On November 26, 2013, Mr. Robert Levinson officially made history. He became the longest-held hostage in American history. This isn’t something to celebrate. In fact, once you dig further into the details of the case, it’s something that should create great concern among the American public. The fault of Robert’s disappearance lies squarely on the shoulders of the CIA. Levinson’s case is evidence that the CIA has been mismanaging its resources in recent years. Levinson’s story proves what I blogged about in 2010 when I described how the CIA had started trying to privatize intelligence work, outsourcing the work to private companies like In-Q-Tel and others. I personally witnessed CIA attempts to gather intelligence via private sources back in 2006 and 2007, around the same time that CIA analyst Anne Jablonski had been communicating with Levinson, and going so far as to “hire” him to perform private investigations for the Agency under CIA contract. The catch is that despite the fact that the mainstream media today is referring to Levinson as a “CIA spy” – he is nothing of the sort. Levinson was a retired FBI analyst who – like many obsessed with the CIA – was intrigued by the world of covert spying and espionage. At least since 2006, the CIA has been taking advantage of such individuals and apparently in cases like Levinson, going so far as to provide funds to private sources to “unofficially” perform work for the agency. Unfortunately, in Levinson’s case he got carried away, put himself in harm’s way, and learned the hard way that he was not exactly the CIA spy that he thought he was. The Agency promptly disowned him, the press mislabeled him, and the U.S. government doesn’t know what to do about him, because they’re not exactly sure how he’s [...]
On the popular storefront website known as Etsy, you’ll find all sorts of interesting things to buy like vintage clothes, jewelry, art and dishware, but did you know that hidden within all of those mainstream shops, you’ll also find a little-known shop called Mission Unboxable? We’ve covered fun spy websites for kids, but Mission Unboxable offers actual “secret agent spy kits” for kids. These are brilliant kits that are tailored to spark the imaginations of young children who dream of one day becoming a secret agent for their own country. What would such a kit include? Well, everything a real spy would need of course! You’ll find spy gear, disguise kits, fingerprint analysis kits, decoder tools and more. Kits even come with missions that kids need to solve by thinking creatively and outside the box. One kit – the 12-month subscription – even takes kids through an entire year of monthly missions, culminating in a final “grand finale” mission where they must catch the bad guy!
What is confirmation bias? When a group of ghost hunters walk into a “haunted house”, they’ll most likely find evidence of a ghost. When a pair of demonologists investigate the troubled ravings of a seriously mentally ill young girl, they are likely to find evidence of possession. When UFO-hunters go to spot those elusive UFOs, a majority of them actually spot unusual things moving around in the skies. After spending half a decade rubbing elbows with people who are interested in paranormal and fringe topics, I can tell you two central themes that I’ve seen over, and over, and over. The first is that people who become interested in fringe topics nearly always find evidence that supports their particular theory within that topic. The second is that these people often become consumed with the topic – it takes over their lives and it becomes core to their identity. What is this phenomenon? Why are people who become so convinced that UFOs have to be aliens visiting earth so difficult to convince otherwise? Why are skeptics, so dead-set against the possibility that unseen spirits exist in the world, unwilling to incorporate evidence to the contrary into their world-view? The reason for this is also the reason why our own particular community – the level-headed, on-the-fence skeptics – are so small in number.
In November of 2013, an 85-year-old American man was detained in North Korea after finishing a 10-day tour through the country with his friend from a Palo Alto retirement community. During the tour, Korean War veteran Merrill Newman made the mistake – while touring the Mount Kuwol area where he had trained North Korean rebels – whether it was possible to locate and talk to some of the North Korean men he had served with many years ago. The men Merrill referred to were “partisans” known as the “White Tigers” – anti regime rebels – who had caused significant destruction to the North Korean supplies during the war. Newman had helped to train the guerrillas during the war. Newman, apparently unaware that North Koreans are nowhere near “over” the North Korean war, was told that the the area was inaccessible. Word of his questions must have made it to “higher authorities” because upon boarding the plane to head back to America, North Korean officials arrested him on the plane and took him into custody. Newman remained in North Korean custody for approximately six weeks, until he finally agreed to issue a video-taped “apology” for his past activities during the Korean War. As you’ll see below, the text of the “confession” and the surreal behavior by North Korea in this case reveal the fact that the entire stunt was nothing more than a major internal propaganda campaign meant to impress the North Korean people.
The NSA has been abusing its power and spying on the American people for a long time, and as we reported back in September, much of that abuse came with the cooperation of some of the largest technology giants. In the same month, Dennis also reported about some of the concerns that Windows 8 could have a Trojan horse back door for both the NSA and China. All of this bad publicity sent executives at tech giants like Facebook, Microsoft and Google reeling after the public outcry over privacy and security concerns. The public no longer feels safe communicating private information on Facebook, and trust of the Microsoft operating system is at an all-time low. Jokes abound across the Internet about how Google web searches are being monitored by the NSA. In early December, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter all entered into damage-control mode, turning against the NSA and promising users that they are investing in new security technologies to protect users from snooping efforts of the U.S. government. Up until now, these tech giants tried to absorb the brunt of public outcry by demanding that the government come clean on the actual responsibility of the companies when private information is requested by a government agency. Instead, the NSA itself has been conducting PR damage control and leaving the tech companies to sway in the public wind. Now, those tech giants are swearing allegiance to the American people, and working on technologies that will block NSA attempts to peek in on user communications and data.
