Area 51 is a Meme

On September 20th, we will be storming Area 51. You know this. You have seen the memes. You have seen the antics of the alien we stole at 3 AM. You’ve also seen the killjoys rushing in to say “uhhh, you’d get shot?” Absolutely faithless, disgusting, zero out of ten.

Memes about raiding Area 51 are just jokes, namely jokes about storming a compound in the Southwestern US holding diminutive foreigners against their will & liberating them. It’s jokes! This does not stop people from smarmily chiding people memeing about Area 51 to care about the border instead, despite the self-evident fact that any extraterrestrials (& possibly Tupac) liberated from Area 51 would prove a boon to liberating America’s real concentration camps, and the little-known quirk of psychology that people can think about multiple things at once, or, y’know, the obvious processing-in-a-safe-context going on here. It’s still just jokes!

(Though if you really wanted to free them aliens, any true scholar of UFO lore would point you to Dulce, New Mexico instead. Wither the Nightmare Hall?)

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British Goblins and Ted Danson: A Field Guide to Vintage Ghost Pictures, Part I

The Legless Woman

Origin: supposedly 1989; started spreading online in late 90s-early 00s

Eine Familie fotografiert ihre Kinder. Nach dem Entwickeln stellt sich heraus, dass eine Frau auf dem Bild erscheint und in die Kamera schaut, die während der Aufnahme NICHT DA STAND ? …und wo sind ihre Beine ?!?!?

 

Esta foto le fue tomada a la niña en Roma cuando la familia fue de vacaciones. Cuando revelaron la película apareció… ¡Esta mujer de sombrero de paja flotando en el aire

 

Majka je uslikala svoju djecu.Kada su izradili sliku pokazalo se da je na slici neka zena koja gleda pravo u kameru,ali koja za vrijeme snimanja slike nije bila tu!!!!!
uh,ja,a gdje su joj noge!!!!!!??????

 

A photograph taken by Mr Webb of his young daughter shows a woman dressed in black floating legless in the background. While it is possible that the woman’s legs are concealed behind a post, the angle at which she leans does create doubt that the lady is corporeal.

 

Of course, during the time the picture was taken, neither Mr. or Mrs. Webb saw anyone move into their way, ruining the moment they were capturing on film.

Though given multiple origins, the most consistent is that this photo hails from London – more specifically, Covent Garden (hence the more official name the “Covent Garden Ghost”). Sources dismiss the photo being an optical illusion; “If her legs were behind the post, she would tip over (in our estimation)”.

…but her legs are behind the post. Unlike the rest of the photo, she’s in motion – presumably fast, given the visible blurring and her lean forward. The photo caught her with one leg behind the post and the other moving, presumably behind her or behind the post.

As for why they didn’t see anyone, well, who remembers someone you don’t know passing by as you took a photo in 1989?


THREE MEN AND A BABY GHOST

Origin: mid-90s

Ein Studio-Foto von “Drei Männer und ein Baby”. Der Junge im Hintergrund wurde während der Aufnahme von keinem aus der Filmcrew gesehen, erkannt, oder wahrgenommen. Nach langen Ermittlungen stellt sich heraus, dass er vor ein paar Jahren in diesem Raum sein Leben gelassen hat.

 

Este es el famoso fotograma de la película
“Tres solteros y un biberón” en donde aparece una imagen que no debería de estar ahí.
La rumorología hollywoodiense cuenta que se trata del niño que resultó fatalmente muerto en ese apartamento mientras manipulaba un fusil.

 

Za vrijeme slikanja djecak u pozadini se nije vidio,ali otkud odjednom na slici????Nakon istrazivanja pokazalo se da je prije nekoliko godina ovdje umro taj mali djecak!!!!!!

The Three Men and a Baby ghost is well-trod ground by now, debunked by Snopes in 1997. It’s a standee of Ted Danson from a deleted scene, and the film wasn’t shot in a real house.

THE CAVE GOBLIN

Origin: 2001-2

Let’s close on the big one, the one image inescapble on Ye Olde Ghost Sites.

