Posted tagged ‘Monsters and Mysteries Unsolved’

“Life After Life” on Monsters and Mysteries Unsolved

October 20, 2016

 

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In another “mystery” episode, S1/Ep13 of “Monsters and Mysteries Unsolved” touched on the near death experiences of three individuals.  

One case was that of 19-year-old Christine Stine in Germany who when broadsided by a truck wound up near death in a hospital emergency room. Her heart stopped, and she later reported perceiving herself to be hovering near the ceiling, observing the medical team frantically working on her body below. Following this she perceived herself to be walking barefoot in a brightly colored and friendly heavenly realm where she was greeted by grandparents whom she had previously only seen in photographs. She also met happy and healthy appearing acquaintances who had also passed on. Her grandparents then kind of guided her back to life, where she was reunited with her body and survived. The woman remained very convinced of the reality of her experiences.

A second case involved that of Dr. Eben Alexander, a Virginia neurologist. Suffering bacterial meningitis, he went into seizures and wound up in deep coma. With even his pupils non-reactive to light his survival seemed questionable, but after five days his consciousness returned, and he recounted first having disturbing afterlife experiences, then being in a better place.

A third case was that of Anita Moorjani, a woman in Hong Kong who suffered from Hodgekin’s Disease.  One day in February of 2006, she didn’t wake up and appeared lifeless although she reported later that her mind was churning.  During this interval, she experienced vivid memories of seeing the afterlife, where she met a deceased friend.  She later came out of her coma, but claimed awareness during the comatose state.  Tumors associated with her condition vanished after about three weeks.

Now end of life experiences are not well-researched, but a critical care physician named Dr. Chawla was profiled who noted that EEG spikes of two to three minutes duration occur after clinical death when the blood pressure drops to zero.  Near death experiences would appear to occur during this time.  About 20% of people who suffer cardiac arrest describe near death experiences (NDE’s).  Death is a process, not a moment in time, and it would appear that some electrical activity occurs in the heart and brain even after blood pressure drops to zero.  During this time, we may draw upon deep memories and cultural conditioning to determine what visions we see.  In that the three cases portrayed were convinced that they had a glimpse of life after death, near death experiences may have real life effects…

“Monsters of the Deep” on Monsters and Mysteries Unsolved

August 30, 2016

 

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The S1/Ep06 episode of Monsters and Mysteries Unsolved focused on unidentified and unconfirmed aquatic cryptids reported in Loch Ness, Scotland; Lake Champlain, Vermont; and Vancouver Island, Canada.  Reports of creatures in all three locations were largely based on eyewitness observations, occasionally accompanied by a blurry photograph taken at some distance.  

Sightings of the celebrated Loch Ness Monster date back to the 6th century, and the series touched upon two recent observations reported in 2003 and 2010.  Both were of course inconclusive, with one recent image discounted by experts as likely light reflections on the water.  The notion that the Loch Ness creature was a plesiosaur was also briefly considered, but dismissed by experts as being very unlikely.

Acoustics were used by a vessel profiled in the Lake Champlain segments that hoped to capture echolocation sounds.  While a couple of rapping sounds were heard, they were not thought to be bioacoustic in origin.  Likewise no confirming evidence was found of the creature reported to frequent the waters off Vancouver Island, Canada. 

As it was pointed out, any reported site of a water monster would not be comprised of a single individual, but rather have to have a breeding population of perhaps fifty or more specimens for a population to be viable and capable of continuing its existence.  Investigations will continue at all three sites profiled, likely for the foreseeable future…

“Doomsday Prophecies” on “Monsters & Mysteries Unsolved”

August 9, 2016

 

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The Monsters and Mysteries Unsolved series to date has been big on mysteries, but not so much on monsters.  I find this disappointing, as I can best find fulfillment with monsters! Having said that, I’ll again dutifully review yet another meandering episode on mysteries that again covered well-worn and familiar territory, namely “Doomsday Prophecies.”

The show began with a consideration of “Doomsday Preppers” in rural Texas.   Such people hardly qualify as prophets, beyond gut sentiments that the world is going to hell in a handbasket, and nukes or multiple calamities are about to fly.  When it does, they feel that they’ll be ready with their guns, crops, livestock, and fenced-in defended perimeters. “Bug out” drills are even practiced in case flight from a homestead becomes necessary.

