DID YOU HEAR ABOUT CHINA'S LUNAR LANDING? ME EITHER!
Whether or not you were aware, in December of 2013, China landed on the moon. Well, not actually people getting out and walking around, but they managed to get their remote-controlled "lander and Yutu, its piggybacking rover . . . down on the moon's northern Mare Imbrium—making China just the third country ever to perform a soft landing on the lunar surface, after the Soviet Union and the United States" (Greshko, para. 2, 2016).
I find this interesting and disturbing at the same time. Why, you might ask would this be disturbing? Something this big has went under the radar for 3 years. In fact, most folks I talk to about this "landing" situation are as surprised as I am. So. . .what are they covering up? This is what disturbs me about this situation. Why would something like this that seems pretty important and groundbreaking get blotted out of the public eye? What did China find on the moon? Did they find anything at all?
If you have listened to the second and the 13th episodes of our show with Mark Sargent (you can find them here) or if you are just familiar with the flat Earth theory, then you should be aware that it could be possible that China may have discovered something that American and Russian astronauts have been covering up for years: the Earth is actually flat. If China discovered the Earth was flat, then were they even able to leave the atmosphere or bubble that we live inside of? If they actually were, is the moon even what we think it is? Could it just be a prop or big machine used to monitor the Earth?
Perhaps China was able to prove once and for all that America did not land on the moon (Hahn, 2013) ---check out The Sage article here for the full story of this. Wouldn't that be something if China was able to shame NASA and America? But, again, we did not get much of any news about China's moon mission, so it's safe to say that if that actually did happen, America and other parties successfully snuffed that out.
Something else that may have kept the China moon exploration under wraps would be that it was itself a clever hoax. According to Greshko's (2016) article, China did not release the high resolution pictures that the moon rover took until 2015. Does it really take that long for digital pictures to be sent from the moon to Earth? Or was it that China was trying to devise a smooth cover-up for a hoax to trick everyone into thinking that they too have the abilities and scientific know how that America showed when they landed on the moon in 1969? In a Black Listed News.com article, Lee Rogers (2013) states:
"The little coverage there is seems to primarily focus on the political implications of this so-called lunar landing as it pertains to China emerging as a world power. There are very little if any stories focusing on their exploration of the moon. At this point, one would expect at minimum that we would be seeing droves of video clips and pictures taken from the lunar surface. Instead we have seen almost nothing. The lack of scientific findings, video and photos is just more evidence that the Chinese lunar landing is nothing more than a staged hoax" (para. 1).
The lack of evidence and news coverage has to make you see another side to the coin: China wanted to fake it in order to possibly make it. If you haven't seen the photos, check out the National Geographic article mentioned in the first paragraph here. They are neat pictures, but are they actually real?
I believe that no matter what you read or what you hear about anything, you should always come up with your own conclusions. Question everything and listen to your own convictions. As for me, I'm on the fence about China's unmanned moon mission. I can see why America would want to squash the coverage if China discovered that we have not in fact walked or ever been to the moon. I can also see why there may be a combined effort on the parts of many space exploring countries to keep whatever China found quiet if it did not line up with popular scientific understandings. If China discovered that the Earth is flat and they couldn't make it to the moon, there would be a good reason to shush the media. Again, the disturbing part about this is that we do not know the full story really. But then again, do we ever know the full story of anything?
Greshko, M. 2016. See Stunning Moon Photos from China's Lunar Lander, National Geographic: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/02/160202-china-moon-lunar-lander-photo-picture-space/.
Hahn, B. K. 201. China's Chang'e-3 Lunar landing may prove NASA did not land on the Moon, The Sage: http://www.sagenews.com/article.asp?id=3380.
Rogers, L. 2013. China's Moon Landing Hoax Becoming Increasingly Obvious by the Day, Black Listed News.com: http://www.blacklistednews.com/china%27s_moon_landing_hoax_becoming_increasingly_obvious_by_the_day/31573/0/5/5/y/m.html.
Is This Place Haunted? I Can’t Hear You!
If you’ve seen the first Conjuring movie (or better yet read Gerald Daniel Brittle’s (1980) The Demonologist , the book that contains many of the cases that appear in both Conjuring movies) you’ll probably remember that Ed and Lorraine Warren spend some time searching creaking attics and checking pipes in order to rule out possible hauntings. Because generally hauntings consist of strange noises, knocks, and eerie sounds that seem to come from nowhere or inside the walls. Paranormal investigators must rule out the ordinary before they say that some place is haunted. I mean, what’s the point in setting up EMF readers, video recorders, EVP sound recorders, and the like if the house just needs a plumber?
