Posts Tagged ‘lifeform’

Trogloraptor spider.

Meet Trogloraptor, fearsomeness incarnate. The creature more than lives up to its name—it is, in fact, an eight-legged showcase for scientific novelty. The spider somewhat resembles the brown recluse, famed for its flesh-necrotizing venom—but at four centimeters, Trogloraptor is about twice as large. In fact, this spider is an entirely new critter—just look at those legs, each ends in a curved, scythelike claw. Citizen scientists and arachnologists have uncovered these spiders in the caves of southwestern Oregon and old-growth redwood forests. As they report in ZooKeys, the discovery of Trogloraptor is a taxonomic wonder that establishes a new family, genus and species in the spider family tree.

Troglo’s story begins with citizen scientists in the Western Cave Conservancy who spotted the strange spider in Oregon’s caves. They sent specimens to researchers at the California Academy of Sciences where entomologist Tracy Audisio, a research fellow at the California Academy of Sciences, puzzled over the new find. After approaching every member of the arachnology lab, she and Charles Griswold, the academy’s curator of arachnology, took the finding to arachnologists around the country. They combed through comparative anatomy, fossil records and genetic analyses in their efforts to place the new spider, only to conclude that the cave dweller has a totally unique lineage. […]

Daisy Yuhas

learn more, read the rest of it!

Cool, no? Weird, too. Just doesn’t look right… It’s the stance, the way the body is jutting forward from where the legs attach… dunno… just looks quite odd. Then there are those teardrop antennae and of course… the feet, er, claws! Claws?! Yep, eight of ‘em. Yikes. Good thing it’s not all that big.

It is always a treat when creatures are discovered that necessitate the rewriting of established ‘facts.’ It shows that we know so very little about the totality of the world around us. There is so much to find, so much top see, so much to learn, on every level, in every field of study… everywhere.

Let the search continue.

Peace.

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Glimpse into primordial times: Genetic analyses of a micro-organism that lives in the sludge of a lake in Ås, 30 km south of Oslo i Norway, are providing researchers with an insight into what the first life on Earth looked like. (Credit: UiO/MERG)

Glimpse into primordial times: Genetic analyses of a micro-organism that lives in the sludge of a lake in Ås, 30 km south of Oslo i Norway, are providing researchers with an insight into what the first life on Earth looked like. (Caption Credit: ScienceDaily) (Image Credit: UiO/MERG)

Meet Collodictyon, our oldest known ancestor.

And by ‘our’ I don’t mean just our oldest known ancestor, I mean everything remotely like us’ oldest known ancestor.

Pretty cool, pretty darn cool… and to my eye – it is a cryptozoological masterpiece, even though cryptozoologists were not involved in this tale. None that I know of, at least. Surprising where kindred souls pop up.

An entirely new organism has been found in a Norwegian lake; and gol dang it, man, it is neither plant, animal, fungi, algae or protist! Wa Hey!

Source 1 (PopSci) : New Primordial Protozoan Species Is Not in Any Known Kingdom of Life

“We have found an unknown branch of the tree of life that lives in this lake. It is unique! So far we know of no other group of organisms that descend from closer to the roots of the tree of life than this species,” study researcher Kamran Shalchian-Tabrizi, of the University of Oslo, in Norway, said in a statement.

A tiny microorganism found in Norwegian lake sludge may be related to the very oldest life forms on this planet, a possible modern cousin of our earliest common ancestor. It is not a fungus, alga, parasite, plant or animal, yet it has features associated with other kingdoms of life. It could be a founding member of the newest kingdom on the tree of life, scientists said.

Life on Earth is divided into two main groups, the prokaryotes and the eukaryotes. Prokaryotes are simple life forms, with no membranes or cell nuclei; this group includes bacteria and archaea. Eukaryotes, which include humans, animals, plants, fungi and algae, have cell membranes and nuclei. This new organism is a eukaryote.

Source for Source 1 (lots of details!): Science DailyRare Protozoan from Sludge in Norwegian Lake Does Not Fit On Main Branches of Tree of Life

This organism has several characteristics that set it apart from every other (currently) known kingdom:

Source 2 (MSNBC): Strange organism has unique roots in the tree of life

“The microorganism is among the oldest currently living eukaryote organisms we know of. It evolved around one billion years ago, plus or minus a few hundred million years. It gives us a better understanding of what early life on Earth looked like,” Shalchian-Tabrizi said.

What it looked like was small. The organism the researchers found is about 30 to 50 micrometers (about the width of a human hair) long. It eats algae and doesn’t like to live in groups. It is also unique because instead of one or two flagella (cellular tails that help organisms move) it has four.

It would appear that this little guy shares attributes of critters that belong within two other kingdoms, but is nonetheless considered by scientists to be sufficiently different from either of them that they have felt compelled to give it it’s own classification:

Because it has features of two separate kingdoms of life, the researchers think that the ancestors of this group might be the organisms that gave rise to these other kingdoms, the amoeba and the protist, as well. If that’s true, they would be some of the oldest eukaryotes, giving rise to all other eukaryotes, including humans.

I find all this most fascinating…

Other related articles:

Enjoy.

Peace.

I must say I was surprised… and I think you will be, too! Very cool.

Seriously, I simply would never have guessed.

You will no doubt agree that that was incredible!

Now, just imagine the technologies that we can achieve by studying and implementing this!

Hadda share… peace.

Mars Critter Shirt modeled by Jamie.
Nice, huh?

I’d like to thank Jamie for enthusiastically modeling my Mars Critter shirt. She is of course wearing the 3/4 sleeve raglan version which you can change the colors on or if you like put my little buddy on another style shirt, I’ve got tons, 70, I think – regular tees, “green” tees, basic tees, polos, spaghetti strap style, hoodies – all kinds and in a ton of colors.

