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The infamous 'moving statue' of Ballinspittle in Co. Cork is back in the news again, in The Irish Times of August 13th. J: You do know that Elvis is dead, don't you? K: No he's not. He just went back home. BVM on the move The infamous 'moving statue' of Ballinspittle in Co. Cork is back in the news again, in The Irish Times of August 13th. Crowds are being drawn back to the grotto where the BVM (Blessed Virgin Mary) statue allegedly 'moved' in 1985. These days, only her head is said to move, and only on 'Our Lady's feast days' according to one witness. Another visitor to the grotto said that it was 'all about prayer. She wants people to return to prayer. There's been an awful falling away from the church. Look at Saturday night Mass; there are very few young people at it. It's very sad.'...

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It would seem that Blather 1.12, 'I Don't Want to Believe' has managed to raise many a hackle in the ranks of its recipients. I wrote the article to explain my stance regarding the extraterrestrial hypothesis (ETH)... I wrote the article to explain my stance regarding the extraterrestrial hypothesis (ETH), which, as I explained, is that I prefer to also examine other theories that are being are being examined in the study of UFOs, such as geological or environmental phenomena, hoaxes, misidentification etc. After last week's article, I was deluged with mail, some complimentary, and some downright rude. Ironically, having stated my opinion for the sceptics who thought I was a 'UFOhead', I was attacked for being 'narrow-minded', 'ignorant' and 'arrogant' by those who appeared to dislike my exploration of these theories. At the close of last week's Blather, I stated: 'Now if anyone reckons that this is not a...

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It has come to the attention of the captain of the good ship Blather that several subscribers to the mailing list are unsure as to my stance on various issues, in particular the ETH (ExtraTerrestial Hypothesis). Aliens? In fact, many are unwilling to believe that I do not believe in aliens at all. Personally, I do not believe that earth has been visited by intelligent living creatures from beyond our planet, mainly because I haven't come across - or heard of anyone else coming across - sufficient proof to convince me otherwise. I will agree however, that much information, nay, *reams* of information, has been presented to *suggest* that we have had visitors from outer space. It's hardly the same thing. There's been plenty of propositions in history regarding a flat earth, or that the sun orbits the moon. They are not taken seriously today. I do not think that...

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The classic cautionary urban myth. Guy meets girl, guy gets drunk with girl, they go to her room, guy passes out, wakes up in bath full of blood and ice... ...with a telephone nearby and a note telling him to ring the hospital because he's had a kidney removed, which supposedly prevents charges of attempted murder. . . There are dozens of variations, many to be found at the AFU and Urban Legends Archive and Snopes Urban Legends pages. Italians and Albanians But now the Italian government are getting excited about possible organ trafficking from Albania. The scare started when Italian sources in Albania reported a boy being found with a large scar in the renal area of his back. Some reports stated that he was dead, others said that he was alive and had told the authorities that he had been kidnapped for organ removal. This muddied the diplomatic...

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This week it looks like the silly season has really kicked in, this time with an army boot. Freaky On page 29 of The People (British newspaper), Sunday, July 13, there was an article entitled 'SAS In Alien Riddle', which told of the experiences of eight SAS soldiers waiting to ambush IRA gunmen in south Co. Armagh, in Northern Ireland. They were lying in wait, by an arms cache, when they saw 'up to four grey figures'. The 'aliens' and the soldiers exchanged stares, then the 'aliens' disappeared, and seconds later the soldiers witnessed a 'flash in the sky'. The SAS men were so freaked out by the situation that the ambush was aborted, and they left the scene. Their commander (who doesn't seem to have been present) was understandably livid, and accusations were levelled concerning drug use (If someone has managed to invent a drug that causes consensus hallucinations,...

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Greetings and welcome to another thrilling indoctrination of Blather, brought to you by Dublin's premier cloning facility. I'll take two clones to go. . . and a coffee Fancy having offspring who are exact clones of yourself? Reckon backing up your kids in case of a system crash is a good idea? Now you *can*. . . Just contact Valiant Venture Ltd. Valiant Venture Ltd. is a Bahamas-based company, owned by the Raelian Movement, which claims that 'life on earth was created scientifically in laboratories by extraterrestrials whose name (Elohim) is found in the Hebrew Bible and was mistranslated by the word "God", and which also claims that Jesus' resurrection was, in fact, a cloning performed by the Elohim'. The Raelian movement has about 35,000 followers worldwide and was founded by 'Rael', who claims that his mother was abducted (on December 25th 1945), taken inside a 'UFO' - not a...

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A good classic anomaly, how it warms the heart. On July 5th, Associated Press reported a rain of toads in the Mexican town of Villa Angel Flores, in the Pacific Coast state of Sinaloa. Apparently a 'mini tornado' picked them up from a pond and dumped them on the town, although the report doesn't state how this can happen, or more importantly why it was *only* toads that the the tornado allegedly picked up. This phenomenon has been reported in some shape or form for hundreds of years, and there's still precious little information as to why these rains are so selective. Sometimes it's berries, sometimes it's fish, and sometimes of course, the classic frog falls. Charles Fort's books record many of these reports up to the 1930's. The indices of 'Book of the Damned' (1919), 'New Lands' (1923), and 'Lo!' list dozens of examples of weird rain, all over...

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Blather this week is a tasty brew of the latest on the never ending stream of madness currently pouring out of south west Ireland... Flapping in the wind Just recently, Blather was fortunate enough to exchange information with a staff member of RTE about the current Bantry (Co. Cork, Ireland) UFO flap. Just when Blather had its back turned, that is, whilst in the Netherlands conducting urgent business of international importance, RTE had given news coverage to the Bantry UFOs. RTE's information was augmented by other accounts, from Blather's Men In Bantry, and from the completely senseless ITV documentary, 'We Are Not Alone'. As a result, we now have a compilation of confusing and contradictory codswallop, which so far leaves us none the wiser. RTE interviewed Alan Sewell and Eamon Ansbro, the former is a member of the Irish Centre for UFO Studies, and the latter told RTE that he...

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The entire planet, it would appear, has lost the plot. In this morning's newspapers, on the Web and in my email, the quota of bizarre news surpassed what I usually see in a week. June 24th was the 50th anniversary of Kenneth Arnold's sighting of UFOs over the Cascade Mountains, which has sparked off a crazy amount of media interest in the lead up to the Roswell Incident 50th anniversary. On the same day, the USAF released their GAO Inquiry report, Roswell Report: Case Closed, followed by an announcement to the effect that they are not going to investigate the Phoenix UFO. Col. John Haynes told reporters at a Pentagon press conference: "If you're interested in the Arizona question, I suggest that you contact the local authorities in Arizona and see what they have to say, because the Air Force no longer does any investigation of UFOs." The Phoenix UFO...

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Yes, euthanasia advocate and unlikely hero Dr. Jack Kevorkian has once more escaped the clutches of justice, after his fourth assisted suicide court case ended in mistrial. Dr. Death He was tried in Iona, Michigan, USA, for assisting in the suicide of Loretta Peabody, a 54 year-old woman with multiple sclerosis, and practicing medicine without a license (his Michigan license was suspended in 1991). Mrs. Peabody was cremated on August 30th, 1996 after her death had been ruled natural. There was no autopsy. A week later, police seized a video showing Kevorkian conversing with Mrs. Peabody and asking her to sign the consent form. On the tape, Mrs. Peabody said: 'I can't go to the bathroom. I can't get in my refrigerator, I don't want to do this anymore. I can't do this anymore.' Kevorkian, 69, who acknowledges being present at 45 deaths since 1990, has been tried for three,...