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[El Chupacabra] [Spontaneous Human Combustion] [The Jersey Devil]
[Lincoln - Kennedy coincidence
] [Modern Stigmatics]

The Bigfoot

Something Large Is Stalking The Forests Of North America

Based on the validity of the photograph to the left, it would seem that the chilling truth of the situation is that the bigfoot is very much a real life phenomenon, and not simply nothing more than an ancient myth as some people have been leading us to believe. The existence of a large humanoid - ape like creature living deep in the forests of North America has been theorized for several years now, the claims of which are starting to look particularly convincing.

The image shown here is part of the most famous Bigfoot footage ever recorded - known as the Patterson Footage, the creature featured in it appears like nothing that science has ever seen before. Too large to be an ape, and too ape-like to be a man - could the bigfoot be some form of cross between the two ? Although for several years now, the claims that people have witnessed these creatures while camping in the Canadian forests are on the increase, the validity of these claims is decreasing rapidly. It is now becoming far too easy to create a hoax - and many people are now trying to make additional money by dressing in ape costumes and recording themselves in the forest. With modern day technology, this happens to be considerably easy to accomplish. So what is the bigfoot, and is the Patterson footage to be believed - if it that easy to create a fake video, then how can we trust this footage any more than the others ? Modern computer technology has allowed extreme analysis of the footage in question, and has come up with some pretty startling results. First of all, the experts claim that the way in which the creature walks across the forest floor is extremely convincing - exactly as you would expect from an ape of that size. Additional features include the fact that the creature appears to be female ( hence the breasts ), another fact which would make it hard for anyone to have hoaxed it. The eventual conclusion states that there is nothing at all about the pictures to suggest that they are in any way fake. So if the bigfoot really does exist, then what on earth is it ?

To anyone who witnesses it, the creature appears like some form of ape like beast - perhaps even a primitive ancestor of the human race itself. Some scientists believe that the bigfoot is actually the missing link between ourselves, and some of the lesser monkey and ape species alive in the world today. If this fact were true, and such a closely related ancestor of modern man has indeed been living undiscovered in North America, then it would be one of the greatest discoveries of the 21st century. Remember, it was only about 100 years ago when the great Mountain Gorilla was discovered. Other people believe that the bigfoot stems from even greater levels of intelligence. The presence of UFO's before, after or during a bigfoot sighting has lead many to think that they are in fact some crude form of humanoid alien - derived from hybrids.

Whatever the answer, it has become clear that there is definitely something lurking around in the deep forests of North America - The evidence is overwhelming. The most common Bigfoot evidence that is put forward include footprints, handprints, hair samples and even dung. The photograph on the left shows just how the bigfoot came to get it's name ! The footprint is way over 30 centimeters in length !! Even so, the best evidence comes from the witnesses themselves.

Some foresters and campers who live and work in the areas in which bigfoot is claimed to live, have often reported strange ape-like cries echoing throughout the forest at dusk, strange man-like shapes looming out of the darkness towards them, and one sawmill operator even claimed he had seen about 3 or 4 bigfoot's having a family reunion in a forest clearing !! Reports of large sasquatches come in from all over the world on a regular basis, including places in which other legendary creatures such as The Yeti are said to exist.

Will these mysterious creatures exist undiscovered for another 100 years in the deepest forests of North America The only sure way to prove the existence of these creatures for certain is to either find a dead one, or to capture a living specimen and bring it back to the civilized world for people to see for themselves. Like many such mysterious creatures however, it appears that in order to prove it's existence once and for all, you must first prize it out from within it's own habitat.

If the price for the truth costs the life of that which you seek, then perhaps it would be best if the bigfoot was left - for now - well alone.

El Chupacabra
Perhaps this is the "Goatsucker"?

The "Goat Sucker"

According to Puerto Rican folklore this creature has a small, hairless body, a large head and large black eyes.

