findings were impressive and, once a more detailed formal report is published, will be sure to stir scholars’ stew pots.
The 218-acre site is at Kharga Oasis, a string of well-watered areas in a 60-mile-long north-south depression in the limestone plateau that spreads across the desert. The oasis is at the terminus of the ancient Girga Road from Thebes and its intersection with other roads from the north and the south.
A decade ago, the Darnells spotted hints of an outpost from the time of Persian rule in the sixth century B.C. at the oasis in the vicinity of a temple. “A temple wouldn’t be where it was if this area hadn’t been of some strategic importance,” Ms. Darnell, also trained in Egyptology, said in an interview.
Then she began picking up pieces of pottery predating the temple. Some ceramics were imports from the Nile Valley or as far away as Nubia, south of Egypt, but many were local products. Evidence of “really large-scale ceramic production,” Ms. Darnell noted, “is something you wouldn’t find unless there was a settlement here with a permanent population, not just seasonal and temporary.”
It was in 2005 that the Darnells and their team began collecting the evidence that they were on to an important discovery: remains of mud-brick walls, grindstones, baking ovens and heaps of fire ash and broken bread molds.
Describing the half-ton of bakery artifacts that has been collected, as well as signs of a military garrison, Dr. Darnell said the settlement was “baking enough bread to feed an army, literally.” This inspired the name for the site, Umm Mawagir. The Arabic phrase means “mother of bread molds.”
In addition, Dr. Darnell said, the team found traces of what is probably an administrative building, grain silos, storerooms and artisan workshops and the foundations of many unidentified structures. The inhabitants, probably a few thousand people, presumably grew their own grain, and the variety of pottery attested to trade relations over a wide region. Umm Mawagir’s heyday apparently extended from 1650 B.C. to 1550 B.C., nearly a thousand years after the construction of the Great Pyramid at Giza and another thousand before any previously known major occupation at Kharga Oasis.
“Now we know there’s something big at Kharga, and it’s really exciting,” Dr. Darnell said. “The desert was not a no man’s land, not the wild west. It was wild, but it wasn’t disorganized. If you wanted to engage in trade in the western desert, you had to deal with the people at Kharga Oasis.”
Finding an apparently robust community as a hub of major caravan routes, Dr. Darnell said, should “help us reconstruct a more elaborate and detailed picture of Egypt during an intermediate period” after the so-called Middle Kingdom and just before the rise of the New Kingdom.
At this time, Egypt was in turmoil. The Hyksos invaders from southwest Asia held the Nile Delta and much of the north, and a wealthy Nubian kingdom at Kerma, on the Upper Nile, encroached from the south. Caught in the middle, the rulers at Thebes struggled to hold on and eventually prevail. They were succeeded by some of Egypt’s most celebrated pharaohs, such notables as Hatshepsut, Amenhotep III and Ramses II.
The new research, Dr. Darnell said, “completely explains the rise and importance of Thebes.” From there rulers commanded the shortest route from the Nile west to desert oases and also the shortest eastern road to the Red Sea. Inscriptions from about 2000 B.C. show that a Theban ruler, most likely Mentuhotep II, annexed both the western oasis region and northern Nubia.
With further investigations at Umm Mawagir, Dr. Darnell said, scholars may recognize the desert as a kind of fourth power, in addition to the Hyksos, Nubians and Thebans, in the political equation in those uncertain times. It was perhaps their control of desert roads and alliance with vibrant oasis communities that gave the Thebans an edge in the struggle to control Egypt’s future.
In any case, the ruins at a desert crossroads are another wonder of the ancient world. “People always marvel at the great monuments of the Nile Valley and the incredible architectural feats they see there,” Dr. Darnell said in the Yale alumni magazine. “But I think they should realize how much more work went into developing Kharga Oasis in one of the harshest, driest deserts on Earth.”
Gadgets Give Soldiers in Afghanistan a Slice of Home By Victor J. Blue September 13, 2010 | 6:00 am
The heat and the dust and the diesel fumes. The constant drone of the generators, of vehicles, of radio static. The same food everyday, the same meal in the same brown plastic bag. The constant danger and uncertainty. The confusion, wonder and consequences waiting for you outside the wire.
Soldiers and Marines deployed in Afghanistan don’t get a break from any of it. There are no days off. For a year-long deployment, you walk out of the wire every day and do your best to walk back in. These pictures were made during the small amount of downtime soldiers and Marines had while I was with them.
