Home>Editorial>Mysteries>A Student of Einstein, Dead Aliens, and a “High Order of Classification”

A Student of Einstein, Dead Aliens, and a “High Order of Classification”

By Nick Redfern

AS many of you will know, I’m not much of a believer in the claims that the U.S. government (or, in fact, any government) has in its hands the remains of dead aliens. Certainly, when I was in my twenties, I most definitely was a believer in the “secretly pickled aliens” scenario. As time went along, though, I came to the conclusion that such stories were created – by the world of intelligence – to camouflage far more disturbing issues. Namely, top secret, high-altitude experiments using people that went disastrously wrong. On top of that, many of the people who have come forward to claim knowledge of dead aliens held at Area 51, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and the U.K.’s Porton Down base did so either (a) in anonymous fashions; or (b) turned out to be hoaxers. There is, however, one person whose story I still think about, a story that came from a well respected figure who had no reason to lie about such a controversial matter. The story dates back to 1983, when I was still a teenager.

The source of the story was Dr. Robert Irving Sarbacher, of the Washington Institute of Technology Oceanographic and Physical Sciences, and who died in 1986. It was in 1983 when Bill Steinman – a UFO author fascinated by the alleged “UFO crash” at Aztec, New Mexico in March 1948 – came forward with something incredible. Sarbacher, in 1959, wrote a huge book (it runs to 1417 pages, no less!) titled Encyclopedic Dictionary of Electronics and Nuclear Engineering. I should stress that I have a copy of the book and unless you’re conversant in the field of nuclear engineering, it will make for very heavy reading. Back to 1983: that was when Bill Steinman, on a tip, decided to try and contact and engage Sarbacher on the subject of UFOs and dead aliens. Steinman got and incredible response in the form of a letter. Sarbacher wrote the following to Steinman:

dear“Dear Mr. Steinman: I am sorry I have taken so long in answering your letters. However, I have moved my office and have had to make a number of extended trips. To answer your last question in your letter of October 14, 1983, there is no particular reason I feel I shouldn’t or couldn’t answer any and all of your questions. I am delighted to answer all of them to the best of my ability. You listed some of your questions in your letter of September 12th. I will attempt to answer them as you had listed them. 1. Relating to my own experience regarding recovered flying saucers, I had no association with any of the people involved in the recovery and have no knowledge regarding the dates of the recoveries. If I had I would send it to you. 2. Regarding verification that persons you list were involved, I can say only this: John von Neuman was definitely involved. Dr. Vannevar Bush was definitely involved, and I think Dr. Robert Oppenheimer also.”

Steinman continued: “My association with the Research and Development Board under Doctor Compton during the Eisenhower administration was rather limited so that although I had been invited to participate in several discussions associated with the reported recoveries, I could not personally attend the meetings. I am sure that they would have asked Dr. von Braun and the others that you listed were probably asked and may or may not have attended. This is all I know for sure. 3. I did receive some official reports when I was in my office at the Pentagon but all of these were left there as the time we were never supposed to take them out of the office. 4. I do not recall receiving any photographs such as you request so I am not in a position to answer. 5. I have to make the same reply as on No. 4.”

thereThere was more to come to Steinman from Sarbacher: ” I recall the interview with Dr. Brenner of the Canadian Embassy. I think the answers I gave him were the ones you listed. Naturally, I was more familiar with the subject matter under discussion, at that time. Actually I would have been able to give more specific answers had I attended the meetings concerning the subject. You must understand that I took this assignment as a private contribution. We were called ‘dollar-a-year men’. My first responsibility was the maintenance of my own business activity so that my participation was limited. About the only thing I remember at this time is that certain materials reported to have come from flying saucer crashes were extremely light and very tough. I am sure our laboratories analyzed them very carefully. There were reports that instruments or people operating these machines were also of very light weight, sufficient to withstand the tremendous deceleration and acceleration associated with their machinery. I remember in talking with some of the people at the office that I got the impression these ‘aliens’ were constructed like certain insects we have observed on earth, wherein because of the low mass the inertial forces involved in operation of these instruments would be quite low.”

