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Top 10 Paranormal News Stories of 2011
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Written by Brian Parsons on December 28, 2011, 12:05:08 PM

The Paranormal News Insider is a short paranormal news segment that is aired during the Grand Dark Conspiracy podcast on the Shark Radio Network every Monday night at 10 P.M. eastern. While the Paranormal News Insider has been on the air since 2008 this is just the second year of creating the list of top ten stories.  When looking at these stories I look at how big the story became; how was it carried in the media and social media beyond the paranormal circles? How long did it circulate? Did the story evolve over time? I’ll also look at the story and determine if it had a valuable impact on the paranormal or anomalous topics. Since there aren’t many breakthroughs when it comes to these stories it’s hard to judge which have had a larger impact positively, especially with a short amount of time to reflect on some of the stories. There are a few stories that just missed the countdown for one reason or another, some may wonder why so I will include a couple at the end of the countdown.Paranormal News Insider (Visit Paranormal News Insider, Grand Dark Conspiracy,  and Shark Radio Network.)

10. On August 15, it was reported that a mysterious animal wMinnesota Cryptidas sighted dead on the side of the road in Minnesota and photographed by a passerby. The animal was a pale white and was nearly hairless with just of a tuft of hair on the middle of its back. The claws were long and it had a broken neck, more than likely caused earlier by a collision with a car since the animal was photographed on pavement.  The photo made its rounds on Facebook and other social media which prompted an inquiry as to its identity. Just like the Montauk Monster of August of 2008 the online speculation turned viral and guesses as to its identity ran from plausible to ridiculous. At first scientists were unsure of the animal’s identity, which sparked even more controversy and even more silly claims as to what it could be. A few days later the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources examined the photo of the animal and determined it to be a badger based on various characteristics. Why it’s on the list; the photo was one of the most popularly viral cryptid photos since the Montauk Monster. Why it’s only number 10: it was a badger.

9. On Saturday, March 5th, it was announced that a NASA scientist had found proof of extraterrestrial life. I had read this and was going to include it in my Paranormal News Insider segment, but something told me that this information was just not right. On Monday NASA officially refuted the story and stated that the scientist in question did not follow proper peer review protocol to verify his claims. The original claim was made back in 2007, but never went through any peer review process for others to prove or disprove his work. No conspiracy here, but despite the claim and the evidence it has yet to stand up to scientific scrutiny. Why it’s on the list; this was big news and a headline that made my jaw drop. Why it’s only number 9? It was easy to see from the beginning that the facts didn’t add up, but it had the potential to be the number one story.

8. This story began to evNeutrinoolve on September 26; the long standing thought that the speed of light is the fastest speed anything can travel has just been challenged by scientists at CERN. The scientists at the world’s largest physics lab noted that neutrinos that were sent from Geneva, Switzerland to Italy arrived a little earlier than planned. The neutrinos arrived 60 billionths of a second early from their 454 mile underground trip making scientists wonder if they missed some data along the way. The find has been asked to be scrutinized by other scientists, but if the find holds up science might change as we know it and the theory of special relativity could be squashed and then so much for the famous E= MC2 formula brought forth by Albert Einstein. New theories will then have to emerge from somewhere and science will begin to change. The test was redone in November with the same results although the implications of this data will not be fully understood until 2012. Why it’s on the list; physics is theoretical therefore its metaphysics. These findings may lead to changes in physics as we know it, but may have some longstanding implications for the paranormal down the road. Why it’s only number 8? While a second test was performed with the same results, there is still some question into the legitimacy of the information.

7. March 28-  15 witnesses in Russia in the Mount Shoria area of Siberia of a Yeti-like creature has lead to the creation of a University Research Institute to get to the bottom of the numerous sightings. One CaveRussian scientist, Igor Burtsev, feels that the Yeti might be Neanderthal men who have somehow survived the genetic removal of this species of man around 30,000 years ago. On October 10th, we discussed the U.S. and Russian scientists holding a convention and subsequent investigation in the Siberian region of Kemerovo to hunt for the elusive Siberian Snowman. The investigation was meant to just be a quick jaunt into the forest, but it turns out that during this trip they have confirmed the existence of the legendary creature providing proof that a tall unknown bipedal hominid actually exists!! Well, OK, not exactly. The claims are big and bold, but the evidence gathered is nearly the same as always. One white hair and some tracks, this is hardly proof much less evidence. This was a shocking turn of events in what was thought to be a mature and educated approach to investigation had turned out to be another circus sideshow. It was then announced that scientists claim they have irrefutable proof of Bigfoot following a quick investigation following a conference on the subject.  Dr. Jeff Meldrum, who was present at the excursion, spoke out during his speaking engagement at the Pennsylvania Bigfoot Conference in the fall of 2011. Meldrum basically stated the event seemed staged and too convenient and felt the event was being used as a means to fuel the tourism industry in the area. Why it’s on the list; this was a big claim, a claim many felt to be way too big, but with the number of scientists on board the project it got some attention. Why it’s number 7? The story did little to help the legitimacy of Bigfoot or his cousins and other than the popularity of the story it is nothing short of the dozen or more fake Bigfoot videos that were in the news this year.