For every soldier I met, the little iPod, the hand-held video game or the digital camera in an ammo pouch –- the small, cheap and nearly disposable pieces of tech we take for granted –- are a lifeline. More than an escape from fighting an insurgency thousands of miles from home, they serve as a bridge. A link to the world they are so far away from, to a culture they are not so alien to, to the pictures and the movies and the songs. To outside the camo and kevlar and the guns. A way back home.
Read on for an on-the-ground look at how the tech we take for granted means more for soldiers in Afghanistan.
Why you can't trust robots A robot capable of deceit has been developed by American military researchers.
By Nick Collins Published: 7:30AM BST 11 Sep 2010
A new program enables a robot to detect whether another robot is susceptible to lies, and to use its gullibility against it by telling lies, researchers claim.
The robot could be capable of deceiving humans in a similar way, according to the scientists, based at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
The breakthrough could lead to military advances through the development of robots which can disarm bombs and carry wounded servicemen from danger.
Its understanding of the concept of deception would enable the robot to avoid being captured, the scientists said.
But fellow experts raised fears that the technology could further damage the image of robotics with the general public, and potentially lead to dangerous developments such as robots which hunt and gamble.
He told the Daily Mail: "One of the big problems with robotics is trying to get the public's trust. If robots are going to be deceptive, that could be a real problem."
U.S. hard-pressed to stem domestic R&D losses The nation's ability to turn ideas into products and profits at home has been eroded by deep manufacturing cuts and policies that result in others reaping the benefits. By Don Lee, Los Angeles Times
September 13, 2010
Reporting from Washington
President Obama's proposal to boost the research tax credit for businesses is widely seen as necessary to bolster American competitiveness in the global economy.
But even if the $100-billion plan is approved, it won't begin to address the fundamental question of how to turn that research and new technology into jobs and renewed prosperity for Americans.
Over the last two decades, U.S. scientists and engineers have discovered or pioneered the science behind one blockbuster product after another — from flat-panel screens and robotics to the lithium batteries that run next-generation power tools and electric cars.
Yet in almost every case, production, jobs and most of the economic benefits that sprang from those breakthroughs have ended up overseas.
America's innovative spirit may still be the envy of the world — major steps forward in nanotechnology and biomedical fields, among others, continue to be made in U.S. labs. But without more effective policies to translate those achievements into gains at home, the fruits of America's creative genius will probably continue to be reaped by others.
And new reports show that during the recession American companies ramped up investment overseas for plants and new hires, as well as research and development — even as they cut back domestically.
Foreign subsidiaries of U.S. corporations increased their spending on research and development by more than 7% in 2008 from the previous year, pushing the total to nearly $37 billion. But these same multinational companies sliced R&D expenditures in the U.S. that year 2.2% to $199 billion, Commerce Department data showed.
A similar but less dramatic difference was evident in hiring: Employment at these overseas units rose 1% in 2008 — and a stunning 15% in China — but was down 2% for the U.S. elements of the 2,200 multinational firms the Commerce Department studied.
Some of these jobs were lost to automation, but Obama and many independent economists said a big factor was the sharply different policy approaches of U.S. and foreign governments.
For decades, Washington has taken a largely hands-off, or laissez faire, approach, sometimes even adopting tax and other policies that critics said actively encourage the movement of manufacturing and other business activity overseas.
By contrast, export giants such as Germany, Japan and South Korea have embraced government policies — and even pressure tactics — that push businesses to maintain operations at home.
"Other countries do a much better job," said Robert Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a nonpartisan Washington think tank. "We're pretty much the only country with the illusion that we're not in competition with the rest of the world."
Obama, as he announced a package of stimulus measures last week in a Cleveland suburb, sought to sound a populist, even nationalistic note:
"Instead of tax loopholes that incentivize investment in overseas jobs," he said, "I'm proposing a more generous, permanent extension of the tax credit that goes to companies for all the research and innovation they do right here in Ohio, right here in the United States of America."
Some corporate chiefs bristle at the notion that they are exploiting loopholes. Rather, they said, they are sending work overseas because it's efficient and because otherwise they wouldn't be able to compete. And many would argue that American innovation and entrepreneurism remain the envy of world.
But there's little doubt that U.S. research investment has slipped from its once-preeminent position. By one common measure, private R&D spending as a share of economic output, the United States was No. 8 among developed countries in the latest tally by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Washington's funding for basic research, meanwhile, has been essentially flat since 2003, on an inflation-adjusted basis. The federal R&D budget for 2011 shows a decline, according to the National Science Foundation.