The official blurb about the shirt Jamie has on:

Ladies 3/4 Sleeve Raglan (Fitted)

Cute and comfortable, this classic baseball jersey has been cut just for women. Made from 100% super-soft ring-spun cotton by Bella. Includes side-seams and double-needle stitched sleeve and bottom hems for lasting quality. NOTE: Sizes run extremely small. Order 1 to 2 sizes larger than normal. Imported.

You can personalize it, too, if you want; add text or pics to it, on the front or back… you can do that to all the gear.

My little Martian buddy can also be had on a Speck brand iPad Case, a variety of caps and coffee mugs, a key chain, greeting cards, post cards, a mousepad and a really nice quality print. If you might want it on something I have yet to make, like the little speakers that just got added, just let me know, no worries.


It’s really a lot of fun making all these images in Photoshop and Fireworks and Apophysis and then arranging them as nicely as I can on the clothes and the gear… keeps me out of trouble and puts a smile on my face… and gives me an excuse to peruse NASA images looking for weird stuff… and to think that it’s all for sale, that I could make a couple of dollars if some like-minded wacko should actually buy something… what could be better than that?

Ha! If it actually happened, maybe! It does sometimes, but…

Don’t think I get rich off of this particular endeavor… it’s been 6 years now and I’ve yet to get to even half a K… in all that time. Any person buying anything is pretty much a hero in my eyes. I wonder sometimes, though, as a colleague of mine in Australia actually makes a living at this!  WAAAH!  So prolific she is… just amazing! And talented. I really wish I could emulate that. Maybe someday I will figure it out… wish me luck!

Anyway, enjoy. There’s some strange stuff in my store that might trigger something inside you.

Peace.

I’ve been meaning to post this for ages, but I am just well and truly shot, so, here it finally is. And I’ve got another one I’ve been meaning to post for ages, too. Sigh.

I used to spend many an hour totally absorbed in reading the discussions on and digesting the wonderful evidence contained within the fabulous forum on Charles Shults’ Xenotech Research website. That site went away during Shults’ time setting up his Spaceport America project.

Charles has told me that what once was will eventually again be, and indeed he has been posting his discoveries bit by bit onto his new site with linkage to the original science data. I sure hope that forum comes back.

Here’s a link to the original article that also has a very nice 7 minute video on it: Sir Charles ShultsCharles Shults presents his discoveries on WLTX-TV   April 29th, 2011

Winnsboro, SC (WLTX) — Charles Shults says there’s life on Mars, and he’s got the pictures he says proves it.

NASA announced the discovery of water on Mars in 2006, but Shults came to that conclusion in 2004.

“The date I was first certain was February 15, 2004,” Shults says.

Using the Freedom of information Act, Shults obtained more than 200,000 Mars images from NASA. After thousands of hours of reviewing the images, Shults came to a startling conclusion to some: not only is there water on Mars, but there are fossils too.

“Many of the things I’ve seen look clearly like the recent erosion, or presence of water on the surface, and many of the images show what appear to be fossil organisms, marine fossils,” Shults says. “Right now, the planet has extremely thin air, very tough living conditions, but it is wet on the surface in many areas, and it is covered with fossil remains from marine organisms.”

“Some of the fossils we found are seashells, and very clearly, they are identical to what we find on Earth,” he says. “There’s an absolute identical appearance to both of them.”

Shults’ research has the potential to change the way people think about the universe. He’s written numerous articles and books on the subject. The latest is A Fossil Hunter’s Guide to Mars.

Continue reading this article…

A broken helmet shell.

Don’t miss out on seeing some rather strange “rocks” on Mars, “rocks” bearing much, much more than a passing resemblance to Earthly marine fossils at Charles’ site: ShultsLaboratories.com

ShadoXAV | January 04, 2011

Caught this UFO while taping time lapse footage of clouds. The clouds were clearing as the sun went down. That is when the UFO was caught streaking across the sky. I thought it might be a high flying jet until it made its two sharp 90 degree turns. I have seen jets make high speed turns at high altitudes but they can’t turn this sharp at high altitudes. I don’t know what it is. If anyone knows what it is please post your comment.

Category: Science & Technology

Uploader Comments (ShadoXAV)

  • Thanks to all that have view this video and left a comment. Please remember that this is a time lapse video and the actual time it took for this object to travel and make the turns is 1 minute 28 seconds. Also the camera is locked down and focus is set to infinity. The sun has gone down and the camera is sitting in the dark. The object is being illuminated by the sun so it is higher then the lower clouds that are dark. The object is not a bug.
  • @theyreoutthere Holliday TX is a few miles South West of Wichita Falls TX. Wichita Falls is 100 or so miles North West of DFW. As far as I can tell from the video, this object passed somewhere between Holliday and DFW but at a high altitude. It was traveling in a North East direction.

Nice catch! Very nice. A refreshing change from the plethora of ludicrous dots in the night sky and the obvious airplane videos that infest and degrade YouTube into near untenability. Here we have a camera set on a proper platform, operating in time lapse and aimed at the upper reaches of the atmosphere. Excellent.

Truth be told, I am also particularly interested in that odd thin dagger like cloud that the object goes near. WTF?

Be that interest as it may, and getting back to the UFO, as the poster says, this is time lapse, and as such, we should only be looking at the latter parts of the vid where it is slowed down to “as it was shot” speed. I should not have to explain why.

Note that the object appears to change shape between frames, sometimes ‘normal,’ sometimes longer, sometimes foreshortened. UFOs have often displayed this characteristic in films past. View it large and note that there is a fluidity of sorts to the motion and although the turns are indeed fabulously tight, they are not exactly 90° in a geekularly mechanical, engineering sense of the term.

Also note the conditions listed above and, further noting the exceptional altitude, realize that this thing is of a pretty substantial size. And yet it exhibits that fluidity that I mentioned.

For these reasons, my opinion of this object is that it is yet another example of a plasma critter. A very nice example. It is a living creature. One that lives in the atmosphere, (its ocean, as it were), at levels even reaching a touch into space.