In reality it seems that El Chupacabra is a mysterious creature that craves the blood of Puerto Rican farm animals, particularly goats' blood. Recently there have been many strange reports of animals found completly drained of there blood in Puerto Rico and Florida. Two small puncture wounds were found on their necks where the blood was most likely extracted from. In some cases internal organs were even removed without any trace of an incision. Although El Chupacabra is known for it's taste for goats' blood, many accounts have also been documented of attacks on chickens, cows, sheep, rabbits, dogs, and cats. There has even been documented attacks on humans

what possible combination of conditions could have spawned such an ungodly looking beast? Ultimately there is very little evidence to support anything concerning these creatures, and they have become one of the few animals "unknown" to science, along with the ape-like humanoids spotted all over the world. There have been many alleged reports of Chupacabras footprints, dung and even a corpse, but none have been sufficient to prove the beasts validity. Whether or not anything will ever truly expose the nature of this mysterious predator, remains a mystery.

Spontaneous Human Combustion
A victim of SHC

Victims Of An Inferno Hotter Than Hell And Damnation

The term "Spontaneous Human Combustion" is the general description given to one of the most disturbing earthly phenomena known to date - in which the human body itself can suddenly burst into flames completely on it's own accord, rendering the individual as nothing more than a pile of carbonized ashes within a very short period of time.

Back in gothic times, such an event was considered to be the result of divine intervention. " By the blast of God they perish, " was a common saying which denoted this belief. " And by the breath of his nostrils are they consumed! " To date there have been many hundreds such cases, strange reports in which victims have seemingly just smoldered into ashes within a matter of seconds, sometimes in front of several witnesses. One of the most well known such cases is that of Mary Reeser.

On the morning of July 2nd 1951, Mary Reeser's remains were discovered as seen quite clearly in the above photograph - nothing more than one of her feet was intact. The floor on which the ashes lay had been burnt through, even though there were no signs of fire anywhere else in the house at all. It was almost impossible to imagine how such an event could ever occur without setting fire to anything else. There was even a large pile of papers right next to where her remains lay, not a single one of them was even scorched in any way at all. Over the years there have been many more such incidents, in which the victim is rendered to ashes without so much as a char mark to anything else in the room, apart from the area directly below and above the corpse - such as the nearby ceiling and floor.

However, modern science has finally devised a theory which claims to explain all of the attributes of spontaneous human combustion. They blame the effects of a phenomenon known as "The Candle Wick Effect". In SHC cases such as with Mary Reeser, it is suggested that at some point, the victim falls and is knocked unconscious in the vicinity of a naked flame. An example of this would be someone falling down the stairs while holding a candle, or falling down next to an open fireplace.

Within seconds of the accident, the candle wick effect takes hold, with the clothes and fat of the body itself acting as a sort of inside-out-candle. The body fat produces the necessary combustive substance to keep the fire going. In this way, and over a considerable amount of time, the body burns slowly but very hot - rendering the body into a pile of ash over the course of several hours. This also explains why nothing else in the room is damaged - only the body itself is on fire.

However, what this idea does not prove is what happens when someone suddenly bursts into flames in broad daylight - while out for a peaceful stroll. In this way - Horrace Trew Nicholas who had been out for an early morning walk near his home, suddenly went up like a rocket - his clothes, hair and coat all ablaze. His rubber boots were subject to such fearsome temperatures that they melted and stuck to his feet. This is far beyond the "several hours" in which the candle wick effect needs to take its coarse, and we must remember that Nicholas was nowhere near a naked flame when the disaster happened.

So what could possibly cause this kind of rapid combustion ? To date, the candle wick effect is the single working theory we have, and although it may explain how people can be found burnt to cinders in their own homes, it certainly sheds no light into cases where victims suddenly burst into flames on their own accord when in full view of several dozen other people. The search for the truth as always - plods steadily onwards.

The Jersey Devil

Does The Devil Really Exist In New Jersey?