"This is the last trend one wants to see with global R&D spending continuing to grow rapidly," said Gregory Tassey, senior economist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, a federal agency promoting technology and industry.
Yet economists and business leaders worry that increasing support for U.S. laboratories and technology centers will not necessarily strengthen the economy.
The nation's ability to turn ideas into products and profits at home has been eroded by manufacturing cuts so deep that entire supply chains have vanished, and with them skilled labor, component makers and specialized companies needed to bring scientific discoveries to market.
Examples include A123 Systems Inc. in Massachusetts. With government support, the company is building plants in Michigan to produce its breakthrough lithium-ion batteries for electric cars, but as a start-up it had little choice but to rely on the technical and manufacturing capabilities of China to crank out products quickly to show potential customers.
Even then, despite its MIT-born technology, A123 lost out to a South Korean company to supply batteries for General Motors Co.'s Chevy Volt.
Similarly, the technology behind silicon-based solar panels was originally developed in America. But even as the solar panel industry took off in countries such as Germany, where it was backed by strong government policies, the industry in the U.S. declined, partly because electronics manufacturing and other production capabilities had dried up years earlier.
"If you just do breakthrough R&D and in the end don't make the stuff, that's a losing argument," said Ralph Gomory, a research professor at New York University and former head of research at IBM. He called it "the innovation delusion: We can design things; others will build them."
Apple Inc. has perfected the trend, making a fortune selling snazzy products that are designed by legions of creative people in the U.S. but manufactured almost entirely in China. Analysts note that Apple captures the bulk of the profit while the U.S. economy loses little in giving up low value-added assembly operations to the Chinese.
But Apple's case is rare. A lot of companies design things and try to hold on to the technology but eventually lose control over it in the process of using overseas manufacturers — or are beaten out by rivals who produce similar goods at cheaper prices.
So the decline of U.S. manufacturing has increasingly become an economic Achilles' heel.
"When products are designed and manufactured side by side in America, businesses can discover new efficiencies and develop second-, third- and fourth-generation upgrades that simply would never occur in a cloistered research lab," U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said in a speech early this year.
"When they are not, we allow other countries to develop new businesses and new jobs," he added.
At least a handful of efforts are underway to create such self-reinforcing systems in the U.S., including tech areas in New York's Hudson River Valley and in San Diego.
Forming similar clusters may be one way to compete against manufacturing powerhouses such as Germany and Japan, where government plays a much stronger role in driving research and pressing business leaders to focus on making and selling goods at home.
The question is whether these or other possible answers to the problem can be developed in the United States within the present ideological and policy framework, or whether more fundamental change would be required.
Monday, September 13, 2010 Video: UFOs Over Water - Noumea, New Caledonia
The objects were filmed from a cruise ship Pacific Jewel 7 in August 2010 while docked at Noumea, New Caledonia. There are several theories (kitesurfing, balloons, etc.) as to what these are but so far I haven't read or heard anything credible. I'll wait until I can see a stabilized version of the video before I make any conclusions. Most likely, there will be a simple explanation. Until then, it remains a mystery...Lon
UFO “skeptic” James Oberg is currently challenging the validity of the material found in journalist Leslie Kean’s excellent new book, “UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go on the Record.” Oberg is a founding member of a rather interesting organization, the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP) now renamed the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI).
Actually, CSI is a skeptical organization in name only when it comes to the subject of UFOs. For the real story, including the very interesting and generally-unpublicized past government affiliations of some of it's key members, including James Oberg, go to my website www.ufohastings.com and read my article “Reporter Duped by UFO Debunkers.”
My own research on UFO activity at nuclear weapons sites—as confirmed by declassified U.S. government documents and ex-military eyewitness testimony—will be presented at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. on September 27, 2010. At that press conference, seven ex-USAF personnel will divulge their knowledge of UFO incursions at ICBM sites and nuclear weapons depots during the Cold War era.
So what does this have to do with Oberg and his group CSI? Well, the organization's magazine, Skeptical Inquirer, has been edited since the early 1980s by Kendrick Frazier, whose profession is listed as “Science Writer” in the publisher's statement. Not mentioned (even in Frazier's own online bio) is the fact that he worked for 20-plus years as a Public Relations Specialist at Sandia Labs, a leading U.S. government nuclear weapons laboratory.
