No Not Brains, Cauliflower – Berlin Cannibal Restaurant a Hoax

A couple weeks back I wrote an article about a restaurant in Berlin that wanted to serve donated human body parts as a delicacy. The restaurant Flime turned out to be flimflam.  This hoax was perpetuated by a German vegetarian organization. 

During the press release last Thursday officials from this organization said it was actually a stunt to promote eating cauliflower, not human calves.  In fact the main point of the stunt was that eating animals should be just as stomach turning as consuming human flesh.

Although the group is happy with how the gag ended, lots of people are still very upset.  Even an official from a Brazilian town called Guajara-Mirim said he wants to sue the creators of the Flime website.  The site falsely claimed another one of these restaurants were located in the Amazonian town.  The official said that this act dismembered the town’s tourisms friendly image.

This disgusting joke was thought up a year ago by an ad agency called Serviceplan and the vegetarian group participated.  The agency placed fake ads in German newspapers in which they asked people to donate their limbs.  They also started up a website where people could fill out a donor sheet where questions about the individual were asked and submitted.  They even set up a fake eBay auction for a plate of liver, which ended up being yanked for the site, but not before reaching $1,000.

References:

http://www.aolnews.com/world/article/berlin-cannibal-restaurant-revealed-as-hoax/19619077

2010 Mothman Festival: An Interview With Jeff Wamsley

The Mothman Festival, which takes place annually in Point Pleasant, WV is just around the corner.  Celebrating the local paranormal legend it draws its name from, The Mothman Festival will kick off it’s 9th installment Saturday September 18 and run through the 19th.  I had the chance to catch up with Jeff Wamsley, the driving force behind this event, to get his thoughts on this year’s festival, as well as the sightings that sparked it all.

“I was born and raised here in Point Pleasant.  I was 5 years old when the sightings started,” Jeff says.  “We lived a few doors away from (original witness) Linda Scarberry, so as I grew older and saw books like John Keel’s “The Mothman Prophecies,” I realized that this stuff all happened real close by.”

What happened was the Mothman, and it is among the most talked about stories among paranormal enthusiasts.  For those that don’t know much about it, Jeff recounts the details:  “Point Pleasant first saw this thing on November 15th 1966 up in the TNT area.  Two young couples saw it.  7 feet tall, giant wings and glowing red eyes.  From there on out over 100 reported sightings were filed; tons of UFOs too.”

But the intrigue didn’t stop there.  In the wake of these sightings, more strange things started happening.  According to Mr. Wamsley, “many Mothman and UFO witnesses were approached by strange looking men dressed in black who warned and threatened them about speaking to the press, newspapers and media.  Many witnesses were intimidated into keeping quiet, and some are still silent to this day.”  Unfortunately, Jeff himself has had no luck getting them to open up either.  “Believe me, I have tried to get them to sit down with me and talk about what they saw.  Not going to happen.”

Jeff is aware as anyone that the story of Mothman can sound a little far fetched, and understands why some might be skeptical of it.  But, as he puts it, skeptics are just a part of the story.  “It would be hard to believe this stuff unless you had encountered it or spoke to people who did and I have.  These people are not professional liars by any means.  Too many people saw it and described it the same way.”

Aside from growing up in the area, Mr. Wamsley operates the world’s one and only Mothman Museum.  It is here that folks come to check out props from the film John Keel’s book inspired, as well as grab a souvenir or two, be they books, pins, t-shirts and more.  Simply put, the story of Mothman, as well as his hometown, are important to him.

“Not every small town like Point Pleasant has its own monster,” Jeff jokes.  “The festival was started almost 10 years ago to get some folks to visit Main Street.  Now there is nowhere to park during the festival.  I really feel I owe my hometown something.  It was a great place to grow up.  It just happened to also be the home to UFOs, Men in Black, and giant things that flew around.”

If you are interested in heading to Point Pleasant for the Mothman Festival this year, Jeff says you can expect plenty.  “Lots of people, food, guest speakers, vendors, live bands, hayrides, bus tours.  We try to bring something new each year.  It’s just a big family reunion for all who come each year.  Its always good to see old friends who like to hunt for Mothman.”