Das folgende Bild war ein Beweisfoto in einer polizeilichen Ermittlung. Ein Fotograf wollte in einer Höhle Bilder machen (Khaimah) obwohl Einheimische ihn nahezu anflehten, die Höhle nicht zu betreten. Gegen Mittag rief er die Polizei, weil er fürchterliche Schreie in der Höhle vernahm. Stunden später fand die Polizei den Mann, dessen Körper vollständig zerlegt war. Seine Kamera lag neben ihm. Als die Polizei im Zuge der Aufklärung den Film in der Kamera entwickelte, waren sie geschockt. Da kein weiterer Beweis für die Aufnahme gefunden werden konnte, gab man als Todesursache an, er sei von einem wilden Tier angefallen worden. Guck Dir das “Tier” mal an…

 

Ova slika bila je dokaz u jednoj policijskoj istrazi.Fotograf htio je u jednoj pecini da napravi nekoliko slika(Khaimah),iako su ga domordci molili da ne ulazi u pecinu.Negdje oko podne fotograf je nazvao policiju i rekao im da cuje uzasne zvukove unutar pecine.Nekoliko sati kasnije policija je nasla tijelo fotografa,cije je tijelo upoptunosti bilo izjedeno i istrgano.Njegova kamera nalazila se odmah do njega.Kada je policija izradila film imala je sta i vidjeti!!!Medjutim posto se nije moglo drugacije objasniti,policija je navela da je fotograf napadnut od strane nekih zivotinja.
Pa pogledaj malo te zivotinje!!!!1

“This is a true story in Ras el Khaimah, United Arab Emerites. This picture has been released as a police report evidence in the UAE. The story is that a young man went in the caves in Ras el Khaimah to take pictures in caves known to be deserted, with a friend. He had been warned not to go. The person who had been with him called the police saying he had seen his friend’s flash go off and then his friend screamed. He called his friend but never got an answer and got scared that he’d fallen so went to the police. A few hours later they found the man in the cave dead and the single picture found in his camera is this one

The photo looks real. It looks scary. It even has precisely the blown-out, harried quality that fits what it was always spun as – the last known photo of a man who went missing in a cave, usually said to be in the UAE.

Theories ranged from an alien, to a chupacabra, even to a decomposing body in a ravine (since when we die we become goblins, I guess).

But in reality, the source was quickly uncovered – the cave monster is really…

a statue in an English tourist trap.

Interestingly, it was debunked by the Fortean Times years before it became a hit online.

The creature is a fiberglass model in Crystal Quest, an attraction at Cheddar Grove. For proof, goblin-selfies flourished:

The spread of the story “irritated” tourism officials, though it’s since faded, though occasionally it gets repeated by…hollow Earth newsletters? Okay. Crystal Quest itself is gone, replaced by a new attraction called Dreamhunters.

Which means it’s loose now.

And it’s behind you.

The Alternate Earth Research Center

And here’s a little site I can’t believe is still online.

The Alternate Earths Research Center is a classic work of early web metafiction, presenting itself as the homepage of a group of interdimensional travelers. Supposedly, the AERC dates back to the 50s, founded by one Yeardley Dekader, who perhaps was not of our Earth. There’s technobabble about the IRTV, the vehicle used to traverse the multiverse, and the AERC’s cataloging system, which ranges from “A -drastically altered” (dinosaurs never went extinct) to the inconsequential D- and F- (the USFL merged with the NFL, New York remained New Amsterdam), and witty asides about a traveler who found six different reports of her own disappearance, and a universe where eggs are known as “pre-chickens”.

Alas, the actual fictional documents at the core of the AERC, the reports on the alternate Earths themselves, are paltry, with just three entries, all supported by gloriously rough early Photoshop. Real Tourist-Guy levels of sophistication here. One details a timeline where Lincoln survived; the travelers squee out over his autobiography, only to find that not much else changed after his term. Another goes deep on the USFL-NFL merger, with faked newspaper box scores and lore about how they merged.

The star of the AERC is the final timeline, one where reptiles – maybe aliens, maybe the descendants of dinosaurs – rule the Earth. The terrible scene is rendered with magnificent skill:

The Alternate Earths Research Center wisely doesn’t take itself terribly seriously, and doesn’t try to be anything more than an excuse for photoshopped lizardmen and puns about Lucky Charms. It’s the kind of weirdo project that proliferated in the era of the personal web (it dates back to at least 2003); I could imagine something more expansive, maybe a SCP-like collaborative project, today, but nothing this personal – except maybe in a timeline where the NBA collapsed or joined the ABA or something.