So besides pipes and drafts or maybe a rodent in your attic, what else could be at the root of all those creepy sounds?
According to Roman Vinokur’s (2016) Sound & Vibration article “Things that Go Bump in the Night: The Physics of ‘False’ Poltergeists,” hearing noises in houses that are considered to be haunted can be caused by “Acoustical Resonance” (p. 2). Vinokur tells about a contractor back in the 19th century that was aware of this and used it to his advantage. He placed empty vodka bottles “with the open necks outward” in the roof of an apartment building he built so that the wind would catch in the bottles and cause “mysterious nocturnal roaring” (p. 2). Needless to say tenants didn’t stay long.
The vibrations and resonance of the bottles as well as other crappy work on his building made sounds and knocks that were mostly heard at night time. Most of the time in cases of hauntings, people tend to hear creepy noises at night time. These sounds tend to make folks wonder if they are living with ghosts or poltergeists. But, according to Vinokur the reasons that these scary noises are heard mostly at night, is because most of the street noise had stopped and most everyone and everything usually settles down at night. So during the daytime creepy noises tend to go unnoticed.
What about some of the hauntings and poltergeist activities where inhabitants of a haunted area feel and sense things they can’t explain? What about manifestations or shadow figures? That’s got to be real supernatural stuff going on there right? I mean that’s more than noises.
Well. . . hold on to your EMF’s here, because there may be another culprit that is at work: ultra-low frequency sound, or infrasound.
An interesting article published in Journal of the Society for Psychical Research describes a case of a “ghost in the machine” where scientists encounter manifestations, dread, objects moving on their own like an extreme haunting or poltergeist activity (Tandy & Lawrence, 1998). Vic Tandy an engineer at a company making medical equipment, had heard that his lab area was haunted. Most of his fellow employees, including the janitor, felt uncomfortable being alone there. Tandy didn’t pay any attention to this and decided it was probably “wild cats, wild other furry things, moving pressure hoses (as the pressure fluctuates, flexible hoses sometimes move) or some sort of lighting effect” (Tandy & Lawrence, 1998, p. 3). Eventually however, Tandy began to have his own experiences. Not much at first though just “a feeling of depression, occasionally a cold shiver” but nothing really of significance (Tandy & Lawrence, 1998, p. 3). But one night while working alone, Tandy:
began to feel increasingly uncomfortable. He was sweating but cold and the feeling of depression was noticeable. . .and the groans and creaks from what was now a deserted factory were ‘spooky’, but there was also something else. It was as though something was in the room with V.T. . . As he was writing he became aware that he was being watched, and a figure slowly emerged to his left. It was indistinct and on the periphery of his vision but it moved as V.T. would expect a person to. The apparition was grey and made no sound. The hair was standing up on V.T.’s neck and there was a distinct chill in the room. As V.T. recalls, ‘It would not be unreasonable to suggest I was terrified’. V.T. was unable to see any detail and finally built up the courage to turn and face the thing. As he turned the apparition faded and disappeared. There was absolutely no evidence to support what he had seen (Tandy & Lawrence, 1998, p. 3).
The next day Tandy had a fencing competition to go to and brought along his “spare foil blade” to do some work on it while in the lab. As he sat his blade down, he noticed the slender blade moving, vibrating. He took it in his hand and walked the length of the lab area. He noticed that the vibrations increased as he moved to the center of the lab and decreased as he made his way towards the entrance/exit doors and the back of the lab. What did this mean?
This meant that there were ultra-low high frequency sound waves blasting through the lab. He nor anyone else could or is able to hear these ultra-low high frequency sounds, but they had to be powerful if they were causing his blade to move and of course causing the auditory and visual hallucinations.
Much like the 19th century “haunted” apartment building mentioned above, the lab became a sort of vacuum for sound waves to move like, well, a wave: high peaks and low troughs that cycle back and forth bouncing off of walls and surfaces. This means that within the vacuum of say the lab or the building, temperatures and pressures would ebb and flow with the low frequency sounds and expose those caught up in the “waves” to supernatural-like effects. Vinokur (2016) states that “infrasound can painfully vibrate internal human organs” which would then cause nausea (p. 2 & 3). It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch here to assume that infrasound could also vibrate your brain (even the inner ear) causing disruption in brain chemistry that could lead to depression. Tandy and Lawrence (1998) state that these infrasounds can cause the feelings of being watched, depression, and even cause hallucinations like Tandy himself experienced.
