By Nick Redfern
MY previous article was on the subject of the U.S. government’s deep concerns that, from the 1940s onward, enemy agents were secretly trying to bring down the nation’s cattle herd by using deadly viruses. That article began as follows: “There was a time when I thought it was at least feasible that cattle mutilations might be the work of aliens. That, however, was more than a few years ago. The more I dug into the mystery, the more I came to believe that the subject had far less to do with aliens and far more to do with government activity. Within in the field of Ufology, there is an acceptance that the first real animal mutilation case (as ufologists see it) was that of Snippy, a horse found dead under bizarre coincidences.” Now, let’s get onto today’s article. It is equally as chilling as the previous one. In many respects, even more disturbing. And here’s the reason why: Today’s article is a follow-up. It focuses on concerns the government had to the effect that those same enemy agents had chillingly turned their activities in the direction of the American people. A document prepared by the FBI’s Special-Agent-in-Charge at its Albuquerque, New Mexico office on June 22, 1950, titled Bacteriological Warfare – Espionage-Sabotage (Bubonic Plague), refers to rumors then flying around the U.S. government that an outbreak of bubonic plague in New Mexico’s rat population may have been the result of deliberate, bacteriological warfare-related activities by – once again – hostile, unknown forces.
The FBI noted with respect to its interview with a plague expert (who, in the files, is identified only as a Miss Greenfield) “[She] is acquainted with the presence of the plague among wild rodents in New Mexico and in the United States for several years. It has now reached an area from the West Coast to a line running north and south at approximately the border of New Mexico.” The FBI continued: “From August 1949 there were four cases among humans in New Mexico. Briefly, these four cases, one of which was fatal, were reported in New Mexico. Each case indicated that the victim had shortly before the illness, handled wild rodents which he had killed. The one case in New Mexico which was fatal was not diagnosed as the plague until after death.” It was all of the above that had the FBI concerned. And no-one could have blamed them.
Notably, the FBI subsequently received from the Public Health Service two charts displaying the outbreaks of plague in both New Mexico and the continental United States during that period. And as the FBI noted with respect to the Public Health Service: “…they have found positive evidence of the plague among wild rodents in the states lying west of a line directly north of the east boundary of the state of New Mexico.” The FBI’s Special-Agent-in-Charge at Albuquerque concluded his report with the following words: “Miss Greenfield has been requested to advise this office concerning any pertinent developments of the plague in New Mexico or in the United States that may come to her attention. In the event such developments are received, the Bureau will be immediately advised.” And, in essence, those are the significant, declassified portions of the file that relate to animal disease and death (and that soon began to be directed at the human population) that some people in the U.S. government perceived as potentially sinister in nature. We now know that senior elements of, and agencies within, the government were taking a deep and secret interest in cases of potentially unusual disease and death in the U.S. animal and human populations in the 1940s and 1950s. We may also consider it highly likely that very similar, secret interest and concern is still afoot today. MU
Ghosts Torturing Students at University of Wisconsin Residence Halls
By Jocelyne LeBlanc
IT’s not just students living at Horizon Village, a residence hall on the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh campus, as there have been numerous reports of paranormal activity occurring there. This is rather surprising as the building is only about a decade old.
Recent accounts include a sophomore named Alyssa Hagen as well as her roommates who experienced strange events. “I live on the 5th floor, no one is above us and it sounds like someone is running on the roof,” she explained, adding that they have heard a lot of unexplained banging sounds as well.
She went on to explain some pretty creepy things that happened, “One night we heard our neighbors screaming and running out; turns out they had heard banging and banged back.” “Their laundry basket and desk chair moved immediately after they did so.”
When she researched the building, she found out that a student who lived in the dorm before it was Horizon Village had passed away from a heart attack. Hagen then read that three female students had been buried underneath the dorms but that information remains unverified although it would certainly explain the ghostly activity.
Hagen and her roommates aren’t the only ones experiencing strange events as sophomore Hannah Gilbert (who lives down the hall from Hagen) claimed that she witnessed a ghostly female sitting on her couch. She then saw a tall, dark figure standing at the end of the hallway one night. Gilbert and her roommates also witnessed doors slamming on their own, door handles turning, and sinks turning on and off.
It’s not only current students that are experiencing ghostly activity as several others who once occupied the university’s dorms also had frightening encounters. In a 2015 Advance-Titan article, Jocelyn Hart, who was staying at Fletcher Hall, explained that she and her roommate began hearing strange noises and objects moving in the middle of the night as well as feeling a presence in the room with them. They even saw a figure sitting at their desk.
