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World Weird News

When lightning strikes twice… or three or four times

Here is the strange tale of William Yeldell Cosper, born 1844 and died 1919. His grave lies in Childersburg, Talladega County, Alabama, but it has not been a peaceful rest.

In 1919, Cosper was standing on his front porch during a storm and was struck by lightning. Miraculously he survived, even though he was pushing 75. He was convalescing some time after the incident when lightning struck him again, inside the house! The second strike was fatal.

He was mourned and buried in the Childersburg Cemetery and left to rest in peace. However, several years later his headstone was struck by lightning and destroyed.

Photo by Tina Urban

The family had the stone replaced. Then, sometime later, the stone was struck, yet again, and destroyed a second time. At this point the family was no longer able to bear the expense of another stone replacement, so the grave remains in its shattered state.

Is there any reason for lightning to be so persistently attracted to William Yeldell Cosper? Is it simply a remarkable coincidence?

You can find details about William’s grave on his find-a-grave page, posted and maintained by David Cahoon.

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World Weird News

The Vrillon Incident, 1977

(Header photo by Light Guru/YouTube)

Today marks an unusual anniversary. Saturday, November 26, 1977, people were watching the 5 o’clock news broadcast on England’s Southern TV. Andrew Gardner was steadfastly presenting the news of the day in the sensible, soothing tones of journalistic assurance. Suddenly, the picture began to distort and another voice broke into the broadcast, a strange, alien voice with a message for humanity. Here is what viewers saw.

The voice is difficult to understand, so here is a transcript.

“This is the voice of Vrillon, a representative of the Ashtar Galactic Command, speaking to you. For many years you have seen us as lights in the skies. We speak to you now in peace and wisdom as we have done to your brothers and sisters all over this, your planet Earth. 

“We come to warn you of the destiny of your race and your world so that you may communicate to your fellow beings the course you must take to avoid the disaster which threatens your world, and the beings on our worlds around you. This is in order that you may share in the great awakening, as the planet passes into the New Age of Aquarius. The New Age can be a time of great peace and evolution for your race, but only if your rulers are made aware of the evil forces that can overshadow their judgments. 

“Be still now and listen, for your chance may not come again. All your weapons of evil must be removed. The time for conflict is now past and the race of which you are a part may proceed to the higher stages of its evolution if you show yourselves worthy to do this. You have but a short time to learn to live together in peace and goodwill. Small groups all over the planet are learning this, and exist to pass on the light of the dawning New Age to you all. You are free to accept or reject their teachings, but only those who learn to live in peace will pass to the higher realms of spiritual evolution. 

“Hear now the voice of Vrillon, a representative of the Ashtar Galactic Command, speaking to you. Be aware also that there are many false prophets and guides at present operating on your world. They will suck your energy from you – the energy you call money and will put it to evil ends and give you worthless dross in return. Your inner divine self will protect you from this. You must learn to be sensitive to the voice within that can tell you what is truth, and what is confusion, chaos and untruth. Learn to listen to the voice of truth which is within you and you will lead yourselves onto the path of evolution. 

“This is our message to our dear friends. We have watched you growing for many years as you too have watched our lights in your skies. You know now that we are here, and that there are more beings on and around your Earth than your scientists admit. We are deeply concerned about you and your path towards the light and will do all we can to help you. Have no fear, seek only to know yourselves, and live in harmony with the ways of your planet Earth. 

“We here at the Ashtar Galactic Command thank you for your attention. We are now leaving the planes of your existence. May you be blessed by the supreme love and truth of the cosmos.”

Articles you find on the incident proclaim it to be a hoax, though the perpetrators were never caught. Experts say that the equipment required was sophisticated and would have needed to be moved close to one of their UHF broadcast towers. (Remember, this was 1977, when technology was not as widely and cheaply available as it is today.)

Who broadcast this message? Was it an elaborate joke or a genuine attempt to change hearts and minds? Is it unthinkable that this came from another race of beings? For some it is.

Regardless of what we decide about the origin and nature of this message, The Vrillon Incident remains a fascinating point in history.

Read more about the history in this article by the Independent.

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World Weird News

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water

[Feature Image by HunterxColleen (CC BY-SA 3.0)]

When I was young, people worried about shark attacks in the ocean. The Jaws movies convinced us that the cold, black eyes of death were waiting for us beneath the surface.

Most of us have gotten over that and figured out that sharks are friends, not fiends. However, some readers may find themselves nervous about going into the water again after watching this video of a tarantula swimming in a pool at the Big Bend Ranch State Park in Texas.

That’s right, folks. We’ve got swimming tarantulas in Texas. In truth, you have very little to worry about, taking a dip with a tarantula. Their bite is relatively harmless to humans and, unless you have an allergy, you would suffer very little. The creep factor of the hairy spiders, though, is pretty strong. That’s why we see them so often in movies.