The Jersey Devil, the supposed mythical creature of the New Jersey Pinelands, has haunted New Jersey and the surrounding areas for the past 260 years. This entity has been seen by over 2,000 witnesses over this period. It has terrorized towns and caused factories and schools to close down, yet many people believe that the Jersey Devil is a legend, a mythical beast, that originated from the folklore of the New Jersey Pine Barrens. Others disagree with this point of view. The following text will show there is evidence to support the existence of an animal or supernatural bring known as the Jersey Devil. The evidence consists of the stories of the Jersey Devil's origin, the sightings of it, and finally, the theories on it.

There are many different versions of the birth of the Jersey Devil. One of the most popular legends says a Mrs. Shrouds of Leeds Point, NJ made a wish that if she ever had another child, she would want it to be a devil. Her next child was born misshapen and deformed. She sheltered it in the house, so the curious couldn't see him. On stormy night, the child flapped it's arms, which turned into wings, and escaped out the chimney and was never seen by the family again. A Mrs Bowen of Leeds point said, "The Jersey Devil was born in the Shrouds house at Leeds Point." Another story that also placed the birth at Leeds Point said that a young girl fell in love with a British soldier during the Revolutionary War. The people of Leeds Point cursed her. When she gave birth, she had a devil. Some people believe the birth of the devil was punishment for the mistreatment of a minister by the Leeds folk.

Another story placed the birth in Estelville, NJ. Mrs. Leeds, of Estelville, finding out she was pregnant with her 13th child, shouted,"I hope it's a devil". She got her wish. The child wad born with horns, a tail, wings, and a horse-like head. The creature revisited Mrs. Leeds everyday. She stood at her door and told it to leave. After awhile, the creature got the hint and never returned.

Burlington, NJ, also claims to be the birthplace of the Jersey Devil. In 1735, Mother Leeds was in labour on a stormy night. Gathered around her were her friends. Mother Leeds was supposedly a witch and the child's father was the devil himself. The child was born normal, but then changed form. It changed from a normal baby to a creature with hooves, a horses head, bat wings and a forked tail. It beat everyone present and flew up the chimney. It circled the villages and headed toward the pines. In 1740 a clergy exercised the devil for 100 years and it wasn't seen again until 1890.

There are many other versions of the legend. The legends say it was the 6th, 8th, 10th, 12th, or 13th child, It was born normal or deformed, and the mother confined it to the cellar or the attic. Although there are many discrepancies in all of these stories, there are 3 pieces of evidence that tie all of the legends of the Jersey Devil's origin together. The first thing that ties the legends together is the name "Leeds". Whether the mothers name was Leeds or the birth place was Leeds Point, all of the stories include the name Leeds. Alfred Heston, the Atlantic County Historian, believes that the devil could be a Leeds or a Shrouds baby. He discovered that a Daniel Leeds opened land in Great Egg Harbor, NJ, in 1699. His family lived in Leeds Point. He also discovered a Samuel Shrouds, Sr. came to Little Egg Harbor, NJ, in 1735 and lived right across the river from the house of Mother Leeds. The 3rd fact ties in the Burlington story with the others stories. Professor Fred MacFadden of Coppin State College, Baltimore, found that a "devil" was mentioned in writings from Burlington as early as 1735.

He also indicated that the word Burlington was used to was the word used to names the area from the city of Burlington to the Atlantic Ocean. This means that the name that is now used for the birthplace such as Leeds point or Estelville, could be the same place referred to in the Burlington Legend. The origins provide some validity to the existence of the Jersey Devil, but the sightings are the most substantial pieces of evidence.

The sightings have been divided up into 3 time periods, pre 1909, January 16-23, 1909, and post 1909. From the pre 1909 era, few documented records of sightings still exist. The ones that do confirm the existence of the devil.

In the early 19th century, Commodore Stephen Decatur, a naval hero, was testing cannon balls on the firing range when he saw a strange creature flying across the sky. He fired and hit the creature but it kept right on flying across the field. Joseph Bonaparte, former king of Spain and brother of Napoleon, saw the Kersey Devil in Bordentown, NJ, between 1816 and 1839 while he was hunting.