Then in a February 2018 Tumblr post by a student named Ethan, he claimed to have heard what sounded like a chair being dragged across the upstairs floor in Evans Hall, but when he went to investigate the sounds, there wasn’t anybody up there. When he went back down the stairs, he heard a loud bang so he immediately ran back up but couldn’t find the source of the noises.
It seems as though several student residences have some pretty creepy ghostly activity going on. MU
The Mysterious Fiery Ghost Ship of Northumberland Strait
By Brent Swancer
STORIES of mysterious ghost ships have been a staple of high seas mystery since time unremembered. One very persistent and well-known local tale of a ghost ship comes from the Northumberland Strait in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence of eastern Canada. The strait is defined by the Prince Edward Island and the shores of the gulf, and separates Prince Edward Island from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The Northumberland Strait is popular with tourists in the summer months, due to its sandy beaches and uncommonly warm water temperatures at that time, and becomes a frozen wasteland in the winter months. The area has a long history with plenty of legends and folklore, but one of the most popular and pervasive here is that of its infamous flaming ghost ship.
What has come to be known as The Ghost Ship of North Cumberland Strait has been allegedly sighted in the strait for centuries, usually appearing as a three or four-masted schooner with sails of pure white, which materialized out of thin air. There are very often ghostly crew members and dogs seen on the decks, but the most startling aspect of the ghost ship is its tendency to suddenly and spectacularly burst into flame. Sometimes this blaze will cover the entire vessel, while at other times it engulfs only the sails, and the spectral crew is said to show no reaction at all to this fiery state. The ship is usually described as being incredibly clear and realistic looking, to the point that it can be mistaken for an actual ship on fire, its ghostly identity only betrayed when it disappears into thin air. Local historian Cathy Gillies has said of this:
People will see the outline of a schooner or three-masted ship. It’s on fire, and it’s vivid. It’s so vivid that people have described seeing men running along the decks. There are records of people going out in their boats to try to rescue the sailors.
One rather well-known historical report of this happening comes from the year 1900, and was written of in the book Folklore Prince Edward Island, by Sterling Ramsay, reading:
Late one evening, approaching dusk, a ship [was] sighted in the harbour which appeared to be in peril…. Some distance out in the channel was what appeared to be a large three masted sailing vessel ablaze from bow to stem. A group of men boarded a small boat and rowed toward the flaming ship, in hopes of rescuing as many of her crew as possible. While they were still some distance from the craft, it disappeared into the mist and appeared to vanish completely.
In some of these tales of people approaching the burning ship the would-be rescuers are never heard from again, or come back stark raving insane. Indeed, the mysterious ship has gathered many legends about it, such as that it is a portent of a coming storms and catastrophe, or that it will appear even when the strait is frozen solid, hovering above the ice below. The legends on where the ghost ship actually came from are also numerous. One story is that it is the spectral form of a ship called the Colbum, lost during a storm in 1838, or perhaps that of another vessel named the Isabella, which departed in 1868 for South America and disappeared without a trace. It has also been variously said to be a ship called the John Craig, which was wrecked off Shippigan Island, a pirate vessel sunk near Merigomish by a British warship during the Napoleonic War, a pleasure craft said to have been set ablaze after a drunken brawl, or a merchant ship bound for Quebec that was supposedly struck by lightning to burn until it sank.
There are other mundane possibilities that have been offered up as well. One is that it is nothing more than a type of mirage called a Fata Morgana, caused by a thermal inversion which refracts light to distort objects at a distance to make them appear closer, often inverted, shimmering, with different shapes, and often appearing as if hovering. Another non-paranormal idea is that it is caused by a weather phenomenon called St. Elmo’s Fire, in which electrical distortions in the atmosphere case a glowing halo upon the edges of some objects. Other theories are that it is the reflection of the moon off of fog, electrical atmospheric disturbances, ignited gas from submarine coal beds, or even bioluminescent marine organisms. However, these explanations don’t really explain how so many people, often hundreds at a time, can see the same thing and be so convinced that it is a very real-looking ship on fire that can appear or disappear in the blink of an eye, making it difficult to find a scientific origin. The historian Gillies has said:
Some people think there might be a scientific explanation of what’s happening out there. But there have been many times when the ship was sighted by many people on the same night. It’s been recorded so many times that there is something there, but nobody has a real explanation for it.
It is still unknown just what this phenomenon means or what its origins are. What is this ghostly flaming ship that keeps being seen at this place? Is it indicative of some sort of paranormal phenomenon or can it be explained in rational terms? Whatever the case may be, these stories have been circulating for hundreds of years and show no signs of disappearing. For now, the flaming ghost ship still lurks out there in this place, stirring the imagination and debate. MU