Consequently, here is the situation: Hundreds of declassified documents clearly establish a link between UFOs and nukes, a fact confirmed by over 120 ex-military personnel interviewed by myself. And who is responsible for the content of the leading debunking magazine—whose pages routinely feature articles discrediting UFOs and those who report them? Why, a PR guy who worked for two decades for the U.S. government’s nuclear weapons program!
Also not mentioned in Skeptical Inquirer magazine, but discussed in my article (referenced above) is the fact that James Oberg, a leading UFO debunker at CSI, was a USAF Security Officer for nukes-related information who once privately chastised another former USAF officer, Dr. Bob Jacobs, for publishing what turned out to be Top Secret information about the nukes-related Big Sur UFO case. Fortunately, Dr. Jacobs later published the key portions of Oberg's letter. All of the documented details relating to this are available at my website.
So, when someone claims that Oberg is a true UFO “skeptic” or that his baby, CSI/CSICOP, is an objective, scientifically-oriented group that has no ax to grind when it challenges those who release sensitive UFO-related information—including the highly-credible individuals presented in Leslie Kean's new book—please send them to my website to learn the facts.
BTW, Kean’s book, “UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go on the Record” contains the testimony of retired USAF Col. Charles Halt, who states that a UFO reportedly directed beams of light down into the nuclear weapons depot at the RAF Bentwaters airbase in England in December 1980. The book is currently #30 on the New York Times Non-Fiction Bestseller List. Let’s hope that it reaches #1 given that it should be read by everyone, skeptic and proponent alike.
Hello again, Robert. You may remember me from OMF.
Hi Wings, just to let you know I've been reading your blog from time to time - even though this is my first post in it. Anyway I've read quite a bit of the stuff, but I'm still trying to catch up with the nonsense.
Some great UFO vids you've posted btw - that one in Hawaii for example. Keep em coming!
Monday, September 13, 2010 Among the Spirits - Part I
Screen capture of Irene Block during an 1998 episode of her television show. A actual photograph of her spiritual family, the Morgans (Herbert, Annie and Myra), is superimposed
“We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey”...Stephen R. Covey
A few months ago I started to correspond with Irene Block, a remarkable and talented English woman living in Wales, who has the ability to recognize and communicate with earthbound spirits as well as see events from the past and in the future. The reason we started to converse was not for a specific purpose but more likely part of an inevitable course. In the short time I have known Irene I better understand that those who once physically resided on this plane should be respected and allowed to reveal their personal history and current situation to us. Irene is also the founder of Spirit Rescue International, a non-profit spiritual, paranormal and supernatural guidance and support group that uses remote viewing and other complementary therapies.
“The paradox of reality is that no image is as compelling as the one which exists only in the mind's eye”...Shana Alexander
I could sit here and attempt to tell you about Irene but I will oblige her to do so in her own words. The following are excerpts from Irene's yet unpublished and unedited manuscript. This excerpt describes an episode when a paranormal television production crew filmed in Irene's home in Wales and Irene didn't tell the medium who she was or that she knew the spirits in the house:
"I received a phone call from a friend of mine, a well known Medium who herself had been contacted by a London production company asking her if she knew of any homes that were haunted for a television program they were wanting to shoot, could she suggest mine. I wasn’t too sure of this but said she could pass my telephone number on to them, so they could contact me, in the meantime I would think about it. Within 24 hours I received a phone call from their London office the man whose on the other end of the phone introduced himself as the producer. He told me that the program was going to be about a celebrity medium who would come into the home, talk with the spirits and find out who they were and why they were there. Well my curiosity, I am ashamed to say, was getting the better of me, I decided not to tell them who or what I was, just to let them think I was a housewife living in a haunted house.
I discussed it with Brian and we decided to go ahead and do it, there was no money to be made by doing it. The only reward the producer said that we would get was the history of our house. I didn’t have the heart to tell him I already knew it. It was arranged for one of their interviewers to come out and talk to me about the program the following week. The week seemed to fly by and it was not long before a car with two young men in it pulled up on my drive. Going out to meet them I was introduced to a lad called Marty who was the interviewer and the other lad was Tom. Tom was a cameraman. Marty was very good at his job and soon put me at ease. He was clever with his questioning about the house, before I realised it I had told them all they needed to know about the house and its spirits. So here we were talking about a television programme about a house and a haunting and the fact that the idea of the show was that the celebrity medium would come in and by being in touch with the spirits, sort out who they were, why they are here and solve the haunting....but wait, I have already given them all the information they needed.
