Year: 1997

blather.net
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While considering the possible ingredients for the Bumper Christmas Blather, I did toy with the idea of doing something 'Christmassy', but eventually decided against it, bah humbug, due to the sheer weight of bizarre material that I've been hoarding over the last couple of weeks, which I've been unable to squeeze in to previous issues. HITCHCOCK IN ROMANIA? Following recent tongue-in-cheek Blatherings concerning Charles Fort's humorously hypothetical 'Super-Sargasso-Sea', yet more sky stories have bubbled to the surface of the mainstream media. Blather 1.30 mentioned crows falling out of the sky in China, and in a similar sort of story on December 15th, The Associated Press told of the Romanian newspaper 'Evenimentul Zilei' told of an infestation by thousands of crows of the town of Turda, 190 miles northwest of Bucharest. Residents were reportedly using pepper gas, air rifles, slingshots, and presumably anything else that came to hand to rid themselves...

blather.net
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It was at about 18:30 on a rather chilly Sunday 14th of December that I found myself walking along the moonlit causeway to Bull Island Nature Reserve (on the north side of Dublin Bay), praying that I wouldn't have to explain myself to the gardaí who spun by in their four wheel drive Jeep. Bull Island was unwittingly created by Captain Bligh (Yes, of Mutiny on the Bounty), and 'where of course thousands of Dubliners have been conceived in the back seats of cars on a Saturday night'. I must have a cut a rather ridiculous figure in silhouette, wearing army surplus combats and thermal smock, standing high up on the dunes, clutching a Maglite in one hand, a mobile phone in the other, trying desperately to find the Irish Centre for UFO Studies folk that I was trying to locate. There were several cars cruising about - at least...

blather.net
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This week's Blather is to be a cogno-intellectual compendium of sundry anomalous aerial tidings... While discussing the merry topic of mystery humans falling from the sky, last week's Blather mentioned the death of a woman in Miami, Florida, who was suspected of having fallen from an aircraft. A matter of hours after my sending out Blather, she had been named as Helene Deborah Gusik, and the police now reckoned that she had fallen from a nearby apartment block, but didn't know why she was in the building... (The Associated Press) Regarding body temperatures of freefallers and stowaways on aircraft, Daniel Ko, in Blather's Hong Kong office, tells us that: 'I used to do a fair bit of skydiving (60 jumps) and even 13,500ft jumps from an open doored Cessna during v early spring through hailclouds (Brrrrrrr.) It's unlikely that the victim's body core temperature would drop significantly. Indeed, it's significantly...

blather.net
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In Charles Fort's books, Book of the Damned, Lo!, New Lands and Wild Talents, a particular thread often raises its anomalous head - the appearance of sundry articles upon our planet, appearing to have been disgorged by the heavens above. These descents are all a little acceptable and perhaps explicable when the objects are chunks of rock or ice, but what about objects which are obviously of an earthly nature? Blather 1.9, 'Raining Toads' lists some of the objects and materials mentioned by Fort - and many more have been reported since - lizards, fish, shellfish, iron balls, turtles, china fragments, insects, blood, butter, fruit and other items and substances too numerous to list here. But clouds of dead crows? And Humans? On Monday, I received email from Daniel Ko in Hong Kong, with an article from The Nation (Thailand) on Saturday, November 29, 1997, (ppA7) which told of a...

blather.net
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Although it may appear, to all external analysis, that Blather is lapsing into some dank murkiness of ufology (or, as we prefer to call it around here, 'ufologyology' - the study of ufologists) on a permanent basis, we trip ourselves up in our haste to reassure The Readers that this is not in fact the case. Our excuse for such intense attention is merely due to the current flurry (slurry?) of Irish UFO interest - first two 'conferences' on consecutive weekends, and then UFO-related news made it to the front page of the 'The Examiner ' newspaper. Assuming that nothing utterly bizarre takes place in the next week with regard to Irish ufology(ology), next week's Blather will do its downmost to spew out bile of a different tangent. The front page of the Friday, November 21st issue of 'The Examiner' (Cork) had a piece headlined with 'Yes, the aliens landed....

