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anything sci-fi, fantasy, computer and rants

Exploring the paranormal: The Black Vault

I’ve been researching the paranormal for some time now, ever since my first post about paranormal phenomena and everything ‘freaky’.

And I have to say: I have found much to think about. It would seem that there is more out there than beats the eye. And during my on-line digging in cases and occurrences that seemed to come straight out of an X-Files episode I found many handy Internet portals and sites. But one such site that really caught my attention and provided me with more information that I could even handle is The Black Vault
Created by John Greenewald Jr. at age fifteen, and eleven years later still up and running, it provides Internet conspiracy nuts as well as the merely curious and everything in between with an abundance of information on UFOs and other related topics.

Greenewald started his project when he was 15 years old by requesting government documents on UFOs, using the Freedom of Information Act or FOIA. In this fashion he started collecting declassified documents and has uncovered intriguing facts such as the encounter of a military jet with an UFO, fully documented. Unfortunately, many of the declassified documents have sections that have been made unreadable.

This encounter in the airspace of Iran occurred in the year 1976 and was the first document ever John Greenewald requested from the government using the FOIA. Since then, he just didn’t stop anymore. And thanks to his relentless pursuit for the truth, he now has a collection of about one million government documents! And even better is that Greenewald scans most of his documents and makes them available on-line for all of us to read. So, when you want to know something more about UFOs, you know where to look…I sure know!

I also found a great interview with him on Yahoo news: People of the web

Beyond The Black Vault you can also find information on UFOs on the website of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). In their electronic reading room of their FOIA section they have an entire section devoted to Unidentified Flying Objects

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September 27, 2007 Posted by | internet, paranormal, ufo | 3 Comments

Russian music

OK, this is the second blog article I write about foreign music. The first one was about Belgian music

This time I’m going to post some clips of my favorite Russian bands or simply something that caught my attention. (The German music will follow later)

The first group is Kacta. They played the soundtrack for the Russian movie Anti killer (nice by the way) and are quite popular in Russia.

This is there homesite kacta Unfortunately it’s all in Russian.

Here is Katya Lel , this song here was so popular it has a ‘Hebrew clone’ clip for lack of a better word.

Israeli clip in Hebrew:

And to round it of, this really caught my attention…I wonder why?

Perhaps the US army should do the same to boost morale and make them more attractive as a career possibility, on the other hand…

September 20, 2007 Posted by | music, video, youtube | Leave a comment

Remembering 9/11

At the time that I am writing this blogpost the 11th of September is only a few more days away. Since the year 2001, I have had mixed feelings every-time this infamous date turns up on the calender. Six years ago thousands of people lost their lives in and act of pure madness and religious fanaticism.

I will never forget that day, neither will the rest of the world. I was one of many who followed the whole terrifying drama live through television and the radio. When I first turned on my TV-set I could not believe what I was seeing. I saw images of the first tower ablaze. At first I thought it was some terrible accident, but I could not help but remember the WTC bombing of the nineties. I had a feeling there was more going on than ‘just’ an accident. And unfortunately this was confirmed as I saw the second plane hit. I was shocked and I immediately knew two things: 1. This is not an accident; 2. I witnessed the death of a whole lot of people live on CNN. I knew that nobody at the point of impact was going to walk away from this, neither the people on the plane itself. As it later turned out, the people trapped above the point of impact would never walk out either. I still remember the images of people jumping out of the burning floors of the towers and falling to their death. And I still remember the stories I heard of the sound they made when they hit the pavement.

Not only citizens lost their life that day, many rescue-workers lost their lives doing their job protecting and serving the public and payed the ultimate price for trying to save another persons life. To me they are heroes, every single one of them.

Since that dramatic day a war on terror is being fought to protect Americans and the rest of the free world. To save lives… But is this ‘war’ really protecting us? Has the terror stopped? Diminished? I fear not. I can understand that action is necessary, I understood the attack on Afghanistan, I understand that more security is needed. But not everything that we do is helping. Not everything that is done makes us all safer in the end.