Myself, as well as my friends and fellow co-hosts on Strange Frequencies Radio, Bobby Nelson and Robyn McKinney, will be back again this year and look forward to enjoying the festivities.  Maybe we’ll see you there!

For more information about the Mothman Festival, including speakers as well as restaurants and accommodations you might want to check out in the area, please visit www.mothmanfestival.com

Magical Lottery Winning Vagina Tree!

English-language paper, The Phuket Gazette. (GREAT NAME)  in Thailand posted a story about a tree witch looks quite similar to a woman with her legs spread and her “cho-cha” hanging out. As if that is not interesting enough,  mysterious numbers printed on the tree caused several locals to play those numbers and actually WIN THE LOTTERY! (really?!?).  Personally I have seen this photograph before, I can’t recall exactly where but I can assure you that this has been circulating around the internet for at least several years. It seems this story is causing quite a stir to skeptics because no locals to the area can recall a tree like this, and a tree like this would not go unnoticed in Thailand (see two favorite destinations for Thai families below). Additionally, there were no reports of anyone having won the Lottery in Thailand in recent days.

Vagina Tree

Vagina Tree

For now I am going to side with the Skeptics on this one and say that this magical lottery winning vagina tree is just a simple internet hoax, a very entertaining one at that. And seeing as Thai families flock to other genitalia shaped destinations, This tree would likely be a tourist hot spot.

Grandmother Rock - Thailand

Grandmother Rock - Thailand

Grandfather Rock - Thailand

Grandfather Rock - Thailand

Reference: http://www.phuketgazette.net/queernews/

Chupacabra and the Hendersons

Over in Jack County, Texas, Staysha Henderson was greeted by a lovely creature that was inside her camper.  The creature was very skinny, hairless and had grey skin.  Unfortunately for Henderson she is now undergoing a series of rabies shots after being attacked by this creature as she went to offer it a bowl of water.  Henderson’s family shot and killed the mysterious creature, they believe to be the infamous chupacabra or in some circles it is being called the Texas blue dog.

Supposedly tests are being done to find out exactly what this creature is.

I will keep you all updated when the results are in.

References:

http://www.woai.com/news/local/story/Woman-claims-chupacabra-attacked-her/2mZUJXYkakOB4SjqDOgoWQ.cspx

Bad Universe: Great Show

Bad Universe: Absolutely terrifyingly entertaining.  This is not your typical science show about the universe; it’s more like Mythbusters meets astronomy.  With awesome experiments and highly enjoyable information that will both scare the crap out of you and keep you glued to the television.  There are not many shows of this caliber on television right now; this will capture the attention of children and adults, another perfect show for kids to watch with their parents.  You can completely feel the passion host Dr. Phil Plait has for astronomy and that is what makes this show Philnomenal!  Thank you Phil, you made it cool to want to be an astronaut again.

And I just want to add one more thing, if Discovery gave Ghost Lab a full series, they better give Bad Universe a shot at a full series, if not I will be insulted.

I’ll Have a Side of Farver Beans and a Nice Chianti Please

There are talks of a restaurant called Flime opening in Berlin.  It has been getting much attention in German media because the restaurant has started a campaign to find donors.  The donors are not being asked for money or any type of investments into the company, instead they are being asked to donate body parts.  Supposedly ears, testicles and stomach fat are being asked for, so they may be turned into high class gourmet meals.  According to this soon-to-open restaurant they will follow old cooking habits of age old cannibalistic tribe of the Amazon.   

In Flime’s campaign, through German media they are calling for donors to be involved in with what they call the new diners movement.  Flime is also calling for “open-minded surgeons” as well.   It is no surprise that this campaign has stirred up a bit of controversy.  Already groups of protesters are fighting for a ban of this restaurant, claiming that it is highly distasteful and disrespectful following a case of real cannibalism which occurred in Germany in 2001. 

The inspiration, Flime says, come from a ritual called “compassionate cannibalism” in which the indigenous Brazilian Waricaca tribe would eat pieces of loved ones to help with mourning on their passing.

Michael Braun, the vice-chairman of Berlin’s Christian Democrat party is trying very hard to get to the bottom of what he feels is a “stunt” or “warped joke.”  Sadly he has had no luck. 

