Here we are with a completely non-special, non-Christmas themed edition of the WFNews for your consumption. You wont find any Santas, sleighs, or reindeers, but there’s definitely a fruitcake or two.
So what do you we have for you this week? Well, Hobbits might be real, Ken Deel doesn’t like us, a time traveler loses his watch in the ancient Ming dynansty, Chris Moon fails miserably at clearing up rumors, a Chinese dude has green sweat, Collargate continues to alienate TAPS fans, the Yeti is cleared of murder, the Paranormal State goons have a secret website that you aren’t supposed to know about, and more!
Cut yourself a chunk of that Yule log, pour yourself some egg nog, and cozy up to your computer screen for the sixth edition of the WFNews.
Back in 2003, researchers discovered something odd on the Indonesian island of Flores : a bunch of tiny, 3 foot tall hominid skeletons that resemble the mythical “hobbit.” There’s been a lot of speculation over just what they were since they were found, and many experts argue that the purportedly 18,000 year old remains are simply those of modern-day humans with a certain genetic defect.
Well, a group of scientists have used sophisticated 3D modeling systems in an attempt to determine if, in fact, these remains are our relatives. University of Minnesota anthropology professor Kieran McNulty is one of those guys. McNulty told ScienceDaily that, “[Homo floresiensis] is the most exciting discovery in probably the last 50 years. The specimens have skulls that resemble something that died a million years earlier, and other body parts reminiscent of our three-million-year-old human ancestors, yet they lived until very recently — contemporaries with modern humans.”
So, does McNulty think that these little guys were really just a bunch of circus freaks, or does he think they something entirely different?
“I think the majority of researchers favor recognizing this as a new species,” McNulty said about the categorization of Homo floresiensis. “The evidence is becoming overwhelming, and this study helps confirm that view.”
Looks like “hobbits” might have existed after all.
The full story, including a ton of interesting links to other articles about the Florence remains, can be found at ScienceDaily.
A few weeks ago, we commented on amateur demonologist Ken Deel’s new book titled The Catholic Demonologist’s Handbook – UNDERGROUND EDITION. We thought it was kind of funny that a demonologist who isn’t sanctioned or recognized by the Catholic church was writing the Catholic Demonologists Handbook. Thanks to a hot tip from a reader, we were directed to a little conversation about our summations going on over iamhaunted.com, the MySpace clone for the paranormal crowd (where Who Forted? also has a profile). Here’s what Deel had to say about our observations:
Apparently, finding humor in the thought that a handbook is being written by someone who isn’t authorized to write said handbook can somehow be interpreted as “spewing hate against Catholics.” I’d call that overreacting just a little, considering that several of our regular contributers are of the Catholic persuasion. So for the record, anyone that can properly read and mentally function should have obviously realized that we weren’t making fun of the Catholic faith because the church did not write, does not recognize, and does not endorse what we were actually laughing about : the Catholic Demonologist’s Handbook.
Oh, and as far as the Malleus Maleficarum is concerned, just to make sure that everyone doesn’t simply hear what Deel refers to as “just more BS” we’d like to point out that the Maleficarum was written by Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger, both of whom just so happened to be Inquisitors for the Catholic church. Even more interestingly, the beginning of the handbook includes the “Letter of Approbation from The Faculty of Theology of the University of Cologne” which is, essentially, an endorsement by the Catholic church. Many would have you believe that the Maleficarum was banned by the church, but to their discredit, there’s not a single listing for the handbook in the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (the Catholic index of banned books).
We realize that New England wasn’t a “Catholic scene” but according to, well, just about any book on the subject, the Maleficarum became the favored handbook for witch hunters and Catholic inquisitors all throughout Europe.
Maybe we should write a Catholic Demonlologists Handbook. We’ll call it the “REALISTIC VERSION.”
The comments to Ken’s little exaggeration were also a lot of fun. Observe:
So wait a second.. We’re not funny when we’re poking fun at Ken Deel for writing a HANDBOOK for something that he isn’t authorized for, but we are funny when we point out Chris Moon’s insane broken radio scheme? That sounds a little unfair to me, but all the bong smoke in the WF offices could just be getting to me.
