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.’
Mr Peter McDwyer, who is holidaying nearby, says that he visited the site in 1985, but couldn’t remember if he had seen the statue move, and said ‘I suppose it depends how long you’ve been looking at it’. My sentiments exactly. The Catholic Church are urging people to approach the claims with ‘with prudence and caution’. And from upwind, I hasten to add.
Elvis Lives! In the Netherlands!
“Elvis has told me ‘my ghost is in you’ and I feel him in my legs when I’m singing,” he said.
It was later rather than sooner – 20 years – but it was fated to happen – the weeping Elvis statue. Toon Nieuwenhuisen (46), of Deurne in the southern Netherlands, claims that his bust of the King has begun to shed tears. “He is crying for all his fans around the world,” Toon Nieuwenhuisen told Reuters. “He knows how much they love him.” The public are welcome to Toon’s house, where he greets them clad in his Elvis wig and Vegas rig-out, and takes them to his dimly lit bedroom, where a white bust of the King apparently has tears running down his face.
Mr. Nieuwenhuisen is a professional Elvis impersonator, who claims that he is possessed with the spirit of the King when he is on stage. Are Reuters *that* short of news items? They are not alone, TV crews have been visiting the house, and coverage has appeared in Dutch papers. Maybe Mr. Nieuwenhuisen is desperate for business, or perhaps he has lost the plot somewhat, in a bizarre rock’n’roll version of the Ballinspittle phenomenon. Either way, it’s prime cut silly season fare.
In an isolated incident, The Associated Press reports that the Memphis mausoleum which once entombed Elvis and his mother is up for sale for the tune of $800,000. It held the bodies for less than two months before they were moved to Graceland. So who would want to lash out that much cash? “I honestly don’t know,” answers cemetery sales director Darrell Dishner. “But obviously you have people like Michael Jackson out there who owns the remains of the Elephant Man. What a perfect thing for him to buy so he can place the remains of the Elephant Man.”
Sorry Darrell, but the remains of John Merrick, the ‘Elephant Man’ are *still* at the Royal London Hospital. Michael Jackson *never* bought them. See ‘The Elephant Man’s Mistaken Identity’, and Fortean Times FT96:10 for more details.
Incidentally, for those who are Elvis fans, you can now zip over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s website, where you can download 663 pages of Elvis Presley files (link broken: http://www.fbi.gov/foipa/famous.htm#presley) scanned in and now available in PDF format. You’ll need Acrobat Reader to read the files.
Will they ever go away? BBC Northern Ireland were on the phone to Blather today, looking for sceptical views on the Bantry UFO flap (See the archives for more). According to the BBC, the ICUFOS (Irish Centre for UFO Studies) reckon that that there’s a ‘mothership’ hanging around somewhere close to the earth. I’ll see what more I can divine this weekend, if I manage to make it to their conference in Cork City.
Last week I stated the following…
‘Ron Westrum, one of the authors of ‘Unusual Personal Experiences’, the Roper Report mentioned in, ‘I Don’t Want to Believe’ got in touch, pointing out that the possible figure of five million abductees in the USA was incorrect, and that in fact the Roper Report had stated a number in the order of two million. I took my figures from the work of Patrick Huyghe and Robert Durant, so I’ll investigate the origin.’
Patrick got in touch with both Blather and Ron, and the confusion was finally ironed out. Ron emailed me back to say, ‘Patrick Huyghe obviously has a copy of the report, and caught me out in an error! The number should not be 2 million, as I erroneously said, but 3.7 million (on p. 48), closer to the figure he cited. However, his 5 million figure came from multiplying the entire population, not just adults. The Roper poll, however, says nothing about children.’
I actually received a copy ‘Unusual Personal Experiences’ in the post this morning, and will be sifting through it carefully – thanks Ron!
On the subject of ‘Rats From Outer Space’, Ron Braithwaite emailed to say:
‘Having spent a fair amount of time aboard Hercs (Hercules C130 Transport Planes) when I was playing in the US Air Farce many moons ago, I can absolutely state that there is no way in hell that a C130 got to high enough altitude to try and snag the canister which then continued to fall before striking TWA 800 at 13,700 feet. The Hercules is as primitive as Harley Davidson (well, maybe not, but it is much more reliable) and I suspect this hypothesis would have required it to be above 24,000 feet. Which is damned unlikely unless a flying saucer was pulling it up with a tractor beam. Now there’s a thought.’