Monday, May 28, 2012

1952 UFO Sighting Left British Official Convinced They Were Real

If you were an alien planning on taking over the Earth, how would you go about it? Well, that isn't the topic of this post, but rather a well-documented UFO encounter in 1952. From the Daily Mail (where I apparently get a lot of my "news"):
The sighting by an RAF fighter pilot on a training mission over West Germany in 1952 has been revealed for the first time by papers released by the Churchill Archive at Cambridge University.

Flight Sergeant Roland Hughes was returning to base when he was followed by a 'gleaming silver, metallic disc' which flew alongside him before disappearing at incredible sped.

The object was caught by RAF radars, which confirmed it was travelling at speeds far greater than possible for any aircraft of the time.

Hughes reported the sighting and was sent to visit Duncan Sandys, then aviation minister, to give his account in person.

He described seeing a flash of 'silver light' which rapidly descended towards him until he could see that it was a 'gleaming silver-metallic disc'.

He said its surface was shiny, 'like tin foil', and 'without a single crease or crinkle'.

He could see, with 'astonishing clarity', the craft's 'highly reflective and absolutely seamless metallic-looking surface'.

Flying at high altitude in clear visibility in his de Havilland Vampire, he estimated its size at 100ft across – 'about the wingspan of a Lancaster bomber'.

None of the other three pilots - all returning to RAF Oldenburg in northern West Germany - saw the object because they were executing a 'banking turn' and not looking in the same direction.

Six days later, Hughes was sent to RAF Fassberg in West Germany to give his account to senior RAF officers and Sandys.

The minister's first question was how many beers Hughes had drunk the night before.

However, in the end he was so taken by the then 23-year-old Hughes' story that he went on to brief senior civil servants, telling them he was convinced it was true.

Mutant Fish

Shakespeare wrote:
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
That is certainly the case here. The Daily Mail reports:
Most anglers’ tales revolve around the improbable size of their catch – but this specimen really does look fishy.

Mark Sawyer, 53, hooked the bizarre creature while fishing for carp in a lake.

At first he thought it was a common brown goldfish but on closer inspection he realised it appeared to have the head of a roach, the body and tail of a brown goldfish and the rear fin of a bream.

Those who fear falling hook, line and sinker for a hoax should bear in mind Mr Sawyer is the tackle editor of the Angling Times with a reputation to protect.

And experts who have seen images of the ‘Frankenfish’ agree it is the offspring of more than one species.
Hmm. Mutants + Zombies = Mutant zombies!!!

The Tax Implications of Becoming a Zombie

Sure, you are dead. But are dead enough for your estate to pass to your heirs? If you really want to know, here is the link to the article.

Not Patient Zero

I had posted the other day about a guy in Miami shot dead by police when he was caught eating the face off of a homeless man (the homeless man survived the attack, but it doesn't sound hopeful). Although he certainly acted like a zombie (even growling at the police officer), he apparently was not a zombie, but was high on LSD. Anyway, here are some more of the gruesome details:
A cyclist described the terrifying moment he witnessed a naked man tear pieces of flesh from another man's face at the side of a freeway before being shot dead by police when he refused to stop.

Police also revealed today that the attacker had been taking a new potent form of LSD during the attack.

Larry Vega, from Miami, was cycling off the MacArthur Causeway on Saturday afternoon when he saw the savage attack, which he described as 'the most gruesome, traumatic thing I have ever seen in my life'.

He told WSVN: 'The guy was like tearing him to pieces with his mouth and I told him to get off. But the guy just kept eating the other guy away, like ripping his skin.

'A police officer came over, told him several times to get off then climbed over the divider and got in front of him and said, "Get off!" But the guy just stood his head up like that with a piece of flesh in his mouth and growled.'

Mr Vega said the man continued to eat his victim's face so he was shot several times.

Police have said they believe the man - who has not been identified - was high on a potent form of LSD at the time.

His victim, who is believed to be a homeless man, is in hospital recovering from his injuries which are said to be some of the most horrific staff have ever encountered.

