Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘science’

Glimpse Out of This World at MUFON Conference

In the mountain of Pennsylvania, MUFON enthusiasts gathered at Westmoreland Community College in Youngwood for their annual conference recently. MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) is an organization investigating all reports of Unidentified Flying Objects throughout the world. Lectures were presented throughout the day, authors signed books, and visitors shared experiences.

UFOs vs Paranormal was the first lecture of the day given by Karyn Dolan. The public perception varies on these two topics as ghosts are an acceptable belief, while UFOs usually require a cover-up.  No one really likes to admit they believe in UFOs, but most people do…they just don’t want people to think they do.

If you do believe in UFOs, you have to change the way you see the whole world. The earth is no longer the only important heavenly body. People, who had been abducted, increased their psychic abilities and through meditation began to receive contact with other beings. While contact with alien life seems to change emotional levels, we all know people who are psychic vampires and drain away our energy!

The lobby was an interesting collection of author signings, literature, Bigfoot information as well as UFO memorabilia. Bigfoot enthusiasts were also at this gathering and the history of Bigfoot legends was explained. As far back as the Native Americans, their legends discussed similar creatures in the woods. Newspaper archives were a frequent point of reference as far back as 1837 when  the first documented story in Bridgewater Bangor Daily Whig & Courier reported a hairy creature was heard whistling in the woods. Today there are many names for this hairy creature around the world:  Sasquatch, Abominable Snowman, Almasty, and Bigfoot. Researchers feel they have lots of proof…just no physical specimen! That’s a big missing link.

An interesting afternoon presentation showed slides of art throughout history that included strange objects in the sky…many of them shaped similar to those people classify as UFOs today. These included cave drawings, petroglyphs, Renaissance Art, and the Myans.  The oldest documentation was from The Vedic’s of India nearly 8,000 years ago.  Speaker, John Ventre, summarized, “No matter how far back in art history you go, unidentified flying objects show up.”

Ufology in 21st Century was the topic discussed by Richard Dolan, one of the world’s most prominent researcher and historian of UFOs.  His most recent book, A.D. (After Disclosure) When the Government Finally Reveals the Truth About Alien Contact, discusses the deep impact that would be brought about by the end of UFO secrecy. Many feel that governments maintain secrecy to prevent people from panicking from fear of the unknown. Perhaps aliens exist in our world today so keep an eye on some of those strange people you encounter that seem to be a bit psychic or telepathic. Contact appears to be on an intuitive level making it spiritual vs scientific. But don’t analyze too much!

Over 1100 volunteers take accounts and investigate all reported sightings. There are 3000 MUFON members world-wide in 39 countries and that is constantly expanding. In 2011 there were close to 700 sightings a month.  That number is up slightly in 2012.

While talking with Karyn later in the day, we were exchanging ghost stories. I casually remarked that perhaps my story might make her think I was a little odd. She laughingly remarked, “You’re at a UFO conference; everyone here is strange”…but all very interesting creatures!

MUFON is always looking for new members interested in the scientific study of UFOs for the benefit of humanity. There is a study guide to be completed, exam, background check and then field time with an experienced investigator. Maybe you would like to join those curious minds.

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Mysterious Bigfoot Legend – Skeptic or Believer?

“Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” This quote from distinguished astronomer, Dr Carl Sagan, is popular with Bigfoot investigators. They are still searching for more clues that will prove their Bigfoot theory.

Guernsey County, Ohio is one of those “hot spots” for Bigfoot investigators.  Annually, the Ohio Bigfoot Conference gathers informative speakers to share their adventures with the gathering crowd.  The 2012 conference was held at Pritchard Laughlin Civic Center near Cambridge, Ohio after previously being held at Newcomerstown and then Salt Fork Lodge. The move was partially made to accommodate the growing attendance as last year at Salt Fork they overflowed the conference room and many were  forced to watch the program on big screen TVs in the lobby.  The Bigfoot enthusiasts have increased from less than a hundred in 1989 to over seven hundred at present.

The goal of the Ohio Bigfoot Organization is to find, recognize, and protect what many believe to be an unclassified primate, commonly known as Bigfoot, and residing in North America.

A highlight of the meeting this year was the appearance of legendary Bigfoot seeker, Peter Byrne, who fascinated visitors in the lobby with his Bigfoot stories. Peter, the star of the show, has led professional expeditions in search of Yeti and Bigfoot.  His book, The Search for Bigfoot, tells of his fascinating life exploring since 1946 in the Himalayas for Yeti, the Himalayan version of Bigfoot.  Even though he is 86 years old, Peter still has a curious mind and continues his search for Bigfoot on the Oregon Coast.

Before the scheduled speakers, curious visitors checked out tables in the lobby with lots of unusual items. Of course, there were videos of possible sightings as well as plaster casts of large footprints left behind by something or someone. Lengths of these footprints average about 16″ long, but some range up to 22″, and are much wider than a human footprint.