The ultimate source of the infrasound in the lab was a big fan in need of a tune-up. But because the noise from the fan was not detectable to human ear, it went unchecked. After it was fixed, no one reported any more hauntings in the lab.
So does all this mean that there is really no such thing as hauntings and poltergeist? Nope. That’s not really the point I’m making here. What I am saying is that natural things can cause humans to experience supernatural things. We are constantly being bombarded by waves of different kinds that we can’t see or hear. Look at your cell phone or your WiFi signal. Those communicate using waves invisible to the naked eye. There are colors that we can’t see in the light spectrum, but they are there nonetheless. Sounds are the same way. Just because we can’t hear them, doesn’t mean they are not there. And they are waves, they have movement and pressure and they can cause problems.
Now after we have determined that there is no disruption to an area due to infrasound, pipes, drafts, or alley cats, then we get out the ghost gear, pray, do our rituals or what have you and look for something supernatural.
If you want an example of something supernatural, try giving our 12th episode with Deborah Moffett a listen. The descriptions that she gives about her struggle with a real life poltergeist or demon will send chills down your spin! Listen here.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed it!
Brittle, G. D. 1980. The Demonologist: The Extraordinary Career of Ed and Lorraine Warren,
Tandy, V. and Lawrence, T.R. 1998. The Ghost in the Machine, Journal of the Society for
Psychical Research Vol.62, No 851. http://www.richardwiseman.com/resources/ghost-in-machine.pdf.
Vinokur, R. 2016. Things that Go Bump in the Night: The Physics of “False” Poltergeists, Sound
& Vibration, www.SandV.com.
Black Eyed Kids
If you are a fan of paranormal/supernatural type things and events, no doubt you have ran across some spooky tales about the infamous "black eyed kids." If you are unfamiliar with the legend, it generally goes something like this:
You are at your house late at night when there is a knock on the door. You answer the door and find one or more pale-skinned kids with completely black eyes standing there. Suddenly the hair on the back of your neck stands up. You get this feeling that these "kids" are up to no good. Then one of them asks if they can come in for various reasons (i.e. to call their parents, they are lost and want to hang out in your house until their parents come get them, they are cold, etc.). For whatever reason (let's say your sixth sense) you are afraid to let them in. In your gut you know that if you let these kids in, something, you don't know just what, but something bad will happen.
Now there are hundreds of different variations of this story floating around online. Most of the time the "true" stories of a black eyed kid encounter has the person answering the door and telling the kids to leave. Very rarely do any stories have the kids cross the threshold of a doorway. I'll let you Google "real black eyed kid experience" so that you can see what I mean.
After doing some online research it may seem as though the lore of black eyed kids (BEK as they are usually referred to) seem to be timeless, but the rumors of their existence only goes back to 1996. If you remember back in 1996 the Internet was fairly primitive (insert annoying dial-up sounds ---you know what I'm talking about). But be that as it may, the first story of a BEK encounter was reported way back then.
According to Internet folklore and Ryan Sprague's article on Jim Harold's website, the BEK legend started with a man named Brian Bethel one night outside a movie theater. To make a long story short, Bethel saw a group of these creepy looking BEK's lurking about the movie theater parking lot and was approached by the "leader" of the group asking for a ride. No doubt Bethel felt uneasy and began to sense some darkness or evil coming from this group of kids. Then Internet reports of folks having these kids randomly show up at their place or residence speaking and looking much like I generally described before became somewhat common.
BEK's are interesting in that they combine so many things that tend to freak most of us out: pale skin, kids meandering about without adult supervision late at night, something from some unknown origin, a creepy invite into the place where you live (or in Bethel's case, your vehicle), and the dead, shark-like blackness in their eyes. I'd like to break apart the different aspects of these BEK encounters and see just what each reminds me of and how I think possibly the legend may have borrowed some of its supernatural roots.
First off let's look at the fact that we are dealing with kids. Most of us look at children as innocent and in need of supervision by an adult; someone needs to look after them to keep them safe from the grown-up world. Perhaps this idea of an innocent kid showing up in the wrong place at the wrong time awakens an inherent, primitive fear that something is amiss. Couple this primitive fear with the fact that horror movies since the beginning of film history it seems (think about the original Children of the Damned or the little girl in the original Night of the Living Dead -- creepy) tend to portray kids as little evil killers or what have you, then we might start to get to the bottom of why BEK's seem spooky in the first place. Of course, this is just speculation by a regular Joe here.