There’ve never been too many folks looking into these lifeforms, notably Trevor James Constable and Wilhelm Reich in the 50’s, but thankfully there are still a few. For more in depth reportage, look into zorgon’s work on the subject at AboveTopSecret.com. zorgon (Ron Schmidt) is also the top authority on the US Navy Space Command.

Enjoy. Peace.

Dinochelus ausubeli, photo by Tin-Yam Chan.

Author: Shapiro, Leo
Compiler: Hammock, Jen
Indexed: October 01, 2010 Permalink

Dinochelus ausubeli is a new species of deepwater lobster (family Nephropidae) first collected in 2007 from the Philippine Sea off the island of Luzon and was formally described in 2010. The species is so distinct that it was not only described as a new species but placed in a newly erected genus as well (Dinochelus). “Dinochelus” is derived from the Greek dinos, meaning “terrible”, and chela, meaning “claw”, an allusion to the massive, spinose major claw. The specific epithet ausubeli honors Jesse Ausubel, an enthusiastic sponsor of the Census of Marine Life, a major effort to document marine life in the first decade of the 21st century. (Ahyong et al. 2010)

Wow, man, that’s one hell of a claw! I’m diggin’ it. It reminds one of a precision instrument that some technician might wield for maximum tweakage of something obscure and specialized.

And it is obviously extremely specialized. I would imagine it is designed to do one thing really well, whether that’s getting into a seriously narrow nook or similarly configured cranny wherein its main nutrient-filled nodule resides, or, perhaps it somehow conforms to said nutrient-filled nodule’s unique physiognomy.

Shivers, I surely wouldn’t want to be that unfortunate creature!

For additional perusal and introspection into the vastness of life’s catalog:

At AboveTopSecret: Newly Discovered Deep Sea Lobster *pic*

At ScienceDaily (source for the ATS discussion thread): Newly Discovered Deep Sea Lobster

At Encyclopedia of Life (source of the extract above): Dinochelus ausubeli

At WoRMS – World Register of Marine Species: WoRMS Image

Whenever I look at new creatures from the sea I am always, always reminded of the fact that we know more about the Moon and Mars than our own oceans. A LOT more. A situation I find very saddening. Indeed, don’t spend our resources on learning what’s out there… spend them on global acts of corporate criminality and on killing each other in support of the same. Great.

Every time a probe or submersible or anything goes down below, at least one lifeform is seen for the first time. Less than 5% of the world’s oceans have had any sort of exploration.

Interestingly, when humans briefly visited the deepest deepness that there is on this planet, the bottom of the Marianas Trench in the fabulous Trieste… right there on the bottom scurrying away… was a fish.

Absolutely amazing.

8th Place: Beetle leg German researcher Jan Michels' eighth-place image shows a lateral view of the adhesive pad on the leg of a beetle (Clytus sp.). The view was captured using autofluorescence.

Now then!

Here’s yet another amazing image.

What this actually is caught me by surprise when I read the description below. Always pictured an adhesive pad as, well, an adhesive pad. I would never have imagined that at least this species of beetle is perched on a large array of extremely tiny feet. Wicked! The things we learn…

So, do these tiny little feet move individually and “walk” along together in an orchestrated way, or do they just adhere to the surface and then the beetle picks up the whole group at once as it walks? I want to know. I do!

8th Place: Beetle leg

German researcher Jan Michels’ eighth-place image shows a lateral view of the adhesive pad on the leg of a beetle (Clytus sp.). The view was captured using autofluorescence.

This post’s title, by the way, refers to a line from one of those humorous radio ads for something that I can’t recall (shoes, maybe?) that played in the New York City market a few years ago. For some reason it came to mind and I thought it somehow fit in describing this extraordinary image. And yes, I know my mind is strange.

As this post is obviously a complement to the preceding post featuring the fabulous face of a weevil (and the microscopic minerals post with the added dragonfly face that has a very strange additional “face” on it), the photo is also from the very same Olympus BioScapes International Digital Imaging Competition and you can see many more at this link. And there is that same discussion of the imagery as well.

This stuff rocks.

10th Place: Weevil head The Olympus BioScapes International Digital Imaging Competition honors the world's most extraordinary microscope images of life science subjects. This 10th-place picture, by British photographer Laurie Knight, shows the face of a weevil (possibly Curculio nucum or Curculio glandium). The image was captured using a lighting technique known as episcopic illumination.

I love this guy.

Seriously.

What a strange and lovely face.

Damned if he doesn’t just make this web page pop!

I was going to post this picture without comment, but doing that didn’t work too well last time I did it, really, although it gets downloaded a lot… when I had commented, though, the post seemed to do better… not enough to become a thread, but hey.

The info on this extraordinary image is just below. You can see many more at this link. Maybe you’d like to read or even join a discussion of the image and others.

The world we live in is fabulous, isn’t it?

10th Place: Weevil head.

The Olympus BioScapes International Digital Imaging Competition honors the world’s most extraordinary microscope images of life science subjects. This 10th-place picture, by British photographer Laurie Knight, shows the face of a weevil (possibly Curculio nucum or Curculio glandium). The image was captured using a lighting technique known as episcopic illumination.

You may also like the follow up post to this one, called “He’s Got The Cutest Little Feet!”.

A sporty new video’s arrived from the boffins over at Lunar Explorer Italia − this one dealing with an interesting look at what is perhaps yet another fossil, a flat little round guy of a nice size this time, unfortunately broken. But, it’s “reconstructed” nicely… and shown to compare favorably with an Earthly organism called a Nummulite.

Nice little stream, too, or rather the remnant thereof… that looks, shall we say… recent!

Un flusso? Che cosa?

Sì, l’uomo!

Indeed, that got me going a bit more than the fossil did, as, well, there are tons of fossils. But rarely have I seen such close up, on the ground, positive indication of surface water. This is really great stuff.