So, share the pool! Swim friendly. It’s the Texas way.

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World Weird News

Cemetery Unappreciative of Family’s Halloween Spirit

Those who follow my World Weird News are people with a darker sense of humor. You carry Halloween in your hearts. You share jokes about crazy things that you’d like to have happen at your funeral to create confusion and wonder. So, you would completely appreciate Christina Wohle.

Wohle’s son, Cole, died at the age of 18 after a rodeo, not from event injuries, but from a heart attack. It is a difficult and tragic life event. However, Cole was a spirited man, with a darker sense of humor. To honor him, they put Halloween decorations on his grave. The cemetery keeps taking them down.

The claim is that the decorations interfere with mowing and maintenance. Christina calls bullshit on that. Here is her Facebook post, showing the before and after of the decorations.

Christina Wohle puts decorations in honor of her late son’s Halloween spirit and sense of humor. The city keeps taking them down.

When I die, assuming I’m not immortal, I hope that someone cares enough about me to make a pilgrimage to my grave and do something that honors me and give the world a little twist. Those who knew Cole seem to believe he would appreciate the gesture as well.

I get it that some people need death to be forever about sadness and loss. I have learned that it is also about continuance, by continuing to remember and celebrate the best parts of people. I think this tradition is a wonderful way to honor Cole. I hope they get to the bottom of this vandalism and are allowed to respect their loved one in their own way.

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World Weird News

Fisherman lost at sea describes being violated by mermaids

Sailors have long told the tales of spying mermaids at sea. The traditional answer is that lonely sailors out at sea, fueled by a strong desire for companionship and rum would see manatees sunning themselves on the rocks and imagine them to be beautiful women.

To be clear, they saw this:

from this:

I’d like to think that there’s not enough rum in the world to take me there, but… well… never mind!

Enter Florida fisherman, Alvin McCallister, 72, who was rescued from a small, rocky islet 200 miles off coast. He was shipwrecked a couple of weeks ago and showed incredible courage and capability by surviving off what he could eat in the area, which was seagulls, mussels, and urchins. He also says that during this ordeal, he suffered further when he was sexually violated by mermaids.

Doctors suggest that this was a hallucination brought on by toxins in the animals he ate. The physical symptoms he exhibits they suggest were self-inflicted. I wasn’t there. I don’t know. It is a bizarre experience and, whether all in his head or somehow more real, terrifying.

The full story is available for you to read, but, as always, I paraphrase from Shakespeare “There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

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World Weird News

Emergency Services Respond when Bathroom break threatens to go nuclear

In these sensitive times you need to be careful what you say, even in places that might be considered sacred. A man in a Home Depot bathroom gave a friendly warning to everyone when he stepped into a stall.

“You all need to get out of here because I’m fixin’ to blow it up.”

Here’s what happened next.

Mistaking what might have been an overdose of enchiladas for potential terrorism, a concerned citizen made a phone call to the authorities.

“We just had a customer here made what may have been a bomb threat. He said, uh, somebody told me there’s a bomb in here and you need to leave the building. He said it three times.”

Police responded and found no sign of an explosive, but did manage to track down the man and discovered it was all a misunderstanding. Fortunately, everyone recognized it was a joke and no one had to go away. Good thing he was in a hardware store and not an airport!

You can see the original report below from KWCH12 IN Wichita, Kansas.

The original KWCH12 report
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World Weird News

A tiger? In texas?

So, you’re wandering around, trying to figure out the best place to smoke your weed, and you see an abandoned house. Perfect! You go inside, ready to enjoy some deep chillin’, when your buzz is all harshed by… a tiger!

A couple of Houstonians had just this experience. Unbelievably, they called 311, which was probably a very good thing. The tiger was underfed, thirsty, and housed in a cage that she could have easily escaped. Authorities picked up the animal and began her care while an animal sanctuary was found that can take her in. Here’s the news video.

No word as to what happened to the would-be stoners. Good on them for worrying less about their own jeopardy and calling this in before someone got hurt. The story could have been very different.

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World Weird News

Lead Astronomer Standing By ET Claim

It’s one thing when the eccentrics talk about alien spacecraft in our solar system. It’s something else altogether when the head of a university astronomy department says it.

The chairman of Harvard University’s astronomy department, Avi Loeb, released a controversial analysis of an asteroid object, dubbed Oumuamua (pronounced /Oh-mooah-mooah/). It talked about the unusual nature of the object based on its behavior. What got everyone’s attention was this quote:

“Considering an artificial origin, one possibility is that ‘Oumuamua’ is a lightsail, floating in interstellar space as a debris from an advanced technological equipment,”

As you can imagine, Loeb took a good deal of criticism from the science community. Now that Oumuamua is making its way back out of our solar system, you would think that he would just nod his head and say “You guys are right. It’s just a rock.”