What are the results up until now of this worldwide conflict, by some even coined as a World War? It has brought us the deaths of more Americans, more British soldiers and the death of many more innocent civilians:

The U.S. army is involved in a serious conflict in Iraq and the end is not in sight. Everyday countless people die. Not just soldiers, but also civilians. And terror grows stronger in that country by the day, feeding on a population that is defenseless, poor and ravaged by war and ethnic conflict.

It has brought us Guantanamo bay were people are being detained, often without charges. Some of them are even innocent, but still they are there. Imprisoned in conditions that do nothing but damage the image of the states abroad…and again help feed the propaganda machine of the likes of Al-Qaida and other terrorist networks. This sort of behavior helps convince young Muslims that the West (and especially the U.S.) is the enemy. On top of that, I think it ruins the ideas of democracy and freedom that the West stands for and is trying to uphold. We may never forget who we are or become something that we will later regret!

The war has also brought us human rights violations such as the ones that took place in The Abu Ghraib prison.
The atrocities that were committed according to accounts that came to light, ranged from abuse and torture to murder and rape. The acts were allegedly committed by the CIA, several government agencies and 372nd military police. If you want to know more about these horrible events, please follow this link.
Of course – this goes without mentioning – it has seriously damaged the country. Under the rule of Saddam, people were imprisoned and tortured here. And during the American presence in Iraq the prison was used for…Torture. Weird, I thought that we were there to bring democracy, and you can’t do that when you throw a few 100 years of principles out of the window.

And on top of all of this you’ve got the Patriot act, that was attacked on many occasions by organizations who are concerned with human rights or privacy. You can read up on the controversy here.
I can understand that terrorism needs to be fought, but I must admit I myself feel somewhat uneasy with this piece of legislature.

The world did change a lot the last couple of years. Sometimes I cannot help but wonder where all of this is heading.

September 8, 2007 Posted by | politics, USA, video | Leave a comment

Exploring the paranormal: UFO

Yesterday I blogged about life-casting and the justin.tv project, where people can stream videos on-line live. It’s a bit like Big Brother or other reality shows, only a lot more ‘real’. Now, I mentioned many channels really, such as ijustine or Justin’s channel, but one stood out because of it’s general weirdness: livesci-fi

This channel is devoted to paranormal research, mostly in the San Fransisco Bay area. And on one of their videos they captured something. I don’t judge it, it’s up to you of course. Here it is again and you can see strange and elusive shadows:

Now, I’m sure that in the end not many people will be convinced of this. I am myself quite sceptic about all things paranormal, but I am inquisitive and watch way too much sci-fi and fantasy to just let it go and forget about it. So, since yesterday I have been surfing the web in search of the paranormal. Anything, from haunted houses were people were brutally slaughtered with an axe to graveyards and clairvoyance and the stargate project. (No, not the TV-show, I’ll get to this some other time. It has to do with a form of clairvoyance and the US government)

And I have to say, for something so strange and elusive there’s lots of material to be found on-line. I wonder why? And in my humble opinion most I found was total rubbish, clearly fake, or just some people who want to make money on the gullibility of other people. And yes, that’s sick…

But – yes there is a but – not everything seems to be total nonsense after all…Or is it? I don’t know, that’s for you to decide.

One of the most chilling – and most convincing – subjects of the paranormal phenomena is UFOs and so-called alien presence on planet earth. Why? Well, this is something that is somewhat plausible, it could be real and the evidence for it seems to be mounting the more I search the web. And I’m not talking about tabloids or Internet crackpots, but news reports. But two really caught my attention. The first is a British report about a sighting in Guernsey. The pilot saw it, the passengers saw it and the radar picked up an object in the sky. What did they see? Nobody really knows, but it was huge, bright, and hovered in the sky. You can view the news-report yourself if you don’t believe me, I don’t even believe myself.