Sarbacher signed-off: “I still do not know why the high order of classification has been given and why the denial of the existence of these devices. I am sorry it has taken me so long to reply but I suggest you get in touch with the others who may be more directly involved in this program. Sincerely Yours, Dr. Robert I. Sarbacher.”

Of course, none of this proves anything. Yet, if nothing else, it’s a fascinating story from a man who was undeniably well-respected in his field.

Mysterious Universe

The Bizarre Case of “The Strangest Woman in the World”

By Brent Swancer

THROUGHOUT history there have been those people who seem to have powers and abilities beyond our understanding. These are the individuals who hold within them mysterious forces or characteristics which have propelled them past the point of being mere normal humans. Such cases have served to inspire wonder and awe, the answers usually not clear as to how they managed their feats. One case that truly sits high among these is that of a woman who was famous for being impervious to pain, poison, disease, and with what seems to have been an accelerated healing ability, a woman who has earned her place among historical superpowered individuals.

The woman originally known as Eva Kennedy was born in 1871 on the Island of Trinidad in the West Indies, and spent her younger years in the country of Cuba. In her first few years of life, she was considered to be completely normal, doing the normal things kids do and playing with not a care in the world, but at the age of 4 her strange talents would finally be discovered. It was at this age that she was out one day and was bitten by a very venomous snake called a fer-de-lance, widely considered to be one of the most dangerous snakes in the world. At the time, to be bitten by one was nearly a death sentence, with one expecting to lose a limb at the very least, but little Eva would surprise everyone when she suffered absolutely no ill-effects at all. Although the girl said the bite had hurt and surprised her, doctors were astounded that the venom had had no effect on her, and that she was mostly unfazed by a bite that would have very likely killed a grown man several times her size. It was considered a bit of a miracle.

evaEva Kennedy

As she grew older, Eva realized that her whole view of physical reality was different from others. She came to the realization that other people felt pain from injuries, something that was an alien concept to her as she felt none, and she could not remember ever having such a sensation. She could see that even holding her hand to an open flame produced no sensation of pain, so she began experimenting on herself. She drove needles into and through her flesh, pricked and cut herself with knives, and even went about letting venomous snakes and spiders bite her, but none of this gave her any pain or symptoms, with the venom having no effect upon her at all. She would in later years say of her imperviousness to pain:

Some people think that I am unfortunate. I think that I am very much blessed. I have never had a sick day in my life. I never had a pain in my life; I don’t know what an ache is. I am always happy, never sad. I do not know what pain is, and I wouldn’t be subject to it for anything in the world. I cannot see the use of pain anyway. It seems to me that I get through life as well as any person. All of the nerves that give real pleasure are left to me. Why should I care for those which give pain?

Indeed, she would also claim that her sense of touch in general was barely existent, and that she relied on her other sharpened senses to help her get through everyday life. Her family would eventually move to America, and her strange abilities began to capture interest, to the point that as soon as she was old enough, she decided to make it into an act. She took on the stage name Evatima Tardo, and began her career of ever-escalating wild stunts. At first, her main act was to be bitten by various venomous creatures. Eva would allow herself to be bitten by snakes, spiders, centipedes, and gila monsters, pretty much any venomous creature known to man, taking in enough venom in these performances to kill several men many times over, but it did nothing to her. She was always unfazed no matter how many times she was bitten, seemingly immune to any known venom. This made her very famous to the awe-struck crowds who gathered around her, but she decided to take it all even further into the weird.

evaEva began taking her act up a notch, graduating beyond merely being bitten by venomous creatures and expanding her repertoire to capitalize on her seeming immunity to pain. She would pass long needles or spikes through her flesh without so much as a wince, allow herself to be poked with red hot irons, and even allow herself to be shot, none of it physically registering for her. Not only that, but the bleeding would always stop nearly immediately, the wounds healing with a preternatural swiftness that no one could explain. She was all over the news, with people calling her “The Strangest Woman in the World,” her fame growing day by day. Far from only performing for paying audiences, Eva also let herself be subjected to demonstrations by scientists and physicians, and there was no obvious explanation for it all. This all caught the attention of the renowned magician Harry Houdini himself, who was well known for debunking claims such as this, but who in 1897 came away from Eva’s performances baffled and convinced, remarking:

For the simple reason that I worked within 12 feet from her, my statement that there was absolutely no fake attached to her startling performance can be taken in all seriousness.

