A bunch of U.S. troops think they saw Bigfoot in Vietnam
Blake Stilwell September 10, 2015
In the Kontum Province of Vietnam, near the borders with Laos and Cambodia, there were many reports from U.S. troops on patrols of a strange, not-quite-human but not-quite-ape creature the locals call Nguoi Rung, or “The people of the Forest.” In other words: Bigfoot.
Gary Linderer was on a six-man patrol with the 101st Airborne’s Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols. While struggle through the underbrush, he ran into “deep set eyes on a prominent brow… five feet tall, with long muscular arms.” The creature “walked upright with broad shoulders and a heavy torso.” His battle buddies told him he just saw a rock ape, but Linderer had seen Rock Apes before. This was no Rock Ape.
Like the Yeti in the Himalayas, and the Sasquatch sightings all over North America, the Nguoi Rung is a oft-told tale in the area, but despite endless the sightings and folklore attached to the semi-mythical creature, no concrete evidence exists. Linderer wasn’t the only witness, either. Army Sgt. Thomas Jenkins reported his platoon was attacked by these apes throwing stones.
Toward the end of the war, Viet Cong and NVA soldiers reported so many sightings of the reddish-brown hair-covered Nguoi Rung the North Vietnamese communist party secretariat ordered scientists to investigate.
Dr. Vo Quy, a respected ornithologist and environmental researcher from Hanoi, discovered a Nguoi Rung footprint on the forest floor and made a cast of it. The cast was wider than a human foot and too big for an ape. In 1982, another Vietnamese scientist, Tran Hong Viet discovered more footprints, which led zoologist John MacKinnon to investigate the region. MacKinnon called the area a “tiny, pristine corner of the world unknown to modern science.”
In 1969, MacKinnon discovered manlike footprints in Borneo’s jungles, which the locals called Batatut. While much of the evidence surrounding the existence of these apes is anecdotal, MacKinnon, known for his discovery of new mammal species in Vietnam, believes there is a possibility the existence of a previously unknown ape species is real.
The account of Nguoi Rung meeting American GIs in Vietnam was first published in Kregg P.J. Jorgenson’s Very Crazy, GI: Strange But True Stories of the Vietnam War.
Lieutenant Uhura is Boarding NASA's Airplane Observatory Today
Nichelle Nichols, the actress who played Lt. Uhura on Star Trek, will head up to the upper atmosphere on Wednesday.
Nichelle Nichols has played a space explorer for 50 years as Lt. Uhura on Star Trek, but today, she'll go up on a real NASA mission. She'll just be a few dozen miles short of space, and a few light years short of the Enterprise's typical mission.
Nichols is flying up on NASA's SOFIA observatory. The specially outfitted Boeing 747 carries the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy instrumentation, which makes observations in infrared of planetary atmospheres, distant supernova, comets, and other objects not always easy to see from the ground in the visible spectrum. By flying into the stratosphere, the plane is above interference from water vapor.
Nichols will be one of the first non-essential personnel to fly on the plane. She'll be fielding questions from Twitter users alongside SOFIA personnel. The SOFIA team will make observations of star forming regions on its flight tomorrow, as well as observing a protostar in the Constellation Taurus. To follow along on the 10 hour flight, check out SOFIA or Nichol's Twitter accounts. The flight is set for an 8 p.m. PST departure from California, flying over Nevada, Colorado, and other states, crossing over into Alberta air space, then returning to Southern California.
Here’s How Science Might Be Beneficial to Bigfoot Research
September 16, 2015 by Micah Hanks
Texas is one of the largest, and thus also one of the most diverse states in the United States. A broad range of different terrains are presented there, from arid deserts to thick forests that leave little to the imagination in terms of what they might be capable of hiding.
North of Dallas, game wardens and law enforcement have recently been probing the backwoods in search of a hidden cache worth a fortune: more specifically, a marijuana operation valued at around $6.5 million.
However interesting this story may be in itself, it gets even better with the addition of a final, rather odd twist. Houston Chronicle reports that the 6,550 marijuana plants, discovered on an acre-wide section of a wildlife management area over the weekend, weren’t the only thing they found:
Authorities were alerted to the site near the Sulphur River after hog hunters spotted the growers’ campsite. An overnight hunt by game wardens for suspects was hampered by bigfoot hunters hoping to find the elusive Sasquatch, KETR reports.
While Bigfoot hunters were found during the operation, the mythical beast himself, however, was unavailable for comment (as usual).
Following this report, I took to social media with the story, and asked what, I felt, are some important questions; not just in relation to Bigfoot, and whether those who seek to prove the creature’s existence are in the “right” or “wrong” in such instances, but more having to do with the necessity for involvement from the scientific community, if such a thing could be attained.