If you want to know more about this case, you can watch an interview with the pilot here. Do bear in mind it’s over six minutes long.

Another case that I found interesting is one that took place in the United States. Namely, the O’hare airport sighting. Here is the MSNBC news story:

I find it fascinating how the government handles this sort of situation. First deny it, then call it a weather phenomenon while nobody has a clue as to what it really is. At least the Mexican government acknowledges that they cannot explain what was hovering across the sky.

Yes, there sure are strange things happening in the skies above us. And I wonder what airline pilots see out there, if I have to believe the interviews and news reports…A lot is out there. It makes you wonder what the people from NASA see out there in outer space.

Something else that peaked my curiosity is ghosts, haunting, and psychic powers. I will blog about that in the near future when I find more information about it. So keep watching my blog and choose what you want to believe.

Until then… Keep watching the skies and remember: The truth is out there! (I watched the X-Files one too many times I think)

September 7, 2007 Posted by | paranormal, video, youtube | Leave a comment

Big Brother online…even ghosts pitch in!

Well, I love keeping track of the latest evolutions in cyberspace. I enjoy technology and computers, waste lots of time reading up on it and the newest Internet hypes. A week or so ago I wrote a blog article on Blogger about The ultimate blogger. People who broadcast live 24/7 on the Internet, in true Big Brother style, are the new hype so to say in cyberspace. We all know portals like Stickam were you can broadcast yourself live as an ‘entertainer’ or simply video-chat with other members whenever we feel like it. But, a new project called justin.tv is taking it to the next step…

The father of the project is Justin Kan. He started out with a pilot project with just his own streaming channel, later many others joined and in the end became a succes, receiving media attention worldwide.

The biggest star of justin.tv is Justine Ezarik with her channel ijustine

Here is an interview with her about her viral video about her 300 pages iphone bill:

When I first blogged about it, I was somewhat sceptical of the whole ordeal. I am far from a Big Brother fan or anything remotely like it. But since writing about it for the first time, I checked her channel now and then. And I have to say: I liked it. It’s not like Big Brother at all. It’s real. No missions to do, just her everyday life. And you as an Internet citizen can follow her to the store, when she goes out to buy a coffee, and so on and so on…

I’m not a regular viewer, but it’s great to kill time when I am bored. It’s fun, it keeps me occupied and the fact that she can be really funny helps too.

Everything is being recorded and broadcast live on the Internet for all to see, but some might ask themselves: How? Well, technical details and more information on justin.tv are here.

Personally I prefer to watch Justine Ezarik her channel, but of course there are many more out there. Some of them even have a blog!

I now and then drop by Sarah Meyers. She’s a video journalist and even has a blog right here on WordPress

And lest we forget, Justin – the founder of justin.tv – also has a channel. He casts a live feed behind the scenes of his project. You can watch it here!

The entire on-line project follows the idea of sousveillance, which means recording an event or activity from the participant of the event.

Now, this entire phenomenon I found extremely fascinating. It has already been compared with edtv of the movie The Truman show. And to be honest, it reminds me of it. It REALLY reminds me of it. In The Truman show the main character (played by Jim Carrey) is the focal-point of a soap opera TV-show based around his life. And it was a popular show at that. Is our society becoming like the one in The Truman show. Is reality TV really that interesting, I don’t know… I normally don’t watch and now look at me. Why is this so fascinating? Perhaps because we can recognize ourselves in it, because it’s so close to our everyday lives or perhaps it is the secret desire many people have, to know what our neighbour is doing. Or one of our friends or a stranger on the street. Perhaps it’s just mere curiosity that is part of us being human. Who knows?

But there is more on justin.tv than just the lives of the living. Even ghosts and ‘the shadow people’ have found their way to the Internet and have now joined the life-casting (or dead-casting?) society.

