Reality is stranger than we think

Discussion in 'UFOs, Ghosts and Monsters' started by Magical Realist, Jun 5, 2014.

  1. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Then move on. I have no interest in any assumptions you made based on your own admitted ignorance of the field of statistics.
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  3. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Yes. Park rangers (among other things) are often sent to look for people lost during thunderstorms and evacuate them when there is a high risk of storms. In other words, they go out when everyone else comes in. In Yosemite, for example, at least two rangers have been struck by lightning evacuating people from Half Dome when thunderstorms threaten.
    Often, yes - and twice he was struck by lightning that initially struck the tree/pole next to him. "The lightning first hit nearby trees and was deflected into the open window of the truck." "The lightning hit a nearby power transformer and from there jumped to his left shoulder." Hence increasing his odds of being struck by lightning.

    You're proving my point for me here.
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  5. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    Thanks, that's the ticket. Luck so prolonged it's as if they're undergirded by a particularized law that differs from a general principle of nature. Gump / Dexter joins James Bond / Sidney Reilly and other pairs in the real life is stranger than fiction cliche book (though not so odd when the latter was ripped-off from the former to begin with).
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  7. zgmc Registered Senior Member

    The wiki on Timothy Dexter is interesting. This is pretty funny,

    "Aged 50, Dexter wrote a book about himself – A Pickle for the Knowing Ones or Plain Truth in a Homespun Dress – in which he also complained about politicians, the clergy and his wife. The book contained 8,847 words and 33,864 letters, but no punctuation and its capitalization seemed random. At first, he handed his book out for free, but it became popular and was reprinted for sale eight times.[2] In the second edition, Dexter added an extra page which consisted of 13 lines of punctuation marks with the instructions that readers could distribute them as they pleased."
  8. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    You'll have to explain how in a forest of thousands of trees lightning is more prone to strike the one a human is standing next to. I've never heard of that principle. Is there some science to back it up?

    I've never heard of forest rangers evacuating parks during thunderstorms. I've been in several parks during thunderstorms and never did I see one. My bet is they are taking shelter just as much as the campers are. Searches DURING thunderstorms? No, more like AFTER the thunderstorms. Also remember a forest ranger spends a lot of his time in a truck driving, which is a very safe place to be during a thunderstorm. Unless ofcourse you're Roy Sullivan, with a bolt striking straight thru his opened windows across the road from one tree to another right when he was driving by! What are the chances of THAT?

    I might add that Roy Sullivan's wife was struck while in her own backyard. Roy was present at the time.
  9. krash661 [MK6] transitioning scifi to reality Valued Senior Member

    there's more to reality than meets the normal eye.
    behind the curtain of every day consciousness is hidden another naturalise,
    strange mental universe
  10. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

    There may be something about his behaviour in response to a storm that makes him vulnerable.
    The old advice about laying flat on the ground, for example, makes you far more likely to be struck.
    Perhaps he used to run to the top of the nearest hill carrying a copper ball cock.

    It struck the Pole next to him?
    Lightning is racist?
  11. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    The Glowing Cross of Lismore

    Of the many fascinating divine miracles you will hear about, it is unlikely that you will hear of anything like this. For the Glowing Cross of Lismore is one such strange event where a specific crucifix amidst the burials in the North Lismore Pioneers Cemetery began to glow like a light bulb, unexpectedly, and rather inexplicably, baffling countless skeptics, scientists and clergymen who came to investigate.

    In 1907, a very tragic occurrence took place at the Mullumbimby Station in the town of Lismore in New South Wales, Australia, when 29-year-old railway worker William Steenson was on duty as he had to suddenly jump forth to stop a runaway train with bare hands, in which attempt he was run off by a train and died from a melancholic death. Steenson was buried at the North Lismore Pioneers Cemetery and, as a show of respect to his bravery, his family erected a crucifix made of Scottish Balmoral Granite above his grave.