Can’t you just see the water bubbling up from a spot under the Rover’s wheel… heading off down the slope… only to quickly get absorbed into the soil, all the while evaporating at the same time? Way cool, I say!

You know, having said that, the Rovers should really be giving us videos… maybe next time, as they’re so fond of saying. Yeah, right, that’ll happen.

Fantastico … godetevi lo spettacolo!

Following is the always interesting “description” that LEI attached to the video. Heady, these guys… :)

Channel Icon

What are we looking at? Will be the usual – wonderful! – Photomosaic in natural colors that shows us a piece of Mars?

No, this is more.

More.

Go and look at the EDM below …

We already know what they say and write in many :”… but what is it? E ‘a detail that you do not understand … is too small … … is undefined does not explain anything and does not prove anything. .. “.

Yes, certainly.
And you know why? Why the “people” (like the Anomaly Hunters Sunday …) wants to be surprised and, to believe, wants to see – or rather: MUST SEE! – Something big: a pyramid – or perhaps a group of Pyramids! -, An amphitheater, a Cosmodrome, a “face” that looks toward the sky or maybe a “parable” that points to nowhere …

Yes, it’s true: you try the “Big Test”, because it is “common thought” that only the “Big Test” AND ‘ “the smoking gun.”

It does not work that way.

Those seeking the “Cathedral” – and that we have already said and written until the nausea (more ours than your, believe it …) – in the end, does not want to see anything and even if he stumbles and falls on a simple but essential “Brick” … I do not see it!
Not consider.
I do not even understand.

LORD, that (in our humble but informed opinion) is the brick!

Look at him, Study him and if you’re really good, explain and spiegatecelo.

Elysia chlorotica. Credit: Nicholas E. Curtis and Ray Martinez

Well, well now… this creature is certainly unusual… it’s half animal… and it’s half plant… and according to this article in LiveScience describing Sidney Pierce’s paper presented on January 7 at the annual meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology in Seattle, this is apparently the only one known to possess a certain unique quality – making it’s own chlorophyll and it’s own food –  from light! How weird is that?

Pierce is a biologist at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

“We collect them and we keep them in aquaria for months,” Pierce said. “As long as we shine a light on them for 12 hours a day, they can survive [without food].”

Amazing! Meet the sea slug known as Elysia chlorotica, (although I prefer George in this case), amazingly enough a resident of salt marshes in my own neck of the woods… here in New England and in Canada, too. Who knew?

It is actually able to steal genes from the algae that it eats – specific genes – the very genes that let said algae make chlorophyll; and then incorporate them into it’s own body in a way that they really work.

Even though George can perform that feat as a matter of course, it must rip off the hapless little algae  critters still further –  by taking their little chloroplasts. Chloroplasts are the biodevices within the algal cells that actually convert sunlight into energy, called photosynthesis, using the chlorophyll as fuel.

Eating is just an option for this thing… as long as there’s a bit of light about.

It also has the ability to pass the genes on to the kids, fully functioning, but they too must steal enough chloroplasts for the process to start working for them.

What I find interesting is that the article says that Pierce has been studying these creatures for 20 years… Surely it can’t be that he’s only noticed this ability now? No. Or is it that he’s crying out, so to speak, for others to continue to assist in the research so that the phenomenon can finally be understood? As he says…

“It certainly is possible that DNA from one species can get into another species, as these slugs have clearly shown,” Pierce said. “But the mechanisms are still unknown.”

Hey, here’s a very nice website concerning this little critter, from the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Maine.

Is it not fascinating to think that the mysterious forces of evolution have come together to give this simple creature the ability to so specifically choose to eat a certain organism and to extract from that animal something so small as a gene and then to use it in it’s own body… absolutely amazing! A real ganglia tickler, that! Damn!

Fog ThingA little while ago, there in my mailbox was the usual roundup of headlines at Phantoms and Monsters… this one though, had a flying creature report from the very gung ho guys at the Centre for Fortean Zoology!

I love flying Cryptids! One of my life goals, in fact, if you don’t know is to capture, (on film at least), both a Thunderbird and a Pterodactyl. [Please Note: The imagery in this post is suggestive or illustrative only as no images were captured during the reported sightings.] Checked it out… here’s what it said…

Flying Cryptid Reported in County Durham, UK

This was reported at CFZ:

We saw a Thing the other night. Not sure at all WHAT it was, but both myself and Gareth saw it. We were driving back from Darlington to home at about 10pm on Wednesday 7th October, and just west of Harperley roundabout on the A698 to Wolsingham, when “it” flew in front of the car.

Whatever it was, was not a bird, and was not a moth or bat. It was approx. 3 feet long, about 1ft wide at the head, tapering down to a short tail. It was white and almost see-through – like a cloud, perhaps – pear-drop shaped, and moved very fast.

It rose from a hedge (or from the ground close to the hedge), which borders the road. Then it sped across the road at about 30ft high. Not sure how fast it was going, but a few mins later we saw a tawny owl flying across the road, and the Thing was much faster than the owl.

Before anyone gets the wrong idea, I am not suggesting that the Thing and the owl were connected in any way. It was incidental and only serves as an indication of air-speed.

The site we saw it at was close to the POW camp, which has recently been put up for sale on ebay. There are no street lights nearby, and it is a remote area of the high north Pennines. Very few dwellings, not much human activity, other than the fairly quiet A689. There was very little wind, and it was quite dark as it was cloudy/overcast. No rain.

Ideas?

A critter?And in response to that post, a short while later a person sent this report in to Phantoms and Monsters

I read the article you had listed entitled “Flying Cryptid in County Durham UK”. I live in the USA, and saw something very similar to what was described in the article. My sighting occurred in a rural area of Henderson, West Virginia, approximately 20 years ago (1989). I had been visiting a friend with my daughter and was on my way home in the afternoon. The day was partly sunny with clouds in the sky, but not rainy or misty. We were traveling down an incline in the car and we saw something strange go across the road (from the left side to the right side of the road). I’m not good with distances but it was probably no more than fifty feet from us. The thing described in the article was much smaller than what my daughter and I saw. I watched it disappear and asked my daughter if she had seen anything, and she confirmed that she had seen it also.