It is not clear if he will survive.
There are surveillance camera images at the link.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

If You Are Ready for Zombies, You Are Ready for Anything

One of the problems that governments and disaster aid organizations (like the Red Cross) have is getting people to prepare for disasters. We all know that we should set aside some food, water, cash, and other emergency supplies in the event of an earthquake, flooding, and so on, but it just isn't interesting enough to motivate people. The threat of a zombie apocalypse, however, makes preps far more interesting.

We all know how the CDC has a zombie-survival page up to interest people in disaster preparation. Now, according to this article from Wired, British Columbia has gone even further:
The Canadian province of British Columbia is taking a different approach to emergency preparedness this year. To get the message through to residents, the government mixed a big dose of zombie survivalism into its messaging. According to the website, the rationale is thus:
And while the chance of zombies a-knockin’ on your door is pretty slim, we do believe that if you’re ready for zombies, you’re ready for any disaster.
I can’t say that I would argue with that logic.

The Emergency Info BC website has been transformed into a zombie survival guide, which has accomplished the difficult feat of getting the message of preparedness into the news before there’s an actual disaster. Just getting the clicks on the website by making news outlets take notice is step one, but then comes the task of getting visitors to do more than just glance at it. To that end, the Emergency Info BC website is infused with humor (For example, “Day Two: What’s For Dinner? Hopefully Not My Brain”) and scattered with zombie references, a calculated risk but one that’s likely worth it if it keeps the material light enough for people to actually read through in detail. In the US, The Centers for Disease Control tried a similar tactic last year with a zombie pandemic survival graphic novella (you can download it here).

If you follow the guide and prepare yourself and your family to survive a zombie apocalypse, then by default you’re set for virtually anything. Although, I’ve been scanning the site for a while now and I haven’t found anything specifically on fighting zombies. For that, you’ll need to turn to public sources like our friend Roger Ma, the zombie combat specialist. Or, as Jonathan pointed out when writing about the CDC novella, make sure you add a shotgun to your list.

New Bigfoot Research

Scientists hope to use DNA testing to confirm or disprove whether Bigfoot exits.
Rumors of the hairy humanoid known variously as the yeti, bigfoot and sasquatch have persisted for decades, despite little hard evidence beyond grainy photographs and plaster casts of giant footprints. Now scientists are hoping to make more of a case for the creature -- with the help of genetic testing, Reuters reported.

The Lausanne Museum of Zoology in Switzerland together with prestigious Oxford University said Tuesday, May 22, that they will together use DNA testing to examine organic remains that some claim belong to the beast.

"It's an area that any serious academic ventures into with a deal of trepidation ... it's full of eccentric and downright misleading reports," Bryan Sykes at Oxford's Wolfson College told Reuters.

Lausanne has an archive of such organic material assembled by researcher Bernard Heuvelmans, the news agency reported. Heuvelmans sought the yeti for over 50 years until his death in 2001.

"There have been DNA tests done on alleged yetis and other such things but since then the testing techniques, particularly on hair, have improved a lot due to advances in forensic science," Sykes said.

Despite the lack of hard evidence, Bigfoot believers are steadfast in their conviction that somewhere out there lurks a giant hominoid that simply has eluded all efforts to track it down.

"I have been immersed in Sasquatch research for a number of years, and I can tell you in my mind a mountain of evidence supports the existence of these creatures," Ken Gerhard, a San Antonio cryptozoologist who co-wrote "Monsters of Texas," recently told the Houston Chronicle.
I used to watch Monsterquest, a cryptozoology show on the History Channel, that used scientific tests and approaches to determine the truth about various monsters. Most of the time, the show disproved the sightings. However, there were a few that were inconclusive, including Bigfoot.

Did Mermaids Exist?

A little off topic, but the scientist in this article theorizes that mermaids may have actually existed:
In the two-hour CGI Special “Mermaids: The Body Found,” Animal Planet dives deep into the idea that mermaids may have been real, and, even better -- related to humans!