    Some eleven years after his death, during the period of WWI, the granite cross began to glow. With a brilliant white hue scattering in all sides from its surface, the “Glowing Cross” managed to attract the attention of the whole town, so much so that it became a part of a local legend entitled “Ghost of the Hill”. However, this local enigma was safely protected from the public eye by the townsfolk until in 1978, a local lady described her visit to the miraculous grave to a reporter of the Northern Star newspapers, who promptly featured a little column in the next publication about the mystery. Astonishingly, the little column was greatly responded to by the public, and soon enough, Sydney newspapers picked up the story and published their own reports. Photographers, faith-holders, T.V crews, skeptics, journalists, light-refraction specialists and scientists all rushed to the place, and having studied it, came running with their own speculations. Initially, the cross would glow only occasionally, but later on, it began to remain luminescent for the entire day, although the glow was visually distinguishable only from dusk to dawn. It was speculated that the cause of the glow may be radioactivity, phosphoresce, light reflected from the glossy surface of the cross and even “petrified glow worms” attaching themselves to it!

    Sadly, vandalism followed, and people began to break off pieces from the cross and sell them off as souvenirs. Finally, in 1986, the cross suddenly disappeared one day, and was never found again. Suspecting theft, an exact replica of the cross was erected on its original base, with the same Balmoral Granite material and with the same dimensions. Unfortunately, although the cross was replicated, the miracle was not. The cross never glowed again as it did before.

    If you visit the cemetery today, you will still find the replica cross standing on the grave, the Bishop’s inscription on it reading:

    "Sacred to the memory of my

    Dear Husband William Thomas Thurling Steenson,

    Who died at Lismore 30th September 1907;
    from injuries accidentally received in execution
    of his duty at Mullumbimby; aged 29 years

    Though sorrow and darkness encompass the tomb,
    Thy saviour has pass’d through its darkness before thee…

    And the lamp of his Love.

    Is thy guide through the gloom"

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  12. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Will O' The Wisps

    "The Will-o'-the-Wisp is a strange and inexplicable luminosity that often appears in or near wet or boggy ground. As such, they are also often known as Marsh Lights. According to British Folklore they are 'Faerie fires' lit by mischievous and sometimes malevolent spirit-creatures and will try to lead unwary travelers to their doom. In some cases, usually where there is only one light, it can actually be a friendly flame that will lead the traveler to a hidden treasure or a place where humans can meet with the Faerie folk. It's this theme that is used in the 2012 animated film 'Brave' by Pixar. The irony is that the traveler never knows whether to trust the Will-o'-the-Wisp. In the English counties of Cornwall and Devon the phenomenon is known as 'Pixy Lights' and in this part of Britain they are also associated with strange - often rude - noises. Here they are said to guard ancient burial chambers and are sometimes also known as Barrow Wrights.

    On the Channel Island of Guernsey the lights are known as the Faeu Boulanger (rolling fire). It's said they are the life forces of lost souls that failed to move on to the next plane of existence. The actual cause of these lights is still unknown. The most popular theory is that they are methane-based marsh gas that has spontaneously ignited. However, many researchers dispute this theory and claim that the effect is generated by a form of ball lightning. Recent studies now suggest that it is actually a phenomenon similar to the well document St. Elmo's Fire where static electricity caused by the motion of long grasses interacts with localised gasses to create luminescent plasma that looks like flickering blue flames but is actually not burning. The truth is that it's still a mystery."

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  13. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Toads and Lizards Found Encased in Stone

    •Toad in a stone. In 1761, Ambroise Pare, physician to Henry III of France, related the following account to the Annual Register: "Being at my seat near the village of Meudon, and overlooking a quarryman whom I had sent to break some very large and hard stones, in the middle of one we found a huge toad, full of life and without any visible aperture by which it could get there. The laborer told me it was not the first time he had met with a toad and the like creatures within huge blocks of stone."

    •Toad in limestone. In 1865, the Hartlepool Free Press reported that excavators working on a block of magnesium limestone taken from about 25 feet underground near Hartlepool, England, discovered a cavity within the stone that contained a live toad. "The cavity was no larger than its body, and presented the appearance of being a cast of it. The toad's eyes shone with unusual brilliancy, and it was full of vivacity on its liberation. It appeared, when first discovered, desirous to perform the process of respiration, but evidently experienced some difficulty, and the only sign of success consisted of a 'barking' noise, which it continues to make invariably at present on being touched. The toad is in the possession of Mr. S. Horner, the president of the Natural History Society, and continues in as lively a state as when found. On a minute examination of its mouth is found to be completely closed, and the barking noise it makes proceeds from its nostrils. The claws of its fore feet are turned inwards, and its hind ones are of extraordinary length and unlike the present English toad. The toad, when first released, was of a pale colour and not readily distinguished from the stone, but shortly after its colour grew darker until it became a fine olive brown."