Below is my brief missive on what benefits could be derived from the scientific study of Bigfoot, albeit in ways, and involving certain branches of study, that are generally excluded from the discussion:
If Bigfoot’s existence is something that can be proven, I wish we could get a good group of anthropologists out there doing the field work needed to make that determination. While the work of the “weekend warriors” can be admired for the determination it represents, here we see that it can actually become a hinderance to other official activities, which thus paints the “research” being attempted in a bad light.
Biologists who would be willing to consider the possibility that an indigenous species of hominid could exist would be hard to come by, to say the least; but if not physical scientists who would take up the case, perhaps returning to anthropology, a cultural study of belief systems and traditions associated with things like Sasquatch could reveal useful data just as well; a stepping stone, perhaps, toward an eventual scientific approach that would deal with the more tangible elements of the mystery, if any are truly to be found.
What about our statisticians, or others who might assist from a mathematical perspective? I’m fairly certain that “Bigfoot” isn’t something many mathematicians would devote time to thinking about, but if they could be compelled to do so, they might lend useful data pertaining to trends associated with purported encounters, or perhaps, at very least, information that associates trends with cultural beliefs and regional traditions that our anthropologists might discern.
What we need, I think, rather than those who “hunt” Bigfoot, is a multidisciplinary, scientific approach to the study of what has become a pervasive element within American folklore, as well as traditions held elsewhere around the world. The call for serious scientists, and those willing to take such a subject seriously, is a necessary one.
My objective here, as it has been in the past, is not to dissuade those who believe in Bigfoot from doing so. Rather, it is to examine whether there are areas where science may help us to understand the phenomenon of belief itself, in addition to yielding data that might contribute to the mystery in more productive ways. The research community (as far as believers go) have argued the case for Bigfoot’s existence for decades, and with little evidence coming to light that has proven useful in helping make determinations about whether a creature does exist, which might warrant further study by the academic community.
Despite the lack of data needed to compel scientists toward becoming involved, the areas of study I outlined in my commentary here would allow for research that would still be beneficial to such areas as anthropology and the social sciences, with or without necessarily having to be focused on making a final determination about whether Bigfoot exists.
Could this approach be of use to broadening our scientific knowledge? Absolutely… and I would further wager that such a study might bear fruit for the Bigfoot community just as well, if either side would be willing to engage the other with hope of furthering such efforts.
US Air Force Tries To Force Sheahan Family Off Land Next To Area 51
By majestic on September 8, 2015 in News
A couple of years ago I spent a great day in Colorado with a local friend and one of his neighbors. It emerged that the neighbor was a member of the Sheahan family of Nevada and he entertained me with tales about mining the family property at Groom Lake, which is next to the US Air Force’s legendary Area 51. Needless to say I pumped him for stories about what unusual things he’d seen and he delivered, but what he talked about most was the government’s unrelenting efforts to kick his family off the land they’d owned for generations.
Once I headed back east I didn’t think too much more about it until this week’s revelations that the federal government has a made a “final offer” to the Sheahans of $5.2 Million to force them off their land. The family hasn’t spoken out until now, aside from off the record conversations like the one I enjoyed, but they’ve now entered the court of public opinion. The key interviews so far are with local Las Vegas media. Glen Meek of Las Vegas Now recorded this:
The Groom Mine has been in the Sheahan family for 130 years. Since military testing started in the mid 50’s, the family has had one of the nation’s most closely guarded secrets literally in their backyard.
They have never spoken about it publicly — until now.
“First, we really didn’t want to come public, but the Air Force has forced us into it. We want ’em to know what they have done over the last 60 years to our family is not acceptable,” said Dan Sheahan, Groom Mine co-owner. “These were fired over our property. The bullets, the cases dropped on the ground right there and then.”
The Sheahans say their buildings have been strafed and bombed by military jets over the past six decades. They believe it was an errant bomb or dropped wing tank that blew up their mill in the 1950’s — ending production at the mine.
“My grandfather and my grandmother, Dan and Martha Sheahan, were destroyed at the hands of this government,” said Ben Sheahan.
“They went to the poorhouse trying to win their case of the mill that was destroyed by the Air Force. We have some evidence they absolutely were the culprits in that, and it was never addressed,” said Barbara Sheahan-Manning, Groom Mine co-owner. “They literally ran our grandparents out of money trying to fight them.”
“They have driven away prospective business partners and told them, ‘If you buy the place or try to operate, we are going to condemn it, and you’re going lose your money,'” Dan Sheahan said.
In recent decades, the government has withdrawn large tracts of land around Area 51 and posted sentries to keep preying eyes off the base.
