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The Rationalists’ Mantra

June 15, 2015 at 12:00 AM
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I’m a rational person. I’m an atheist, a sceptic about most things, and I trust in science. But sometimes I don’t act in the most rational way. After using the toilet in the night, I run up the stairs as fast as I can, as if something is chasing me. I can’t explain it; I just do it. I mutter my mantra every time I feel scared: “nothing is trying to hurt me; there are no such things as ghosts”. I close my eyes whilst shutting curtains at night. Once again, I have no explanation for this. Do I really think someone – or something – is looking in? Not really. But something inside me compels me to do it. Of course, nothing is trying to hurt me; there are no such things as ghosts.

As a child, as most children do, I believed in things like ghosts. Perhaps it was because my grandparents would always tell me stories, and they’d always talk of their haunted house. Whenever I visited their house, I was sure to stick close to my parents, just in case something happened.

The house had a huge garden, which as my grandparents aged, became harder and harder to maintain. My parents would go each week and do weeding, cut the hedge and any other jobs that my grandparents needed doing. I would sit in the sun-room at the side of the house watching television whilst they did this. The sun-room was next to a courtyard, and my I could usually see my parents around the corner if I felt scared, as I often did in the house.

Once, I was watching something on the TV and my grandfather walked into the room. I barely registered his presence, if it weren’t for the chill that gripped me despite the summer sun. I looked up from the cartoon and smiled at him. He just stared at me for a moment before walking out of the room. For some reason, this shook me greatly, so I walked over to the window to gaze at my parents pulling weeds from the ground, which usually eradicated any worries. Except what I saw made my blood freeze. My granddad was outside with my parents, digging something with a spade. There was no way he could have made it that far in that time. Needless to say, I ran out of that room as fast as I could and helped with the gardening.

I never went into that room again after that. I don’t know what that thing was. I don’t know why he stared at me. I keep telling myself my mantra: “nothing is trying to hurt me; there are no such things as ghosts”. But sometimes it feels like I’m kidding myself.

One night, we had to stay overnight at the house. I don’t know why exactly – I was only around eight years old – but it might have been around the time my granddad died, and my Nan liked the company. The house was quite large, and my Nan slept in her room, my parents across the hall in another, and me on the floor above in a room on my own. The room was massive, and was the only room in the house overlooking the small courtyard to the side of the house. Barely any light reached the room, and there were no street lamps outside the house. My bed was a queen sized bed, and I slept right in the centre. I remember thinking that if I slept too close to the edge I’d be pulled off – just a silly child thing. Well, maybe not.

The details of the night were fuzzy, but the memory scarred itself on my mind. I still can’t remember to this day whether my experience was a dream or not. When I told my parents the next day, they convinced me it was all a dream. But this dream – if that’s what it was – was so vivid, so life-like, that it had to be real.

I remember waking up in the middle of the night. The house was completely still. There were no cars outside, nothing. A grandfather clock in the corner of the room ticked, and I could see the outline of the pendulum swinging in the darkness. But that wasn’t the only thing moving in the room. The wall against which the clock stood looked as if it were vibrating, like it was made of jelly. Something came out of it. A hand. The hand was completely white and, as much as I always tried to avoid using this word, it was the only word that I could think of.

It was a ghost.

I pulled the covered tightly over my body, and I squinted my eyes so that I could barely see. My eyesight now fuzzy, I could make out the outline of a pale figure emerge from the wall. It looked like a woman, not like the man I had seen before, and it looked like she was floating. As scary as it seemed, she – or it – seemed benign. That is, until she looked at me. Her eyes were wide, deranged almost, and it felt like a thousand daggers hitting me at once. I instantly closed my eyes and buried myself under the covers, hoping they’d be enough to keep it out. I stayed under there for the rest of the night, muttering to myself constantly. “Nothing is trying to hurt me; there are no such things as ghosts”. As soon as it was light, I pulled the covers off myself and looked around the room. Everything was as it was the night before. Except the clock was no longer ticking. It had stopped just before midnight, a second before it would have chimed.

I tried to put the whole thing out of my mind. At the time, I told myself it was all a dream, and I moved on. But a month later, a tragedy happened.

After my granddad’s death, my Nan’s four children took it in turns to sleep in the house with her, as she didn’t like to sleep alone. My dad slept there on Sundays, but one Sunday my mum’s mum fell ill and so he visited her in hospital, meaning the house was empty apart from my Nan. And that’s when it happened. The next morning, as my Auntie went round the house, she discovered my Nan lying on her bed, murdered. Her neck had been sliced, but there was no evidence of any forced entry. My parents tried to protect me from the truth, being only eleven years old, but I heard the police tell them everything. When I heard it, I was sure she was murdered by that woman I saw that night. Or perhaps the man who looked like my granddad. Now, as a man of science, I’m not so sure, but nobody else had a motive; she was loved by everyone on the street, and she had no enemies. They never did find whoever did it, but they did find out her time of death: midnight.