Last Wednesday, December 4th, the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the U.S. House of Representatives held a hearing to discuss the field of astrobiology and the fairly new area of hunting for biosignatures in deep space. The Hearing Charter noted that at least one motivation for the hearing was the recent discovery of “potential Earth-like planets outside of our Solar System”. For all of the whining from Ufologists about the resistance of the U.S. government to discuss the topic of aliens, this hearing was refreshing, and even included three renowned scientists in their particular field of research. These included Dr. Mary Voytek of NASA, Dr. Sara Seager of MIT, and Dr. Steven Dick of the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress. The Charter admitted that “astrobiology has been a part of space missions almost from the beginning of the space program”. The roadmap proposed in the charter included “three essential questions” – how life begins in the Universe, whether life exists elsewhere, and even what the future of life on Earth will look like. The goal of the hearing was to assess the current state of astrobiology, its recent growth, and what it should focus on in the next few years. These are certainly lofty goals, and promised to provide for an entertaining and enlightening hearing.
For anyone who has had the misfortune of stumbling across Billy Meier predictions and UFO photographs, then you probably already know that the entire topic has been a madhouse of attacks, counter attacks and slander between skeptics and believers for many decades. Last week I covered a brief history of the Billy Meier case, and provided a few examples of how badly Meier Cult followers fail to perform their own research – a claim they constantly level against skeptics. (The cult today is known as “FIGU”) In our first article on Billy Meier and Michael Horn, written by our own Seamus Coogan, Meier cult followers came out in force lambasting Seamus for his article (which in my opinion used kid gloves on Meier, to be honest). They slammed Seamus for “not doing his homework”, yet they failed to offer specific examples of evidence supporting Meier’s claims, or that Meier’s predictions have ever come true. Upon sifting through the websites of online supporters of Meier, I came across dozens of them mentioning Wendelle Stevens and other folks as credible researchers of the Meier case, but not a single one of those folks bothered to mention the 1987 Spin Magazine article by reporter Legs McNeil, revealing that Wendelle Stevens was doing time in the Arizona State Prison for pedophilia, and that Stevens lied to McNeil about his incarceration, trying to imply it was “set up” by the CIA. Court documents proved otherwise. So what about Billy Meier predictions themselves? You would think it would be easy enough to do the research to prove or disprove whether or not specific prophecies are true? Unfortunately, as you’ll see, even though you can prove Meier’s prophecies to be blatantly false, the Meier cult and promoter Michael Horn are a very slippery bunch when it comes [...]
This week at 12:49 AM Mumbai time on December 1st, the India Space Research Organization (ISRO) successfully sent its Mars Orbiter spacecraft out of Earth’s orbit and on its long trek toward Mars. India hopes to become the fourth planet in history to send out a probe that will successfully orbit the Red Planet. NASA first accomplished the task on November 14, 1971, when the Mariner 9 probe successfully entered into orbit over Mars. This success was followed by the Mars 3, the Soviet spacecraft that not only reached Mars, but also successfully landed on its surface. The next agency to successfully send a probe to Mars was the European Space Agency (ESA), which sent the Mars Express to land on Mars in 2004. It continues imaging and mapping the surface of the planet even today. Will the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) earn India a place in the record books as the next successful nation to reach and begin studying the Red Planet? Given the success Indian scientists have had up to this point, things are looking very good for India – the mission should serve as a great inspiration to young Indian students who hope to contribute to India’s growing space program some day.
In October, Seamus briefly touched upon the strange yet well-known story (among UFO circles) of Billy Meier, and his very unusual and verbose “American representative” Michael Horn. Meier and Horn claim that Meier’s earliest writings were in 1958, but Meier mostly became active in the 1970s, when he began publishing his collection of unusual UFO photographs in various UFO magazines and newspapers. Adding to the cult-forming nature of Meier’s story, Billy also claimed contact with alien beings and said that they were providing him with information that included predictions about the future of the the earth and of humanity. In the decades since Meier first started distributing his claims, he has built up a significant cult-following of believers who are convinced – despite overwhelming evidence of inaccuracy and contradiction – that Billy Meier is in fact a prophet. The cult includes folks like Jim Dilettoso, Shirley MacLaine and the researcher who brought his story into the public space in the 1980s, researcher Wendelle Stevens, author of “UFO: Contact From The Pleiades”. This series of articles is meant to serve as a primer for readers who are just becoming newly introduced to the Meier case and the Billy Meier UFO cult. Rather than trudging through countless pro-Meier websites, half of which are owned by Michael Horn or associates and are part of the massive media campaign to continue promoting the case (there’s even an online store where you can buy books, DVDs, CDs and more!) – instead you can get to the heart of the case with a collection of well-conducted investigations from extremely intelligent researchers – all showing the many cases where Billy Meier’s so-called “prophecies” not only failed, but they are manipulated and updated over time in order to appear accurate and relevant. But first, in this article, we [...]
There are plenty of times when I want to relax, where I will just launch Pandora and open up one of my favorite music stations. Other times, I might go for a walk in the forest behind my house. However, there is yet another way that I like to just kick back and chill out, and that’s watching NASA videos. I know it seems like an unorthodox way to relax, but until you’ve put on earphones and just engulfed yourself into a video of a comet flying through space, or the simulated creation of a star, well you just haven’t lived. Needless to say, we really like space videos here at Top Secret Writers. In fact, it was only recently that Dennis covered some of the more sane UFO videos that you can find out there on the net. And of course we always cover NASA’s greatest accomplishments, like its recent experiments with laser communications from the moon. There is always something interesting to be found from NASA, and if you like NASA stuff too, then it goes without saying that you’re going to love the following 8 coolest NASA videos that I’ve recently stumbled upon.