Soaps and lotions carried the name Sasquatch, the Canadian Bigfoot rendition. One popular soap made in Canada bore the title Sasquatch Sweat Soap – Guaranteed not to grow hair. Sasquatch Sweat Cream was also available. Not certain if their purpose was to repel or attract Bigfoot.   There were even cookies for sale shaped like…yes, you guessed it, Bigfoot.

The first speaker of the day was past president, Don Keating, who led this conference for 23 years. He first heard of Bigfoot in 1984 from a story in the Newcomerstown News that told of strange sightings of a large, hairy creature in and around the Newcomerstown area. Later Don began investigating some of the unusual sightings he heard from neighboring Guernsey County as well – glowing red eyes, large footprints, and very tall creatures.

Salt Fork Lake area became one of those places where frequent strange events seemed to occur. Often something eerie seemed to be happening at Hosak’s Cave in the late evening hours, especially when there was a full moon.  For their safety, people were even strongly advised to leave the area by park rangers.

When Don Keating said he was leaving his president’s position to devote more time to his weather research, someone in the audience asked an interesting question: “Do you find predicting the weather a lot like investigating Bigfoot?” To which Don answered, “With both, you put your neck on the line.”

Grabbed a Bigfoot cookie to munch while listening to additional speakers which included: Dr John Bindernagel, wildlife biologist; Bill Draginis, surveillance and security expert; and Mike Esordi, crypto zoologist with artistic abilities. All are active in Bigfoot research and frequently share their knowledge through lectures around the world.

Whether you believe in the existence of Bigfoot or not, you could hear some interesting adventures at the conference. Maybe some evening you will want to spend the night at Salt Fork State Park. If you listen carefully, you might hear strange calls, branches breaking in the woods, or rocks being thrown into the lake. Could these sounds be made by Bigfoot?  Keep your eyes and ears open!

Salt Fork State Park is located just five miles north of Cambridge, Ohio just off Route 22. I-70 and I-77 intersect close by so you will have easy access to the area.  While in town, stop at Mr. Lee’s or Theo’s Restaurant as both have delicious home cooked meals at reasonable prices.

Hell’s Half Acre Doorway to Nuclear Testing Facility

Nothing here but rocks! Hell’s Half Acre is a lava field several thousand years old where lava just oozed out of the ground over two hundred plus acres.  Early in the 1800’s on the Snake River Plain in southeastern Idaho, fur traders looking for passage through the Rocky Mountains stumbled upon this rugged land and named it Hell’s Half Acre.  That term was commonly used at that time to describe rough land.

There was some plant growth in this desolate region, and it was pretty amazing to walk over an old lava field. Caution had to be used as there were deep fissures to avoid, as well as frequent rattlesnakes. This uninhabited plain looks barren except for a few wild horses, and is the perfect place for the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory. Since 1949, more nuclear reactors, over fifty of them, have been built on this plain than anywhere else in the world. The first nuclear power plant was located here just south of Arco, Idaho.

Arco was the first city in the world to be lit by atomic energy way back in 1955. The power was generated by the Experimental Breeder Reactor No. 1 to a reactor close by, known as the Borax III, located on the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory. This was only a temporary solution to their power situation, however, as the reactor suffered a partial meltdown – another world’s first!

Be sure to visit the Experimental Breeder Reactor No. 1 – Atomic Museum on US 20/26. Here in this block building, EBR-1 became the first power plant to generate electricity from atomic energy. They actually made plutonium-239 in the block building where the museum is now located. Inside you could see four nuclear reactors, remote handling devices for radioactive material, and lots more.

Outside you could view the Heat Transfer Reactor Equipment, which was the engine used to transfer nuclear power to a conventional program. Plans were being considered in 1947 for nuclear power to be used as fuel for planes. Since the runway for take-off needed to be about 15,000 feet, the empty plains nearby seemed the perfect place to locate this facility.  But due to advances in conventional aircraft engine design plus public concerns about nuclear reactors flying over their homeland, this project was shelved in 1960.

If interested in the history of nuclear energy, this is an educational stop. The museum is open each Summer and you can either take a self-guided tour or have one of the tour guides fill you in on the importance of EBR-1.   Experiments here paved the path for nuclear energy for the entire world and consequently, it is now a National Historic Landmark. See how it all began!

To reach Hell’s Half Acre in Idaho take I-15 to the Blackfoot Rest Area exit 93, which is southwest of Idaho Falls and just five miles east of Blackfoot.  Here there is a parking area on both sides of the interstate where you have easy access to two walking trails. You can choose a 1 1/2 mile loop or a longer 4 1/2 mile loop. Both are a little on the rough side though partially paved. The Atomic Museum is located west of here on the south side of U S Highway 26. Arco is just a few miles northwest on U S 20/26. Have an explosive experience!

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