The delights of getting plagiarized by a bad UFO site

For years now, I’ve put the spotlight on dubious UFO websites whose content is largely stolen, often from each other (the fuzzier end of UFOlogy is only rivaled in plagiarism by Flat Earthers).

Think About It (Aliens) is a pretty standard Sketchy UFO Site – last updated in 2017, the front page is forever frozen with news about the supposed 4Chan alien selfie, Chinese moon bases and recaps of the Zanfretta aliens.

But there’s something else on this [Citation Needed]-y library.

Something familiar.

Somehow, my 2014 post about the Blue Planet Project ended up on a UFO site in 2015 – with its order jumbled up due to a hasty copy-paste job.

That the post mocks most of what it said, debunks Majestic 12, includes the primo photoshop you see to the right, includes Steve Guttenberg and ALF jokes, and indeed is not at all the source they probably though they were copying is of no concern. Neither is the writer, namely me, joking that she’s a reptilian. Which, obv, isss only a joke.

I’m not even mad. My content’s been jacked by a sketchy UFO site, and honestly, is that not the highest goal anyone could hope to achieve?

Exopolitics, Eisenhower & the Fuzzier Expanses of UFOlogy

On the night and early hours of February 20-21, 1954, while on a ‘vacation’ to Palm Springs, California, President Dwight Eisenhower went missing and allegedly was taken to Edwards Air force base for a secret meeting.

Those who believe that the government – or, at least, some nebulous “they” – already know about aliens may have that belief in common, but little else – including when, exactly, contact began. Was it Roswell? Was it some secret landing at Area 51? Or did a purported dentist appointment of Eisenhower’s act as cover for him meeting with aliens, as witnessed by an astrally-projected occultist?

The answer will not surprise you.

Thus is the story of the Greada (or, sometimes, Grenada) treaty of 1954, a cornerstone for a certain, fuzzier expanse of UFOlogy.

The story of the treaty is this: during a visit to Palm Springs in 1954, President Eisenhower vanished for an evening. Though the press was told he had an embarrassing dentist’s appointment, in fact he was spirited away to Edwards Air Force Base to meet with grey aliens. With them he signed, or at least arranged to sign, a treaty ensuring secrecy and non-interference. All this was, of course, covered up.

Our only source for this momentous event is a man named Gerald Light.

My dear Friend: I have just returned from Muroc. The report is true — devastatingly true!…

When we were allowed to enter the restricted section… had the distinct feeling that the world had come to an end with fantastic realism. For I have never seen so many human beings in a state of complete collapse and confusion, as they realized that their own world had indeed ended with such finality as to beggar description. The reality of the “other plane” aeroforms is now and forever removed from the realms of speculation…

H.P. Lovecraft just called, he said your prose is too purple & ambiguous.

During my two days’ visit I saw five separate and distinct types of aircraft being studied and handled by our Air Force officials — with the assistance and permission of the Etherians! I have no words to express my reactions.

If you can pick out any word from this dense word melange, it should be “Etherians”. More on that.

President Eisenhower, as you may already know, was spirited over to Muroc one night during his visit to Palm Springs recently. And it is my conviction that he will ignore the terrific conflict between the various ‘authorities’ and go directly to the people via radio and television — if the impasse continues much longer. From what I could gather, an official statement to the country is being prepared for delivery about the middle of May.

Spoiler alert: he didn’t.

I will leave it to your own excellent powers of deduction to construct a fitting picture of the mental and emotional pandemonium that is now shattering the consciousness of hundreds of our scientific “authorities”… In some instance I could not stifle a wave of pity that arose in my own being as I watched the pathetic bewilderment of rather brilliant brains struggling to make some sort of rational explanation which would enable them to retain their familiar theories and concepts.

Not one of the world’s physicists could understand what happened, but me, a weirdo in a UFO cult, could figure it out intuitively.

To watch strong minds cringe before totally irreconcilable aspects of “science” is not a pleasant thing. I had forgotten how commonplace things as dematerialization of “solid” objects had become to my own mind.