“It’s a very radical theory on human evolution, but we have approached an age-old myth and really chased its origins,” Animal Planet honcho Charlie Foley told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column. “It has been compiled in a way that is very compelling, making us think that mermaids might not just be mythical creatures.”

The show unravels mysterious underwater sound recordings and presents a bone-chilling argument for the Aquatic Ape Theory, which suggests that during the transition from apes to hominid, some humans went through an aquatic stage. This stage is argued to have resulted in “aquatic ape-like” creatures.

“There are striking differences between us and other primates, yet [there are] many features we share with marine mammals, like the webbing between our fingers, which other primates don’t have, a layer of subcutaneous fat, and a loss of body hair,” Foley explained. “We also have an instinctive ability to swim, and control over breath. Humans can hold breath up to 20 minutes, longer than any other terrestrial animal.”

“Mermaids: The Body Found” ponders the concept that coastal flooding millions of years ago turned some of our ancestors inland, while another group branched off into the deep water out of necessity and for food.
Of course, this raises the possibility of zombie mermaids and mermen. For those of you thinking of riding out the zombie apocalypse in a boat or on an island, this is something you might want to research further.

Patient Zero?

USA Today reports (h/t Instapundit):
A Miami police officer on Saturday fatally shot a naked man who was chewing on the face of another man on a downtown causeway off-ramp, police and witnesses said.
The Miami Herald reports that gunshots were heard at about 2 p.m. on the MacArthur Causeway off-ramp, which is near the newspaper's offices. Witnesses said that a woman saw two men fighting and flagged down a police officer, who came upon a naked man mauling the other man. The newspaper quoted witnesses as saying that the officer ordered the naked man to back away, and when he ignored the demand, the officer shot him. Witnesses said that the naked man continued his attack after being shot once, and the officer shot him several more times.
No word on whether the naked man was a zombie.

This is a perfect example of why you need to practice those head shots.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Top Ten Zombie-Slaying Weapons You May Already Own....

I came across this list at Zombiephiles of ten zombie slaying weapons you may already own. This list is obviously for the completely unprepared ... or the completely gullible. Anyway, the items are:

1.  Curtain rod;

2.  Metal spatula;

3.  Candlestick;

4.  Butcher knife;

5.  Rolling pin;

6.  Hatchet;

7.  Pipe wrench;

8.  Baseball bat;

9.  Hammer; and,

10.  Shovel.

I have to say that, since the goal is to destroy the brain, the first 5 are pretty much useless. The last 5 are more realistic as improvised weapons or backup weapons.

Ten Best Ways to Kill A Zombie

This article should have been called the ten most fun ways to kill a zombie. Nevertheless, here you go:
10. Crow bar to the skull. The crow bar is a great weapon for use against zombies due to its versatility and strength. The odds of a crow bar bending or breaking on a zombie's head are slim to none, making it a great weapon to kill them with. I recommend using two hands to swing this weapon, but you can make due with one if the zombie is being especially ferocious and has to be held back while you clobber its head in.

9. Drop an Egyptian obelisk on them. This is somewhat difficult to do, but will yield great results and will also be a lot of fun. You set up a trap and get several zombies to follow you through a corridor where you have an obelisk set to fall if a wire is tripped. The zombies, being brain dead as they are, won't avoid the wire and will cause the 10-ton stone to fall on top of them. While this isn't a direct attack on their head, it almost guarantees that their brain will be destroyed. Plus, it's a great way to brag to your friends, "Hey Joe, I killed a zombie with an obelisk this weekend. What did YOU do?"

8. Light the zombie on fire. This is a sometimes underutilized zombie killing method. This is because a lot of people don't think that lighting a zombie on fire is enough to destroy the brain. That idea, however, is false. If you cover a zombie in gasoline and light it on fire, the heat will be enough to liquefy the brain and cause the zombie to die. The goal is to get a good amount of gasoline on the torso or head of the zombie so you can be sure a lot of the heat and reaction is focused there.

