Saturday, January 31

Will There Be A Generation Of Idiots One Day?

Albert Einstein

Many sayings are attributed to Albert Einstein, some are true and some aren't. I can't vouch for the one above but it's supposedly legit. If it is, are we now heading in that direction?

Everywhere we go people are looking at screens of varying sizes, rather than talking or taking in the scenery. Technology is a wonderful tool but is it taking over our lives? And what will happen if it does?

There were two friends, who hadn't seen each other for ages, and they met in the local town square. They glanced at each other, said they'd seen each others news on Facebook and scampered off.

That's it for today, got to catch up on my emails, Google +, Twitter and ....

Children using iPhones

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Friday, January 30

A Trio Of Coincidences

Spitz dog

Here's a trio of, some would say, small coincidences.

Shelby Lightfoot, driver for the Animal Protective Association, had a stray dog in his truck when he drove to a garage for repairs.

The mechanic, Leroy Chadd, asked Lightfoot if he had seen a white spitz in recent days.

Lightfoot asked for a description, then opened the door of the truck. Inside was Chadd's dog, missing for one week from his home, 20 miles away.

Blake Tussing recalls a strange coincidence.

About 30 years ago he was in Waterville with his dog and stopped in at the local ice cream store to get a cone. "Give the dog one, too," he ordered.

The man in the ice cream parlour was impressed by the thoughtfulness and said, "Pay for your cone. The dog's cone is on me."

Ten years ago, 20 years later, Mr Tussing was at the airport standing near an elderly gentleman. They both watched an unhappy dog being pushed into a carrier.

This reminded Tussing of his experience with the kindly storekeeper in Waterville. He told the elderly man about it.

"I'm sure you're telling the truth," the man said, "because I'm the guy who gave the dog a cone."

In Crawford County, a Kenneth Boyd of Florida driving though the Keystone State struck and killed a deer right in front of the driveway of another Kenneth Boyd. The two men were not related, nor were they acquainted before the accident.

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Thursday, January 29

Saved From Smallpox By A Precognition

1918 NYC street traders
NYC Street Traders 1918
I'm stepping back in time with this woman's strange story. It's a mixture of themes: a dream, coincidence, a warning, precognition and probably other categories as well.

In a dream one night it seemed that I awoke and found myself lying on a mattress placed on the floor of a room entirely devoid of furniture. In my dream I felt considerable surprise at finding myself in such situation, and I looked about in dismay and alarm. Upon trying to move I found to my horror that I was weak and sick, and I fell back on the pillow exhausted and depressed.

Just then the door of the room opened and a man entered. He was extraordinarily tall and was very dark and thin. Instinctively I felt that he was my doctor. I asked him where I was and what was wrong. Slowly and solemnly he answered, "You have smallpox."

At this juncture I awoke horrified and agitated. All day my dream stood out with frightful vividness in my mind. At length in the hope of relieving myself of its unpleasantness I related it to several of my friends. Without exception they earnestly advised me to be vaccinated at once, and I did so.

A few days later I was in New York city. As I walked along I saw many fruit vendors with quantities of fine looking white grapes. The fruit was so tempting that I stopped before one of the carts and asked the young fellow in charge of it to weigh two pounds for me. As he was waiting on me I saw him cast a furtive glance behind him, then despite my request that he give me the grapes at once, he seized the handle of his cart and with most of his fellow merchants trundled rapidly away.

I looked in the opposite direction and saw a man, evidently a city official who was ordering the remaining fruit vendors to move on. He was coming in my direction and as I was somewhat incensed at the summary departure of the vendor before he could sell me the grapes I wanted, I decided to wait and give the cause of the trouble a piece of my mind.

On looking up to address him I was startled to find myself face to face with the living counterpart of the physician who in my dream had informed me that I had smallpox. Recovering my self possession as best I could, I said, "Will you kindly tell me why these fruit men are so persecuted? Instead of idling their time away in saloons or on park benches they try to to earn a living by selling fruit. I think it is entirely commendable. Why are they not allowed to conduct their business in peace?"