6. UFOs at Football Games: Saturday, September 3rd, in South Bend, Indiana the Fighting Irish were fighting Mother Nature during a football game that was paused twice during severe lightning. It was during one of these delays lightning struck one of the buildings of the stadium. As camera crews panned the skies an apparent UFO was filmed. The UFO was described as a flying rod. Rods, as many may know, were explained away many years ago as camera artifacts caused by the motion of bugs or birds. After watching the video myself I would definitely say these were birds that were flying and definitely not something unexplainable. UFO or flareLate October; in the latest UFO caught over a sports stadium filmed by a guy in the stands; A high school game in Arizona included some interesting lights near the stadium. While the immediate conclusion was UFOs or top secret airplanes, a more logical solution was found just a couple days later. One suggestion had been that it looked to be like flares attached to parachutists, but that explanation was called absurd by many who commented on the video as well as those in the media that covered the subjeStop motionct. Sadly, a local Fox television station affiliate came forward with information that a group of skydivers did in fact dive around the same time the footage was filmed in the same direction and did, in fact, have flares strapped to them. Even though this explanation was given gracefully by former guest of the Grand Dark Conspiracy, Benjamin Radford, it is still being argued upon as a standard explanation or a cover-up to what really happened. A video from a New Orleans Saints game on October 23, that showed a supposed UFOs in the sky when coming back from commercial created some big conversation and some controversy. It was a few days later that the story was confirmed by the videographer that it was in fact time lapse photography. Despite many people claiming this was impossible and the flying rods were UFOs the reality is a lot less exciting than many had hoped. NBC camera man R.D. Willis shot the scene of the St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans for an hour and ten minutes to come up with the 30 second spot. Watching a better version, better than someone videotaping a television screen, one can actually see the minute hand on the clock jumping quickly as well as people and cars zipping by in the background just as I had mentioned after this story broke. Why it’s on the list; these stories began to tie themselves together and helped support each other. Why number 6? They were not even hoaxes, just misidentified flying objects. A lot of people argued they were UFOs since they weren’t identified even though there wasn't much time to investigate and many paranormal "journalists" jumped to the alien conclusion without critical thought. UFO tends to mean “alien” to the general public, and since not enough time was given to evaluate what the objects could be (other than unidentified to those who want to believe) they were more or less YTBIFOs – Yet to be identified Flying Objects (I just made that up!).Cartoon

5. The world of astrology was in the news on January 10th, 2011. Many people were lead to believe their horoscope was changing. There are two zodiac systems in use and the one that we use in the western world, the tropical zodiac, goes off of the seasons, not the constellations, just as it has for almost two thousand years. The sidereal zodiac is the system that uses the constellations, and the panic over them not being aligned is not a new story either. But, people did panic and this story was still hard for many people to grasp after it was explained over and over. Why it’s on the list? The story was not only popular it caused a bit of a panic (and for many people to visit tattoo shops). Many people were really confused over this story even though it was recycled news. Why number 5? It was recycled news and had no significance despite the claims of the story.

4. Two sepaTracking the Chupacabrarate stories about the Chupacabra will make up number four on the list this year. On June 1st, workers at the Prince George’s Hospital Center in Maryland were forced to smoke outside due to a complete smoking ban within the building. It was during these smoke breaks that workers noticed a hairless creature running about in the woods. Workers then briefly trapped the animal and took numerous photos in an attempt to identify it. The creature has a long snout, pointy ears, long tail, and is completely hairless. One worker identified the animal as a kangaroo, dog, rat mix with a deer head (I hope it was just a janitor).  The animal was then nicknamed Prince Chupa after the chupacabra and quickly became a worlwide sensation. Turns out it was just a fox with severe mange. On March 28th, from ABC news, Discovery, live science, and other news outlets- the word spread quickly that the legendary beast known as El Chupacabra is no longer a mysterious creature, but a case of misidentification. Benjamin Radford was the guest on the Grand Dark Conspiracy just days after the news went viral. It has long since been known that the U.S. version of the chupacabra is typically coyotes with severe mange, but the incidents in Puerto Rico where the legend began started off in a not so legendary way. Why it’s on the list; Prince Chupa was very popular and the reality behind the Chupacabra sightings in Puerto Rico is a big deal to the overall history of this popular cryptid. Why it’s only number 4; simply put, three other stories trumped these two in popularity in the news.