One of Eva’s most remarkable feats was allowing herself to actually be crucified. Stage assistants actually went about nailing her to a giant cross, where she hung and smiled and giggled at the audience. She even let audience members come up to touch the nails and her flesh to be sure that it wasn’t an illusion, the astounded people having no idea how she did it. Eva would recall of this performance and people’s reactions:

I rather enjoy being crucified. It amuses me to see the horror-stricken countenances of my auditors. There are upwards of ten faints to each seance, but they never fail to return again to see me.

Doctors who examined her at the time came to many conclusions. One was that her nervous system operated differently from others, that her nerves had somehow been severed or that her pain receptors were underdeveloped or nonexistent. She may also have had a genetic mutation, which would have been beyond the knowledge of medical professionals at the time. This still wouldn’t explain her resistance to all manner of venoms or her ability to heal so quickly, or why she bled so little, and it certainly did not explain her resistance to disease. Eva also supposedly would subject herself to all manner of diseases and contagions with no ill effects. One newspaper report of the time has said of her remarkable immunity to disease, pain, and injury:

But the immunity from all forms of poison and contagion is even more remarkable. Physicians have taken their deadliest cultures and placed them in her blood. Cholera germs, diphtheria, consumption, typhoid fever, all the dreadful list, have attacked this woman and she was not in the slightest effected. Miss Tardo is not only free from all pain but she has absolute control over the circulation of her blood. A gash can be made where there is no way for a surgeon to stop the flow of blood. This young woman can stop it in a second and then permit it to flow again. And there doesn’t seem to be any explanation at all for this. It is simply a fact. Many scientific men have said that if Miss Tardo’s arm were cut off she could join the severed part and it would become hard and fast again, leaving not a scar. Every scientific man who has studied her has said that she will never die of disease or violence. Her end can only come when the whole machine is worn out unless, indeed, she were chopped up into bits.

notThere were of course many skeptics who looked upon all of this. There was the idea that she was using some potent painkiller, possibly even cocaine, or perhaps a combination of this and some sort of hypnosis. Yet this still does not explain her immunity to venom from the numerous snakes that bit her, nor why no medical professional could derive the source of her mysterious powers. One write up in The Pacific Coast Journal of Homeopathy would say of her:

She spends some twenty minutes in silent preparation before performing her feats, and this leads one to suspect the possibility of cocainization being the cause of her lack of sensibility, or perhaps that hers is a case of auto-hypnotization. But what has rendered her immune to rattlesnake poison, for she surely allows herself to be bitten by a Crotalus horridus [timber or canebrake rattlesnake], is a question still unsettled. Is she a disciple of Calmette, the Frenchman, who has been experimenting for years in India, and has demonstrated satisfactorily that one can be rendered immune to all virulent snake poisons by increasing doses of cobra poison and hypochlorite of lime in solution injected hypodermically? Again, many appear to believe that the little woman in question is a freak of nature, and that her sensory nerves are lacking in development.

It is tragic that she did not survive long enough for it to ever be answered. In may of 1905, Eva was drinking at a saloon near where she lived with a man named Hal Williamson, and she was being watched by a secret admirer. A railroad special agent and former lover of Eva named Thomas McCall had been enamored with her for some time, but had learned that she was now seeing Williamson. In a drunken fit of jealous rage, McCall confronted the pair and shot them both dead before turning the gun on himself. It was a tragic turn of events, widely covered in the news at the time, and making it even worse is that Eva had taken any secrets she had within her body to the grave with her. Eva was never exposed as a fraud of any kind, and she was indeed seen as an exceptional person in many respects. What were her secrets? How could she do what she did? We may never know for sure.


The Strange Mystery of the Pauli Effect

By Brent Swancer

Brent Swancer | Mysterious Universe

Brent Swancer is an author and crypto expert living in Japan. Biology, nature, and cryptozoology still remain Br…

IT at first might not seem that scientists and the paranormal really get along most of the time. After all, paranormal phenomena are often seen by many as lying outside of the wheelhouse of science, and mainstream scientists are often likened to a sort of enemy in a sense, as they are seen as not willing to look into these strange things. However, science is not always the enemy, and there have indeed been very well-known, respected scientists who have gone down rabbit holes that lead them into the paranormal. One of these was a brilliant physicist who entertained the thought that humans could unknowingly exert psychic influence on the outside world around them, which he thought had also actually manifested in himself.