"All this sounds very well," replied the man, "but there is another side to this question. These people are poor and as a matter of economy live very closely, several families sometimes occupying a single room. Not long ago in one of the habitations I saw on a bed of one of their women suffering with a contagious disease. Under the bed was a stock of fruit which one of the men took out on to the street the following day to sell. At present we are obliged to watch these people carefully in order to prevent a general spread of this disease, but," - and he squarely looked at me - "if you do not mind having smallpox I see no reason why you should be prevented from patronising the fruit vendors all you please."

For several minutes we stood there, and neither of us said a word. Then the dark man walked off in one direction and I in another. When I had gone a short distance something prompted me to look around. I did so and was startled to see the man of my dreams looking thoughtfully at me. "He has had a dream of me and recognises me as I did him."

Whether or not such was the case I have never learned but I do know that so far I have escaped smallpox. Was my dream a warning, I wonder, or was it merely a dream, and was my meeting the tall, dark, thin man nothing more than a coincidence." Source: The Carroll Herald - Apr 27, 1916

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Wednesday, January 28

Is Dreaming Sometimes Astral Travelling?

Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon - a photo I took a few years back
I've always been interested in dreams; what they are, their meanings and so on. At times though it makes me wonder if some dreams are actually astral travelling, in one of its many forms. Here's an example from J.B Priestley's Man and Time:

"My dream. I found myself sitting in the front row of a balcony or gallery in some colossal vague theatre that I never took in properly.

On what I assumed to be the stage, equally vast and without any definite proscenium arch, was a brilliant coloured and fantastic spectacle, quite motionless, quite unlike anything I had ever seen before. It was an unusually impressive dream, which haunted me for weeks afterwards."

Some 6 or 7 years later.

"I paid my first visit to the Grand Canyon, arriving early in the morning when there was a thick mist and nothing to be seen. I sat for some time close to the railing on the South Rim, in front of the hotel there, waiting for the mist to thin out and lift. Suddenly it did, and then, I saw, as if I were sitting in the front row of a balcony, that brilliantly coloured and fantastic spectacle, quite motionless, that I had seen in my dream theatre. My recognition of it was immediate and complete. My dream of years before had shown me a preview of my first sight of the Grand Canyon."

Did Priestly, therefore, visit the Grand Canyon for the first time in his dreams, or through astral travelling? If it was either option was he seeing into the future? And if it was astral travelling does this signify that we can travel into the future and, if we can do this, why not 'sideways' as well into other dimensions.

So many questions and so much we don't fully understand - well at least I don't.

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Tuesday, January 27

The Old Postcard Coincidence

Vintage postcard of Poole Harbour

A coincidence story today via Jan. Nothing too dramatic, or maybe it is, if you think about the odds of something like this happening.

"I think you may be interested in this coincidence story as it also involves a postcard, which I see you are interested in also.

Conny, a teenager from the Netherlands, spent part of last summer with our family in Poole, Dorset. She was staying as part of an exchange student visit.

One of the places she seemed to like very much was the harbour and the quay at Poole, and the activities that went on there. I remember we had a family boat trip from the quay to Brownsea Island and on another day to Wareham. She said she would like to have seen how it looked in the olden days.

When it was time for her to return home she told us how much she enjoyed her stay and hoped to visit us and the harbour again.

A few days after she had returned to Rotterdam she sent us an email thanking us for her stay. She also sent us a picture of a postcard she had picked up that day in a flea market, which was an old photo of Poole.

It seemed quite a coincidence to me ..."

~ Jan

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Monday, January 26

It Seemed As If The Valentine's Card Was From Her Dead Husband


Here's a 'nice' coincidence story.

Genevieve Johnson's husband, George, died when he was only 62. She is now 82 but misses him greatly. He still pops up in her dreams. Just the other night she dreamed they were young again and rearranging furniture for another baby.

But a strange thing happened on February 14th, a coincidence some would say. Genevieve received a valentine card, and when she opened it she read that it was from George Johnson!