In 1840-41 many sheep and chickens were killed by a creature with a piercing scream and strange tracks. In 1859-94, the Jersey Devil was seen and numerous times and reportedly carried off anything that moved in Haddonfield, Bridgeton, Smithville, Long Branch, Brigantine, and Leeds Point.

W.F. Mayer of New York noticed while visiting the Pine Barrens, most of the locals would not venture out after dark. The devil was sighted by George Saarosy, A prominent business man, at the NJ/NY border. This was the last reported sighting before the turn of the century.

In 1903, Charles Skinner, author of American Myths and Legends, claimed that the legend of the devil had run it's course and that in the new century, NJ would hear no more of the devil. New Jersey rested easy with that thought for 6 years, until the week of January 16-23. 1909. During this week, the devil would leave his tracks all over South Jersey and Philadelphia. He was seen by over 1,000 people. This was his largest appearance ever.

It all started early Sunday morning, January 16, 1909. Thack Cozzens of Woodbury, NJ, saw a flying creature with glowing eyes flying down the street. In Bristol, NJ, John Mcowen heard and saw the strange creature on the banks of the canal. Patrol James Sackville fired at the creature as it flew away screaming. E.W. Minister, Postmaster of Bristol,NJ, also saw a bird-like creature with a horses head that had a piercing scream.

When daylight came, the residents of Bristol found hoof prints in the snow. Two local trappers said they had never seen tracks like those before. On Monday, the Lowdens of Burlington, NJ, found hoof prints in their yard and around their trash, which was half eaten. Almost every yard in Burlington had these strange hoof prints in them. The prints went up trees, went from roof to roof, disappeared in the middle of the road, and stopped in the middle of open fields. The same tracks were also found in Columbus, Hedding, Kinhora and Rancocas. A hunt was organized to follow the tracks but the dogs wouldn't follow the trail.

On the 19th the Jersey Devil made his longest appearance of the week. At 2:30 am, Mr & Mrs. Nelson Evans of Gloucester were awakened by a strange noise. They watched the devil from their window for 10 minutes. Mr. Evans described the creature they saw: It was about three feet and half high, with a head like a collie dog and a face like a horse. It had a long neck, wings about two feet long, and its back legs were like those of a crane, and it had horse's hooves. It walked on its back legs and held up two short front legs with paws on them. It didn't use the front legs at all while we were watching. My wife and I were scared, I tell you, but I managed to open the window and say, 'Shoo', and it turned around barked at me, and flew away.

Tuesday afternoon 2 professional hunters tracked the devil for 20 miles in Gloucester. The trail jumped 5 foot fences and went under 8 inch spaces. The hoof prints were found in more parts of South Jersey. A group of observers in Camden, NJ, saw the devil. It barked at them and then took off into the air.

The next day, a Burlington police officer and the Reverend John Pursell of Pemberton saw the Jersey Devil. Rev. Pursell said, "Never saw anything like it before".

Posses in Haddonfield found tracks that ended abruptly. In Collingswood, NJ, a posse watched the devil fly off toward Moorestown. Near Moorestown, John Smith of Maple Shade saw the devil at the Mount Carmel Cemetery. George Snyder saw the devil right after Mr. Smith and their descriptions were identical. In Riverside, NJ, hoof prints were found on roof tops and also around a dead puppy. On Thursday, the Jersey Devil was seen by the Black Hawk Social Club. He was also seen by a trolley full of people in Clementon as it circled above them.

The witnesses descriptions matched others from the days before. In Trenton, Councilman E.P. Weeden heard the flapping of wings and then found hoof prints outside his door. The prints were also found at the arsenal in Trenton. As the day wore on the Trolleys in Trenton and New Brunswick had armed drivers to ward off attacks. The people in Pitman filled churches. Chickens had been missing all week throughout the Delaware Valley, but when the farmers checked their yards that day, they found their chickens dead, with no marks on them.