As I said there was no money in this for us, our reward was to have the history of the house which I had already given to them. The only money that would change hands was one pound coin which had to be paid to us to seal the contract we signed. Funny thing is they must have forgot to give even that to us. As we waited for the day to come when they would all arrive from London, more and more I had the feeling I didn’t want this to happen and nearly called the production company many times to cancel it. On several occasions I would ask my guides what should I do and the answer always returned the same “out of this will come three.” I had no idea what they meant but decided in the end they knew best. The film people wanted anyone there that had seen things happening in the house so my mother and sister and nieces came down from London. The day of the shoot was soon upon us and the crew turned up in their droves, Special lights and cameras were rigged up in the house and garden it looked like something off of a movie set...God only knows what the villagers thought was going on. I know there was a lot of curtain twitching.
The first days shooting was taken up with interviews being shot. They wanted to know all the things that had happened in the house, like doors slamming, things being moved, the coins that were found piled up in neat little stacks in the kitchen even the Black shape that I call an astral critter that travelled across the ceiling that both I and Brian had witnessed and much more. They even had a child actress to re-enactment part of the apparition of Annie that I saw that first day standing looking out of the bedroom window, a child because someone on the team made a mistake and didn’t book an adult. They filmed the child at the bedroom window she had been dressed in Edwardian clothes for the filming and looked beautiful. Then they filmed her sneaking into the kitchen and stacking up the coins. They tied fishing wire to places to cause special effects like on the under stairs cupboard door to make the door fly open as it did on the night of the storm and had me and mum shuffling out there in the dark acting out the part of the power cut that day when trying to find candles. Someone had to pull the wire at the right exact moment, at least 12 takes of this was filmed and my elderly mum was getting tired doing the same thing over and over. Retake after retake was shot all day until the producer was satisfied with what they had filmed. All this time they had no idea who I was and what I did, that’s the way I wanted to keep it.
That night a very tall man arrived, who was the parapsychologist and he put a camera into my bedroom which was to stay there all night in order to see what it could capture. He asked us not to sleep in that room that night and if we could just before settling down to sleep go in there and switch it on. With this, after a busy day, the crew all left to go to their hotel for the night.
Myself and my family stood around talking for a while about what had happened and what would be happening the next day before retiring to bed. Brian and I had already decided as the camera was in our bedroom that we would sleep downstairs in the sitting room with the dogs to keep them quiet. My sister, Mum and my nieces went upstairs to the guest rooms and on the way one of them went into my room and switched on the camera as asked. Besides Mum getting up in the middle of the night to go to the loo all remained quiet.
The second day, the team arrived early and again started to set up cameras and lighting. They took shots of the house and surrounding area, done some more filming indoors with us and as the evening drew near they started taking night shots in all the rooms and the outside of the house. About 7PM a 'flash car' drew up in the drive, it was a Porsche. This was the medium arriving. He was brought into the house and introduced to us. I recognised him straight away from other television paranormal programmes. He was young and quite good looking and I watched my nieces faces as they went into swoon mode...I could tell they thought he was fit.
Time was now getting on and they decided to shoot the main part of the show that involved the medium coming up with all his stuff and exorcising the house. I had already made it clear to them that in no way were they going to be exorcising my spirit family and had been assured that he wouldn’t. He would only get rid of anything that was negative in the house. I had to giggle at that one, knowing that there was nothing negative in my house. I was looking forward to how they were going to get over that bit. Still they had no idea about me and when I had shaken hands with the young medium I had got nothing from him where as I would normally do if someone had a strong gift. The medium started his walk about the house feeling for energy as he said. Well I knew there was high energy about I could feel that my spirit family was not impressed with all this going on. As the cameras were following us about we went from one room to the other and he was sensing someone here and someone there although I knew he was on the wrong track and the rooms he was entering had nothing in them at all. I just went along with it.
The luminous aurora displays that make up Earth's northern lights may get a boost Monday night from a fresh eruption on the sun. Skywatchers in the northern latitudes could see dazzling auroras as a result of the sun eruption that occurred late Friday, according to Spaceweather.com, a website that monitors solar weather.
The eruption was a coronal mass ejection that was not aimed directly at Earth but was expected to deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field, Spaceweather.com said. It could amplify the aurora displays for skywatchers in parts of Alaska, Canada, Iceland, Greenland and Scandavia, the website added.
Friday's coronal mass ejection came two days after another powerful solar flare.