We get it. You’ve seen some shit. You’re Gerald Light, GREATEST HUMAN, and all the sheeple are educated stupid. I am nature’s four-day simultaneous not giving a shit.

The coming and going of an etheric, or spirit, body has been so familiar to me these many years I had forgotten that such a manifestation could snap the mental balance of a man not so conditioned. I shall never forget those forty-eight hours at Muroc!

And neither shall the world…but why?

Information about Gerald Light is scarce; William H Moore of UFO Casebook call him an “elderly mystic” with a belief in “out-of-body experiences”. Blogger Håkan Blomqvist dived into Light’s cheaply-printed mystical booklets, finding him to be a clairvoyant almost supernaturally drawn to…the Chicago World’s Fair. Blomqvist finds his work tiresome and confusing, with a worldview based around Etherian Masters, and concludes, as Moore did, that Light was likely implying he “saw” Eisenhower’s meeting via astral projection.

What are the Etherians so referenced by Light?

The work of early UFOlogist Meade Layne – the recipient of Light’s letter – proposed the Etheria hypothesis to UFOs.

Etheria is here — if we know what here means! Along‐side, inside, outside of our world. Because our world, that is, the so‐called dense matter of the objects in our world, is a rarefaction.

In Layne’s conception of the world, aliens come not from the stars, but from here – or a here next to “our” here.

The matter of the Etheric world! Inside the molecules, inside the atoms, other atoms — still other atoms inside of those, or ten thousand Chinese eggs each inside of another.

And that is why Etheria is here! But it is also everywhere. All heavenly bodies have an etheric realm.

Layne explains “flying discs” as etheric craft, made of etheric matter imperceptible to us. Light was an adherent of Layne’s; another associate was Mark Probert, a “medium” who helped Layne discern his theories, spread primarily via cheaply-printed booklets.

The story of Eisenhower’s first contact originates from such a meager source: a forgotten mystic, a little-known UFOlogist, a theory about aliens that’s long since vanished into the aether. So why did the story persist?

I’ll answer that, but first, let’s talk about aliens.

By Joe Nickell
Odd how only Greys started to visit Earth once movies/shows adopted them as aliens du jour

When the UFO craze began, aliens were often little green – or grey – men or, most commonly, “Nordics” – human-looking white blonde people from space. This held through the 50s, reinforced by, primarily, the narratives of “contactees”, who claimed a kind of proto-alien abduction or to have channeled alien knowledge. In the 60s-70s, modern alien abduction narratives began, UFOlogy – and pseudoscience as a whole – took on a more scientific air, and you had a endless variety of reported aliens: this was the era of Mothman, the Flatwoods Monster, and a million other weirdos. By the 80s and 90s, in part due to the book Communion, aliens in the popular mind became fixed as greys, the Mothman & her friends were pushed into cryptozoology. and the more scientific-sounding abduction narrative became codified.

Modern UFOlogists are fuzzy on the specifics. They don’t weave tales of wars in the stars, or secret first contacts, or even concrete conspiracies. They’re reactive. They deal in sightings, witness reports – or, in other words, evidence, of a kind. It has the veneer of science, if not the mantle of it.

But the original culture didn’t really go away. A community of “channelers”, concerned by “exopolitics” and, especially, the pretty white people they imagine live among the Pleiades still exists, carrying on 50s UFO culture. Sometimes these two cultures intersect: the idea of an alien base at Dulce in New Mexico hails from the “exopolitics” community, as does Gerald Light’s letter, which so inspired UFOlogists it led to one tracking down a dentist’s widow to ask if she remembered her husband treating Eisenhower (no, apparently).

Though the legend stayed alive throughout the 70s-80s, a history by Michael E Salla of Exopolitics identifies its modern revival with William Cooper, a conspiracy theorist known for his 1991 book Behold a Pale Horse (and a radio show that potentially inspired the Oklahoma City bombers). Within its 500 pages, he kickstarts HIV/AIDS conspiracy theories, weaved a Illuminati theory that brought them to the fore of conspiracism, popularized the term “sheeple” and, of course, detailed how Eisenhower met with aliens.