For simple name recognition and as the gold standard in prophesy, it’s hard to beat Nostradamus, the 16th century French physician and astrologer. The death of his family from plague in 1538 may have given birth to Nostradamus’ prophetic gifts, with his predicted details of the then-future said to include the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and the 9/11 attacks on the United States.  Critics, however, contend that prophecies derived from the cryptic writings of Nostradamus have fitted an event to a verse after they have happened.  

Codes in the Torah have also been decoded with computer-assisted cryptography, and are said to contain allusions to historic events.  Here again critics say that predictions are retrofitted to an event, and that such predictions gleaned are a product of chance, not divine design.  Similar “predictions” and prophecies can be obtained when the techniques are applied to other works, including such titles as Moby Dick.  

Also touched upon were Mayan prophesies, with the Dresden Codex said to predict the end of the world.  The Mayans found prophesies in the stars, demonstrating an advanced understanding of astronomy, and seeing world experiences as being great cycles of time.  

What conclusions were drawn out of the hour’s wandering investigations?  Namely, that people tend to read into data whatever they want to, bending it into a conclusion that often is predetermined. Prophecies in this light are dark delusions that never really come true…

 

“Mystery Lights” on Monsters & Mysteries Unsolved

July 31, 2016

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Unexplained lights of unknown origin, mystery lights appear without warning or explanation, and were featured in a recent episode of Monsters and Mysteries:  Unsolved.

…Marfa, Texas, for example, is considered a mystery light “hotspot.” While the glowing orbs usually appear bouncing around on the horizon, in a 1994 incident the Marfa lights appeared to chase a moving vehicle, leading some to speculate that there was an intelligence behind them. Dr. James Bunnell, a former NASA engineer and Marfa lights researcher, has constructed autonomous viewing stations, and feels that the lights represent a chemical process going on.

On Brown Mountain, North Carolina, lights have been seen for hundreds of years, and have been considered spiritual, a kind of residual haunting. A more scientific perspective is that granite deposits in the mountain create electromagnetic fields that power the phenomena in a piezoelectric fashion. Dr. Dan Caton, an astronomer at the Dark Sky Observatory, considers the lights to be related to ball lightning. Footage captured by paranormal researcher Joshua Warren on Brown Mountain was examined by Dr. Onad of Princeton University, who thought the light source high energy, and possibly related to gamma or x-rays.

Lights have also been associated with earthquake activity in places like Japan. Dr. Freund in studying the phenomena there found that rocks produce electric current when deformed and pressured.

Mystery Lights in the sky have been studied by Project Hessdaler in Norway for over two decades. The lights are found to interact with the landscape in strange ways, and to move like anything known on Earth. This leads us to a UFO connection, with author Nick Redfern noting that WWII fighters saw luminous “foo fighters” felt to exhibit intelligence. Many pilots since have witnessed mystery lights. In an example cited, Dr. Torres in Manston, England in 1957 engaged a target at 32,000 feet; although himself traveling at almost Mach 1, the target eluded him, and was estimated to be moving at Mach 10. The pilot was told not to talk about his mission, which was finally declassified in 2006.

So whether you believe that mystery lights in the skies are a natural process, spiritual, or of extraterrestrial origin, heed the advice of 1950’s sci fi movies, and watch the skies! Doing so has got to be better than watching reality TV, right?  

“Sasquatch Planet” on Monsters & Mysteries Unsolved

July 26, 2016

 

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The subject of Bigfoot is well-worn terrain on most paranormal shows, and the third episode of the Monsters and Mysteries Unsolved series sought to take us there yet again by examining Sasquatch evidence and encounters, and wound up taking a rather skeptical overall tone.  Steven Kulls, a former private investigator, had his own personal encounter with a supposed Bigfoot in 2011.  Returning to the location of his sighting in the Adirondack Mountains of New York with thermal cameras, a “bionic ear,” and a digital video recording system, Kulls and his team established a security perimeter but failed to discover anything.  They were quick to point out that their failure to discover Bigfoot didn’t mean that he wasn’t out there…

In Pocatello, Idaho a group of high school students saw what they thought to be a Bigfoot at a distance, taking video footage of the same as well as a photo of a footprint.  Their footage was examined by biological anthropologist Dr. Kathy Gonder, who thought that the creature filmed was massive and reflected fluid body movement, although she rather thought that the thing filmed was a bear.  One of the students in the group claimed familiarity with bears, however, and disputed that the sighting was that of a black bear.

