Aliens that come
from the land of nod
The London Telegraph

11 September 1996

People who claim to have been abducted by aliens may simply have been half dreaming or on the verge of sleep, according to a psychologist at the University of the West of England.

Most dreams seem real while you sleep but become nonsense when you wake up. Other experiences, however, such as sleep paralysis, are deeply confusing, said Dr Susan Blackmore.

It can happen when you are tired, over-worked, excited or worried. You may wake up while you are still paralysed from dreaming. Whining or roaring noises, the sensation of shaking, flashing lights and stars are reported by sufferers.

"Many cultures have sleep paralysis myths and it may also explain the medieval notion of the incubus and succubus -- nocturnal demons who seduced innocent people," Dr Blackmore said. "Nowadays people are more likely to report that an alien whisked them off to a spaceship where they were operated on, sexually manipulated, and returned to bed."

Although such experiences can be scary, she said, some people found the out-of-body, floating and flying sensations so enjoyable that they tried to induce sleep paralysis on purpose. "If you want to explore your own inner worlds, this is a drug-free and painless way to do it, as long as the ogres and goblins don't get you."

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Zabo Conspiracy
"Defies Definition"
Reuters News Service

June, 1997 [Reuters] -- Edward Zabo (right), an electrical inspector at the Northrop Grumman Corporation, was arrested on June 21, 1996, and charged with possession of radioactive materials. A grand jury on Long Island returned indictments against three men: John J. Ford, Joseph Mazzuchelli, and Zabo. Believing that space aliens in a large UFO had crashed on Long Island in 1995 and that county officials were covering it up by starting fires, they allegedly plotted with others to assassinate the officials by placing radioactive radium in their food. This, they figured, would create a power vacuum which would allow the group to seize control of the county government and thus expose the crash. Said district attorney James Catterson, "This all convinces me that there is a side to humanity that defies definition." Zabo's bail was set at $100,000.

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"Cosmic Voyage"
Book Defended
by Chuck Shepherd
Source: Reuters

July, 1997

In his book, Cosmic Voyage, Courtney Brown, a political science professor at Emory University in Atlanta, claims he uses the technique of "remote viewing" to travel visually through space and time, to observe other galaxies, and to talk with Jesus. Brown, pointing to his impressive resume (which includes a stint at the Jimmy Carter Center), defends his work against skeptics: "I'd be crazy if I went public with something like this without being certain about what's going on." Since he believes there is a Martian civilization in New Mexico, he admits that if NASA's probe of Mars next year contradicts him, "I'd be dead as an academic."

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Swamp Gas
in the Magic Kingdom
by Conrad Goeringer

Florida -- (September, 1996) -- While we can cheer a Disney decision to stand up to religious prudery, we still must remember that Mickey Mouse is still mostly about making money. Disney is also a purveyor of pseudo-science trash, including a revamped attraction at its Tomorrowland exhibit at Disneyworld, Florida called "The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien En-counter" (Right: artist's conception of Disneyland's Observatron). This $100,000,000 project tries to convince us that UFOs, alien abduction and even the inevitable government cover-up are genuine. And a film titled "Alien Encounters from Tomorrow Land" has reportedly resulted in what the Orlando Sentinel terms a "frenzy of delight" from UFO buffs.

The film was made by freelance producer Andy Thomas, who according to the Sentinel is a "UFO believer." The narrator is actor Robert Urich, who has certainly fallen from grace in his former role as Spenser For Hire.

"This is not swamp gas. It is not a flock of birds. This is an actual spacecraft piloted by alien intelligence -- one sighting from tens of thousands made over the last 50 years on virtually every continent on the globe," says Urich.

Equally questionable is the contention that "Intelligent life from distant galaxies is now attempting to make open contact with the human race..."

Disney executives like Michael Eisner may or may not believe in such pop-culture detritus, and the Sentinel notes that "A huge financial incentive exists for Disney to get as much marketing mileage as possible" from this latest attraction." It seems to us, though, that while the Magic Kingdom was just fantasy for kids, it is now being sold to credulous adults as "the real thing."

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Abductees' Support
Group Formed
by Chuck Shepherd

May 3, 1993 -- Los Angeles hypnotherapist Yvonne Smith said that more than 30 people had joined her support group of those who say they have been abducted by aliens. The group meets in Smith's home once a month to discuss problems in coping with memories of aliens' sexual assaults, with aliens' planting of tracking devices inside abductees' bodies, and with abductees' methods of distinguishing between alien abductions and abductions engineered by the CIA. Said Smith, "Because [alien abduction] is controversial, there's still a certain stigma attached to it."

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Frighten Spacecraft
by Chuck Shepherd

September, 1995 -- While war raged in the adjacent former Yugoslavia, three mediums lured 1,500 people to an airfield near Sofia, Bulgaria, in a welcoming party to greet eight spaceships that were to land and help the country pay its foreign debt (about $13 billion). A halfhour after the scheduled landing, the mediums announced that warplanes in the area had scared the spaceships off.

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Time Machine
Construction Delayed
by Chuck Shepherd

March, 1995

Michael E. Marcum, 21, was arrested for theft of six 350-pound power company transformers in Stanberry, Missouri., in January, 1995. Marcum said he needed the transformers for the "time machine" he was building. He said he wanted to transport himself into the future a few days, find out the winning lottery numbers, and then return to buy a ticket.