In Cooper’s conception, Eisenhower first met with “white-haired Nordics that had pale blue eyes and colorless lips” who demanded humanity demolish its nuclear weapons. He rejected them, and later entered into a treaty with greys from Betelgeuse (or perhaps Zeta Reticulum; Salla tells us that this discrepancy obviously means the Greys from Betelgeuse and Zeta Reticulum are related).

But who is Cooper? He claims high-level Air Force security clearance that let him know about this clandestine meeting; in fact, records show Cooper’s service was as a petty officer in the Navy. Nearly every “whistleblower” claiming knowledge of Eisenhower’s supposed meeting claims high-level military service; I don’t doubt every single one has a similarly unimpressive, or even non-existent, service record.

Cooper claims that the Greys broke the “treaty” almost immediately, and other theorists propose that this betrayal caused the sea change in UFO reports in the 60s:

…the space brothers in the 1950’s…were kind, interacted with people who became known as contactees, and took people for rides in their space crafts. This pattern changed dramatically with the abduction of Betty and Barney Hill in the early 1960’s…the first abduction of the Hills began a new pattern where the aliens were grey “evil” aliens who would abduct people against their will, and perform medical procedures on them. There were, as far as this author is aware no confirmed cases of “classic” abductions in the 1950’s. Unlike the “good” space brothers of the 1950’s these grey aliens were described by all, who were unfortunate enough to have met with them, as being distant and without emotions.

UFOlogy has changed. The stock portrayal of what an alien is has changed, from the perfectly-human Nordics of the 50s to the slightly-inhuman Greys of now. Peaceful “contactee” accounts faded in favor of violent abduction narratives, and their supposed motives shifted from a vague optimism to more sinister ends.

But the old stories don’t really go away. The spiritualist, optimistic bent of atomic-age UFOlogy stays alive in every UFO cult, from Unarius to Starseeds to ZetaTalk to Aetherius, whose beliefs in “cosmic masters” mirror Light’s & Layne’s. And sometimes one elderly mystic’s xeroxed account of seeing Eisenhower talk with aliens survives the decades, embellished by alleged whistleblowers and other collaborative mythmakers into a larger tale of alien treaties and war among the stars.

In 1954, Eisenhower went to the dentist. And some people still theorize about it today.

Anyway, he was actually meeting with his boyfriend Z’A’Kranax & I support their love? Love is love, happy Pride!

Living on the Fringe: Space Elves and the Origin of Otherkin

Beyond the normal reaches of our society lies an endless array of others: some living, some dead; some known, some obscure. This is about the fringe of the fringe.

Otherkin were perhaps once best known as “those people online who think they’re dragons”; now they’re best known as “those people on Tumblr who think they’re anime characters”; but in truth, the origins and history of Otherkin date back much further than most might expect.

A quick definition of terms. Otherkin, or “kin”, are a subculture that identify as nonhuman. This is commonly a spiritual, “I was this in my past life”, identification, but some Otherkin believe their identity is psychological in nature. Otherkin traditionally identify with fictional creatures, such as elves, dragons or fae. A closely related concept is therianthropy; therians instead identify with animals that, whether currently living or extinct, exist. A relatively new addition to the nomenclature are “fictionkin”¹, who identify with fictional characters; unlike Otherkin or therians, many fictionkin identify with beings that, while fictional, are generally human.

Otherkin and therians claim to experience their identity in different ways: via memories, and via “shifts” – commonly mental shifts in behavior, sensory shifts in perception, or “phantom shifts”, where they feel their identity reassert its body via phantom, ie mental, limbs. It is important to note that Otherkin and therians do not claim to physically change, and so-called “p-shifters” are usually a laughingstock in the kin community.

Though today it’s seen as a youth subculture, Otherkin trace their origin to the burgeoning pagan & new age movements of the 1970s. An invaluable timeline by Orion Scribner places the first group that we would today call “Otherkin” in at least 1975, when a group called the Elf Queen’s Daughters placed their first public ad in a pagan quarterly. The term itself dates to 1990, invented as a catch-all for the many non-elven identities Otherkin now possessed; therianthropy found a name and a home on Usenet circa 1994.

But all that can wait. Today, we’re zeroing in one specific facet of the Otherkin community: a elfkin subculture with an involved mythology that flourished briefly, but brightly.