Braun said “it’s disgusting, not least because it wasn’t long ago that we had the case of the Berliner who was murdered by a cannibal,” referring to Armin Meiwes , who was sentenced to life in prison for murdering and consuming Bernd Jürgen Brandes in 2001.

Experts believe that Germany alone has approximately 800 followers of the underground cannibal movement.

I am almost 100% positive Germany officials would step in to assure something this disturbing wouldn’t happen.  The dangers of consuming humans can possibly be extreme.  Just research the outbreak of kuru in the Fore tribe in Papua New Guinea, which came from something they called mortuary feasting.

References:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/aug/26/cannibal-restaurant-flime-germany

I’ll Have a Wee Bit of Whisky

I read something today that make me sit back in my chair and actually say out loud “what the f***!” 

A British art student, James Gilpin, who is studying at the London Royal College of Art has a very interesting hobby, he makes whisky.  What’s so interesting about that?  You may know many people into home brewing (I do a bit myself), well Mr. Gilpin has a method of brewing that uses elderly diabetic, rich in sugar, urine.  That’s right folks, pee.

The project is called “Gilpin Family Whisky” and the main source of material is acquired from elderly volunteers, including James very own grandmother.  The urine is than purified in which the sugars are removed and added to the mash to speed up the fermentation process. 

Once this process is finished it will turn into a clear alcohol where whiskey blends are added to give it color.  Then the product is bottled and labeled with the donor’s name and date. 

Although this is actually a very clever way to produce whisky, Gilpin, claims he has not intentions on selling this product, it is more of an art form.

References:

http://entertainment.stv.tv/showbiz/194132-wee-whisky/

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2010-08/24/pissky

UFO Spotted on Google Earth?

So as I was doing a quick search for some woo news, I stumbled across this photo. 

This was part of a collection by Google called ‘the most mysterious sightings ever.’  The most mysterious sightings ever, are you serious?  This picture isn’t that puzzling at all, when I first glanced at it, I was looking for the UFO.  I had no idea they were talking about the top of a man made structure, most likely a water tower.

It seems people just label anything that is spherical or circular a UFO.  No sightings of this gargantuan craft were ever reported, not even by the person driving the red truck in the photograph.  My favorite thing about this photo is the lonely road which travels right up to “UFO.” 

I laugh because I wouldn’t have even written this article if I didn’t see so many comments that “this is proof alien space craft’s have visited earth.”  “This is proof of a UFO, because Google earth doesn’t photoshop images,” well I guess I partially agree with that last statement, Google earth didn’t photoshop the picture but it’s not proof of a UFO, it’s proof of manmade structures.   Sadly it is also proof that some people are so blinded by a belief that they will subscribe to any possible piece of “evidence” as hard fact.

“Ectoplasmic residue…It’s the real thing.”

I was sent a picture last night of what some people are claiming to be “ectoplasmic” mist surrounding a females head. 

If you notice in the photo, the individual is wearing a coat and the “ghost” like mist appears to be right by her head.  It doesn’t take much to realize, that this apparition in mid manifestation is actually the woman’s breath.

Being a skeptic and paranormal researcher there are certain things I can’t stand in the field of paranormal research; one of those things is the claim of ectoplasm.  Ectoplasm (from the Greek ektos which means “outside” and plasma which means “something formed”) which was previously called teleplasm, is a term that was coined by French physiologist and noble prize winner Charles Robert Richet. 

Charles Richet

Richet a man with a passion for science and medicine also had a high interest in psychical research; he even served as president of the Society of Psychical Research located in London in 1905.  Initially Richet was close minded and shrugged off claims of psychic phenomena.  But in his book, Thirty Years of Psychical Research, published in 1923 Richet wrote that he was shameful he was one of the many that was among the willfully blind. 

Richet studied the claims of an Italian peasant named Eusapia Palladino, who was producing some very weird phenomena.  This is when Richet coined the term ectoplasm, explaining that is was some type of jellylike protoplasm that emanates from the medium. 