The house was put on sale after her murder, but nobody bought the house, as prospective buyers were put off by its reputation. So, instead of selling the house, my parents decided to move into it. I remember begging them to reconsider, but when they asked me why I was ashamed to tell them the truth. They would have laughed at me, even though in my mind I was sure that what I saw was real.

My parents slept in my Nan’s old room, and I slept in the room opposite. Despite my opposition to living there, I was glad I wasn’t in the isolated room on the top floor. With all my toys, my room felt a bit more comfortable, like it was my own. We lived in the house for months, and it was uneventful. I eventually forgot my past experiences in the house, and persuaded myself it was all a dream, like I suspected.

But one night it happened again. Just when I was free of the tormenting memory, I was once again visited by the woman. But this time she didn’t pass through the wall. I was lying in bed, drifting off to sleep, when the bed suddenly jolted, the springs pressing down, as if someone had sat on it. I instantly pulled in my legs, and once again uttered my mantra, but it was cut short when I felt my legs brush against something at the foot of the bed. I pulled the cover over my head, hoping it would go away, but the duvet began to lift. It was under the covers! Whatever it was, it started to touch me, its body pressing up against mine. It slowly crawled along the bed until I could feel its breath on my face. I kicked out my legs towards it, hoping to push it away, but they met with nothing but air. I let out a scream, emptying my lungs so hard I began to retch. The cover was pulled from me, and I leapt from my bed, still trying to call for help.

“Mum! Please, come!”

The door burst open, and my mum walked into the room to the sight of me cowering in a corner with the duvet on the other side of the room. The thing – the woman – was gone.

“What’s the matter, honey?” she said as she came over to me. I was frozen in terror, staring blankly into the distance. “Honey, it’s midnight. What’s wrong?”

My mum squeezed me tightly, resting her head on mine whilst saying comforting things. She kissed my forehead.

“Something was in bed with me,” I said quietly, as if I would summon it by speaking too loudly. The words felt ridiculous coming off my tongue, but I knew that I hadn’t dreamt it that time. What I saw was real. I can’t explain it, but it was real.

And the most terrifying thing? It never came back. I didn’t sleep in my own bed for weeks, but when I did, nothing ever happened. And that, to me, was the worst thing. Whatever it was, it stopped appearing. I could barely sleep for years in the fear that it would return, sobbing every night at the thought of it touching me. And over time, I became more and more paranoid it would come back; I thought it was surely overdue a visit.

A few years later, we left the house suddenly. My parents offered no explanation, just that ‘we had to move’. But as we left, as if one last sick reminder, my parents and I all saw the spectre standing in the top floor window looking out at us, waving goodbye. But nothing is trying to hurt me; there are no such things as ghosts.

Credit To – MrG

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Black Fortune

June 14, 2015 at 12:00 AM
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The trading ships had arrived in Venice from Kaffa only two days ago. The summer solstice had come and past and now the days were hot and heavy with humidity. The piers were alive with the sound of activity and excitement. I could smell the tang of varnished wood , the stale odor of stagnating water, the enticing aroma of goods being unloaded from the ships, exotic spices from the Far East, their scent hinting at the strange and wondrous places of their origin. I was on my way to the market place. Usually, I did not have the money to purchase anything of value, but I still enjoyed the experience. I would sit near the outskirts and watch, a detached spectator, and imagine the luxury goods I would one day be affluent enough to buy. Then no longer would I be merely a spectator, but an open contender in the commerce. A childish daydream, but one that gave me a welcoming reprieve from the daily grind of life.

However, today was different. I was here to buy a gift for my sister’s wedding with a small sum of money I had saved for the occasion. And a splendid occasion it was going to be. Her fiancé was an upper middleclass man, a well-known merchant . This was an opportunity for my family , and, in times such as these, opportunities were not to be squandered.

The marketplace was crowded, too much so to be entirely comfortable. I could hear the irritated voices of the customers, berating the merchants, attempting to bargain down the exorbitant prices. In one vendor’s stall, I saw the drying, blackening carcasses of three pigs, their strong smell mingling with that of exquisite perfumes and spices, meshing to create something disconcerting, almost nauseating.

Finding the perfect gift was going to be difficult. The merchandise was either much too costly or simply raw materials, which would be laughably crude for such an occasion. Then I saw it, an irridescent silken scarf from the far off Orient, elegantly emblazoned with a red and black flower, one foreign to this land. As I started to haggle with the merchant over price, I became distracted by two men at a neighboring stall, heatedly arguing over some outrageous rumor percolating through the market place. “I tell you, the devil was aboard that ship,” said one with an uncomfortable and superstitious fervency. “They said that two men died, their flesh rotting off as they still lived”. “It was six that died,” countered the other, “but it was the spice. It gave them fever and black spots. They are calling it black death. They have thrown away the entire cargo.” “No, the sailors saw the devil, three went overboard.” And so it went. The market place was, generally, rife with such stories, which I found were invariably traceable to the effects of long voyages and the imagination of bored sailors. In my opinion such fanciful devil stories were nothing short of preposterous. I finished bargaining with the merchant, concluded my purchase, and started on my way home.