3. On February 14th, I reported on Michael Greene, a man who claims to have lured Bigfoot out of hiding once in thFinding Bigfoote past (and made my top ten list with that story in 2010), will be followed around by a film crew of the Animal Planet channel as he hopes to lure Bigfoot out of hiding again. Mr. Greene is a member of the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization, and he will be one of the first guests to be filmed for the new show "Finding Bigfoot".  “Finding Bigfoot” made its debut on Sunday, June 5th at 10 P.M. eastern. The show, led by the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO), and their leader Matt Moneymaker, looks at various locations in search of evidence of Bigfoot. My quote for what I thought this story would turn into: “I’m guessing the show will be the Cryptozological version of Ghost Hunters.” Why it’s on the list; Bigfoot is still a big deal despite the growing number of hoaxes and fabricated video, photos, physical evidence, and claims of dead bodies, DNA, and other boasts. The show has been surprisingly popular despite being a weekly train wreck of misinformation and a showcase for some of the biggest frauds in the field (or at least produced that way). Why it’s only number 3? Despite the claims they are no closer to finding Bigfoot than you are lead to believe.

2. “Aflockalypse!” On December 31st, 2010, it began with 3,000 blackbirds found dead on roofs and roads in the small town of Beebe, Arkansas; this was thought to be caused by fireworks confusing them. Google Earth Mass Animal DeathsThere were many other deaths documented during the “Aflockalypse”: 450 birds which were found dead on a highway in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, likely caused by power lines. Red-winged blackbirds, brown-headed cowbirds, grackles and starlings found in Kentucky. Thousands of 'devil crabs' washed up in England. Thousands of drum fish washed along a 20-mile stretch of the Arkansas River, tens of thousands of small fish in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, thousands of dead fish found floating in a Port Orange, Florida creek. Hundreds of snapper fish found dead in New Zealand. Scores Aflockalypseof American Coots found dead on a Texas highway bridge. 50 to 100 Jackdaws, a cousin of the crow, found dead in Sweden. 80 pigeons died near a farmer’s home in Quebec, Canada since December 18th, 2010. 8,000 doves fell from the sky in Italy (with blue spots on their beaks) on December 7th 2010, which was caused by asphyxia, and millions of sardines were found dead in a Redondo Beach California marina finished off the events in March of 2011. Scientists were finally able to get the message out that mass animal die offs are quite common and happen frequently in the winter months, they just aren’t made as public as what the media had this year. Why it’s on the list; in one word; PANIC! This story began to take shape in early January and did nothing but gain momentum as story after story poured in adding to the panic that maybe the World was coming to an end. Why it’s number 2; being one of the most popular and longest lasting stories in the paranormal media this year it was really a natural occurrence and nothing truly paranormal.

1. UFOs over JerusaleJerusalem UFOm! On January 29th, an anonymous YouTube video was shown of a UFO hovering over Jerusalem which slowly descended over the Dome of the Rock Holy site, the UFO then suddenly let out a bright flash and zoomed up into the sky at an amazing speed, the video then panned skyward to show a seJerusalem UFO Videosries of red flashing lights. This was quickly named the best UFO video evidence ever captured by many paranormal bloggers as there were 4 separate videos that were leaked within a week. The odd thing was; there were no physical witnesses, the owner of the video was unknown, and the media frenzy only happened here in the United States as Jerusalem seemed unaware of the videos until later on. Analyzing each video separately there began to be big questions about their validity, and comparing each one to the newest one there became inconsistencies. MUFON is the worlds largest UFO investigation unit and it announced in early summer that its photo and video analysts had come the conclusion that the events surrounding the Jerusalem UFO events were more than likely hoaxes. Why it’s number 1; this was the most popular paranormal story of the year overall in the media (followed closely with Benjamin Radford killing the Chupacabra) and created some distance between believers and skeptics even within the UFO investigator and researcher ranks. Even though it ended up being declared a hoax this set of videos raised the bar for hoaxes and begs the question of how much can we really believe all of these UFO, Bigfoot, and ghost videos anymore.