Second, those creepy eyes. When I think of something with completely blacked out eyes, I think of a cat. Think about your cat or cats you've seen throughout your life. Whenever they are getting serious and about to bite, claw, rip, or pounce, their pupils dilate to the point to where their eyes are nearly all black. When you notice your cat's black eyes, usually you avoid its next movement because its in "play" mode. Of course "play" for cats can end in tears for cat owners, or maybe that's just my cat, Tuna, and my tears *sniffle*.
Think about sharks too. If you've seen any show during Shark Week, then you've seen some great up-close shots of sharks attacking. Their eyes are usually almost all black and have that "dead" look to them. Perhaps this "dead" look or this "serious" look taps into something else primal inside of us. Do we instinctually know that black eyes, or mostly black eyes, may mean that the person or animal is not to be fooled with? Perhaps this is part of our fight or flight response?
Also, having your entire eyes black is not natural. Again, this could be a red flag for our brain that sends those shivers down our spine and awakens our inner voice to say "hey, I don't know what exactly, but there's something off about these black eyed kids, so I better not let them in my house."
Any BEK story that I've had the pleasure to read has the kids showing up at strange times and places. May be we have been conditioned due to the media or how we have grown up that if someone is some place they are not usually at an unusual time, they immediately become suspect. This could be because we know home invasions, robberies, kidnappings, and general scary stuff tends to occur during odd or off hours in odd or unusual situations. Having BEK knock on your door at three AM would definitely fall into the realm of odd I would think.
Another interesting detail that is standard in BEK lore is that the kids often ask to enter the house or for a ride or something. This to me is perhaps the scariest part. It's a different situation to have someone outside your world or little protective sphere. But when someone comes into your space or wants to come into your personal space, no matter who you are really, I think that amps up the anxiety. Being that the BEK's have arrived on your door steps at the Witching Hour and now they "need" something from you that requires them to enter into your house, you are in a tough spot. Again, these are kids and possibly instinctually you want to help them because even though they look weird, hey, they're just kids. Right? So, despite having your brain and your body telling you to shut the door and avoid this situation, you still have to make the decision to not engage in what they are asking.
This invitation or asking for permission reminds me of a lot of demonic lore. Over the years I have heard a ton of stuff about people messing with demons, getting possessed, wanting to be possessed, and getting rid of demons. In almost every situation I dig into, it all starts out with giving a demon or evil spirit permission. This could be within a dream or in a person's mind. But when dealing with demons, I'm no expert and I don't try to be. I just think this aspect of the BEK lore mirrors the old legends of demons or evil spirits: if you invite them in, they got you, and they own you.
Because demons or spirits are either spirits or non-human entities, they supposedly need our permission to inhabit our brain space. I would assume the rules for the BEK's are about the same. They can't do whatever it is that they want to do to you or with you, unless you invite them in or give them some sort of permission.
This also mirrors some vampire lore. If you've ever seen Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Let the Right One In or Fright Night (original or remake) as well as hundreds of other vampire movies, then you've seen how movie vampires tend to react if they are not invited into the house by the owner of the house. But when they are invited, they never have to ask permission again. They can come and go as they please. Just thinking about this comparison with the BEK's is freaking me out right now. Maybe I shouldn't be writing this late at night, in the dark...
Finally, the BEK's tend to be pale skinned and sickly looking. This is disturbing because no one wants to see a malnourished or mistreated child. When the BEK's look like both, then we get those mental alarms going off again. Also, the pale color of their skin would tend to remind us somewhere way back in our brain of that time we went to the funeral home and saw a relative or friend on display in a coffin. Corpses tend to be pale. Kids should not be unusually pale. Bing, bing, bing, goes the WTF alarm in our brains.
I've never personally experienced BEK's nor do I know anyone who has. We could write a book (and there have been many written about BEK's) about all the things that BEK's might be up to or what they actually are. Could they be an internet myth created for fun much like Slender Man? It seems that the lore and legends grab and pull from many well established tropes of other supernatural beings.
I think I'm on the fence again. I guess I'll stay on the fence until I get a knock on the door early in the morning only to find that there are several, unusually pale, kids with black eyes on my door step asking to come inside because it's cold outside and they need to call their mother.
What do you think? Have a BEK story to share? Have a hypothesis as to what they actually are? Shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.