Loeb is not doing that.

The name Oumuamua is a Hawaiian word meaning “messenger from afar arriving first” or “scout.” In his paper, Loeb said that the mathematics of the object’s movement was not consistent with other sorts of natural objects. If your math mojo is sufficient, you can see his work in the paper referenced above.

In a recent article from the Washington Post, Loeb continues to stand by his belief that this was more than just a fancy rock that happened into our solar system.

We have not been able to get a good picture of the object—at least not that I could find. The pictures that you normally see are an artist’s imaginings, like pictures of dinosaurs. There is what is considered to be a good photo of the object, created by combining multiple images from the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope as well as the Gemini South Telescope.

Before you get too excited at what appears to be a flyby of the Starship Enterprise, the actual object is the little white dot marked with a blue circle in the middle of the frame. The apparent portals are stars which were distorted as the telescope tracked with the moving object.

It’s great to see someone stand by their conclusions in the face of opposition. A guy named Galileo did something similar, facing an Inquisition hearing for heresy. That all worked out OK, and his discoveries and thought are still a part of modern scientific culture. Will we eventually discover that Loeb was right? Is it even possible to find out? Probably not in our lifetime.

I think the truth is out there, though. I firmly believe that eventually we will enter into a new age of humanity as we discover our place amongst other beings in the stars. For now, we get a little fuzzy dot.

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World Weird News

FYRE festival taken down by magick?

You may have heard of the ill-fated FYRE Festival, a music extravaganza on an island that turned a wealthy group of music fans into something from Lord of the Flies. Recently, come documentaries came out about the ill-fated event. Here is a trailer for one of them before.

https://youtu.be/j8lNWj5Atu0

Some have said the the downfall of the event was due to incompetence, greed, mismanagement… all the usual things. But, that’s not the only story out there.

A number of articles, like this one from Vanity Fair, suggest that it was none of these things, but that Blink-182’s Matt Skiba used witchcraft to take down the festival. Can a little bit of negative mojo do something like this? In a word, yes! This is why when someone begins to do workings, it is important to have intentions crystal clear or you may have some serious unintended consequences.

In the case of the FYRE Festival, any take-down magick was probably pretty low-hanging fruit. Anyone could probably have lit a candle, said a few words, and gone “Ta-da!” at the end of it all. But, don’t doubt that people from all walks of life try to use their power to make things happen, and it’s not all happy-time, fuzzy-bunny magic. Keep your shields up!

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World Weird News

Exorcisms are on the rise

In 1973, the world was introduced to the world of exorcism in a disturbing film, The Exorcist, that still impacts audiences today. Of course, the movie did not invent the exorcism, and it is not the sole dominion of the Catholic church. Religions throughout the world and throughout history have forms of exorcism.

The Catholic church was very coy about exorcisms for some time, though there was always a number of priests, trained in exorcisms, quietly doing their work. That seems to have changed, and not the way you might imagine. Exorcisms are on the rise and the Church is much more open about it all. This is clearly seen with an article in the Catholic Herald entitled Driving out the Devil: what’s behind the exorcism boom?

Here is a telling quote from the article.

“Pope Francis, who regularly speaks about the Devil, has told priests that they ‘should not hesitate’ to call on exorcists if they hear confessions or see behaviour indicating satanic activity. Just a few months into his pioneering pontificate, Francis himself performed an informal exorcism on a man in a wheelchair in St Peter’s Square. The youngster had been brought by a Mexican priest who presented him as demon-possessed. The Pope intently laid two hands upon the man’s head, clearly concentrating on driving out the demons.”

This is a far cry from the days when one heard about exorcism only on shadowy episodes of Coast to Coast AM. You missed that? Here is the first of many fascinating interviews between Art Bell and Father Malachi Martin (both now deceased).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1y8QHbWEog

What does this new attitude mean? Is a war between good and evil moving out of the shadows? In Saul’s collection is an exorcism kit that was used in the early 20th century.

An old wooden box with a bible, crucifix and candles
Exorcist kit from Saul’s personal collection

Saul says this kit feels of power, but not a dark power. It has a feeling of incredible love and light. Perhaps this new, forward attitude about exorcism, both in its practice and those seeking it, is a sign of the light moving into the open.

Of course, light does not belong to any one faith or practice. Everyone has the right and ability to put forth love and to resist darkness. Maybe this is a harbinger of good tidings as more and more people decide to resist and stand up to any power that tries to use fear and oppression to control people.

Regardless, expect to find more stories about exorcisms in the mainstream.