The day was coming to an end. The sun hung low on the horizon, a bloated sanguinary tinged disk, filling the evening sky with its dull red glow. I was well on my way back. As I walked along the piers, I heard the sound of children laughing. I noticed a group of three boys who looked no older than ten, gathered in a circle. As I got closer I was able to make out words, threats of obscene violence, “stab its eyes out”, “break its bones”, “tear its ears off”. And then I saw it, a small kitten with jet black fur. The boys were tormenting it with the disturbing and unwarranted cruelty of which young boys are so often capable. It almost made sense, the animal had most likely been thrown off a ship due to the recent rumors and prevailing superstitions.

I felt a hot flash of anger. I had once had a cat, a large male with silky black fur which I had named Zitto. He had brought me nothing but fortune. My father had been a merchant at the time. He had found him on a ship and he was a fine mouser. When my father would leave on long voyages, Zitto would keep me company. He would sit on my bed, while I watched the ships from the window, hoping my father was returning with them. Then one day my father left and never returned. Reports later confirmed, he had died in a shipwreck. I was devastated. Zitto sat with me, comforting me through this time of despair and grief, a last link to my father. Those times were long past now, and, Zitto, like my father, was merely a memory.

I angrily strode into the group of boys and grabbed one of their sticks and broke it. “Get out of here !” I shouted and roughly pushed the nearest one. They scattered, running off, laughing senselessly. I picked the kitten up. It was trembling, every muscle tensed. I thought of Zitto and stroked it till it calmed. “You will be just like Zitto,” I whispered, “you will be a great mouser and a loving companion and you will bring me fortune,” but, I noted wryly, scratching my arm, “you will not be sleeping in my bed until we get rid of these fleas.” I put the kitten in my coat pocket and continued home.

Credit To – Milo DeOlivares

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Diplomat Hotel

June 13, 2015 at 12:00 AM
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There’s this famous “haunted” hotel in the Philippines. It’s named “Diplomat Hotel.” I am not sure about it’s history since word-of-mouth information tend to distort real history. All I know is that it was an old seminary for Jesuit priests about a decade ago, just about when the city (Baguio City) was founded. It was abandoned for some reason (they said there was a fire back then). It turned into some sort of hospital during the second world war. The Philippines was greatly affected then. It was in this city where the Great General Yamashita officially surrendered. Many, of course, perished in the city, making it one of the most haunted cities in the country. After being used as a hospital, it was renovated into a hotel. I am pretty sure the hotel bit is true because the place had been obviously divided into small rooms like a hotel and each room had its own bathroom. The reception area, which was made of stone, still stands. As many know, the Philippines is a tropical country, making the most part of it hot and humid. The city of Baguio is located in the mountains, having cooler climate. It only made sense that they made that building a hotel for visitors from the low-lands during hot summers.

Back to the hotel. In 1990, there was a catastrophic earthquake that hit the city. Again, thousands perished. The hotel was not spared, but it still stands. Rumors say that during the earthquake, September 1990, there were plenty of visitors in the hotel. A stampede had broken out, people frantically running from the building. As still seen today, there are only three exits in the building, all of them small and narrow. You can well imagine the carnage of people stepping on people. This adds to the creepy-ness of the building.

It still stands today. Only a five-minute walk from our house.

As children, we were mischievous and playful. Me, my cousin, and two neighbors. Being near that place, we often went there during summer to have a picnic or to play hide-and-seek. The place isn’t that creepy in the morning. Yuji, our half-japanese neighbor, was the first in our group to have one of those camera phones from japan. We fooled around with it, recording each and one of us playing around, etc. Our other neighbor, John John, had the idea of recording at Diplomat Hotel to see if we can “catch” a ghost. Off we went.

We were around 8 or 9 back then and had heard plenty of scary stories and seen videos from the then slow Internet. We were spooked to go inside the hotel despite it being in the middle of the day. Somehow, the hotel that we treated as a playground had turned into what it was, a haunted hotel. Too freaked-out, we didn’t go inside, instead, we started recording outside, around the building (it had a very wide driveway going around). We went around, singing and goofing off. At the back of the building, the north-east corner, the phone had turned off. We blamed John John for probably pressing something accidentally, making the phone turn off, since he was the one holding the phone. We continued walking when there was suddenly a cold gush of wind rushing up my skirt. I felt icy cold fingers touch my ankles. I panicked and started to run. The boys followed. It was when were well out of the compound when we got the phone to start again. When we got home when we noticed a white fleeting figure crossing one of the tall narrow windows of the front of the hotel during the beginning of the video. At the end, the video just stopped, that’s when the phone had turned off. We showed the video to our families who were equally as spooked as we were. But none were really surprised. The place had a reputation.