Needless to say Genevieve was overcome with mixed emotions. Her daughter said, "It's spooky."

Gradually though the 'miracle' unravelled. The local school teacher had instructed her students to make valentine cards to be distributed to local senior citizens. This they did and the cards were sent out.

The coincidence is that amongst the young boys, who made the cards, there was one called George Johnson and, by the strange hand of fate, this was the card that Genevieve received.

The card was decorated with a heart, a peace sign and the yin-yang symbol. Inside was written: 'Happy Valentine's Day. I hope my Bible verse will impress you: The Lord is with me to the end, Lord, your love endures forever.' Underneath this was the name 'George Johnson'.

Genevieve wrote to George telling him how the card had made her day She said that her Guardian Angel must have been watching over her.

There is one final coincidence to this story. It was arranged for George to visit Genevieve. He noticed her apartment number was 215 - and his class-room number at school is, yes, it's 215!

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Sunday, January 25

Vintage Photos Taken From My Google Plus Page - 7

The lost World Arthur Conan Doyle 1912

This weeks vintage photos and illustrations from my Google+ pages.

The photo below is an albumen silver print from circa 1860. Fancy transport for the twins!

Twin transport - albumen silver print 1860

The drawing of the Little Pink Lady is by A.Wallis Mills and was fist published in 1912.

Little Pink Lady by A Wallis Mills 1912

Is this one of the first trials for mobile phones!

First mobile phones funny photo

And finally this week, a vintage glamour photo. What is striking is the young woman's waist.

Vintage glamour photo pf woman with a very small waist

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Saturday, January 24

He Witnessed Flashes Of Electricity Shoot Forth From The Mediums Body

Eusapia Palladino seance
A séance with medium Eusapia Palladino
It seems that mediums usually cause controversy. Though some will praise them and their powers, others will call them fraudulent and say they prey on the vulnerable. I was reminded about this while doing some research on Eusapia Palladino, who was investigated by several European, English and American researchers and scientists.

The first real mention of Eusapia was by the Neapolitan Professor Dr Ercole Chiaia. He was so impressed with her powers that he sent an open letter to the psychiatrist Cesare Lombroso challenging him to test her prowess. On 9 August 1888 he wrote:

"The case I allude to is that of an invalid woman who belongs to the humblest class of society. She is nearly thirty years old and very ignorant; her appearance is neither fascinating nor endowed with the power which modern criminologist call irresistible; but when she wishes, day or night, she can divert a curious group for an hour or so with the most surprising phenomena.

Eusapia Palladino
Either bound to her seat, or firmly held by the hands of the curious, she attracts articles of furniture which surround her, lifts them up, holds them suspended in the air like Mahomet's coffin, and makes them come down again with undulatory movements, as if they were obeying her will. She increases their height or lessens it according to her pleasure.

She raps or taps upon walls, the ceiling, the floor, with fine rhythm and cadence. In response to the requests of the spectators something like flashes of electricity shoot forth from her body, and envelop her or enwrap the spectators  of these marvellous scenes,

She draws upon cards that you hold out, everything that you want - figures, signatures, numbers, and sentences - by just stretching out her hand towards the indicated place.

This woman rises in the air, no matter what bands tie her down. She seems to lie upon the empty air, as on a couch, contrary to all the laws of gravity; she plays on musical instruments - organs, bells, tambourines - as if they had been touched by her hands or moved by the breath of invisible gnomes. This woman can at times increase her stature by more than four inches."

Obviously the guy was impressed! Lombroso was also impressed when he visited Eusapia. He wrote:

"Eusapia's feet and hands were held by Professor Tamburini and myself. A hand-bell placed on a small table more than a yard distant from Eusapia sounded in the air above the heads of the sitters and then descended on the table. While the bell was ringing we struck a match and saw the bell in the air."

Lambroso also wrote of his convictions of what he had witnessed in the Annales des Sciences Pschiques in 1882.

All well and good but then came claims of trickery by other investigators. They said Eusapia cheated if not properly controlled - but could still produce some incredible effects.

