The Outer Limits
…and are peeking through bedroom windows.
Shot in Nebraska on July 17, 2003 via The Independent.
The film shows a bobbing head. It was taken by a camera set up by Stan Romanek, after he became concerned that someone was peering in at the window of his teenage daughters’ bedroom.
Jerry Hufmann, of Colorado Film School examined the film. He believes that it to be genuine and un-doctored, but has no opinion of what it actually shows.
The film was screened at a press conference in Denver, Colorado by Jeff Peckman. Only limited portions of the whole film were shown, as Mr Romanek is set to air a documentary containing the video and an agreement is in place limiting the film’s exposure during negotiations for the documentary.
Mr Peckman is currently campaigning to have Denver set up an Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission, which would help ensure public safety, “when the need arises.” He has no doubts as to what the film is “irrefutable evidence” of a visit from another world.
A more sceptical person might wonder:
- Why would an alien want to peep into human’s bedroom window?
- Why that particular bedroom window?
- How come, a civilization with the technology to travel between stars does not have any decent remote sensing technology?
- Why is the film receiving publicity now, nearly four years after it was shot?
Steven Hawkins famously asked, “If intelligent aliens are visiting Earth, why do they only call on cranks and weirdoes?” That is not to say that Mr Romanek is either. He is more likely the victim of a practical joke aimed at his daughters.
He certainly appears to be making the most of his five minutes of fame.
British mediums marched on Downing Street last week to deliver a 10,000-name petition demanding that the government shelve plans to repeal the Fraudulent Mediums Act of 1951.
This act allows for the prosecution of any medium, clairvoyant or spiritualist who use trickery in attempt to deceive and make money from such a deception. However, the act recognizes and protects “genuine” mediums.
Despite extensive research into the paranormal, there is no scientific evidence to support the claims of mediums. This makes the identification of a “genuine” medium somewhat problematic. Only the most blatant examples of fraud have been prosecuted under the act. There have been six prosecutions between 1980 and 1995, five of them successful.
The Fraudulent Mediums Act was introduced by Thomas Brooks MP, himself a spiritualist, as a private member’s bill. Spiritualists lobbied extensively for the act during its passage through Parliament. It repealed the Witchcraft Act of 1735, which held all acts of divination, foretelling, communicating with spirits or casting of spells to be fraudulent and punishable by fines or imprisonment.
The Rise of Unreason in the UK
This proposed change in legislation comes at a time when the United Kingdom is seeing a rise in superstition. Fifty percent of the population reportedly believes in psychic phenomena. Psychic mailing shots netted 40 million pounds (US$80 million) last year. Internet and phone based readings are big business. A typical 40-minute consultation over the phone can cost 80 pounds ($160)
Last year, an e-petition on the Downing Street Web site called for changes to the Fraudulent Mediums Act to make prosecutions easier, observing, “There are increasingly more TV shows and live acts where people claiming to be mediums and psychics prey on vulnerable people who have lost loved ones.”
This petition received only 365 signatures.
With the repeal of the Fraudulent Mediums Act, there will no longer be any legislation to specifically prosecute mediums, fake or otherwise. But it will also remove any special protection in law from “genuine” mediums. Hence, dissatisfied customers could take civil action against a medium who failed to provide services as advertised. This would put mediums in the same boat as any other service provider in the U.K.
Fear of Legal Attack
David McEntee-Taylor, head of the Spiritual Workers Association (SWA), which organized last week’s protest, told the London Independent, “What we have here is a fundamental attack on our right to practice our religion.”
“We fear this will end up with one of us in court in front of a judge,” he added.
However, this is not the view of all mediums in the U.K. The long-established Spiritualists’ National Union (SNU), from which the SWA recently split, is backing the changes. SNU spokesman Minister Steven Upton said, “We are quite happy with the Act being repealed. We have no problems with the new legislation and think it will be good news for spiritualists.”
Lawyers have advised that mediums can avoid the problem of having to prove their psychic abilities in court by describing their services as entertainment or even scientific experiments. But true believers are not happy about doing this.
All this prompts the obvious question: Why do genuine mediums need protection from civil action? Can’t they just refuse to meet clients with whom they foresee trouble?
The first excavation at Stonehenge in over 44 years started this week. Professors Geoff Wainwright and Tim Darvill lead the excavation. They aim to shed light on two important questions about Stonehenge. When was it built and why?
Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located in southeast England, near the city of Salisbury. It is a globally famous, UNESCO World Heritage Site.
For both professors this is literally a once in a lifetime opportunity. Said Professor Darvill, of the University of Bournemouth, “It is an incredibly exciting moment and a great privilege to be able to excavate inside Stonehenge.”
Experts date the earliest construction on the site to be 5,000 years ago. This consisted of earthen works and timber structures. Two concentric circles of bluestones were erected on the site around 2600 BC. These were transported from Preseli, 153 miles away in south Wales. Two-hundred years later the bluestones were removed and the iconic standing stones, each weighing around 25 tons, were erected. The bluestones were later re-erected at the site. The main objective of the dig is to date the first erection of the bluestones.
Professor Darvill said, “This excavation is the first opportunity in nearly half a century to bring the power of modern scientific archaeology to bear on a problem that has taxed the minds of travellers, antiquaries and archaeologists since medieval times – just why were the bluestones so important and powerful to have warranted our ancestors to make the gargantuan journey to bring them to Salisbury Plain?”
Professor Wainwright, The President of the Society of Antiquaries, predicted the excavation would shed light on the society that undertook the construction of Stonehenge. He said, “This dig will help us to set the first Stonehenge in its social and economic framework.”
A Place of Healing or Dying?
Stonehenge was constructed by a culture that left no written records, so many aspects of the monument are still debated. Several theories have been put forward as to why such a huge effort was put into the construction of Stonehenge. The most popular theory is that it was an ancient astronomical observatory. However Wainwright and Darvill have another theory.
They recently pinpointed the exact location in Wales where the bluestones were quarried. In this region bluestones are reputed to have healing powers. The team believes it is this magic healing power that lay behind the transportation and erecting of the bluestones, creating a “Neolithic Lourdes”. This theory appears to be supported by the growing body of evidence of sickness and injury on human remains excavated around the site.
Professor Wainwright said, “We have our fingertips on the answer to the eternal question of why Stonehenge was built.”
The excavation, which has been blessed by local druids, will last for two weeks. The BBC, which is part funding the excavation, have daily updates on the dig on the Timewatch site.
Stonehenge is maintained by English Heritage. It is open to visitors who are currently able to watch live video coverage of the excavation.
*Picture licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0 License