Fast forward to pre-adolescence. I was in the 6th grade and it was nearly Halloween. The hype for scary stuff started again. My classmates from school knew I lived near Diplomat Hotel. They asked me to accompany them there. I had become a tour guide of the place. There were three of us, all girls and it was a school day, we were in uniform. Rose Mary brought with her one of those cameras with films. We had started taking pictures, all of us present in all photos. There was no one else present in the hotel. Somewhere in the lobby area of the building, near the fire place, the camera had started acting funny. It was turned on but didn’t click to take pictures. We started fumbling with it in a circle when it suddenly flashed in front of our faces.

The north-eastern corner of the building was used as a small chapel. At the end of the room, there was a table, probably used for ceremonies. There were long benches in two rows on each side of the table. We had started fooling around there. Rose Mary was the camera man. I pretended to be some sort of priest while Rochelle pretended to be my one and only follower. I took my place behind the table and Rochelle sat in front of the row. Rose Mary took only one photo in that room, since were saving up on film for the rest of the hotel.

The next day, at school, Rose Mary showed Rochelle and me the prints from the film. Everything seemed normal. Nothing out of the ordinary. She was even showed us the horrible photo of our faces looking down on the camera when it had started acting funny. The inside of our noses were illuminated and our eyes were diluted from the flash. The last photo was a blank. It was plain white. Rochelle asked how come the printing shop made Rose Mary pay for a blank photo. There was nothing in it. Rose Mary explained that the photo was not supposed to be blank, but the film refused to be printed. She brought out the negative that we used at the hotel. At the end of the film, the negative image showed the chapel on the north-east corner of the building. Rose Mary swore she only took one shot of the place and showed us the photo of us mimicking a ceremony. On the center of the negative, behind the table where had I stood, was an odd looking lady with long hair. She didn’t have a face. Her arms were out-stretched upward as if giving some sort of offering to a god. We could see what she wore. It was something light-colored. We didn’t know what color it was exactly because it was a negative. There was a dark sash that tied the robe around her waist. That didn’t look like the uniform we wore that day. Every other detail of the negative, like the tree branches outside, her fingers, the woman’s unruly hair, the scratches on the old table were all visible. But we could not see a face. Rose Mary said that the negative would always come out blank if they tried to print it. She still has the negative today.

High School, senior year. Another set of friends. The same hotel. They too were curious of the place. Michelle, Divina and Rachelle visited my home after school and wanted to see Diplomat Hotel. This time, no cameras since the intended visit was my home, not a spooky hotel. I was showing them around, telling them the usual scary stories I heard from other people who came to the place. I also told them of my own encounters. It was in the afternoon and sun was about to set. Nothing unusual was happening until Divina, who was lagging behind us, admiring the vintage-y walls, suddenly ran forward, passing me who was leading the group. We had just exited the chapel on the north-eastern corner of the building when Divina ran. The other girls, without explanation, ran with Divina to the main entrance. I followed them there. I asked Divina why she ran. She said something cold touched her ankle. I asked the others if they felt anything. They felt nothing, but ran because they got spooked by Divina getting spooked. We had a laugh, but deep inside, I began getting creeped out. Home we went.

School project: a music video for music class. My bestfriend, Micah was our talent. She sang for the project. The rest of us will be doing the video. Francis, Jeremy, Kate and I went to Diplomat Hotel. There were a few people in the hotel. It was a little noisy because of the tourists, but we didn’t mind since we were going to use the recording of the song for the music video. The song was about the best friend falling in love with his girlfriend. Francis was the friend. Jeremy the best friend. Kate the girl friend of Francis. We didn’t take a lot of videos inside because Kate felt shy shooting with a bunch of tourists around the place. So we decided to do most of the shooting outside where the hotel gardens were. This time, the gardens were at the north-western part compound. I was the camera man. It took us only an hour to shoot everything we needed. We still had time, so we shot some “bloopers” at the garden. When it was time to edit the videos, I felt curious about our shots. We must have caught something like before. I watched all the videos twice, one in normal speed, the other a little slower. Nothing. So I went on with the editing. I added the bloopers at the end of the video with its original audio. I reviewed my work with the volume turned up. I regret having put the bloopers and watching it on full volume. In the beginning of the first blooper we made, there was a deep grunting sound just before we laughed in the video. The second one also had grunting noises only it happened in between me and Jeremy talking in the video. The last was the creepiest. Just before another round of laughter, a child’s voice whispered “Help Me.” When I showed my family and friends the video, they told me that I was the one whispering. But I explained to them, how could I whisper that when immediately after it I was laughing with the rest of my group mates. They listened to the audio again and were convinced that I couldn’t have done that. Sadly, the file was corrupted and no longer retrievable.