Another sighting briefly covered was that of a Canadian woman who in 2007 heard a screaming creature off a deer trail, hearing it running and breaking branches.  She fled to her vehicle following this uncomfortably close encounter.  A mammalogist and anatomist pointed to such aggressive behaviors as being typical of the great apes.

Dr. Joe Nickell, an author and investigator, felt that Sasquatch and Bigfoot are basically major myths that show analogues in other cultures, and have basically migrated between cultures.  Mammalogist and anatomist Dr. Sarmiento echoed this, feeling that belief in Bigfoot fills a void, a need to believe.  In summation, most of the experts presented felt that available evidence for Bigfoot’s existence falls far short of the standard of proof required.  Needed are bones, a carcass, or clear and convincing camera trap evidence…

Crop Circles on “Monsters and Mysteries Unsolved”

July 15, 2016

 

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The second episode of “Monsters and Mysteries Unsolved” again hit on mysteries rather than monsters with an installment on crop circles, about 100 of which are sighted each year around the world, but usually in the United Kingdom and most often in fields of wheat and barley, appearing overnight.

Now about 90% of crop circles are fake, but a small percentage are not man-made. It’s possible to tell if they are not caused by human effort by damage done to the crop, which is thought to be from some sort of energy which causes nodes on the plants to expand and ultimately explode. Several different mechanical methods can also cause such damage, however.

Some UFO sightings have been reported in the vicinity of crop circles, and video footage exists. A video analyst examined one such tape, and pronounced it original without the object having been externally added. The specialist could not, however, identify the object depicted, which appeared in the footage as a glowing orb.

Midwestern U.S. formations appear to show a connection to one another, with the circles linked geographically in a straight line pointing directly to other crop circles. It might appear that such circles are not singular, isolated events, but rather parts of a series.

So what does this all mean? An explanation was not advanced, other than to say that crop circles were a phenomena which could not be pigeonholed. Questions were raised, but few were answered…

“Alien Encounters” on “Monsters and Mysteries Unsolved”

July 1, 2016

 

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The good news is that at last there’s a new paranormal show airing new episodes, but the jury is still out on “Monsters and Mysteries Unsolved,” which debuted on the Destination America channel with a first episode titled, “Alien Encounters.”

Now don’t get me wrong…I really want to like this show, but I’m not sold yet.  There are some things that I liked, such as the inclusion of actual astronomers, astrophysicists, and other credentialed people on the show.  The episode simply didn’t have a great flow or direction to it, bouncing around episodically and unevenly from one UFO sighting to another without much unity to it in a manner I found unsatisfying.  Some of the material was old, familiar stuff; considerable time was spent on Roswell, for example, without adding anything new to what we’ve already heard many times before.

Reference was made to the “Phoenix Lights” sightings in 1997 when a large, delta-shaped object was witnessed flying in a mile-wide formation by hundreds of people in Arizona, with more individual lights later seen.  Aspersion was cast upon the official explanation of the lights as being “military flares.” Also covered was a December 1980 incident at Rendlesham Forest in England where strange lights were seen on successive nights and investigated by the military. Another 1975 incident from Pensacola, Florida involved a former U.S. Marine pilot on a training flight who observed a round, red object with defined edges that moved unlike anything he had seen before or since.

To me the most interesting segments of this show involved the efforts of special effects photographer and movie maker Doug Trumbull, who is taking powerful investigative equipment in a specially modified vehicle to locations deemed favorable to UFO sightings. Perhaps through his efforts and others like himself, more credible investigations may be performed.

In my area, Monsters and Mysteries Unsolved airs Thursday at nine p.m. on the Destination America channel, which is kind of paranormal central for shows of this type. Spread the word, and hopefully upcoming episodes will be more satisfying…