7. Smash its head in a convection oven while it's on. This is a fun way to kill a zombie, although it's usually not the most effective. You can slam its head in a convection oven over and over again until it stops moving. Be careful, though, because some ovens might break before the zombie does, especially if you're hitting the neck instead of the skull. The inability to close will place a lot of stress on the oven door joints and may cause it to snap. If this happens, just use the door to bash the zombie. This is best used on partially disabled zombies.

6. Run it over with a car. This is one of my favorite ways to kill zombies, but the key is to not go too fast. If you hit a zombie at over 40 mph, you run the chance of totaling your car or severely injuring yourself. Since zombies generally move slow, you'll want to hit one at 10-20 mph. This will ensure that the zombie goes under the car instead of over and will limit the damage done to the vehicle and yourself.

5. .308 Winchester to the head. If you hit a zombie with this round, it'll split its skull in two. That's exactly what you're looking for. Remember, though, that rifles are most effective at long-to-medium distances, although I only recommend the latter if you're in a safe position. Zombie's make great target practice and you can play some fun games while killing them with guns. Just make sure that you don't run out of ammo. In a zombie apocalypse, guns are more useful in warding off human raiders than they are in killing zombies.

4. Chain saw. This is probably my favorite way to kill zombies, but I don't recommend it for rookies. The chain saw is a dangerous weapon that can have a serious kick back that could end up killing you. Not only that, but it's unwieldy and difficult to move, meaning that if the zombie manages to get past the blade, you'll end up dead. With that in mind, it is definitely the most glorious way to dispatch the dead. It creates a huge mess and will attract more zombies to come attack you so that the fun never ends. Just make sure you have a back up weapon or somewhere to retreat to if things go sour.

3. Starve the zombies out. A lot of people don't understand that zombies will continue rotting indefinitely. If you can survive a good 4-5 years into the apocalypse, then you'll live in an almost zombie-free world. Once the zombies infect more than 50% of the population, they'll have a hard time finding more people to kill and infect. Because of this, their numbers will stabilize for a couple of years and then begin to fall. A zombie only has a life span of 2-3 years, after which point they will be too corroded to be any threat.

2. Trap the zombie in a pit of concrete. This actually won't kill the zombie, but it's a good game to play with your friends. You'll need a pit of concrete with a depth of about 6 or 7 feet. You'll then coax a zombie or two toward the pit and let it fall into it. It'll sink in and won't be able to get out. The concrete will harden around the zombie, effectively trapping it in place. You can then play all sorts of fun games, like zombie poker or zombie golf.

1. Put the zombie through a wood chipper. This is one of the most brutal zombie kills that you can do and will be great fun. I recommend getting a friend to help you with this because you'll need to literally feed the zombie into the wood chipper. What you'll do is incapacitate it and then lift it up and put it through the wood chipper feet first. There's not much else to be said about this method other than that it's awesome.

CNN -- Training for the Zombie Apocalypse

More on the training theme -- a short video from CNN on a small business called Zombie Survival Course.

... And Another Zombie Apocalypse Test

This one is probably a little more practical than AMC's "Walking Dead" test. This test from the Zombie Apocalypse Training Academy (ZATA) lists 10 cardio exercises that should take 7 minutes to complete. If you can't do it, you might be the fat guy chased down and eaten in the middle of the football field.

If you had problems with their test, ZATA also has five exercises that will help improve your overall fitness.

Zombie Survival Test

I don't know how I missed this, but AMC (the network showing The Walking Dead) has an apocalypse survival test.

Abandoned Towns of the World

The Telegraph has an interesting slide show of abandoned towns from around the world, including a brief explanation of why the town were abandoned. Although I recognize that the towns selected are not a representative sample, it is still interesting the number of towns that were abandoned due to war, including Varosha, Cyprus, pictured above. The explanation from the Telegraph states:
This was once a thriving tourist area prior to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in the mid 1970s. However, its inhabitants fled and never returned, leaving the high rise hotels to crumble and the beaches deserted.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Book Review -- "Alice in Deadland"

(Warning: Spoiler Alert).