The West Collingswood Fire Department fired their hose at the devil. The devil retreated at first, but then charged and flew away at the last second. Later that night, Mrs. Sorbinski of Camden heard a commotion in her yard. She opened the door to see the Jersey Devil standing there with her dog in it's grip. She hit the devil with a broom until it let go of her dog and flew away. She started screaming until her neighbors came over. Two police officers arrived at her house where over 100 people had gathered. The crowd heard a scream coming from Kaigan Hill. The mob ran toward the creature on the hill. The Policed shot at it and the devil flew off into the night. The streets of Camden were empty after this.

On Friday, Camden police officer Louis Strehr saw the Jersey Devil saw the devil drinking from a horses trough. The school in Mt Ephraim was closed because no students came in. Mills and factories in Gloucester and Hainesport had to close because none of the employees came to work. Many New Jersey residents wouldn't leave their houses, even in daylight. Officer Merchant of Blackwood drew a sketch of the creature he saw. His sketch coincided with the descriptions from earlier in the week.

Jacob Henderson saw the devil in Salem and described it as having "wings and a tail"4. The devil was only seen once more in 1909 in February. Since 1909, the Jersey Devil has continued to be sighted by people all over New Jersey.

The number of sightings that have been reported to the authorities has dwindled over the years. This could be attributed to the fact that people don't want to be branded as crazy. Even though the number of reported sightings has dropped, there's still a considerable amount of sightings in the post 1909 era. IN 1927, a cab driver on his way to Salem got a flat tire. He stopped to fix the tire. As he was doing this, creature that stood upright and was covered with hair, landed on the roof of his cab. The creature shook his car violently. He fled the scene, leaving the tire and jack behind. Phillip Smith, who was known as a sober and honest man, saw the devil walking down the street in 1953. The characteristic screams of the Jersey Devil were heard in the woods near Woodstown, NJ, in 1936.

Around 1961, 2 couples were parked in a car in the Pine Barrens. They heard a loud screeching noise outside. Suddenly the roof of the car was smashed in. They fled the scene, but returned later. Again they heard the loud screech. They saw a creature flying along the trees, taking out huge chinks of bark as it went along.

There have been other sightings since 1909, such as the Invasion of Gibbsboro in 1951. The people there saw the devil over a 2 day period. In 1966, a farm was raided and 31 dicks, 3 geese, 4 cats, and 2 dogs were killed. One of the dogs was a large german Shepard which had it's throat ripped out.

In 1981, a young couple spotted the devil at Atsion Lake in Atlantic County. In 1987, in Vineland an aggressive german Shepard was found torn apart and the body gnawed upon. the body was located 25 feet from the chain which had been hooked to him. Around the body were strange tracks that no one could identify.

The sightings and prints are the most substantial evidence that exists. Many of the theories on the Jersey Devil are based upon that evidence. Some theories can be proven invalid, while others seem to provide support for the Jersey Devil's existence.

One theory is that the Jersey Devil is a bird. Mrs. Cassidy of Clayton thought it was an invasion of scrowfoot ducks. The scrowfoot duck is much too small to be mistaken for the devil. Others believe the devil is really a sand hill crane. The crane used to live in South Jersey until it was pushed out by man. The sand hill crane weighs about 12 lbs., is 4 foot high, and a wingspan of 80 inches. It avoids man but if confronted it will fight. It has a loud scream whooping voice that can be heard at a distance. This could account for the screams heard by witnesses. The crane also eats potatoes and corn. This could account for the raids on crops. This theory doesn't explain , however, the killing of live stock. It also doesn't explain why people described the devil as having a horses head, bat wings and tail, all of which the crane doesn't have.