October, 1996

Mike Marcum, the Missouri guy who made the news in 1995 after he stole six power company transformers he said were necessary to make his time machine (so he could find out the winning lottery number and come back and buy a ticket), called a radio show from Nevada and said he was only 30 days away from finishing his invention. His Missouri landlord had evicted him for various electrical misadventures in his apartment.

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Man to Get Humanity
"Out of Limbo"
by Chuck Shepherd
source: the Tampa Tribune, 10-19-95

October, 1995 -- A 64-year-old Dade City, Florida, man accused by authorities in March, 1995, of fathering at least one, and perhaps all nine, of his 44-year-old sister's children had his trial postponed until early 1996. The man, identified only as William, warned authorities that prosecuting him will doom society because he needs six more months to finish up his work on "the prism" (a wooden table with a hole in the middle in which William stands), which he promised would enable him harness all the world's energy to control the weather, end the fighting in Bosnia, and make the state's child welfare office obsolete. Said William, the prism is "the only way humanity will get out of limbo."

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Sony Tests ESP Machine
by Chuck Shepherd

October, 1995 -- The London Independent reported that a Sony Corporation division, Extra-Sensory Perception Excitation Research, claims it has proved the existence of ESP and has developed a working diagnostic machine based on use of the Oriental spiritual energy "ki" to identify health problems by measuring the pulse. So far, 400 leading businessmen and politicians in Japan have been hooked up to the machine, and Sony claims a 20- to 30-percent success rate in diagnosing serious diseases such as liver cancer.

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Pet Psychologist
Uses Telepathy
by Chuck Shepherd

December, 1995

The Arizona Republic profiled animal psychologist Krista Cantrell, who says her success is because she can communicate telepathically with dogs and therefore get to the bottom of most master-dog relationship problems. Several satisfied clients sang praises for Cantrell's work, including even the owner of a horse that was on the verge of being put to sleep but was able to tell Cantrell that he was simply overmedicated. (Five weeks later, the horse won a race.)

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Pet Psychics Make Use
of Telephone Telepathy
by Chuck Shepherd

February, 1997

An Associated Press story described how two mid-career, Berkeley, Calif., professionals (nurse Raphaela Pope, 52, and lawyer Sam Louie, 36) became prosperous telepathic "pet psychics." Pope charges $40 per half-hour by telephone, which sometimes includes talking directly to the pet. Said one of her customers, "I learned [from Pope] that Scarlette [the cat] thought I didn't want her around. Scarlette changed immediately after talking [sic] to Raphaela, and we're happy again."

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Pentagon Psychic Program
Under Evaluation by CIA
by Chuck Shepherd
sources: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, AP, 11-30- 95;
Washington Post, October, 1995

November, 1995

Program analysts hired by the CIA to evaluate its $20 million project to use psychics to gather intelligence concluded that the psychics were accurate about 15 percent of the time. Among the psychics' tasks were to track down Moammar Gadhafi so that he could be hit in the 1986 bombing of Libya and to locate the plutonium squirreled away in North Korea. According to columnist Jack Anderson, the Pentagon adopted the program in the early 1970s because the Soviet Union was making extensive use of psychics.

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Phony Drug-Finding
Device Sells; Court
Says: "Not a Fraud"
by Chuck Shepherd

May, 1996

A federal judge in Beaumont, Texas, issued a permanent injunction against the Quadro Corp. of Harleyville, South Carolina, which had been selling a plastic box with an antenna on it to government agencies and schools for up to $8,000 each as an illegal-drug finder.

FBI tests had found the devise merely a piece of plastic, utterly incapable of detecting drugs or anything else. However, several law enforcement officers and school principals swore to the judge that the Quadro Tracker worked for them.

February, 1997

Previously, we reported that the federal government had indicted the sellers of a box with a car-radio-antenna-like device (the Quadro Tracker) that was being sold as a divining rod, for up to $8,000 each, to school officials and small-town law enforcement officers as an aid to finding illegal drugs. The FBI showed that the Tracker was merely a piece of plastic. Besides, it had been offered to golfers as a device to help them find lost balls.

In January, after a trial in Beaumont, Texas, the sellers were found not guilty of fraud.

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Fortune Teller Surrenders
In Spirits Scam
by Cliff Walker

April 23, 1998

Key West, Florida -- Paula Marion, 41, a self-proclaimed fortune teller, turned herself in and pleaded no contest to charges that she defrauded a woman of more than $160,000. She had eluded eluding police for six weeks and will end up paying back much less than she stole. Prosecutors said this would be a tough case for them to prosecute because of the lack of hard evidence.

She paid $50,000 to victim Yvonne Cavin of Switzerland, agreed to pay an additional $70,000 in restitution, and will serve two years of probation, prosecutor Rolando Castineyra said. "I felt the victim was really taken advantage of. It was nothing but a scam. But can we prove it to a jury?"

Marion convinced Cavin to rid herself of thousands of dollars in cash in order to "appease the bad spirits around her." In one incident, $15,000 in fake cash was burned in a ceremonial bowl as Cavin looked on, thinking it was real cash. Later, Marion gave Cavin a briefcase purportedly containing $160,000 and told her to leave it on a Miami church altar. Cavin reimbursed Marion in real cash from her own accounts.

Prosecutors said nothing in the agreement would prevent Marion from going back to telling fortunes for a living.

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