I recently read the book, Alice in Deadland ($.99 on Kindle). The story is set in a post-zombie apocalypse India. Alice is the blond-haired daughter of an American diplomat living in India at the time of the zombie outbreak. And one day, she pursues a rabbit-eared zombie into a tunnel and eventually ends up meeting a half-zombie woman--a scientist from before the zombie outbreak that took a serum after being bitten that mitigated, but did not cure, the zombie infection.

The first part of the book is a sort of zombie mystery. There is an accepted history of the zombie outbreak, which Alice knows. However, what Alice has been taught is not all true. The zombies, while definitely sub-human, are not the mindless, ravenous horde that Alice always believed. And the zombie apocalypse was not an accident of nature.

The second half of the book follows Alice as she finds allies to fight against a cabal of Chinese and their international conspirators that had hoped to take over the world. Alice grows from being merely a good fighter, to being a skilled guerrilla leader.

As you may gather from the synopsis above, the zombies end up playing a back seat role to the rest of the story, which is one of people fighting for liberty against oppression. Although the book focuses on India (and more specifically, the area around Delhi), there are references to a guerrilla war in the former United States against the Chinese. However, there is plenty of action and the book is an easy read. And by "easy read," I don't mean simply written, but rather that it is one that you don't have to force yourself to finish. It is certainly worth the 99 cents for the Kindle version.

In short, if you are looking for a "pure" zombie apocalypse story in the same vein as World War Z or  The Walking Dead, you will be disappointed. The zombie apocalypse is the background, but the focus is on fighting the Chinese and the various traitors that support them. However, if you just want an enjoyable book with some action and a bunch of zombies thrown into the mix, this should fit the bill. 

Zombie Disposal Unit

Someone has converted a Japanese mini-truck into a "paddy-wagon" for zombies:
Having recently transformed a Japanese mini-truck into a zombie disposal unit — complete with emergency kit, tracking console and syringes with zombie anti-venom — Gusz has everything he needs to deal with an impending zombie apocalypse.

* * *

A six by four foot cage or “zombie containment enclosure” made of reinforced steel is built on the back of an old Suzuki mini-truck. He said the enclosure can contain up to eight hungry zombies, but most of the time the truck will only carry three.

Equipped with a catch pole on the side of the cage, a Gatling gun mounted to the roof and a shotgun on the dash, the truck is prepared for the worst. And when the outbreak becomes too widespread to catch and control the zombie population, the truck is outfitted with what Gusz calls a decapitating front bumper, letting him drive through the roving hordes to safety.
There is a picture of the owner and the truck at this link.

I want to know what he thinks would work as zombie anti-venom. Also, the Gatling gun would need to be fired from someone in the cage ... meaning it could be fired by the zombies. Oh well, a good advertising gimmick.

Hornady Sponsors Zombie 3-Gun Match: “Zombies in the Heartland – Pandemic 2012″

Cool. The web-site for the match is here. From the description:
The cities fell first. Their glass and concrete canyons filling with the mindless river of the undead. Zombies shuffling in a slow, relentless current until humans were swept away.

Those who could, fled the confines of the cities before the conquest of the Zombie army was complete. In the open country, humanity found scattered, temporary sanctuary against the growing hordes of undead.

But the numbers are overwhelming. The Zombies are a sea of flesh-eating darkness. A rising tide that covers the countryside. A tsunami of terror sweeping over the open fields, each victim in turn becoming part of the advancing storm.

The still-living continue to retreat, retrench…fight to live through another night….another day.

In the Heartland, with the Zombies closing in on all sides, humanity has been trapped in one final enclave of hope. One final stand against the darkness. One final chance to live.

Among the sturdy berms of Nebraska soil piled high at Heartland Public Shooting Park, those who remain alive are hunkered down. Armed with pistols, rifles and shotguns…this is where humanity will make it’s final bid for survival.
A "premium" registration (fee = $275) actually started May 1, but standard registration (fee = $165) starts today (May 14).