What we observed was approximately horse or cow sized and it had a white, translucent appearance, without identifiable head, tail, or appendages. It was just a big oval shaped airy “blob” that you could see through! This thing was like watching a tiny cloud or a mass of fog move on its own. It was flying or gliding quickly across the road and just disappeared on the other side of the road. It moved straight and did not weave or bobble. We only saw it for maybe 5 seconds. I had never seen anything like it before and haven’t seen another one since. I never reported it but I always remembered my sighting and was immediately struck by the similarity of what was reported in the UK.

Thanks for your website…it is extremely interesting.

Pat Queen, Ohio

It’s exciting!

And the reason it is so, to me, is because, as a Fortean and big fan of both on and off-world cryptozoology, it is my humble opinion that these two sightings are appearances of a “new” form of life that I’ve recently rekindled my interest in and have become very hot on… the Critter, or, the Plasma Lifeform.

Trevor J Constable photo - "amoeba"Not really new, though,  to those immersed in such things – interest started a long time ago within the scientific community following renowned plasma physicist Dr. David Bohm’s discovery through repeated laboratory observations that plasmas, more often than not, act just like living things; and there’s always researcher Trevor James Constable’s infrared photography to peruse, wherein he managed to regularly capture these “critters” back in the late 50s, and coined the term we still use for them. But surely, this concept is not something the majority of people have ever thought about.

The idea is that there are perhaps as many species of plasma creatures as there are “regular” creatures, with the same diversity as all our known life… replete with the same diversity of intelligence endowment, too.

As Mr. Constable noted, due to their rather exotic makeup, most of the critters would normally be invisible to us; his photos, after all, were in the infrared spectrum. They’d possibly become visible during certain interactions with the environment… while passing through localized electrical fields in search of food, namely the electrons that gives plasma life, (Bohm’s original observation), maybe, or perhaps through other phenomena; perhaps light can catch some qualities of their amorphous bodies in certain situations.

NASA's famous tether incidentMany UFOs, perhaps up to 80% of good sightings, a great deal  of the things usually deemed to be “spirits,” aerial BVM apparitions, shadow people and indeed lots of other oddly intangible sightings may in fact be plasma critters… who are, for whatever reason, occasionally visible to us at certain places, at certain times.

Clearly the two featured sightings here were real enough, but also were clearly not animals in the sense of flesh and blood beings… nevertheless, I do feel that these two sightings represent living creatures, or rather, critters… and as living things, these fabulously different critters should not be cast by cryptozoologists into the abyss of the paranormal. What’s needed is a broadening of the playing field, to think in terms of all that’s out there; to include all living things, not just those that are like us.

That may be asking too much, I’m not sure. Critters not made of flesh and blood may be too radical a departure for biologists, who have enough on their plate already. Maybe a special branch is needed… not sure who they might be, though. I suggest a multi-disciplinary approach… after all, this is radically different from our norms. But it should be done… they are alive… they are all around us… even in space… we should know all there is to know about them.

Resident of Enceladus? image N00121336(crop) NASA/JPL

What the heck is that? I just knew you’d ask. This JPL image is a crop I chopped from the “full-res” image number N00121336 taken by the Cassini mission to Saturn, the top right catches a bit of the moon Enceladus. The thing at center left is, as you might imagine, unidentified.

Most of you have probably seen the spectacular ring photos that were recently released showing the varying mountains of material at the ring edges. Truly fascinating. I am impressed! Thoughts came flooding in via remembrance of Dr. Norman Bergrun’s work, published long ago in his book The Ringmakers of Saturn, wherein evocative and rather spooky evidence of massive objects of very likely artificial construction was presented.

Did my usual stop at Skipper’s Mars Anomaly Research site to see if there was a new post — and there was — a nice post on the Cassini investigations at the Saturnian moon Enceladus, featuring a whole bunch of high strangeness objects of which the object here in my post is but one. This one I picked for its visual brightness and cool shape, however the others are equally strange in their own right (one looks like a big lobster claw, another a giant resistor!).

Skipper thinks all these things including our guest here are life forms. It is, believe it or not, a distinct possibility. Just as up to 80% or so of our UFOs may be critters. Plasma critters.

This has been discussed in scientific circles for many, many decades… at least six of ’em… that plasma can and does behave much like a life form does… so much so there is very little doubt that plasma life forms not only exist but are as evolved and as diverse as our sort of life… as in microbes to people. Including intelligence. They are able to live in outer space.

By the way, the scientific discussions mentioned above — we’re talking David Bohm, Neils Bohr and Albert Einstein here… yes, it’s not the fringe, it’s the real deal.

Anyway, since I’ve no truck with any of those dudes, dudes who influenced my childhood, I have no problem in accepting and imagining the world of these creatures… and no problem with Skipper’s analysis… especially if you look at the sequences, the things do move and change shape, so hey… not much of a stretch. They sure are big, though! Jeez!

I am impressed. Very much so. There are tons of these guys around out there at Saturn… and different kinds, too! Very, very exciting. To me at least.

Now… I do have two problems with the Cassini mission, one pointed out by Skipper that I share, as will you, I bet.

Firstly, Cassini has several occasions flown way close to Enceladus, once in 2008 approaching within 16 miles of the surface! Sixteen miles! What could be wrong with that, you ask? Nothing!

The problem is that no photos have been publicly released that are any closer than 88,020 kilometers. Not one. And even those are only 512 pixels small. It twists my gut. In my opinion, that is simply criminal. In a literal sense. Our tax dollars paid for all this… and we want to see! Man, that ticks me off. Really, really, really so.

Secondly, I have a problem with the image below. Haven’t checked the others. This is the original “hi-res” (Ha!) shot with our selected guest critter in it, reduced from the 512 pixel width to the 497 that this blog theme displays.