You can follow a team during their ‘paranormal investigations’ on-line on the livescifi channel. And as you know, everything with the word sci-fi attracts my undivided attention. And yes, they have even put video fragments on the Internet of ‘shadow men’. Is it real? I don’t know. I leave that to you to decide, but there is something there for sure. Weird… Here is it:

Here is some more information on the shadow people or shadow beings

There, that is everything I wanted to mention in this post. Oh no wait… I’m not done yet. Here is something else. The naked cowboy has his own channel too!

You can watch it here

September 6, 2007 Posted by | entertainment, internet, video | 2 Comments

Stars meet their fate… younger

According to a new study Rock and Pop stars are twice as likely to die young than the general population.

The study took into account the deaths in the Rock/Pop scene during the last fifty years in both Europe aswell as the United States. During that time about 100 famous musicians died, most of the deaths were to blame on long-term effects of alcohol abuse and assorted drug problems. In the research well known names pop up such as Jimmy Hendrix who died from a cocktail of alcohol and nine sleeping pills or Jimmy Morrison who died of a suspected heroin overdose.

North American stars seem to die a little older than the European stars. But after about 25 years of becoming famous, the European stars return to the death rates of the general population, while the North American stars continue to suffer from high death rates according to the study.

And what is the cause of this higher death rate? Most likely the wild lifestyle stars tend to have, involving alcohol, drugs, …

This reminds me of the news reports we have been seeing lately of such stars as Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears, such as this one:

An article on Lindsay Lohan about driving under influence.

What really struck me about all of this, is the fact that during the research it also came to light that a new Rock/Pop star is twice as likely to die during the first five years of becoming famous. It would seem that glitter and glamour are to be paid with the ultimate price. When I was young I – just like many others no doubt- dreamed of becoming rich and famous. Just the idea of driving through Hollywood in a limo and being able to get anything I want, being adored everywhere I went, was exciting to me. It would be ‘to die for’. Now, I would think twice before considering a career in show-business. I might not have an exciting life nowadays. But it sure beats laying in a coffin any day of the week.

But would I wind up like this? Or you for that matter? I always wonder what causes this. How do you turn out like this, and why is not every celebrity suffering from substance abuse problems. I honestly don’t know how this can be. Perhaps it’s because these stars have everything already and are looking for a new kick. Something to do, to experience. Or perhaps they want to forget their personal problems, that on top of it all are being exposed to the entire world because of the press. How would you feel I you get a divorce and everything is followed by the entire world and every word you speak recorded, picked apart and used against you? How would you feel if everything you said is a reason to be ridiculed. Perhaps, it’s not really the fault of the stars themselves, but because of the society we live in and how we deal with people. Or in case of celebrities, how we don’t deal with them. They are being treated not as people…But as both gods and lowlife at the same time. One day they are it and everybody wants them, the other day their name is dragged through the mud and their faces plastered over the internet and tv…

Here is something I found on Youtube about the death of Jimmy Hendrix, just wanted to share it with you:

September 5, 2007 Posted by | entertainment, music, video | 1 Comment

Nicole Scherzinger

I just had to post this clip. I absolutely love it. Nice moves and great song!

September 1, 2007 Posted by | music, Uncategorized, video, youtube | Leave a comment

Battlestar Galactica

As you might already know by reading my blog, I like science fiction. All kinds of it actually. I can really enjoy Star-Trek, Star-Wars, space above and beyond, Firefly (one of the best out there), Andromeda and many others…

But one show has really attracted my attention big time and in a very positive way. The re-imagined series of Battlestar Galactica. Just like Star-Trek the show has depth to it. It has a gripping storyline, raises philosophical questions, great special effects, characters I really care about and…yeah OK…some great looking girls. I really love that number six (played by Tricia Helfer; I have written something about her here. )

Not surprisingly I am far from alone in my appreciation of this show. But what makes the show stand out amongst so many others? For me it’s the mystery, the suspense and, yes…Tricia Helfer and Grace Park. Not just because they are good looking, but because they can act.