Zombie Drug

Another story from the Daily Mail that caught my eye:
A hazardous drug that eliminates free will and can wipe the memory of its victims is currently being dealt on the streets of Colombia.

The drug is called scopolamine, but is colloquially known as ‘The Devil’s Breath,' and is derived from a particular type of tree common to South America.

Stories surrounding the drug are the stuff of urban legends, with some telling horror stories of how people were raped, forced to empty their bank accounts, and even coerced into giving up an organ.

* * *

Demencia Black, a drug dealer in the capital of Bogota, said the drug is frightening for the simplicity in which it can be administered.

He told Vice that Scopolamine can be blown in the face of a passer-by on the street, and within minutes, that person is under the drug’s effect - scopolamine is odourless and tasteless.

‘You can guide them wherever you want,’ he explained. ‘It’s like they’re a child.’

Black said that one gram of Scopolamine is similar to a gram of cocaine, but later called it ‘worse than anthrax.’

In high doses, it is lethal.The drug, he said, turns people into complete zombies and blocks memories from forming. So even after the drug wears off, victims have no recollection as to what happened.


The Daily Mail reported this interesting piece:
If the world ends on December 21, blame a German butterfingers who dropped a volcanic rock skull once owned by SS overlord Heinrich Himmler in his laboratory this week.

According to legend, the Mayan skull, which was stolen from Tibet by the Nazis and imbued for believers with magical powers to enable mankind to survive an apocalypse, fell and chipped during a photo shoot.

* * *

'It was probably put down somewhere a bit wobbly,' an eyewitness told a German newspaper.

'Suddenly it crashed to the floor. A big piece broke off the chin. It's really tragic.'

Thomas Ritter, an historian who owns the skull, said it was given to him by the family of a former British soldier present at the 1945 arrest of Himmler, who ran the Gestapo, the SS and the extermination programme which murdered six million Jews.

He added that he believed its accident wouldn't 'anger the Gods' and that the world will still be turning on December 22.

The skull is 1,000 years old and one of the legendary Mayan skulls that belonged to the lost, ancient race of Mexico, which were said to be infused with magical powers.

The 3lb skull is made of volcanic rock and, according to Ritter, was seized by SS men sent on an expedition to Tibet between 1937 and 1939 to look for the lost city of Shangri-La.

Ritter said: 'The Nazis were convinced that 13 such skulls existed and that whoever owned them would have control of the world.'

Nine Great Archeological Mysteries

A slide show from Fox News. They have links to further stories and/or news sites. Number 10 is interesting to me: underwater terrain that must have been above the water at one time.

Buried deep beneath the sediment of the North Atlantic Ocean lies an ancient, lost landscape with furrows cut by rivers and peaks that once belonged to mountains. Geologists recently discovered this roughly 56-million-year-old landscape using data gathered for oil companies.

"It looks for all the world like a map of a bit of a country onshore," said Nicky White, the senior researcher. "It is like an ancient fossil landscape preserved 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) beneath the seabed."

So far, the data have revealed a landscape about 3,861 square miles (10,000 square km) west of the Orkney-Shetland Islands that stretched above sea level by almost as much as 0.6 miles (1 km). White and colleagues suspect it is part of a larger region that merged with what is now Scotland and may have extended toward Norway in a hot, prehuman world.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Zombies Hate Stuff Book

Review (and some illustrations) here. I like the zombie impaled on the unicorn's horn.

Sniper Elite v2

The Truth About Guns reviews a video game called "Sniper Elite" version 2:
[In the game] you play as an OSS Secret agent inserted into Berlin during the final days of World War II to stop the Soviets from obtaining some deadly new technology. Your targets are German V2 scientists. 
... Sniper Elite V2′s claim to fame is its new X-Ray Kill Cam. This feature shows the damage a round from your rifle does to an opponent with gruesome detail. The camera doesn’t activate during every kill, only those that require significant skill to pull off. This is made vastly more difficult by Sniper Elite’s inclusion of bullet-drop and windage.