Proffesor Bralhopf said that" the tracks were made by smoe prehistoric animal form the Jurassic period". He believes the creature survived underground in a cavern. An expert from the Smithsonian Institute had a theory about ancient creatures surviving underground. He said the Jersey Devil was a Pterodactyl. The Academy of Natural Sciences could find no record of any creature, living or extinct, that resembles the Jersey Devil.

Jack E. Boucher, author of Absagami Yesteryear, has a thoery in which he believes the devil was a deformed child. He thinks Mrs. Leeds had a disfigured child and kept it locked away in the house. She grew sick and couldn't feed the child anymore. It escaped out of hunger and raided local farms for food. This doesn't take into account the incredible life span of the devil. The child would have been 174 years old in 1909. It also doesn't account for the sightings of ther devil flying.

Only a small amount of the sightings and footprints could be hoaxes. The Jersey Devil has been seen by reliable people such as police, government officials, postmasters, businessman, and other people whose "integrity is beyond question." As for the hoof prints, even if some were hoaxes, There is still no way to explain most of the tracks, especially the ones on roof tops and tracks that ended abruptly as if the creature took wing. The last theory is the most controversial one.

Many people believe that the Jersey Devil could be the very essence of evil, embodied. It is said that the devil is an "uncanny harbinger of war" and appears before any great conflict.

The jersey devil was sighted before the start of the Civil War. It was alos seen right before the Spanish American War and WW I. In 1939, before the start of WW II, Mount Holly citizens were awakened by the noise of hooves on their roof tops. The Devil was seen on December 7, 1941, right before Pearl Harbor was bombed. He was also seen right before the vietnam War. The Jersey Devil's habit of being a forerunner to wars could be because of his possible demonic origins.

In 1730, Ben Franklin reported a story about a witchcraft trial near Mt Holly, NJ. One of the origin legends say that Mother Leeds was a witch. The devil's birth could have been a result of a witches curse. Other facts support the supernatural theory are the reports of the death of the devil. When Commodore Decatur fired a cannon ball at the devil, it went through him and he was unaffected. In 1909, a track walker on the electric railroad saw the devil fly into the wires above the tracks. There was a violent expolsion which melted the track 20 feet in both directions. No body was found and the devil was seen later in perfect health.

In 1957, the Department of Conservation found a strange corpse in a burned out area of the pines. It was a partial skeleton, feathers, and hind legs of an unindentifiable creature. The devil was thought to be dead, but reappeared when the people of New Jersey thought that this time his death was real. Each time he is reported dead, he returns. Sometimes this year. The Jersey Devil will be 260 years old. It seems the devil is immortal, which a supernatural being would be.

Another thing that supports this theory is the incredible distances the devil could fly in a short period of time. No animal could travel as fast as the devil did in 1909 when he was sighted in South Jersey, Philadelphia, and New York through out the week. None of these theories can give a definitive answer to what the Jersey Devil was or is, but the sightings prove there is something out there. Whether the Jersey devil is a bird or a demon, is still left to specualtion. The people of New Jersey have definely seen something out there lurking in the Pine Barrens.

Lincoln - Kennedy coincidences

1) Lincoln was elected in 1860, Kennedy in 1960, 100 years apart

2) Both men were deeply involved in civil rights for African Americans.

3) Both men were assassinated on a Friday, in the presence of their wives.

4) Each wife had lost a child while living at the White House.

5) Both men were killed by a bullet that entered the head from behind.

6) Lincoln was killed in Ford's Theater. Kennedy met his death while riding in a Lincoln convertible made by the Ford Motor Company.

7) Both men were succeeded by vice-presidents named Johnson who were southern Democrats and former senators.

8) Andrew Johnson was born in 1808. Lyndon Johnson was born in 1908, exactly one hundred years later.

9) The first name of Lincoln's private secretary was John, the last name of Kennedy's private secretary was Lincoln.

10) John Wilkes Booth was born in 1839 [according to some sources] Lee Harvey Oswald was born in 1939, one hundred years later.

11) Both assassins were Southerners who held extremist views.