My problem is the stars. Assuming of course that they are stars. Because if they are… then how in heck are they showing through the moon? Eh? I mean really, don’t you think that that is mighty odd? The moon seems to vanish into the ether just past halfway up; and below that doesn’t look too solid, either… I really want to know just what is up with that… that’s just weird. That’s just wrong.

I’m actually more concerned with this aspect than with the critters!

Even if these stars aren’t stars at all but are really just more critters, that’s cool, but what of the vanishing moon? This is driving me right up the wall! The cameras sure took some sporty pics of those rings, so, again… what is going on here?

Enceladus. Nearly full released resolution N00121336. NASA/JPL

And, now, something I just now stumbled across… here’s my resulting image just below.

I opened up the above shot from JPL/NASA and gave it 4 more f-stops of exposure (which is all I can give it in one shot)… and just lookee what we can see now!

A little bit more of Enceladus… which served as some small relief for the aforementioned mind-warping conundrum (is it really that dark out there? Wow!) but certainly not relief in full by any stretch of the imagination.

Lots more “stars” which I’m now thinking are just more critters… The “stars” all exhibit awful jpeg weirdies by the way which one can see just by enlarging the original, which causes our Skipper to go on about tampering and such in his report… anyway…

But look! There are at least four more of our lovely curved-V critters! Woot! They just aren’t up to glowing like our invited guest does. Wow!

Since they all have the same shape… are these camera artifacts? From the conditions out there? Reflections of the first one? Could be certainly, but it doesn’t seem likely… there are different families of critters in the day’s sequence… all the dudes in the Skipper’s report are from the same day… so… wow.

Finally, I would just like to note that it’s been more and more apparent to me over the years, more so lately simply due to more thought being devoted to it… that the farther out we go… the more the strangeness factor applies… and applies exponentially! Just weird!

Enceladus image N00121336 at plus 4 f-stops. image enhancement by Iggy Makarevich.

!!!

Ha! HaHa! Confusion reigns supreme as scientists scramble to explain the creatures in the Cameron Village sewer pipe video.

The video has now been confirmed as to it’s authenticity, but, in the tradition of current Western science, there are, to reuse that tired cliche, as many opinions as to what these critters are, it seems, as there are people looking at them.

I watched a video on YouTube of a small group in a bayou blowing away some bryozoan colonies with a rifle, and, although resembling our sewer pals on the surface (although much, much larger) they didn’t move in the slightest.

The spike of the sewer creature.The hapless stars of the bayou video also didn’t sport the bizarre spiky appendage that the third critter wields menacingly at the camera… indeed, that third fella is the one… the one that gets me to thinking that these are not your typical assemblies of worms… it’s stranger than the first two… much stranger…

Naturally I could be wrong, but people who should, by their qualifications, be able to ID these dudes can’t seem to agree… and seem also to ignore the high strangeness of number three… so, yeah.

I wish I knew more about this stuff, but common sense is telling me that these are at the very least an unusual form of something or other, whether known or unknown. I wonder if the company that took this video might be persuaded to go back there and see how our little pals are progressing… that could well be rather revelatory.

We await the verdict.

For your enjoyment, here’s a wonderful article from Annalee Newitz at io9 revealing the phenomena of the cornered scientist… explanations, retractions, passing the buck, competition, butt covering… and I’m glad to say that Ms. Newitz is suitably amused by the lunacy gushing forth from these folks. They are pretty funny, after all… Hat tip to the Anomalist for the lead.

Public Utilities Group Confirms “Sewer Monster” Is Real, But Doesn’t Know What It Is

By Annalee Newitz12:56 PM on Wed Jul 1 2009, 20,131 views

If you’ve been following the ongoing sewer monster story from North Carolina, I’ve got some seriously crazy news for you. First of all, the video of the throbbing poop-esque creature has been confirmed as real. But what is it?

We’ve been tipped off by an anonymous source about how the city of Raleigh, North Carolina, is responding as the viral video of a seething blob in the city sewers made its way across the internet yesterday. Marti Gibson is the Environmental/EMS Coordinator for Public Utilities in the city of Raleigh, North Carolina, and she has been as confused as the rest of us. When she first looked at the video, she emailed our anonymous source to say it was a slime mold that was in the phase of its lifecycle where it looks like a throbbing, breathing animal (see io9’s report on slime molds from a few weeks ago where we talked about this exact thing).

She assured our tipster that any water passing by this slime would pass through a treatment plant and be thoroughly cleansed.

But then, a few hours later, Gibson retracted her statement in an email:

The video was taken in a private sewer system by a private contractor working for them. It does not belong to the City of Raleigh nor will it reach the Neuse River Wastewater Treatment Plant. This is the response from our director: “The video is of the private sanitary sewer in the Cameron Village and was taken by a private contractor working for them and not taken by our staff. The blob has been identified by others as worms.”

Worms? What kind of worms look like that?

Also I love how the privatization of the sewer system under this particular town has led to a terrible situation where the city’s public utilities commission has no ability to guarantee that the situation will be dealt with in a reasonable way.

Can some environmental scientist or worm expert please step up and tell us what this really is?

tubifex_kurdu

UPDATE:

According to the News & Observer:

Actually, the sewer monster is made up of thousands of tiny organisms called bryozoans, or moss animacules, said N.C. State University biologist Thomas Kwak. Invertebrates, they bunch together in colonies and feed with tiny tentacles.

But another scientist said no way to bryozoans. DeepSeaNews interviewed Dr. Timothy S. Wood, an expert on freshwater bryozoa and an officer with the International Bryozoology Association. He said:

No, these are not bryozoans! They are clumps of annelid worms, almost certainly tubificids (Naididae, probably genus Tubifex). Normally these occur in soil and sediment, especially at the bottom and edges of polluted streams. In the photo they have apparently entered a pipeline somehow, and in the absence of soil they are coiling around each other. The contractions you see are the result of a single worm contracting and then stimulating all the others to do the same almost simultaneously, so it looks like a single big muscle contracting.