    •Toad in a boulder. Around the same time, an article in Scientific American related how a silver miner named Moses Gaines found a toad inside a two-foot diameter boulder. The article stated that the toad was "three inches long and very plump and fat. Its eyes were about the size of a silver cent piece, being much larger than those of toads of the same size as we see every day. They tried to make him hop or jump by touching him with a stick, but he paid no attention." A later article in Scientific American said: "Many well authenticated stories of the finding of live toads and frogs in solid rock are on record."

    •Lizard revives. In 1821, Tilloch's Philosophical Magazine wrote how David Virtue, a stone mason, was working on a large chunk of rock that had come from about 22 feet below the surface when "he found a lizard embedded in the stone. It was coiled up in a round cavity of its own form, being an exact impression of the animal. It was about an inch and a quarter long, of a brownish yellow color, and had a round head, with bright sparkling projecting eyes. It was apparently dead, but after being about five minutes exposed to the air it showed signs of life. It soon ran about with much celerity."

    •Toad and lizard in solid rock. During World War II, a British soldier was working with a team in the quarrying of stone for making roads and filling in bomb craters. They often used explosives to crack open the rock. After one such detonation, the soldier pried a stone slab away from the quarry face when he saw "in a pocket in the rock a large toad and beside it a lizard at least nine inches long. Both these animals were alive, and the amazing thing was that the cavity they were in was at least 20 feet from the top of the quarry face."

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    And then there's the story of Ol' Rip!

    "Old Rip, Miracle Horned Toad"

    Field review by the editors.

    Eastland, Texas

    "In 1897 a horned toad was placed in the cornerstone of the courthouse in Eastland, Texas, as it was being sealed. People remembered the event, but no one thought much of it until February 18, 1928, when the courthouse was demolished to make way for a new model. Three thousand people were on hand to watch the opening of the old cornerstone. Inside lay the horned toad -- flat and covered with dust -- and ALIVE! After 31 years!

    The toad was christened "Old Rip" and became a national sensation. He toured the U.S. He met President Coolidge. Local gas stations gave away complimentary toads to customers.

    Eleven months after his resurrection, Old Rip croaked. His body was embalmed and placed in a tiny, velvet-lined open casket in the lobby of the new courthouse.

    A horned toad can still be seen in the velvet-lined casket today, although there's some controversy over just who is being exhibited. That's because in 1973 Old Rip was stolen. An anonymous kidnapper wrote a letter explaining that his conscience would no longer let him remain silent. He claimed to be part of a larger conspiracy that had hoaxed the nation with Old Rip. He demanded that his accomplices join him in a full confession.

    When no accomplices came forward, another letter arrived, saying that Old Rip could be found in his coffin at the county fairgrounds. The coffin and a toad were recovered, although some believed that this Old Rip was an impostor. Eastland County Judge Scott Bailey was quoted as saying, "This toad is fairly well-preserved. The other was more ... mummified."

    Old Rip, real or fake, is still on display in his coffin in Eastland. And the toad has been immortalized in another way, too -- as the inspiration for the Warner Bros. cartoon character "Michigan J. Frog," who later served as mascot for the WB television network."---

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  14. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Strange Rains

    •In 1873, Scientific American reported that Kansas City, Missouri was blanketed with frogs that dropped from the sky during a storm.

    •Minneapolis, Minnesota was pelted with frogs and toads in July, 1901. A news item stated: "When the storm was at its highest... there appeared as if descending directly from the sky a huge green mass. Then followed a peculiar patter, unlike that of rain or hail. When the storm abated the people found, three inches deep and covering an area of more than four blocks, a collection of a most striking variety of frogs... so thick in some places [that] travel was impossible."

    •The citizens of Naphlion, a city in southern Greece, were surprised one morning in May, 1981, when they awoke to find small green frogs falling from the sky. Weighing just a few ounces each, the frogs landed in trees and plopped into the streets. The Greek Meteorological Institute surmised they were picked up by a strong wind. It must have been a very strong wind. The species of frog was native to North Africa!

    •In 1995, reports Fortean Times Online, Nellie Straw of Sheffield, England, was driving through Scotland on holiday with her family when they encountered a severe storm. Along with the heavy rain, however, hundreds of frogs suddenly pelted her car.


    •A powerful whirlwind might explain a rain of small fish, but it cannot account for the ones that fell on a village in India. As many as 10 people reported picking up fish that weighed as much as eight pounds that had come crashing down on them.