12) Both assassins were murdered before they could be brought to trial.

13) Booth shot Lincoln in a theater and fled to a warehouse. Oswald shot Kennedy from a warehouse and fled to a theater.

14) LlNCOLN and KENNEDY each has 7 letters.

15) ANDREW JOHNSON and LYNDON JOHNSON each has 13 letters.

16) JOHN WlLKES BOOTH and LEE HARVEY OSWALD each has 15 letters.

17) A Licoln staffer Miss Kennedy told him not to go to the Theater. A Kennedy staffer Miss Lincoln, told him not to go to Dallas.

Artist's impression of Atlantis

Maybe we are much closer to ATLANTIS than earlier years in Manisa, near
Mount Spil (mount Sipylus).

It was a short step from there to see what the classical traditions of Anatolia - and in particular Lydia - had to say about the 'original' Atlas. Classical scholars have long accepted that another mythological figure, Tantalus, is essentially a Lydian version of Atlas.

Tantalus, too, crossed the Olympians, and was condemned to an eternal torment which gave us the word 'tantalise'. In the version given by Homer his punishment was everlasting hunger and thirst, but the more common tale was of a rock which perpetually swayed over his head. Other versions say he was attached to the rock, that he was condemned to support it and that the 'rock' was the sky itself.

And Tantalus, like Atlas, is once thought to have ruled an earthly kingdom. When Tantalus was struck by Zeus' lightning for his sins, the city he founded was shattered by an earthquake and drowned beneath a lake. The name of his city was Tantalis. In his book on Achaea (the northern province of the Peleponnese), Pausanias includes an interesting digression on the nature of the extraordinary disaster that struck the Helike one winter’s night in 373 BC. The city was utterly destroyed by a series of momentous earth shocks, and Pausanias analysed the disaster in graphic detail, noting that ‘the character of the shock itself in not always the same. The original observers and persons instructed by them have been able to distinguish different classes of earthquakes...’ In the ‘gentlest’ kind of earthquake, Pausanias reported that buildings may be violently shaken by tremors, but often snap back roughly into position afterwards ; ‘a reverse tremor throws back what has already toppled.’ The second kind of earthquake ‘destroys everything that is the least unsteady : whatever it strikes it instantly overthrows, as with the blow of a battering-ram.’ But third on the Pausanias Richter scale was the following:Earthquakes of this magnitude must have been rare, even in classical times.

Pausanias, however, knew of an analogy from his homeland:A like fate befell a city on Mount Sipylus: it disappeared into a chasm, and from the fissure in the mountain water gushed forth, and the chasm became named lake saloe. The ruins of the city could still be seen in the lake until the water of the torrent covered them up.The name of the unfortunate city Pausanias omits to tell us, but it is supplied by the Roman encyclopaedist Pliny(writing about 75 AD),in a discussing passageSettlements in the interior of Asia Minor that ‘no longer exist’.Pausanias’Lake Saloe at Sipylus appears in Pliny’s work as’the marsh of Sale’ in the district of Magnesia. Underneath the marsh, he says ,lies the ancient capital of Maeonia (the old name for Lydia), which had been devoured by an earthquake.

According to Pliny it was known as Sipylus, and before that ‘the very celebrated city in the same place that used to be called Tantalis’ – in other words the city of Tantalus.The parallels amassed between Atlas and Tantalus can now be completed by a pair of cities with strikingly similar names – Atlantis and Tantalis –and strikingly similar histories of destruction, by earthquake and flood.Mr. Peter James is directed to Manisa by historical sources which are at the above Our main quide, the Greek geographer Pausanias, says that the inhabitants of Magnesia, a city which lies to the north of Sipylus,have among them ‘the most ancient of all the statues of the Mother of the Gods’ which was carved by Tantalus’ son Broteas.

Pausanias, who is thought to have been born in Magnesia, must be referring to Magnesian claims again when he says that evidence of the dynasty of Tantalus and Pelops is ‘still left in our country today’ –such as the lake of Tantalus, his magnificent tomb and the throne of Pelops on the mountain ‘above the sanctuary of Mother Plastene’.