Austrian physicist, Nobel laureate, professor of theoretical physics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and early pioneer in quantum mechanics, Wolfgang Ernst Pauli is largely considered to be one of the most brilliant physicists to have ever lived. He was the first to propose the existence of the neutrino in 1930, won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1945, was widely praised by Albert Einstein, won the Max Planck medal in 1958, and was instrumental to the development of many areas of theoretical physics and quantum theory. Pauli was highly respected among his peers, an impeccable scientific mind like no other, but he also had some rather strange ideas and oddness orbiting him, with one of these being what would later be called “The Pauli Effect.”

wolfWolfgang Ernst Pauli

It began when people, including Pauli himself, noticed that whenever he was around in a lab there was an inordinate number of freak mishaps and malfunctions of equipment. Almost without fail, when Pauli entered a lab, things would break, electrical systems would malfunction or go haywire, beakers would crack, bunsen burners would fail to ignite, and various equipment would either stop working or experience some sort of disturbance, with even fires breaking out on occasion. Colleagues jokingly referred to it as “The Pauli Effect,” stating as one of its laws “a functioning device and Wolfgang Pauli may not occupy the same room,” but as it continued it became very noticeable that it seemed to all be beyond coincidence and jokes. The effect even seemed to work through walls or across distances. One popular anecdote is that one time Pauli was passing the railway station of Göttingen, when at that moment several pieces of lab equipment at the nearby University of Göttingen exploded without any apparent reason. Similarly, another story has it that when Pauli was visiting Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study the Princeton University physics department’s massive cyclotron particle accelerator inexplicably burst into flames and burned for more than 6 hours before being put out.

As weird incidents like this increased in frequency, Pauli’s peers went from joking about it all to starting to believe there was something truly weird going on in the physicist’s presence, and that there was perhaps something to it. It is rumored that the experimental physicist Otto Stern once even banned Pauli from his lab for fear that he would break something or ruin an experiment. It is interesting to note how these serious, top level scientists were starting to elevate The Pauli Effect to a superstition, seeing it as beyond rational explanation. One science photographer by the name of David Fathi would once say of this:

I had a lot of problems trying to understand how some of the brightest minds of their time could give in to ideas that seem like pure superstition. But now I think that to work in a field like quantum physics, so abstract and far removed from common intuition, you probably have to be predisposed at thinking far out of the box, and you have to be creative and open to weird ideas.

wolfWolfgang Ernst Pauli

Pauli himself began to seriously consider that there was some as yet unexplained phenomenon behind it all, convinced that it was all real. This was not a big jump for him, as he was already curious about parapsychology and subscribed to C. G. Jung’s ideas on synchronicity, which Jung described as “circumstances that appear meaningfully related yet lack a causal connection,” as well as the hidden meaning of dreams. Pauli began to come up with some way to explain it all, theorizing that certain people had the ability to somehow affect technical equipment in their vicinity through forces not yet understood. Pauli was so convinced that this was a real mystery that he discussed it at length with Jung. One of his ideas was that this was due to a sort of psychokinesis, in which mental energy is projected to have an effect on physical surroundings. Pauli would say:

The existence of relatively constant psychic contents that survive personal ego…All we can observe is their effect on other living people, whose spiritual level and whose personal unconscious crucially influence the way these contents actually manifest themselves.

It is interesting that Pauli’s musings on this are some of the earlier ideas put forth on psychokinesis, in an era before it even had an official, agreed upon name. Pauli was never able to prove any of this, but he allegedly spent much time pondering it and writing of it in his journals. He often lamented that there was no way to prove any of this under strict lab conditions, that in the end it was mostly based on anecdotal evidence, and that it was probably doomed to forever remain misunderstood. However, he maintained that the Pauli Effect was real, that people could mentally influence surrounding objects and electronics right up until his death in 1958. So was this just superstition among scientists or was there anything to it at all? It is hard to know just how grounded this was in reality, but it remains a curious little piece of lore merging science and the paranormal, as well as a strange little historical curiosity.

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