You’re right, Davtrav, the demons told us make fun of Ken Deel’s grammar, because obviously the demon’s eons of wisdom and insight are the only way to truly master the art of wit and sarcasm.
To drive home our point here : you wouldn’t read The Official 18 Wheeler Handbook if it was written by a guy who didn’t even own a commercial driver’s license.
If common sense is a demon, consider us possessed.
A few archaeologists working on excavating a tomb in China that dates back to the Ming dynasty have had to call in a few experts after stumbling on to something that they shouldn’t have.
The former curator of the Guangxi Autonomous Region Museum and partner in the dig, Jiang Yanyu, had this to say to reporters:
“When we tried to remove the soil wrapped around the coffin, a piece of rock suddenly dropped off and hit the ground with a metallic sound. We picked up the object, and found it was a ring. After removing the covering soil and examining it further, we were shocked to see it was a watch.”
Upon further inspection, the watch, who’s arms are frozen at 10:06, turned out to be a ring with the word ‘Swiss’ engraved in the back. More interesting still, is the fact that these remains were thought to be undisturbed for four centuries.
So, are there any time travelers/grave robbers out there missing a watch?
Earlier this week, laughing stock of the paranormal community, Chris Moon, decided that he’d finally had enough of people “slandering his name” and hosted a special “Slander Mill” edition of his Haunted Times Podcast to address the rumors head on. He posted the following bulletin on MySpace to announce the special show:
Yes, that’s right, for two hours Chris Moon addressed such pressing questions as, “do you really have mansions all over the world?” and “do you really charge a million dollars for five minutes with your ghost box?” and even the number one question on everyone’s mind, “do you really ride on leprechaun’s backs?” In other words, Moon wasted everyone’s time and never answered a single serious question regarding his credibility. Also, make note of the fact that “as always, calls from blocked numbers will not be accepted.” That’s because Moon is a lot like the mildly retarded art teacher you had in middle school who’s house everyone liked to prank call.
So, in order to save everyone two hours of their lives and the audial rape that is Haunted Times Radio, we’ll clear up a few of Chris’ most “vicious” rumors for you right here.
Q) Does Christopher Moon charge millions of dollars for five minutes with his “telephone to the dead”?
A) No, he only charges a thousand dollars for 3 hours with the telephone. See last week’s WFNews for the info.
Q) Is Christopher Moon a millionaire?
A) No. That would require that a lot of people were stupid enough to pay a thousand dollars to talk with his broken radio. His last eBay auction for sessions with the “telephone” ended with, you guessed it, zero bids.
Q) Is Moon’s magazine, Haunted Times, any good?
A) No. Save your seven bucks and spend half of it on a bottle of Tabasco Sauce. Unscrew the cap and lather your fingers up with the sauce. With your free hand, use your thumb and forefinger to force open your eyelids and use your your Tabasco slathered fingers to massage your eyeballs one at a time. It will be a an experience much akin to reading Haunted Times, with the only differences being that it will be a bit less painful and you’ll still have three bucks left over.
Q) Does Christopher Moon ride leprechauns?
A) No. He is a leprechaun.
52 year old Cheng Shunguo, of Wuhan City, China is a walking Gatorade commercial. You see, Cheng has been sweating bright green sweat since November.
“I noticed that my underwear and bed sheets were all green, and even the water in the shower,” he told the Chutian Metropolis News.
Doctors have performed numerous blood tests, but can’t find a single thing wrong with Cheng, who says that he feels no discomfort, but went to the hospital after waking up one morning with green sheets.
No word on whether or not we’d like him when he’s angry.
More info and an awesome picture of his bright green sweat rag at Ananova.
I know that we’re beating the ‘Collargate’ news to death week after week over here, but the backlash keeps snowballing, so we’ll keep reporting.
Last week we shared a variety of opinions from paranormal investigators who’s cases have actually been affected by the infamous Halloween episode of Ghost Hunters, so this week we decided to check back with the fans and viewers to see what they were saying about the incident. We grabbed the following screen capture from the official Ghost Hunters forum at the SciFi channel website:
Yikes. Only ten and a half percent of voters from the official Ghost Hunters forum, TAPS’ home turf, were not swayed by the faked evidence on the Halloween episode. The other 89.5% either didn’t believe TAPS as credible in the first place, or had their opinions changed by Grant’s rigged jacket pull. I don’t think we have to reiterate that 89.5% is a lot of people.