It is important to note that many researchers of the time felt Palladino was nothing more than a charlatan.  But the typical mindset of a scientist, Richet felt he couldn’t be duped, and defend Palladino.  Richet wrote “Even if there were no other medium than Eusapia in the world, her manifestations would suffice to establish scientifically the reality of telekinesis and ectoplasmic forms.”   Sadly for Richet, this wouldn’t be the case, ectoplasm was never proven authentic, in fact just the opposite.

Lots of ectoplasm cases had been proven to be nothing more than fraud. People using items such as cheese cloth, gauze, chewed paper, egg whites, muslin and even pieces of meat from chicken or cows. 

The way lots of mediums produced this feat was the real work of art, hiding these objects anywhere within reach, even in their own vaginas or rectums.  Some mediums even swallowed these objects and regurgitated them during the séance when the lights were out.

But the thing I find so fascinating is the evolution of this phenomena, how it went from a solid form to a mist.  How it went from protruding out of the orifices of mediums, to a lingering fog floating around alleged haunted locations.

I don’t mean to sound rude but it’s absolutely embarrassing, almost eye rolling to look at some photos that people think is authentic ectoplasmic evidence.  Of course now days ectoplasm only exist in photographs.  Personally, I liked it more when it was cheese cloth. 

Me and ectoplasm

Van Sant Bridge – Solebury Township, PA (Crybaby Bridge)

I must have been no older than 15 when I visited “Crybaby Bridge” for the first time, The legend goes like this:

::A young unwed mother gave birth to a child, and since it was such a disgrace to have a baby without a husband, she threw her crying newborn over the edge of this covered bridge and it plummeted to it’s death, she then hung herself from the inside of this covered bridge. If you park in the center of the bridge you can hear the baby crying, and sometimes hear the sound of the poor woman’s feet scraping across the top of your roof::

Lets take a look at Van Sant Bridge together.

As you can see, there is not a very steep drop off the side of the bridge, though I am sure if you threw a baby off the side you could do some serious damage to the baby. (I would be crying too). Its a small bridge and what you can not see in this photograph is that it is surrounded by houses, beautiful, upscale suburban homes. In fact when I visited again as an adult one of the home owners came outside and told me they love to “screw” with the people who show up here because there is absolutely nothing haunted about it. Now I will give you my experience as a teen and my experience as an adult.

TEEN EXPERIENCE:

Myself and about 5 others drove through insane (spooky) back roads and through suburban neighborhoods before the time of GPS by the way, and finally happened upon “Crybaby” bridge. we did just as we were told to do, we drove up, parked right in the center and turned the car off. We listened for the sounds of a crying baby, and sure enough we heard something that sounded EXACTLY LIKE A BABY! we all freaked out screaming, the driver turned on the car as quick as could be and we zoomed away. That was literally our experience. Fun, right?

ADULT EXPERIENCE:

Myself and two other “investigators” (note: I’m older and I am now called an Investigator) show up at the bridge. We used our GPS to navigate through suburbia, the drive was a lot less spooky this time around. We arrived and took out our “equipment” and began investigating the location. This is when the Solebury Township Police showed up to ask us what we were doing, and when we told them they basically laughed in our adult faces, needless to say they left us alone and we continued with what we were doing. We each took a recorder and we placed them on the ledges on either side of the entrance to the bridge, we sat and waited…. nothing happened. Well not exactly nothing, remember as I mentioned earlier one of the owners of the surrounding homes came down to talk to us about how frustrating it was that all these people kept disturbing the neighborhood over this “nonsense”. He also informed us that there were vandals that put graffiti all over this historical bridge (that always makes me cringe), but said he has lived there for over 30 years and absolutely nothing has ever been seen, except the wildlife, like little families of red fox……

RED FOX!

At that very moment a little bell went off in my constantly racing ADD brain, could it be these fox making the sound of a crying baby? It didn’t take much time to figure out that female red fox when fighting sound exactly like a baby crying..  in my adult eyes and in the words of Scooby and the gang, Mystery solved.


I don’t think Van Sant Bridge in Solebury Township is haunted by the ghost of a poor lonely (easy) girl who killed herself and her baby, I think it is a nice historical place that you can listen to little red fox fight.