One sceptic, Everard Fielding, said:

"I have seen hands and heads come forth, from behind the curtain of an empty cabinet. I have been seized by living fingers. I have seen this extraordinary woman sitting visible outside the curtain, held hand and foot by my colleagues, immobile."

As with most cases it's the disbelievers that appear to have the final verdict. Wikipedia, for example writes: "Magicians and skeptics who evaluated her claims concluded that none of her phenomena was genuine and she was a clever trickster."

As to whether she was genuine, I don't know. In all honesty I have to say that, as yet, I have never witnessed a medium that I can say is definitely 100% convincing. It's the same with clairvoyants. I wrote a post back in 2010 stating Clairvoyants Just Can't Read Me. And yet, despite this, I don't rule out such powers. Like with the upcoming UK elections, I'm an 'undecided' but I probably do know where I will put my 'X' when pushed to decide.

Oh yes, I didn't mention that Eusapia Palladino was born in southern Italy on 21 January 1854,but was orphaned and taken to Naples where she grew up. As a young girl she is said to have levitated when at a seance she attended.

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Friday, January 23

The Bizarre Body Snatchers Coincidence

US Presidents William Harrison & Benjamin Harrison
US Presidents" William Henry Harrison (9th) & Benjamin Harrison (23rd)
John Scott Harrison holds a unique status. He was both a son and a father of US presidents: William Henry Harrison (1773-1841) was his father and Benjamin Harrison was his son (1833-1908).

John Scott Harrison died on May 26, 1878 and unintentionally became the centre if a bizarre happening. He was buried in an Ohio cemetery with little fuss or pomp - other than for his coffin that is. It was made of heavy metal to defend his body from the body snatchers. These were the robbers who operated at that time and made money by supplying 'fresh' corpses to medical schools. It was a profitable business.

Harrison's family were particularly worried about this because the body of a young cousin, August Devins who had died the previous week, had been stolen by these robbers.

To make sure this couldn't happen to John Scott Harrison, As well as being laid to rest in an extra strong metal coffin, his grave was dug much deeper than usual and was walled in brick. When the grave was half filled a heavy stone slab was lowered onto the packed earth and this was then covered with cement.

Once his father was safely, and securely buried his son set out to find the body of August Devins. He, along with a friend and a policeman, started their search at the Ohio Medical College. Nothing was found and the trio were ready to move on and continue looking elsewhere.

As they were leaving they noticed a small door halfway up one of the walls. They opened this and found it to be, what the medical students called, a 'dead shaft'.

When they looked down the shaft they saw a man's naked body hanging far below on a rope.

They thought they had found what they were searching for: the body of Devins. They retrieved the body by pulling it back up the shaft. But the face they saw was not that of Devlin's - it was the face of John Scott Garrison, who had been buried just three days earlier!

By an weird coincidence, almost to the very hour that he was discovered in the 'dead shaft', visitors to the cemetery also found that Harrison's grave had be broken into. The body snatchers had carried out their trade.

John Scott Harrison was reburied in his extra deep grave. This time he remained in peace.

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Thursday, January 22

Young Woman And Her Dog See Grandfather's Spirit

Collie cross dog

An experience today from Margaret about how she and her dog saw her dead grandfather. At the time she was single and living at home with her mother.

"On the afternoon of his death, I suddenly had a feeling that he was gone. As I was leaving the house to visit him the phone rang. It was my sister calling to inform me that grandfather had died. I told her I already knew and was on my way to catch the bus.

At the time I had a dog called Lady. She was half-shepherd and half-collie. She was strictly my dog. She was a wonderful watchdog and always preferred to sleep outside on the front porch. No one could come into the yard without Lady alerting us by barking.

That night she howled like a banshee. I 'saw' my grandfather walk across our lawn, through the walls of the house, and come to stand in my bedroom doorway.

I felt no fear. Just warmth and love. He simply said, "Babe, be a good girl." Lady quit barking and grandfather went away. Then he came again and the same statement was repeated.