blather.net
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On Saturday 15th, Mark Pilkington and I trotted along to Wynn's Hotel, Dublin, to hear what the Irish Centre for UFO Studies had to say for themselves. I gathered that they were centralising some of their efforts on Boyle, Co. Roscommon, in light of the alleged 'crash' there in May 1996. In light of this, and their previous exploits, I expected more of the same wackiness that they had already been indulging in (see *several* earlier Blathers concerning Bantry, Co. Cork), but I have to admit, what they came out with on Saturday afternoon was even more surprising. We arrived, late, to join an audience of less than thirty people, including members of the mainstream press, children and elderly ladies, in a small over-furnished function room. When we arrived, Eamon Ansbro, of PEIR (Programme for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence Research) was using his highly dangerous laser pointer to skim through hand-written acetates...

blather.net
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Last week's episode finished on a note of tongue-in-cheek anticipation of my possible demise by the hands of rabid ufologists. Although the conspiracy theorists among the readership may ponder whether or not this Blather was penned, so to speak, by an impostor, I would like to make it a clear that I emerged from the IUFOPRA (The Irish UFO and Paranormal Research Association) UFO Conference reasonably unscathed, despite the Irish coffees consumed during the latter part of the afternoon. Just before 10a.m., as the proceedings were kicking off, I bumped into two of Blather's old friends, Alan Sewell of the Irish Centre for UFO Studies, and his cohort, Eamonn Ansbro. Luckily enough, they don't seem to have read 'Blather' at all, and as the new issue of Fortean Times hadn't quite hit the shelves, they obviously hadn't read my article (FT105:43) about their, er, exploits. These days, the boys are...

blather.net
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We're breaking out the rum ration this week, as we are in a celebratory frame of mind. The reason? Your visual organs are currently consuming the 26th issue of 'Blather' - half a year old today. Now, on with the entertainment... In 'Baltic, Missing Links, Globs', Blather discussed news reports concerning the elusive Sumatran orang pendek, a primate which is alleged to have the ability to walk upright, a 'talent' previously only attributed to humans. What was especially curious about this spate of journalism was there seemed to be no good reason for the orang pendek to be in the news at this point in time - the report of Debbie Martyr's 1994 sighting seemed to be be a little late. . . which led Blather to wonder what all the fuss was about - and what sparked it all off. Author and cryptozoologist Loren Coleman was making similar enquiries,...

blather.net
3523 views

Welcome, once again, to the literary crime sometimes referred to as 'Blather'. It has come to my attention, and of course, to the attention of many others, that a certain backlash has erupted against the works of Bram Stoker, author of 'Dracula', and the traditional celebration of Halloween, or 'Samhain'. Bram Stoker was born at 15 Marino Crescent, Clontarf, Dublin on November 8th, 1847. Fifty years later, on May 26th 1897, the book with which he attained notoriety, 'Dracula', was published. He wrote a total of 18 books, most of which go unread these days, although several are on similar themes to his famous vampiric novel. Mild celebrations have taken place in Dublin this year, in commemoration of the two anniversaries. The Irish Film Centre had a weekend of vampire movies, the Bram Stoker Summer School took place in July and a stage version of Dracula was recently staged at...

blather.net
3884 views

Each Monday, I'm given to ponder on the content of each forthcoming 'Blather', often worrying there will be nothing particularly topical to discuss. Can a week go by without anything utterly bizarre happening? Fortunately, these fears are always rapidly put to rest, due to the Universe's unerring reliability in delivering some new fortean anomaly. A rather amusing, classically fortean story crashed onto the Blather newsdesk this week, in the shape of a cannonball. The 'civil war-type' missile tore through a window and two walls of Leonard and Kathy Mickelson's mobile home, in House Springs, Missouri, on Thursday night 16th of October, according to the Associated Press. Nobody was home when it happened, and the neighbours noticed nothing strange. Police are reportedly investigating the possible use of a small cannon, a weapon readily available for Civil War re-enactments. In an apparently unrelated incident reported by the Associated Press in Cincinnati, Ohio,...