There had been plenty of investigations conducted in that building, but none had really explained why would a child’s voice be whispering to me in English (mind you, we speak Tagalog or Ilocano in our area) when the building had been a priest’s seminary, a hospital and a hotel. Could she be the same spirit touching our ankles and lifting skirts when I was younger? Who was that woman in the negative? Why was she wearing a priestly-looking robe? There weren’t any female priests there. And what was that grunting noise?

The hotel now has been renovated into a multi-purpose hall by the government and, with special permits, people are allowed to camp inside the abandoned building so tourists would have scary stories of their own.

Admin Note – The Diplomat Hotel is a real place; if you found this author’s experiences intriguing, you may be interested in the following post from Travel in Boots:
30 Creepy But Lovely Photos of the Haunted Diplomat Hotel in Baguio
Enjoy!

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Our Secret Pond

June 12, 2015 at 12:00 AM
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Our Secret Pond
By: Isaac Cook

The bright light of the sun flickered over us through the foliage above, as we excitedly ran along the trail that led to our secret swimming pond. Both of us had been through this path many times, so our speed didn’t arise any concern of us getting lost. Coming to the familiar fork in the trail, we stopped. The left path was longer and through the trees we could see boy scouts, about our age, coming in our direction. The right path was a shorter distance to the pond, so it seemed like the obvious option. As we were about to launch into a sprint, we stopped and glared down the path. An old man came into our view, tucking an unseen object into a dark, long trench coat, hastily walked towards us. Lifting his head up from his task, he stared at us. His pace quickened. His eyes looked dark and unforgiving, with a glint to them that could drive you mad. Shooting a nervous glance at each other, a crooked smile crept up the old man’s thin cheek bones. As we were both uneased by this, we quietly decided to take the longer path. We’d both rather endure a group of boy scouts on the small trail, than that man.

Releasing ourselves from the man’s gaze, as the forest was too dense to see through the divide of bush to the other trail, I felt a sense of relief. We passed the boy scouts, recognising some of them from school, it wasn’t as awkward as we had previously thought. Now being past the situation of the old man and the boy scouts, we both instantly launched ourselves into a sprint.

Quickly reaching the pond, without saying a word we both stripped off our shirts, shorts and socks. Wearing only our boxers, we jumped in. The water was satisfyingly cool. I ran out of the pond and towards the rope swing, for I had never actually swung off it, but this time, I was determined to push away my fear. Firmly holding the thick rope in both hands, I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. As I opened them, I launched myself into the air, suspended by the rope. Everything felt like it was in slow motion as I let go of the rope and soared through the air. Looking down at my target area, which was the deepest part of the pond, I felt a sense of pride. I had done it perfectly, and not gone too far and into the shallower parts.

All my feelings of success vanished as bubbles started to arise from the ponds depths, and a dark figure drifted to the surface amongst my target area. In a split second I made out a human body and face. It’s eye sockets lay open and empty; a pale expression of pain and remorse draped on its face.

I let out a sharp scream as I collided with the body.

—-

Word of this incident spread around our small town like a wild fire. The police had been at our secret pond for days trying to find evidence to pin this on someone, to no avail. The body belonged to a woman who was extremely involved within the borders of our town. Everyone was devastated.

The next day, our small community took another blow. Crying families and missing persons posters littered the town, bearing seven pictures of the boys we passed on the trail. I’ve told the police about the old man. That spark in his eyes is burnt into my mind. That crooked smile painfully echos through my thoughts every time I picture it. The police sketch of the man is posted all over town as well; and no one seems to even slightly recognise him.

I don’t know where those boys have gone, or even if they are alive. But I do know one thing. That old man — that monster — wasn’t simply just out for a walk on that horrible, horrible summer day.

Credit To – Isaac Cook

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Darkwatyr

June 11, 2015 at 12:00 AM
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Being shackled beneath the moonlit waves, still breathing, still screaming, is an odd sensation. I know that’ll be my fate soon, if I don’t act quickly. So, I want to get my story written before that happens.

I’d always been a swimmer. It was just something that I enjoyed. I was on swim team at school, went to the indoor pool even when it was freezing outside, and treasured my family trips to the beach. I didn’t ever think that it would get me in trouble; well, not this kind of trouble, anyway.

I had a summer life-guarding job when I was seventeen at the local beach. It was relatively uneventful, as people were surprisingly safety-conscious. I remember my first rescue very, very clearly. I suppose that’s mostly because of It.