Much like in real life, bullets don’t travel at the speed of light (yet) and are affected by wind. What this means to the player is that, based on his wind meter and the range to target, you have to utilize the mil dots on his scope to compensate for the ballistic trajectory of the round. That makes you really “earn” each kill unlike more mainstream games like Call of Duty which utilize instant hit-scan projectile tracking.
I know its not a zombie game, but any game that attempts to accurately portray ballistics may be worth a look.

"New York City's Hidden Subway Station"

Another "modern ruins" story, this time about an abandoned subway station in New York City. (Full story here).
It was opened in 1904, with the hope of making it the crowning glory of the New York subway system in elegant architecture and a place for commemorative plaques to honour the work that had resulted in such a successful underground mass transit system. It was to be the original southern terminus of the first ‘Manhattan Main Line’; however the station was closed and boarded up in 1945. The gem of the underground began gathering dust, forgotten by the general public, as passengers were forced off at the Brooklyn Bridge Stop before the train continued on to the terminus to make its turnaround.

The reason for its closure was that newer longer cars were required to match the demand of passengers that passed through the system. But as the stations tracks were severely curved, a dangerous gap between the train doors and the platform was formed making it an unsafe area. This combined with the fact that only about 600 people used it, resulted in its closure with only mythical plans of turning it into a transit museum. But this was never followed through.
Amazing. More information and photos at the link.

The Sea Beast of Cincinnati

The collective brainpower of several dozen scientists was unable to unravel the mystery of a strange beast nearly half a billion years old, tentatively nicknamed “Godzillus.”

Ron Fine, an amateur paleontologist from Dayton, Ohio, hoped the supersmart group of scientists at a regional meeting of the Geological Society of America could help explain the baffling find he made recently: the fossil of a very large, very mysterious "monster" that lived near Cincinnati 450 million years ago.

Unfortunately, the sea beast of Cincinnati had them scratching their heads, too.

“Everybody else was just as puzzled as we are -- and personally, I think that’s pretty awesome,” Fine told

He found the fossilized specimen last summer, a roughly elliptical shape with multiple lobes totaling almost 7 feet in length. It dates from almost half a billion years ago, when a shallow sea covered Cincinnati.

And despite its size, no one has ever found a fossil of this “monster” until its discovery by the amateur paleontologist last year.

But neither Fine nor the other members of the Dry Dredgers, an association of amateur paleontologists based at the University of Cincinnati that has a long history of collaborating with professional scientists, could explain what it is.

“We all have a theory, that’s the problem! We’re considering both animal and plant,” Fine told “We know it’s a fossil, something that was alive. But it’s so different than anything else, we can’t tell if it's animal or plant.”
450 Million years old; approximately 7 feet tall; neither plant nor animal. Only one thing it could be...
... one of the "Old Ones" (aka, Elder Ones or Elder Things), described as:
Starfish-like entities which are part animal and part plant. They lived on our planet in ancient times, and warred with both the mi-go and the spawn of Cthulhu. The Elder Things were great scientists, and created humanity as food or a joke. They eventually abandoned their Antarctic city to live underwater, and it is unknown whether they have become extinct.

Scientists Insert Ancient DNA Into Modern Bacteria

Playing with fire....
Millions of years ago, a bacterial gene began evolving, and evolving, and evolving...

That bacteria turned out to be E. Coli, and now it lives in the intestines of warm-blooded creatures like us, generally harmless except when it gives us a bout of food poisoning.

Now scientists at Georgia Tech University have re-wound the clock, synthesising one of the genes called EF-Tu as it was 500million years ago, and inserting the ancient gene into E. Coli in place of the modern sequence.

The researchers - making reference to hit 1993 film Jurassic Park - say they are curious to see if 'life finds a way'.Their experiment aimed to watch evolution in action - seeing if the gene follows the same evolutionary path as the modern bacteria, or if it takes a different route altogether.