So what about the “true-believing” minority yet to be convinced (or just admit to being convinced) of the low-tech TAPS trickery? Can their opinions be swayed? God knows that the majority won’t stop trying, because the frame-by-frame breakdowns keep coming, and a few of them have discovered some really interesting things. Take this piece by The Skeptical Viewer, in which the writer notices Grant grab something in his hood and toss it out shortly before Jason “inspects” his jacket. What was it? Most likely a small anchor attached to the string. The same string that Jason pulls at when he inspects the collar:
Last but not least, we thought we’d share this gem from the always entertaining GhostDivas blog over at MySpace. I won’t bother setting the video up, but when you’re through, head over to their blog and take a minute to get into the conversation about the clip that’s currently heating up.
An international research team led under Paul Firth of Massachusetts General Hospital has just finished studying the 212 reported deaths connected with climbers on Mt Everest, and wants to officially clear the Yeti of any wrongdoing.
“Nobody was attacked by any Yeti or anything else,” says Firth.
While legends of violent Yeti attacks on those who dared climb the Himalayan mountain are persistent, Firth says that the deaths, dating back to 1926, have a far less awesome and way more scientific explanation: high-altitude cerebral edema, a condition caused by low oxygen levels that forces cerebral blood vessels to leak fluid into the surrounding brain tissue.
In a press release, Firth goes into some more detail about what is researchers discovered.
“Of the guys who died up at 8000 meters, a large number of them were developing neurological symptoms. In other words, they were getting confused, comatose or they were having a loss of coordination. If you go too fast and you haven’t adapted to the low oxygen levels, then you can get various types of high altitude illness.”
This would appear to officially clear the elusive Yeti of the reported Mt. Everest deaths. Must science ruin everything?
Get the full story at news.com.au.
Ever wonder what the Penn State Paranormal Research Society talk about when they think that no one is listening? Well, here’s your chance to find out… if you can get the clearance needed.
It seems that the members of the critically-panned Paranormal State television show have a secret internet forum used for discussing “things” together while free of public eyes.
In a mysterious email sent to the WF headquarters early this week, someone who apparently has access to the secret forum dropped us a link to the login page and wrote, “they’re talking about you.” Looks like the Paranormal State cast have been frequenting our wonderful little online zine. Who knew?
The forum is ironically titled “Reality Check” and all registrations require approval. Our rather conspicuous attempt at registering to the forum got us only this email:
Hello,I recieved a notification about your new account on our old ProBoard.I was wondering where you got the link, and what site you were looking for when you signed up. I hope I can help.~Admin
Curioser and curioser. If you’d like to take a crack at registering, follow the yellow brick road to:
If you manage to get a peek behind the curtain, don’t hesitate to drop us a line at whoforteblog(at)gmail(dot)com and let us know what you found. Hell, even if you get denied, share your own conversation with the bewildered “admin” with us. And mystery person, if you’re reading, don’t leave us hanging, eh?
UPDATE: As of early this morning, the PRS gang have posted a little message to the visitors from WF. It reads:
Keep reading Who Forted? Now we know you’re paying attention!
Well, there you have it, another week of news down the hatch. We hope it went down nice and smooth. Now for some thanks where thanks are due.
High fives to all of our first time contributers for their fantastic submissions this week. They’re a perfect example of what WF was designed for in the first place: interesting, diverse, and quality pieces from people all over the spectrum who want to make you think. Oh yeah, and they’re free to the public. Suck it, ParaMag.
Great big thanks to the GhostDivas, Alison Smith, Bob Zoeller, APART, and the RMPRS for their wonderfully diverse and pertinent opinions and suggestions regarding the fun legal side of running Who Forted. As Bryan from the RMPRS was told by the great James Randi:
“If you’re getting threatened, you’re doing something right.”
Finally, thanks to the readers who continue to come back each week to read, comment, and share.
We’ll see you again around the same time next week with a new batch of fun headlines. And Ken, we’re working on that Lorraine Warren article. Now if you’ll excuse us, the staff has a date with a bottle of Jack Daniel’s and a few parachutes.