A little girl, maybe six or seven, had been playing on a sandbar with her mother when an unusually large wave had pushed her into the current. I remember sprinting into the water, running against the pull of the waves, and eventually diving beneath the water. The child was afraid, and had swallowed some seawater, but she was otherwise unscathed.

I had just returned to the shore with the girl and her mother when I heard the noise. It sounded like some kind of underwater explosion, though no one else seemed to take notice of it. I looked around frantically, searching for the source of the noise. That was when I heard It.

Its voice was like that of a thousand people, speaking every language at once. Somehow, though, I still heard, very clearly, the following:

“YOUR INTERFERENCE IN FATE HAS CREATED RESONANCE. YOU WILL ASCEND BEYOND THE CONFINES OF YOUR FLESH, OR BE DESTROYED.”

It was an almost female voice that spoke these words, at a volume I could barely tolerate. I was understandably panicked, and quickly found the other lifeguard on duty to tell her that I was going to have to take the rest of the day off.

After I drove myself home, I tried to forget about the strange things I’d heard. It had to have been some prank, some live event…maybe it was the stress of performing a rescue. To distract myself, I decided to check my email. I had only one new message, from a recipient I’d never seen before. I was simply going to delete it, when I realized that it might be from work.

To: Tobias Fletcher
From:
Hello, Mr. Fletcher. I understand that Master has chosen you as Its latest disciple. This is a tremendous honor, let me assure you. I know that this all might seem very confusing, but I ask that you remain calm. For any questions you may have, please email me back or see the attachment.

Sincerely,

Ricardo Allen
664th Disciple

How’d this guy get my contact info? What was “Master?” Curious, I opened up the attached file. It was an image that made me nearly break my phone, as I flung it into the air out of sheer terror.

The creature was massive and monstrous. It looked ancient; great clumps of algae sprouted from what I could only guess were scars on what I assumed to be Its face, which was covered in an almost rock-like armor. Five indigo eyes stared at me from beyond the phone, two arranged on either side of the center of Its “armor,” and one above. Two yellowed tusks protruded from Its massive, crooked maw, and all on the head of the thing were a multitude of barbed spines. By all accounts, this thing was unbelievable.

My hands shaking, I responded to the email with only, “Please remove me from your contact list.” I thought that was the end of it, though I still quit my job as a lifeguard about a week after the incident.

As senior year started, my thoughts were plagued by the monstrous thing Ricardo Allen had sent me. I found solace in my schoolwork, and generally was content, as long as I kept myself occupied. Everything changed, though, when Iris arrived.

Iris Laterom’s family had just moved to California from Oregon. Iris was a bit taller than me, had a thin build, and sported shoulder-length hair that was dyed a minty green. She was a senior, and ended up with a schedule identical to mine. Like me, she also worked hard in her academics. We quickly became good friends.

It was about halfway through the semester when some weird things started happening. I started having terrible nightmares featuring all sorts of hellish disasters—cities burning to the ground, innocents being swallowed up by tidal waves and dragged out to sea, and orphaned children dying of starvation in the ruins of developed cities. All of these dreams were dominated by an almighty roar, followed by soft whisperings of an innumerable number of voices. I knew that they came from It.

Iris and I were working on a project for our Government class when she suddenly asked me, “Do you know anything about the Darkwatyr Cult Killings?” I replied that I’d never heard of them, to which she explained that, in the past nine years, three people aligned with a cult dedicated to the worship of a forgotten god had disappeared, only to be found a few months later, their corpses mutilated beyond recognition. She said that she’d been researching noteworthy crimes in the area for an extra credit assignment in Psychology, and that this one stood out to her. I wasn’t so sure about the validity of that statement.

Four days later, I received a strange email, like the one I’d gotten in the summer.

To: Tobias Fletcher
From:
Dear Mr. Fletcher,

My name is Silvia Nichols. Master has commanded me to give you important instructions, which you must not disregard as you did 664’s. As your immediate predecessor, I must inform you that failure to comply with your orders will result in immediate destruction.

Isiroremtal is an ageless, immortal being of great power and light. It is our Master, and bestows great gifts to Its obedient Disciples. It selects individuals with whom It resonates. You are the 666th of our order, which has spanned all of time. With the advent of heightened technology, Isiroremtal has had more opportunities for resonance than ever before.

What you must do on the preordained date is this:
1. Return to your location of resonance. It will be a watery place.
2. Enter the water of the place of resonance.
3. Cry out the name of our Master, Isiroremtal, the Sea-Darkener.
4. Be rewarded with the ultimate gift: ascension from mortality into an Aghlärghu, the species of the Master.

Failure to perform the required actions will result in your destruction. A Disciple is rewarded every half-year. My time will come in two days. You have six months after that date to prepare.

I wish you luck.

Silvia, 665th Disciple

I was so shaken up by the email that I completely forgot to print it out the next day, to show to Iris. The day after that, I took the printed email to school. Iris looked at it, and told me, very seriously, to meet her behind the cafeteria after school was over. To my utter shock, she didn’t come to any of her classes that day.