After this second visit, my mother brought Lady into my room and she crawled under my bed. Then grandfather came for a third time. Lady whimpered and fussed.

At this time I told grandfather that I would call mother so he could talk to her too. He said that she could not see him and that he would have to leave now. He did.

Lady was quiet the rest of the night. There was a phosphorescent substance that completely encircled grandfather each time I saw him.

I have never seen grandfather again since then."

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Wednesday, January 21

67 Not Out Reader's Coincidence Story: Coincidences As Signposts

Coincidence signposts

A coincidence story today from a 67 Not Out reader who wishes to remain anonymous.

My coincidence: we moved the family across the county border from Cambs (Cambridgeshire) to Norfolk. We might have moved to Timbuctoo as far as my father was concerned as he'd never left the village he'd been born in.

"I seem to remember my mother had relatives in Norfolk," he said, but couldn't recall where and had lost contact with them. "But my mother always wrote to them." he added.

The subject never came up again. We moved house again in Norfolk to a tiny village of not more than 200 population, with just one crossroads by the church.

Father passed not long after and we were sadly clearing out his belongings. Among the family photos were the postcards my grandmother had received from her relatives - from the very village we lived in (and Norfolk is a big county!) and the children of our 'lost' relatives lived just down the road. I was too shy to ever knock on their door though.

We'd bought the house from a man called Bernard with 'wolf' in the name. We again moved, this time to Portugal and bought our present house from a 'Bernardo' - that had "loba" (she-wolf) in the name.

Personal circumstances meant we would never have considered Portugal if we hadn't first lived in that tiny Norfolk hamlet. Two coincidences that I feel have been signposts, pointing us in the right direction - this is where we are meant to be.

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Tuesday, January 20

Sightings Of UFOs Two Stories High

I was looking through some old newspapers and found two UFO sightings reported. Nothing too unusual in that I suppose, but both stories say the UFO was about two stories high. A coincidence perhaps but I thought I'd publish the reports here. They are from 1980 and 2000.

Source: The Sumter Daily Item Sep 11, 1980

Jerry McAlister, a 40 year old electrician at a textile mill, has been out of work with a broken ankle said he went to the window after hearing a noise and saw the UFO. He awoke his wife, and she awoke one of their children.

The object was about two stories high and had two rows of windows, all so brightly lit that it was impossible to see anything inside.

"It hovered over the same area for about three minutes," he said. "Then it turned on its side and sped off like a streak of lightning at treetop level."

McAlister said that after sighting the object he reported it to the sheriff’s department. A short time later, he said, he heard deputies on his police radio saying they believed the sighting was a prank. He said he called them again and told them to come to his home. Then the deputies saw it.

"It was so bright it could hurt the naked eye," McAllister said, "They apologised to me. We watched it for two hours. Finally it went out of sight."

He told reporters that he nor his wife had ever believed UFOs existed before.

Source: Daily News Jan 10 2000

Millstadt, Mo, Police Officer Craig Stevens saw a UFO. A further three other officers from the Lebanon, Shiloh and Dupo, Mo. police departments also say they saw something in the sky, something that looked like a UFO.

Stevens, sitting in his patrol car in Millstadt on his overnight shift, heard the radio chatter [about UFOs] and drove to the north end of town. He scanned the sky but saw only aircraft lights. Then he looked west.

"Wow," he thought, jumping out of the car, "This thing is huge!"

He said it moved slowly, like a blimp, about 1000 feet off the ground. It was about two stories high and about three times as long. In addition to the three lights in the back, dimmer lights sprinkled the entire surface, almost like a starfield camouflage.

He grabbed his Polaroid camera and snapped a shot. The object was heading toward Dupo, and Stevens radioed dispatch. The dispatcher radioed back, reporting an officer there had spotted it too.

The Polaroid photo didn't develop well, the image only shows three bright lights.

I remember many years ago someone I knew described to me how he had seen a UFO hovering over his house in Dorset. He described it as being massive, the size of his house. But strangely no one else saw it. He wasn't though a man who would make up stories and certainly wouldn't want any publicity.