What gives true depth to the TV-show are the theological references woven through the storyline in such a way that it builds up suspense, makes you think and gives it all an air of suspense and mystery. And that’s what makes it truly interesting.

The human race (that is almost exterminated in the miniseries) is essentially polytheistic. They believe in multiple gods that seem to have been derived from ancient Greek mythology. (And I love that era in history)

The Cylons (or ‘the bad guys’) are monotheistic, like many of us now in the west. And wish do destroy the human race, which they consider to be evil. Mankind created the Cylons (and here we go again with Artificial Intelligence and the questions raised by Data, I have written about that Here )
The Cylons consider themselves to be the children of Mankind, but have rebelled against them, such as a child rebelling against his parents.

The notion of life and death is also touched upon in the series. The Cylons cannot die. If their body is destroyed or ‘killed’ their memories and consciousness are transferred to another body. They can do this indefinitely, as long as a resurrection ship is in the vicinity to download everything into a new body. This resembles reincarnation and eastern religions are clearly present in the storyline of BSG. No wonder that the intro to the show is nothing less than a Hindu mantra. And here it is:

The humans believe that they will join the gods after death, and the Cylons believe that in the case that the really die and cannot download their souls will join the one and true God. And as they have proven in the show, they are willing to take that step. To stop existing, for instance to save their race from infection from the virus that infected a Cylon Basestar the episode ‘a measure of salvation’. More info Here.

Facing death, and the belief in overcoming it is clearly present in the mythology and throughout the storyline. And I find that really refreshing as it gives us the opportunity to reflect on our own mortality. This reminds me of episodes in Star-Trek, such as the confrontation between Captain Picard and Q (who poses as God in his version of the afterlife), were Q claims that Picard has died and allows him to review his life and reflect on his choices. And how everything could have been different.
It’s a theme that is often shunned way too much, but without a shadow of a doubt is a part of our lives. Mortality and death. And one day we will all have to face it.

One other thing that I find absolutely brilliant about the show is the ambiguous relationship between Gaius Baltar and Number six. He has visions of the number six Cylon who saved his life on Caprica. But these visions are very real and can even effect the real world. Is he nuts or is she truly an angel of God, as she claims to be? Who knows? I am not going to write down the entire relationship between the two characters, you can read about it on Wikipedia. Worth reading.

The depth of the show makes it great to follow and gets you totally hooked. I love speculating on where the story is going and all the mystery is simply making me crave for more BSG!

To give you an example, the one thing that has always bothered me: The number six Cylon (who saved his life) was resurrected and ever since, apparently also had visions of Baltar (as also explained on Wikipedia). This fits in with the Cylon psyche of ‘projection’. Which means that they can see whatever they want, and it seems real to them. They can walk through a hallway and see a forest… As if it was real. And to her Baltar seems real, as if he is there. But to Gaius Baltar Number Six (or Gina) seems real too. This has made me suspect that the character of Baltar is himself a Cylon without knowing it. Just like Boomer (Played by Grace Park) was. This was hinted on during season three as well. To me it is very plausible. It would not surprise me. And the fact that Cylons can share visions or hallucinations such as music in the final episode of season three only enhances my suspicion, since it could be that Baltar and Gina are sharing some sort of hallucination.

On the other hand, during the last season he has also taking on more mythical proportions. Almost like a sort of Christ figure. Writing his own book and spreading it, blessing children and building up a base of followers. Could it be that he is on the other hand not a Cylon but that he is really chosen by ‘God’, such as his visions claim. Or perhaps he is a Cylon believing to be chosen by God to do his will. A dangerous idea indeed and a very interesting path for the final season. Or even better, perhaps they were both chosen.

to give you an idea of the religious ideas and visions Baltar has been having:

You see, that is what I love about it. So many angles…Who knows what the last season will bring. Do not miss it!

Here is a since fan video I found on youtube about Baltar and his visions about six:

September 1, 2007 Posted by | battlestar galactica, sci fi, video, youtube | 6 Comments