    •In February, 1861, folks in many areas of Singapore reported a rain of fish following an earthquake. How could the two possibly correlate?

    •Golfers dread gathering clouds and a rain that might ruin their game. But imagine the consternation of several duffers in Bournemouth, England, in 1948 who received a shower of herring.

    •Priests often pray for blessings from above... but fish? In 1966, Father Leonard Bourne was dashing through a downpour across a courtyard in North Sydney, Australia, when a large fish fell from the sky and landed on his shoulder. The priest nearly caught it as it slid down his chest, but it squirmed away, fell to the flooded ground and swam away.

    •These things don't always happen in a heavy rain. In 1989, in Ipswich, Australia, Harold and Degen's front lawn was covered with about 800 "sardines" that rained from above during a light shower.

    •This report is most unusual: In an otherwise clear sky in Chilatchee, Alabama in 1956, a woman and her husband watched as a small dark cloud formed in the sky. When it was overhead, the cloud released its contents: rain, catfish, bass and bream - all of the fish alive. The dark cloud had turned to white, then dispersed."


    •In 1890, Popular Science News reported that blood rained down on Messignadi, Calabria in Italy - bird's blood. It was speculated that the birds were somehow torn part by violent winds, although there were no such winds at the time. And no other parts of the bird came down - just blood.

    •J. Hudson's farm in Los Nietos Township, California endured a rain of flesh and blood for three minutes in 1869. The grisly fall covered several acres.

    •The American Journal of Science confirmed a shower of blood, fat and muscle tissue that fell on a tobacco farm near Lebanon, Tennessee in August, 1841. Field workers, who actually experienced this weird shower, said they heard a rattling noise and saw "drops of blood, as they supposed...fell from a red cloud which was flying over."


    •In 1881, a thunderstorm in Worcester, England, brought down tons of periwinkles and hermit crabs.

    •In November, 1996, a town in southern Tasmania was slimed! Several residents woke up on a Sunday morning after a night of violent thunderstorms to find a strange, white-clear jelly-like substance on their property. Apparently, it had rained either fish eggs or baby jellyfish.

    •A Korean fisherman, trolling off the coast of the Falkland Islands, was knocked unconscious by a single frozen squid that fell from the sky and konked him on the head.

    •In July, 2001, a red rain fell on Kerala, India. At first it was thought that a meteor was responsible for the strange-colored rain, but an analysis showed that the water was filled with fungal spores. Still, where did all of those red spores come from to be rained down in such concentration?

    •From about 1982 to 1986, kernels of corn have rained down on several houses in Evans, Colorado - tons of it, according to Gary Bryan, one of the residents. Oddly, there were no cornfields in the area that might account for the phenomenon.

    •In August, 2001, the Wichita, Kansas area experienced an unexplained rain of corn husks. The news report stated that "thousands of dried corn leaves fell over east Wichita - from about Central Avenue to 37th Street North, along Woodlawn Boulevard and on east - each about 20 to 30 inches long."

    •In 1877, several one-foot-long alligators fell on J. L. Smith's farm in South Carolina. They landed, unharmed, and started crawling around, reported The New York Times. Perhaps the most bizarre report is one that, unfortunately, cannot be confirmed. It may be just the stuff of urban legend, but it's so weird and so amusing that had to be included. I'll leave it up to you to decide whether or not it's true."
  15. zgmc Registered Senior Member

    The toads encased in stone is a bit ridiculous. Those accounts were either hoaxes, or the witnesses mistakenly thought that the toads came from the stone, because they were in the vicinity at the time. It could also be that the toad or lizard was in a tunnel, and again, it was mistakenly identified as being encased in stone.
  16. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    About that waterspout theory to explain frog/fish rains, I knew there was something "fishy" about it. Found this from Encyclopedia Britannica article:

    "Contrary to popular opinion, a waterspout does not “suck up” water to great heights, though it may lift the water level a metre or so at its point of contact with the surface. It is suspected, but remains unproven, that waterspouts sometimes draw fish and frogs into its vortex and then drop them onto land, thus accounting for the reported falls of such objects."--
  17. Bells Staff Member

    I know a guy who had lightning strike a tree as he was driving past one night and the tree fell on his car. About 10 years later, lightning struck a tree that was beside his front deck and the tree fell on his bedroom while he and his wife were sleeping in the bed..