If you believe in the possibility of UFOs could it be that only some people can actually see them?

I wondered this as there was a time I was leaving a friend's house late at night and I saw this - something or other moving across the sky. My friend's wife could see whatever it was but my friend couldn't. We were saying things like, "But you must be able to see it. Look! There!" but he couldn't.

Thus my question can only certain people see UFOs?

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Monday, January 19

They Saw Their Father Following His Death

Man walking to God

Here's a couple of experiences which occurred when a loved one was at the moment of death,.

"I have had many ghost experiences, but this is the most startling of all.

One night last November I was awakened by someone kissing me on the cheek. When I opened my eyes, there stood my father, well dressed.

He said, "I am with Al."  Alfred was his dead brother’s name.

Before I could speak one word he had disappeared.

Early next morning my brother came to take me across the bay to my father’s home. He had died the night before."

Elizabeth Robinson
Seaview VA, USA

The second story I came across while trawling through some old newspapers. This is from The Afro-American, dated July 18, 1936.

"My father was very sick in bed – not able to help himself. He did not sleep well at night so one morning, after making him comfortable, he fell asleep. I went downstairs and sat down to do some mending.

My back was to the door and I was facing the window. A mirror was hanging near the window. When the door opened I looked into the mirror to see who was coming in. It was my father dressed as he usually was around the house. I kept on sewing not hearing another sound.

When I turned round to see what he was doing I remembered that he was sick in bed. I rushed upstairs to find my father had died."

Agnes H Bryan
Warren Street, Bridgeton, N.J.

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Sunday, January 18

Saturday, January 17

Over 10 Feet Tall The Giant From Cardiff

Cardiff Giant
The Cardiff Giant being re-buried
On the 16th of October 1869 a gang of men started to dig a well in a small village called Cardiff in New York State. Suddenly one of the men's spades struck something hard. The digging continued and they discovered a big, petrified foot and, after further efforts, they uncovered a giant mummified body of a huge man. The giant was over 10 feet tall and weighed in at 2,999 pounds. He was a big one alright!

Cardiff Giant
Such a discovery was a sensation and the once obscure village of Cardiff became overrun with people wanting to see this giant. The owner of the land, William C Newell made a fortune by charging visitors but ... okay, I'd better say now that the Cardiff Giant was eventually proven to be a hoax. But many, many people were fooled. Christian fundamentalists,for example, defended its authenticity. The showman P.T Barnum offered $50,000 for the giant.

Scientists went to Cardiff to examine the giant. One of them was quoted as saying that any man who said the giant was a hoax, "... had simply declared himself a fool."

Four doctors declared that, in their opinion, this was once a living creature, Others believed the preserved corpse to be a member of a lost race.

The truth was that a member of Newell's extended family, George Hall, had planted the body where he knew it would be discovered.

Hall had the body created out of a huge block of gypsum. The appearance of petrified flesh was made by inserting hundreds of darning needles into a block of wood before hammering this into the 'body', This looked like pores within the skin. The giant was also doused with sulphuric acid to give the appearance of great age,

The hoax worked more that Hall could ever have imagined.

Money was made, a legend was created. The only people who lost out were so called experts who declared the giant to be genuine. Such is life, there are winners and losers.

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Friday, January 16

The Tapping Black Stick Man That Frightened His Mom

Black stick men

JC, who often sends me interesting bits and pieces, sent me the following story. He was wondering if this could have been a Black Stick Man sighting. It's certainly a strange story!

When my mother was about 18 she was visited by what she calls The Tapper. Every night for three months, something would tap on the window of the room she was in, but only when she was alone. This would happen even if the curtains were drawn. Every single night, without fail, this would happen. As soon as anyone else went into the room, or outside to investigate, the tapping would stop.

My grandpa and both my uncles were living in the house too. After three months of this tapping it suddenly ceased. As the silence continued for two weeks grandpa and my two uncles decided to go on a fishing trip one night while my mom stayed at home.

It was just getting dark and my mom was sitting in the living room reading. Then she heard a tap ... tap ... tap ... tap.