An example of Tubifex is pictured above.

Discovered via ATS, these 2 minutes and 4 seconds are completely disgusting, or, as the chicks in the Valley once said, “Grotty to the max.” Not a video for the squeamish.

These creatures were found in a sewer line under Cameron Village in Raleigh, North Carolina. I don’t have knowledge of sewer-dwelling lifeforms, so I really can’t say, as it does in the description, that this is an unknown lifeform, but, it looks like it could qualify as such; and the operators of the camera certainly seem fascinated by it… and they’re down in there for a living, so, who knows. We await further information. I’d bet, though, that in true Fortean style, definitive data will never arrive. Some primates, according to warrenb at ATS, apparently feel that maybe they’re bryozoans, cnideria, slime molds or even shoggoth spawn! Maybe… don’t know… they seem much too animate for that, but, I vote for cute lil baby shoggoths!

Seriously, though, it’s interesting to note the way these creatures seem to react to the camera’s proximity… hmmm. That means they’re not only alive, but have reasonably good senses. The third creature is the most interesting. Or, disturbing, maybe. It has much more defined ‘tendrils’ holding on to the wall of the sewer pipe than the other two… and at 1:55 or so you’ll see a hard spike appendage protrude from it’s back end and then sink back down in there. Now, that’s pretty disturbing.

So… what are these things?

studiomacleod‘s YouTube video description:
Unknown Lifeform in North Carolina Sewer!
An unknown lifeform picked up by sewer snakecam in North Carolina. Believed to be of ET origin. Courtesy of http://www.UFORADAR.com

Ewww, eh? The video’s also available in ever so slightly better resolution, (if you just haven’t seen enough, um, detail.) at LiveLeak.com, where the description reads: “You know all that crap you flushed down the toilet? Well it’s back, and it’s pissed off.”

Indeed.

site_A86_pcam_90_cyl-A231R1 copywMarvin will be well pleased. He was so excited when he found out he was needed in Hollywood that he forgot his teapot, and it was lost all those years, until a cute little robot landed and started driving around, and just happened to do so right where he left it.

Seriously, now, the picture on the right is a Mars Pathfinder mission image by the JPL team. It’s a very tight crop within the full image, which is a composite of several individual pictures. Spotted long ago by Tim Beech, one of the original investigators of Martian photographic anomalies, it shows an object that resembles for all the world the classic spout of an English teapot, ready to pour a little cheer into our lives. This particular teapot spout, however… I am currently thinking… is another in a series of Martian critters, yes, I’m talking an animal, coming out of it’s lair to scope out the surrounding area for a bit of a snack. This view is primarily based on its shape, its relationship to the “rock” immediately to its left and on the marked dissimilarity to anything else in the entire image.

site_A86_pcam_90_cyl-A231R1 Image NASA/JPLThe larger version on the right is a levels enhancement by myself, to make the scene appear more natural, lighting-wise, not that it doesn’t pop right out at you in the image above. [Levels refer to the reaction of the imaging software in displaying the brightness level of any particular pixel, i.e. a certain value in the original data is output at the same, a brighter, or a darker level. Therefore the overall image ratios remain the same, as long as there is image data in a given pixel.] Clicking either image will take you to the original composite shot.

Do you think a rock could have eroded into that shape? I don’t. As always, your comments are most welcome. I am highly opinionated, it’s true, but I am also highly open-minded. 

As for the “rock” immediately to the left, it could be a rock that it’s using as a shelter, or it could be a shell. The smaller triangular-roofed “shell” that’s just a touch closer to us could be a fellow creature’s lair, as it has the same shape as the object our pal is peeking out from.

I don’t know, but that’s what I think of this bit of evidence… you must decide for yourself what you think it might be. We all want to see life running around in these images from space… I posit that that’s exactly what we’re looking at here.

This, evidence suggests, is an animal. Image based on NASA/JPL 2N289093752EFFB074P1985L0M1

I’m very excited! On my regular visit to Mr. Skipper’s site, I was enticed by the title of the latest post, MARS MOVING EVIDENCE, and I was certainly not disappointed! I’d like you to go over there and read it, because what I’ve done here with my own photo work is only a portion of a quarter of the evidence presented, even within this section of his posting. For besides the other inexplicables…

This “rock” is what caught my eye. As Skipper intimates with his writing; and after looking so closely and so extensively into the wee hours… I am of the opinion that this rock… ain’t no rock. No, I think we’ve got a live one here. I really  do! Damn!

This is a sequence, (not all of them here) of the Rover’s views over a period of many days, from Sol 1830 to 1843. That’s a day shy of two weeks. Be aware that the rover is moving slightly to the left in relation to these images as the days go on, so there are some camera angle changes, but not enough, surely, to account for what we’re seeing.

Check out the general shape. There’s a frill or ridge on the thing’s “head.” That’s cool, but I’m in particular looking at the progression of the tentacular-looking appendage that’s at the little dude’s front. Note how it becomes more vertical in attitude and therefore appearing thinner along it’s length as the days go on. It appears as if it’s an arm of sorts to perhaps scoop food into reach. I mean, come on, just look at that thing! It clearly is not in the same orientation in the different timeframes. It’s possible as well that the whole being has moved in angular relation to us as well, with the “head” more towards us later on. Maybe not, but it seems so.

Okay, guys, I am well aware of simulacra and pareidolia… however… this evidence is pushing those two very human phenomena of the mind just a bit, don’t you think? Perhaps that’s what this really is, nevertheless it looks pretty well real to me at this point and I’m willing to risk a foray onto the limb. Especially when considered in concert with the other activity in this scene as revealed at Skipper’s site. These images are a crop of much, much less than 10% of the full frame and perhaps a quarter of the area where the other stuff happens.