When I went behind the cafeteria, I found Iris curled up underneath a bench, facing away from me. I went over to make sure that she was all right. When I tapped her on the shoulder, she rolled onto her back, limply. I screamed. Her face was gone. In its place was the face of Isiroremtal. It sprung upward at an impossible speed, swung Its hand to my lips, and hissed, “STAY SILENT.”

I blinked, and Iris’ body was gone. In front of me sat a semi-translucent form of a massive creature. Its front arms were almost humanoid, except that they ended in massive, hook-like structures, and Its lower torso was comprised of gargantuan tentacles. The face that stared down at me was identical to the one I’d seen in the 664th Disciple’s email attachment. I looked up at It and asked, “Isiroremtal, the Sea-Darkener?”

It stared back down at me and made a strange, almost purr-like noise. “YES,” it said, with its thousand voices, Iris’ the most clearly heard. “I HAD TO DECEIVE YOU TO JUDGE YOUR WORTH. YOU ARE WORTHY OF BEING MY KIN.”

“I’m not going to let you turn me into…well, whatever you are! I’m not getting turned into that!”

Isiroremtal looked down at me, almost in sadness. “I DO NOT WISH TO DESTROY YOU. YOU WOULD MAKE A VALUED COMPANION. MY SPECIES WAS DESTROYED AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS WORLD. MY DISCIPLES WILL REBUILD THE AGHLÄRGHU.” It turned away from me, its tentacles shifting its position gracefully. “IF YOU DO NOT COMPLY, I WILL SHACKLE YOU TO THE SEAFLOOR. YOU WILL BREATHE BUT WILL NOT MOVE. YOUR DEATH WILL NOT BE BY MY HAND. INSTEAD, YOU WILL DIE FROM THIRST.”

With that, Isiroremtal’s projected form faded into nothingness. I almost pitied It, though my instinct to survive overruled my pity. Both of those things were overruled by fear that night.

I had another nightmare, though this one was the most disturbing of all those I had experienced. It was a first-person dream. I was standing in my room, when, suddenly, the walls fell away. I was at the seafloor, and, to my surprise, I could see everything around me. It wasn’t distressing at all, as I could breathe, and wasn’t cold, until I turned my head to the right. I saw a creature like Isiroremtal, though it looked far younger. Its face was armor-less, exposing its blue-green flesh. Its eyes were bright orange, and pierced the haze of the water disturbingly well. I tried to run from it, but my feet would not move. When I looked down at them, they appeared to be fused into the sand beneath me. The Aghlärghu turned to me and said, softly, “DO NOT BE AFRAID, TOBIAS. IT’S ME, SILVIA.” I stared at the thing in shock. In response, it seemed almost to smile. “THERE IS NO REASON TO FEAR US. WE ARE NO LESS HUMAN THAN YOU.” After saying this, Silvia swam away. I tried desperately to free myself from the sand, but to no avail. Realizing the hopelessness of the situation, I screamed and screamed, praying that someone, somewhere would hear me.

Every night since then, I’ve dreamt of the seafloor, except that there is no Silvia to comfort me. Last night, however, the dream changed. I was free to move in the ocean, my vision enhanced. The waves and currents did not affect me. I felt liberated and powerful. Isiroremtal appeared to me in Its physical form, and we danced among the waves, all the while telling jokes and stories, as Iris and I used to.

I know now what I must do. I stand at the beach where I used to be a lifeguard, and as my life as a human comes to an end, my life as an immortal Aghlärghu begins.

Credit To – Hermit Extraordinaire

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The Culling

June 10, 2015 at 12:00 AM
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The Culling

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
See also: Livestock culling

The Culling is the bi-monthly occurrence whereby between 1,000 and 6,000 human beings are rendered mute and unmoving for several minutes, have their bodies float out into an open space, and then move straight up into the atmosphere until they disappear from the sight of others.

First witnessed and reported on as a phenomenon in March of the year 2015, The Culling was widely agreed to be the occurrence of the Rapture (from Christian theology) whereby a group of people is left behind on earth after another group literally leaves “to meet the Lord in the air.” Although many writers and thinkers still utilize theological language and rationales when discussing The Culling, evidence of the arrival and departure of extra-terrestrial travelers to Earth timed to coincide with these mass disappearances has led most to conclude that non-Earth inhabitants are taking humans for some unknown purpose.