“We’ve been illegally searched. I was threatened to be arrested on a trip when I was going out one time to get on our land, our own privately owned land,” Sheahan-Manning said…
[continues at Las Vegas Now]
The family also spoke to the Las Vegas Review Journal and told Keith Rogers that they are rejecting the offer:
Members of the Sheahan family said Monday they have rejected the Air Force’s $5.2 million offer to buy their land and mining claims near Groom Mine, next to the secret Area 51 installation where the U.S. military and CIA have tested spy planes and stealth aircraft for six decades.
Joe Sheahan, 54, of Henderson, said the family has decided to decline the final offer that the Air Force made public last week because “we want to keep our property.”
He said the Air Force has threatened to take control of their property through eminent domain on Sept. 10 if the family doesn’t accept the offer.
His cousins Ben Sheahan, 56, Danny Sheahan, 58, and Barbara Sheahan Manning, 59, — all from Henderson — said their stake in the combined 400 acres of property and unpatented mining claims is worth considerably more, not counting the reparations they say they are owed by the Air Force and Department of Energy for “abuses and atrocities” that date back to the early 1950s. That’s when they said their ore processing mill was fire-bombed by a military jet and their property was showered by radioactive fallout from numerous above-ground nuclear weapons tests.
Most recently, when some family members visited the property in the restricted area 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas — as the Air Force has allowed them to do about once a month — guards held them at gunpoint, including a 7-year-old girl who was “traumatized” by the show of force, Danny Sheahan said.
“It seems like machine guns solve anything on the property out there. That’s not the American way,” he said…
[continues at the Las Vegas Review Journal]
It’s quite a story and the Sheahans are not going to be forced off their family land without a fight. They’re due to be interviewed by CNN this evening if you want to keep up with the story.
CIA declassifies trove of Cold War-era intelligence memos
By Associated Press September 16 2015
AUSTIN, Texas — As the U.S. and Russia reached the brink of nuclear war in 1962, President John F. Kennedy received top-secret intelligence from the CIA that a new warhead launcher was spotted in Cuba.
Amid those grave concerns, the memo ends on a different note. A U.S. agent in Moscow describes “packed houses and enthusiastic applause” during a run of Russian performances by the New York City Ballet.
That report, given to Kennedy a day before the end of the Cuban Missile Crisis, is among roughly 19,000 pages of newly declassified CIA documents from the Cold War released Wednesday. Stamped “For the President’s Eyes Only” on some pages, the dossiers were delivered daily by the spy agency to the White House.
Known as the President’s Daily Brief— President Barack Obama is the first to swipe through his on a tablet — they are tightly guarded rundowns of CIA intelligence from around the globe. For the first time, some of the oldest briefs being made public, starting with those written in the 1960s for presidents Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.
Conspiracy theorists mining for signs of nefarious CIA plots are likely to be disappointed. Many of the briefs remain partially redacted, and what isn’t won’t rewrite textbooks.
Instead, historians say, the memos reveal the real-time intelligence that shaped pivotal decisions made in the Oval Office after the Bay of Pigs and through Vietnam.
“These are an incomparable window into how a president thinks,” said William Inboden, who worked under President George W. Bush and now leads the Clements Center for National Security at the University of Texas at Austin. “When we’re reading these, it’s a mirror image of what the president’s concerns were.”
On Nov. 22, 1963, Kennedy awoke in a Fort Worth, Texas, hotel to an intelligence memo that concluded that a Soviet anti-missile paraded in Moscow appeared only designed for use in the atmosphere. In Japan, meanwhile, an election did not change the balance of power. At least one page in the briefing remains classified.
Later that day, after Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, the CIA published a second brief. It contained no intelligence but a poem Kennedy was fond of reciting.
“Bullfight critics ranked in rows/Crowd the enormous plaza full/But only one is there who knows/And he’s the man who fights the bull.”
Even for Johnson, who as vice president was famously kept out of Kennedy’s inner circle, the CIA briefs would have been an unfamiliar sight until being abruptly elevated to commander in chief, said Mark Updegrove, director of the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin. The briefs in the days following Kennedy’s death also say almost nothing about the assassination, except for a how it apparently “acted as a catalyst” in ending a political stalemate in Italy.
As Johnson settled into office, the briefs became heavy with intelligence from Vietnam, and by the fall of 1967, a section titled “Special Daily Report on North Vietnam” was added. Inboden said the CIA reports appear to show Johnson becoming so concerned with eroding public support that he sought updates on what Hanoi thought of war protesters back in the U.S.
The release of the briefs was paved by a 2009 executive order from Obama stating that all classified materially will automatically undergo a declassification review and release after 25 years. The full collection of briefs from the Kennedy and Johnson era are posted on the CIA’s website.