The “just missed it” list; here are a few stories that could have cracked the top ten but just came up short.

While disclosure was the number one story in 2010, it failed to crack the top ten this year. Back on October 3, I reported on the disclosure petition that had been started on the official White House page for the government to formally acknowledge an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race, or, in other words: disclosure. The petition was started by the Paradigm Research Group, a political activist group that is trying to get the government to open up to what they know about alien and human interaction. In early November, The White House responded to the pair of petitions into the knowledge of extraterrestrials as well as information of communication being withheld from the public. "The U.S. government has no evidence that any life exists outside our planet, or that an extraterrestrial presence has contacted or engaged any member of the human race," Phil Larson from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy reported on the website. “In addition, there is no credible information to suggest that any evidence is being hidden from the public’s eye." Do you think this will be a sufficient answer to those who feel there is a cover up at hand?

Why it missed: While disclosure is a big story and will continue to be so I just didn’t feel this story got as much coverage as the #1 story from last year’s top ten and there was no real breakthrough event associated with this petition.

On October 3rd and 4th over 60 witnesses saw multiple UFOs over the skies near the Kansas City area in Missouri. Many witnesses reported seeing a large object that broke apart in the skies. Many described it as a large triangular or boomerang shape and some described it as being as big as a football field. Other witnesses described the object as possibly being a very large airplane, such as a C130 transport plane. Most of these sightings were explained as a group of airplanes that were flying in tight formation in the area; even a veteran pilot saw the event and was slow to realize what he saw until he saw the planes move apart. Many of the other sightings were turned in after the initial ones and could be attributed to the mass panic of the initial sightings. The 85 reported sightings for the month put Missouri at number one in the United States in the amount of UFO sightings in one state as reported by MUFON.

Why it missed: Despite being an ongoing story throughout October, and even a few more reports popping up in November, I feel this is more a case of mass panic versus a bunch of individual sightings of UFOs. Since the major UFO sightings were explained away all we were left with were random sightings that didn’t seem to match up with the initial events as well as no real valuable evidence to support anything other than a logical conclusion.

On March 19th the moon was very close to Earth. The event, known as a lunar perigee, marked the Moon’s closest distance to Earth since 1992. Conspiracy theorists feared this close moon would wreak havoc on the Earth’s climate and create tsunamis and earthquakes that could devastate the Earth. The fact is the moon was only a couple of miles closer than normal; the 221,567 mile distance was still too far for the moon to have any effect on the Earth out of the ordinary. The massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami that swept Japan is in no way related to this event as the moon was still at a normal distance from the Earth. This event created a lot of unnecessary panic weeks and days before it happened; of course once it was over it was back to normal.

Why it missed: This was a big story that seemed to panic a lot of people. Problem is; it wasn’t a paranormal story and it was quickly ignored the day the perigee occurred.

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Great Stuff! Hppy New Year! 


by Mike Lucas on January 01, 2012, 08:47:47 AM
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Brian's insights into the world of the paranormal.
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Brian Parsons (View Profile)

Brian D. Parsons is the Executive Director for ParaNexus. He is formerly the Director of the Ohio Paranormal Investigation Network (now a client/investigator help site) and has been investigating ghostly claims since 1996. He has also studied under the MUFON Field Investigator's Manual for the various aspects of UFO investigations and has been a freelance cryptid researcher and investigator studying various cases in Ohio and western Pennsylvania.

Brian has written five books, “Handbook for the Amateur Paranormal Investigator or Ghost Hunter: How to Become a Successful Paranormal Group” as well as a companion book, ““Betty’s Ghost: A Guide to Paranormal Investigation”, and "Handbook for the Amateur Paranormal Investigator II: The Art and Science of Paranormal Investigation" serve as his introductory books into ghost investigation. His fourth book, "The 'E4' Method: Breaking the Mold of Paranormal Investigation" is an overview of his new methodology into client-centered paranormal investigation. His fifth book, "Handbook for the Amateur Cryptozoologist", provides a balanced look at the subject of cryptozoology and offers basic guidance behind the subject. He is a regular contributor of paranormal news (known as the Paranromal News Insider) to the Grand Dark Conspiracy radio program and has been a guest on several occasions.

Brian holds a PhD from the Insititute of Metaphysical Humanistic Science and lives in Twinsburg, Ohio, with his wife Amy and their dog Sasha.

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