    Roy Sullivan lived and worked in the mountains. He was also always out and about when the strikes happened in the course of his job. It doesn't sound that unusual. Also, lightning can travel for like what? 50 miles or something ahead of a storm? By the time you hear the first sign of thunder, you should seek shelter as you can be hit by it even then. A person working outdoors in such conditions, especially high up in the mountains.. Wearing metal on his body. He found out what the chances are I guess..
  18. billvon Valued Senior Member

    You'll have to ask him.
  19. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    Yes, obviously. There is no supernatural connotation, it's just a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
  20. Arne Saknussemm trying to figure it all out Valued Senior Member

    In one of Douglas Adams' novels there is a truck driver who is always driving in the rain. It happened so often he kept a journal of all the places he drove around the country and chronicled the uniformly stormy weather that seemed to follow him around. Adams writes that what the man didn't know was that he was The Rain God and that the rain loved him dearly, so followed him wherever he went. Maybe Sullivan is the Lightning God.
  21. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

    When I am on the internet, the TV is usually on. Several times each day, something is mentioned or shown on TV as I am reading about it, writing about it or looking at a picture or video of it.
  22. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Mistpouffers, or Seneca Guns

    Mistpouffers are unexplained reports that sound like a cannon or a sonic boom. They have been heard in many waterfront communities around the world such as the banks of the river Ganges in India, the East Coast and inland Finger Lakes of the United States, as well as areas of the North Sea, Japan and Italy; and sometimes away from water.

    Names (according to area) are:

    Bangladesh: Barisal Guns.
    Italy: "brontidi" or "marinas"
    Japan: "uminari"
    Netherlands and Belgium: "mistpoeffers"
    Philippines: "retumbos"
    United States: "Guns of the Seneca" around Seneca Lake & Cayuga Lake, Seneca guns in the Southeast US, and "Moodus noises" in lower Connecticut valley.
    elsewhere: "fog guns"

    They have been reported from: on an Adriatic island in 1824; Western Australia, South Australia & Victoria in Australia; Belgium; frequently on calm summer days in the Bay of Fundy, Canada; Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland; Scotland; Passamaquoddy Bay, New Brunswick & Cedar Keys, Florida & Franklinville, New York in 1896 & in northern Georgia in the United States.

    Their sound has been described as being like distant but inordinately loud thunder while no clouds are in the sky large enough to generate lightning. Those familiar with the sound of cannon fire say the sound is nearly identical. The booms occasionally cause shock waves that rattle plates. Early white settlers in North America were told by the native Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) that the booms were the sound of the Great Spirit continuing his work of shaping the earth.

    The term originating in Seneca Lake,NY, mistpouffers, or Seneca Guns, referring to the rumble of artillery fire. An alternative explanation for the term "Seneca guns" is also provided. In 1850, James Fennimore Cooper, author of The Last of the Mohicans, wrote a story, “The Lake Gun,” describing the phenomenon as manifested on Seneca Lake of the upstate New York Finger Lakes, which seems to have popularized the term.


    One explanation for why they are usually heard near water is that inland communities are often too noisy to hear these booms. Their origin has not been positively identified. They have been explained as:

    Meteors entering the atmosphere.
    Gas: Gas escaping from vents in the Earth's surface.
    With lakes, bio gas from decaying vegetation trapped beneath the lake bottoms suddenly bursting forth. This is plausible, since Cayuga Lake and Seneca Lake are two large and deep lakes.
    Explosive release of less volatile gases generated as limestone decays in underwater caves.
    Military aircraft (though it cannot explain occurrences of the phenomenon which predate supersonic flight).
    In some cases, they have been associated with earthquakes. Earthquakes may not hold as a general cause because these sounds are often not accompanied by seismic activity, other than the vibrations induced by sound.
    In North Carolina, one speculation is that they are the sound of pieces of the continental shelf falling off into the Atlantic abyss. However, the Atlantic abyss is not only too far away from the east coast, but the Atlantic ridge is the result of very slow moving tectonics and couldn't produce such sounds given the frequency of their occurrence.[5]
    A recent explanation is that the noise is very distant thunder which has been focused anomalously as it travelled through the upper atmosphere
    Underwater caves collapsing, and the air rapidly rising to the surface.
    Firearms being discharged.
    Possible resonance from solar and/or earth magnetic activity inducing sounds.
  23. origin Heading towards oblivion Valued Senior Member

    Based on what you have written and proclaimed I think it is safe to say reality is not nearly as strange as you think.

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