She assumed it was the youngest uncle trying to scare her, as it was the sort of thing he would do.

"Bill, knock it off," mom shouted.

The tap ... tap ... tap continued,

"Bill it's not funny, stop it!"

Tap ... tap ... tap ...

Mom got up from the couch and anxiously went to the window.

"Very f****** funny Bill!" and she tapped on the inside of the window herself.

Instead of a tapping sound she heard what seemed to be a hand slamming against the window in response.

Though scared she went back to the couch, still convinced it was the uncle.

At the same time the phone started ringing. It was my grandpa calling her from a neighbour's house to tell her they had looked in, and would be staying there for a while.

"Is Bill with you?" asked my mom.

"Sure he's here."

"Oh s***." exclaims mom.

She run to the front door and locked it, leaving the phone off of the hook.

My grandpa said they would all come back, straight away and hung up.

It took them a few minutes to run from the the neighbour's house.

When they arrived home, they saw a guy standing by the front window, in the bushes. He stood up when they started shouting at him and he took off towards the fence. The guy looked to be well over 7 feet tall.

They chased him to the property line, where a wooden fence separates them from the next neighbour's property. The guy jumped over the fence - which is 7 feet high! He didn't climb over but jumped it completely with one leap.

My uncles did their best to clamber over the fence to keep chasing him. He was only a few seconds ahead of them. And then ... he'd gone! Nowhere to be seen. The property on the other side of the fence is just dirt and grass, no trees or buildings and the neighbour's house is a long distance from the fence. There was nowhere a man could hide.

The strange thing is that the tapping stopped following this and they never saw anyone who looked like that guy again.

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Thursday, January 15

Healing Ways With Our Hands

Healing hands

Quite a few years ago I came across stories about a Hungarian medium called Estebany. He interested me because he was said to have healing powers, and these has been tested in various experiments. By 'chance' I stumbled upon him again, where he was described as a Hungarian refugee named Oskar Estebany.

One of the experiments with Estebany was with mice, which were given small skin wounds. He held the injured mice in his cupped hands for twenty minutes at a time, twice a day.

As a comparison, students handled another group of mice for the same length of time, and a third group of mice were not handled at all.

The group of mice held by Estebany healed significantly faster than the other groups.

He also undertook experiments with plants. Barley seeds were soaked in salty water to weaken them, then baked gently for long enough to injure them further. When the seeds were planted, it was found that those which had been soaked in salt water from a bottle which had been handled by Estebany grew much more vigorously than the other plants.

If a healer could stimulate growth, it was wondered if some people might have the reverse effect.

The experiment was repeated with a psychologically normal person and two patients suffering from depression handling the bottles. Seeds soaked in water from the bottles held by the depressed patients grew poorly, compared to the other seeds.

It was also found that if Estebany place his hands on hospitalised patients it would increase their red blood cell count.

Many similar experiments are often said to have succeeded because of suggestion or the placebo effect, but this doesn't appear to have been the case with Estebany.

After I had read about Estebany again I thought I would do a simple experiment on myself. For some reason a wart had started to grow on the knuckle of my right hand. It had been there for several months, I decided to rub it with a finger from my left hand every night before going to bed. As I was doing so I told the wart to go away.

Within four days the wart had completely disappeared and hasn't returned, there is no scar or mark left on my knuckle.

Makes you wonder the powers we may have within ourselves.

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Wednesday, January 14

Does Existence Always Bring Unhappiness?

Is Existence Unhappiness

I've been thinking about the  Four Noble Truths in Buddhism. The first of which is: Existence is unhappiness.

I can't really get my head round this: why has there to be unhappiness?  I feel that I'm mostly happy but, there again, as with most people, I've had moments of great sadness.

As often happens when we dwell on something, I started reading something - The Teachings of the Compassionate Buddha with a commentary by E,A, Burtt. No idea where I got the book from but it's been in a pile for, well, several years,

Anyway, E.A Burtt writes:

"What is is that Buddha is telling the world here. First, that by the mere fact of being born under the conditions of finite existence every creature is subject to the evils of sickness, old age, and death, and to the sadness that comes when his loved ones are stricken with these ills. These inevitable occasions of unhappiness constitute the problem of life."