The Elenari started on now-lost mailing lists in the late 90s; in 2000, a newly-created site called the Elenari Nexus became the community’s home.

Continue reading

Debunking Paranormal Videos (That Were Just Viral Ads)

Welcome back. I sure didn’t update much in 2018, except to celebrate the ongoing death of the InfoWars empire.

Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in Austin… near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read…

And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Alex Jones, buy my brain supplements;
Before Obama turns frogs gay!’
Nothing beside remains.

Solemnly presses F.

But we’re snared in an ongoing conspiracy hell, and so the Space Lizard Report must rise with…a post about viral ads people think are evidence of the paranormal.

“It’s a viral ad” is the most tired of suggestions tossed out whenever a paranormal event is recorded, no matter how unlikely (I have fond memories of people accusing Cartoon Network of planting the Montauk Monster corpse). But sometimes it’s true: something created as part of a guerilla ad campaign loses its context, loses its last-second website link or show tease, and is believed by many thousands, even millions of people as evidence of the supernatural. Here are some examples.

WTC UFO

Most popular upload: 449K views; millions across multiple uploads; appeared on Japanese TV show

Real Origin: Sci-Fi Channel ad campaign

Here’s one I covered before. A series of fake ads for the Sci-Fi Channel, Sci-Fi Happens seemed destined to be forgotten…until this one ad from 2000 gained new and horrible significance. Half-remembered viewings fed into the myth, even transforming into a sighting “the day before” the attacks instead of an ad from a full year earlier. It was easy to forget it was an ad; it was easy to assume it had been on Sightings or some other paranormal show, or even on the nascent paranormal internet.

Of course, now that we have the video there’s no excuse.

This Man

Spread as: Internet meme, myth, odd and unexplained cameos in the revived X-Files

Real origin: An ad agency doing…something?

This Man was a creepy myth about a man who appeared in the dreams of man all over the world. What was he? What was he doing? What was his sinister plan?

To be an…art project? Failed film pitch? Who…knows? Crafted by an ad agency. Sure.

“Alien Attacks Police Officer”

Spread As: 660K+ views across popular uploads

Real Origin: Viral ad for The 4400

Oh, The 4400. A good mid-00s sci-fi show on USA, The 4400 focused on 4,400 missing people who returned in a ball of light after years, even decades away. Soon, they discover that many of the 4,400 possess supernatural abilities; and all are back for a reason…

Sadly, The 4400 is a good display of what could be termed the Anti-Lost: that is, the opposite of Lost. The 4400 is that rare show that explained too much: by the end of the six-episode first season, we’ve been told the entire story behind the abductions. The 4400 never became a bad show, except during a stretch where it made a character’s baby grow up in seconds & become an all-powerful demi-god, which, what even, but it never reached the heights of a Lost or even early Heroes.

And so, by the time of The 4400‘s final season, only 8,000 people watched a video called “Promicin Freak Kills Cop”.

…and so it was easy-pickings for someone to strip off the The 4400 promos at the start and end, and turn it into a dubious paranormal video stalwart for years to come.

Source for debunking: IsaacKoi

John Titor, Time Traveler

Spread as: internet meme; urban legend

Real Origin: Ad for a book

Another one I’ve covered previously, the news that John Titor had long been solved – as an ad for a shitty book that no one read – was a tremendous disappointment. Now, let us move on.

English Sewer Alien

Spread as: 1 Million+ views over multiple uploads

Real Origin: April Fool’s Day prank by a utility company

Multiple videos uploaded by United Utilities show an unnerving creature hiding in England’s sewers; they’ve become a mainstay of creepy video compilations ever since.

Of course, they brush past a few facts: the video’s April 1st upload date, or that its creators openly said it was a prank meant to make people think about the real issue of flushing waste down the drain. Oh well.

Teleporting Girl In China

Spread as: 11 million views on most popular upload

Real Origin: ad for a MMO

Another mainstay of bullshit video compilations, here we see it uploaded with an ostentatious Guy Fawkes Mask intro.

The invaluable IsaacKoi also provides the source for this one: after apparently debating if angels exist for several pages, AboveTopSecret noticed a game company’s logo subtly inserted into the video. Then they discovered that the video was straight-up linked on the game’s website. Whoops.