Although these are merely stills and not many of them over the 13 days, there’s an impression in my mind that life’s a bit slow-paced up there… ah, wouldn’t it be fabulous if they’d put a video camera on our explorers? For that matter… why haven’t they? Seems so very odd within our video and television enmeshed culture. Maybe it’s because we the people would learn way too much, or that NASA would have way too much editing to do. I believe they’d get all the funding and popular enthusiasm they could ever want if they did that. [UPDATE: 6/08/09. Re: this paragraph. They had. See why they stopped! Go here. Then go here.]

Anyhow, this is the coolest thing I’ve seen in a dog’s age. Be sure to read Skipper’s post, as I mentioned there’s more going on in this scene than just this guy, and there are three other incidents there as well.

On Sol 1833, Mars Exploration Rover Spirit took the above image… and on Sol 1836, it took the one below and the third on Sol 1843. Images by NASA/JPL with very  slight enhancement by myself.

Spirit, Navigation Camera, Sol 1836 - NASA/JPL 2N289363474EFFB0A1P1985R0M1

NASA/JPL 2N289976994EFFB0EOP0675L0M1 Sol 1843

Apollo 17 image AS17-137-20925HR; enhanced gamma, brightness and contrast.

This is a crop of the somewhat notorious Apollo 17 image AS17-137-20925HR. Why notorious? It’s that green thing. Some have been so bold as to suggest it’s some sort of lifeform. Since this is the moon, I’m not too sure about that conjecture… Although it has been shown that the moon has an atmosphere and water ice, there doesn’t appear to be a heck of a lot of water around this locale. Be that as it may… there this thing is. Note that it is not at all required to do any enhancing to the original photo in order to see our green friend. Nope, it stands right out… in a pretty deep shadow no less. As if it’s actually self-luminous. High strangeness, indeed.

An unknown form of living thing is a bit more likely than some sort of alien device doing who knows what…

For the image here, I started with a version with enhanced gamma, although I don’t remember where I got it. (I have such a backlog of these things to write about… sheesh.). I elevated the brightness and contrast by 30 each to get the lighting up to snuff and approach daylight a bit. [No pixels were harmed in the making of this picture.]

Nice purple mineral it’s sitting on, by the way. Food, maybe? Like the NY Lottery ads say, “Hey, you never know.” Life out there doesn’t necessarily have to follow our dogma. If you said 50 years ago that there were creatures on Earth that live 2 miles down and eat rocks, you know what would’ve happened, right? Right.

It would be so sad if the anomaly is a film defect, but of course it could be, can’t leave that out no matter how doubtful the scenario, the film being custom made expressly for the lunar program. Nothing remotely like it has appeared before or since.

So… being the romantic nut that I am, I vote for… High Strangeness.

Update 5/20/09: added image below. For this version, only brightness was applied to the original hi-res image as released to the public. This is to better show you the very interesting colors at the tip of this object and what may well be projections in the tip area.

AS17-137-20925HR with only brightness applied.

Sky Critter?

Perhaps the strangest thing I’ve ever seen, I don’t feel too comfortable in referring to it as a craft… it seems much more along the lines of an organism to me… like Story Musgrave’s ‘worm,’ and the somewhat similar forms seen sometimes in Mexico and recently in Argentina… albeit with a more complex branching form rather than their typically single element shapes.

It would appear to be positively enormous. That fuel tank’s not so little… It’s also below the fuel tank. It’s also quite obviously well within the atmosphere, as it clearly goes through several clouds as it checks out the Shuttle’s fuel tank… again assuming that it is in fact checking out the tank… it might just happen to be there at the right time. 

Whatever it is, it’s absolutely fascinating. My thoughts run toward an Earth-based ‘sky-critter’ of some type… perhaps the ultimate cryptid, even. Skybound lifeforms have been posited at least since I was a little kid… for other planets, especially the gas giants, and there was of course the fellow who coined the term sky-critter, ufologist Trevor J. Constable, who published books called They Live in the Sky, Sky Creatures: Living UFOs and The Cosmic Pulse of Life: The Revolutionary Biological Power Behind UFOs, which contained his famous infrared photos showing large, blobby, UFO-like things in them, that he believed were alive. They weren’t shaped like this thing, though, that’s for sure.

So, seriously, I really want to know what this thing is… don’t you? Because like I said, it’s one of the strangest things I’ve ever seen.

LOL: From the JPL/NASA site: Back by popular demand: THEMIS ART IMAGE #73 These north polar dunes look odd -- like a plant, or fossil, or some alien creature. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/ASU

One of my all-time favorite Martian anomaly images, Mars Odyssey catalog number PIA08557… I’m confident you can sort out why on your own. What do the once-great Jet Propulsion Lab and the master of obfuscation have to say about it? As well as the Arizona State University folks who built and run the THEMIS instrument that snapped it back in 2001?

Firstly, they present it as an “Art Image.”  No trouble there, it’s pretty sweet, after all. But… remember now… to everyone involved in the shenanigans at an official level… literally everything on Mars… no matter what… is a sand dune. No matter what.

This is the comment on the JPL/NASA site:
Back by popular demand: THEMIS ART IMAGE #73 These north polar dunes look odd — like a plant, or fossil, or some alien creature. VIS instrument. Latitude 82.4N, Longitude 314.5E. 40 meter/pixel resolution. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/ASU.

Sand dunes. What else could it be? There are only sand dunes on Mars, right? Yeah, and I’m the Queen of the Nile. Ha! I find it most interesting that the majority of traffic at Xenotech Research and no doubt Skipper’s site as well is from NASA and its related contractors. Interesting, indeed. And telling.

It’s surely not a creature… surely… it’s immense… it put the widest bit at about 3 3/4 miles across. However, it could very well be a colony of lifeforms of the type that J.P.  Skipper’s been looking into and theorizing about. That’s entirely plausible. I would certainly like a reasonable explanation for it. This would not include sand dunes. That’s absurd. I’ll be zoomin’ in on this one…