All very well, but how do we overcome these 'evils'. Perhaps if we truly believed in eternity, I thought, maybe that would be the answer. Eternity would mean that sickness, the deaths of loved ones and so on would be only temporary. For the sickness would be overcome and we would see our loved ones again in eternity.

E.A Burtt writes, however,

But they [those evils] would not make us unhappy were it not for the blind demandingness in our nature which leads us to ask the universe, for ourselves and those specially dear to us, more than it is ready to give. Moreover it is the same unrealistic and selfish craving which, frustrated as it inevitably becomes, moves us to act in ways that increase the unhappiness of others.

Not sure about that but, to cut a long story and waffle short, the answer to our inevitable unhappiness is treading the eight steps of the right path. These are:

1. Right understanding
2. Right purpose
3. Right speech
4. Right conduct
5. Right vocation
6. Right effort
7. Right alertness
8. Right concentration

This would ultimately lead to us no longer being subject to rebirth and we would enter Nirvana.

Okay, but Nirvana is also eternity, which is what I suggested we should perhaps believe in, to overcome those 'evils'.

But what is Nirvana?

"Nirvana is not to be conceived as sheer extinction but as the state naturally produced by the destruction of tanha - a state marked on the positive side by a sense of liberation, inward peace and strength, insight into truth, the joy of complete oneness with reality, and love toward all creatures in the universe."

I've rambled on for long enough. But does existence here on Earth have to equate to unhappiness? Surely not.

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Tuesday, January 13

Sometimes The Pieces Fit Together To Create A Coincidence


For your delectation today, a couple of short coincidence stories passed to me recently.

"Some years ago my brother- in law, who lived some 5 kms away, was visiting my house. We heard the loud sound of a Volkswagen car coming into my street, sputtering and then going very quiet. We looked out of the front door to see that it was in fact my brother-in-law's car being abandoned by would be thieves, breaking down right in front of my house."

~ Angela Shore

"This happened to me and is absolutely true. In 1992 before I left London to live in the Basque Country I arranged for a friend of a friend to take over my rented flat in Forest Gate. Four years later I went on a holiday to Morocco.

I was playing the travel game with my friend - the one where you get points for meeting people you know when travelling. We hadn't met anyone in Morocco and the score was nil nil. On the boat from Tangiers we went to the bar and sure enough standing there was one of the last people I had seen in Britain before I left for Spain four years earlier. The guy I handed my flat over to. I won the game hands down!"

~ John Heard,

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Monday, January 12

The Spunkie Doomed To Walk The Earth Until Judgement Day

I happened upon the spunkie recently.

Legends from England's West Country say that spirit-like spunkies can take the shape of white moths, which flutter here and there often without being noticed.

The spunkie-haunted bog, Where sank the shepherd and his dog ~ 1898But what is a spunkie?

From what I can make out they are sad and lonely ghosts, some say the spririts of unbaptised children. They wander the land seeking someone to give them a name.Sadly they are doomed to do this until Judgement Day.

If you look carefully, however, you might just spot one at Halloween, in churches and at religious gatherings, where they are able to meet up with the spirits of those who have died recently.

But sometimes spunkies are problematic as per this example from the Superstitions of the Highlands (Scotland):

"Suddenly the traveller's attention was arrested by the most resplendent light, apparently reflected from a window nor far distant; which, however, as the traveller approached, receded from him like the rainbow.

Still pursuing his course toward it, the wily spunkie manoeuvred so dexterously, that the unhappy wanderer was speedily decoyed into the nearest moss or precipice. Plunging headlong into some fatal abyss, the deluded victim never returned to his mourning wife and family, to relate to them the spunkie's perfidy."

So another creature to worry about ... along with the likes of The Shadow People, Black Stick Men and Mothmen. Or perhaps they are figments of out imagination ... but there again ...

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