Modern Stigmatics

Blood On Their Hands

In May 1992, Heather Woods, a 43 year old widow living in Lincoln confided in her bishop and showed him the palms of her hands where there were round tender areas of skin which periodically seeped blood. Similar marks appeared on her feet and a livid crescent wound appeared on the skin on her side.

For over seven hundred and fifty years there have been individual Christians who have exhibited on their bodies the physical marks of Christ's suffering. They have had wounds in their hands as if nails have been hammered through; their feet similarly have scarred and bled; some have had marks on the forehead corresponding to those which might have been made by a crown of thorns; others have had a wound in the side as if they have been speared; or stripes across the back as if from scourging. They have carried the stigmata, the marks of Christ's suffering.

It is very difficult to calculate the precise number of stigmatics living at any given time. There will be some whose experiences have not become public knowledge and there will be others, who, having once been thrust into the public domain, have retreated into privacy and who have since died. However a good estimate of current cases would be 25 with the following being amongst the best known: Christina Gallagher from County Mayo; Father Jim Bruse from Virginia USA; Jane Hunt from Derbyshire in England; George Hamilton from Glasgow, Scotland; Cloretta Robinson from California, USA; Julia Kim from Korea; Sister Angus Sasagawa from Japan; Giorgio Bongiovanni from Italy; Angelica Rael from the USA; Domenica Lo Bianco from Italy; Roberto Casarin from Italy; Vera D'Agostino from Italy; Gino Burresi from Italy; Amparia Cuevas from Portugal; Georgette Faniel from Canada.

It is generally accepted that St Francis of Assisi was the first person to receive these strange wounds. His stigmatisation occurred in September 1224 on the Feast of Exultation of the Holy Cross. This somewhat minor festival was, in the thirteenth century, celebrated with considerable fervour. St Francis was at the time totally absorbed in a longing to suffer for and with Christ. As many subsequent paintings have shown his wounds were received, according to legend, in the course of a vision during which a six winged seraph etched the marks of crucifixion on the Saints hands feet with five lines of light.

Various theories can be put forward to explain stigmata's emergence at this time. The first relates to the way in which theological trends, or fashions, come and go. After the Catholic and the Orthodox churches had diverged around a thousand years ago, the Catholic wing began to reemphasise the doctrine of the incarnation. There was a shift in theological emphasis towards the contemplation of the Christ in human form. A new church feast was introduced into the church calendar, Corpus Christi, the body of Christ, and great emphasis was laid on devotion to and contemplation of the physical sufferings of Jesus during his trial and execution. Secondly there was an upsurge in realism in religious art and depictions of the crucifixion, which had previously been stylised and devoid of emotion, became vivid, gorey and bloody. Thirdly the lay people of the church, and women in particular, felt excluded from the mysteries of the Mass when the bread and wine, they believed, was turned into the body and blood of Christ. The church, which the laity increasingly saw as corrupt, only gave priests the authority to celebrate the last supper. Stigmatics enabled many people to marvel at the wounds of Christ in such a way that gave them direct access to the body of Christ in a way which the church could not condemn outright.

The personality profile of stigmatics is similar in many cases to that of people who have claimed to have received marks on their body from aliens when abducted onto UFOs. Given the tendencies towards various forms of self abuse of people with these personality profiles it would be easy to assume that all stigmatics (or indeed abductees) have received the marks by wounding themselves. However it would be wrong to make the assumption that all stigmatics are frauds. The causes of stigmatisation are far more complex. If a person commits some act of self abuse it is a by-product of a medical or psychiatric condition and not a case of wilful deceit. Secondly, it would appear that many people who do harm themselves do not consciously recall doing so. Thirdly there is substantial evidence to suggest that marks on a person's body, once healed, can reappear psychosomatically or spontaneously.

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