Contents

  • 1 Origin of the term
  • 2 The phenomenon
    1. Floating stage
    2. Moving stage
    3. Departure stage
  • 3 History
    1. First Culling
    2. Reactions to Culling events – 2015
    3. Identifying alien objects
    4. Attempts to interact with objects
    5. Attempts to destroy objects
  • 4 Impact on life attitudes
  • 5 Victims group vs. supporters debate
  • 6 Views on rationale

Origin of the term [edit]

The word culling comes from the Latin colligere, which means “to collect”. Historically, the term was applied broadly to mean sorting a collection into two groups: one that will be kept and one that will be rejected. The cull is the set of items rejected during the selection process. When done with intent, the culling process was repeated until the selected group was of the proper size and consistency desired. “The Culling” (used capitalized) was coined in early 2016 by Richard Farnsworth, then President of California Institute of Technology, when he and his team of Astrophysicists reported to the public that alien space travelers had been visiting Earth twice monthly. Used in this more recent context, it is unclear why some individuals are selected and others are not, and unclear whether the individuals taken or the individuals left behind should be considered the cull.

The phenomenon [edit]

Victims of The Culling experience three known phases, the initial floating stage, the moving stage, and the final departure stage. Mankind does not yet know what happens to the victims of The Culling after the departure stage.

Floating stage
During the floating stage (also referred to as the levitation stage), victims stop breathing and their hearts stop beating. Body position, facial expression and degree of eye openness remain as they were before. Previous activity (i.e., verbalizing or running) ceases immediately. Unless constrained by another object, victim’s bodies typically levitate immediately between three and four inches (just under nine centimeters) from their original location. Despite repeated testing, it is unknown to what extent consciousness remains. The floating stage lasts between 16 and 19 seconds. Biometric devices previously attached to victims during this stage indicate no cardiovascular, respiratory, muscular, or digestive system activity. Low level nervous system and endocrine system activity has been recorded (specifically in the Cerebrum, Thalamus, Hypothalamus, and Thyroid Gland), leading many to conclude that victims have not fully died.

Victim Kevin McDougal experiencing floating stage. Image taken May 6, 2016.

Moving stage
During the moving stage, when it occurs, victims’ bodies move from their original, levitated location in a direct path to the nearest open space at which the open sky is above. While some of the victims’ bodies move only inches or feet to get out from under tree branches or a building overhang, others move hundreds of feet to get out of buildings, subway tunnels, or caves. During this stage, bodies have been consistently measured to move at 3.1 miles per hour or 4.55 feet per second (5.0 kilometers per hour or 1.39 meters per second), equivalent to the average speed at which humans walk. This rate of movement does not change when additional weight is added (i.e., when a loved one jumps on their back). Body position, facial expression and eye openness remain constant during the moving stage.

If a victim’s body is unable to access an open space because it is in a closed building or vehicle, then it will experience up to six attempts to exit the space. These attempts involve 1) a reorientation of the body such that the feet are pointed in the direction of windows or doors and 2) steadily faster ramming movements into the windows, doors or walls. Attempts to leave a building or vehicle begin at the same time as most other victims experience the departure stage. While some victims exit the building after one attempt, many (especially during the first several months of The Culling) experience six attempts to leave. Six-attempts victims often suffer significant bodily damage as they are repeatedly forced into windows, doors and walls. Lower bodies and torsos are often crushed during the process.

When the 6th attempt does not lead to atmospheric access, victims remain crushed where they are, though no longer levitated. If a door is not opened during the subsequent Culling, then the body will again experience the floating and moving stages and the six attempts, damaging the body beyond recognition. (It is claimed that Aleksei Yesipov’s former body experienced the greatest number of 6th attempts – 68 – locked in a nuclear power plant outside of Minsk, though his body was no more than cellular pulp when emergency exit doors were opened in 2017.) If a door or window is opened during the subsequent Culling, then the body will move outside and experience the departure stage at the same time as do others. Opening a door or window in between Culling periods will not lead to any change in the movement or positioning of the victim body. Victim bodies can be moved in between Culling incidents, though alteration of the body’s integrity (i.e., though cremation) does not alter The Culling activity they will experience at the next full/new moon.

Departure stage
During the departure stage, victims move directly upwards, accelerating to a recorded speed of 213 miles per hour or 312 feet per second (342 kilometers per hour or 95 meters per second). Biometric devices previously attached to victims during this stage continue to indicate no cardiovascular, respiratory, muscular, or digestive system activity. Nervous system and endocrine system activity has been recorded at stronger levels during this stage than was true during the floating stage, though scientists have questioned the reliability of their measuring devices as they travel at high rates of speed several miles up in the atmosphere. Three-dimensional GPS tracking devices, developed soon after the identification of alien space travelers, have indicated that victim bodies travel on a path directly perpendicular to their Earth departure point until they reach the edge of the atmosphere (known as the Karman line – an altitude of 62 miles (100 kilometers) above the Earth’s sea level, representing the boundary between the Earth’s atmosphere and outer space). Beyond the Karman line, it is believed that victim bodies move straight toward one of eight waiting alien space ships.

In seven known cases, relatives have clung to victim bodies during the departure stage for more than thirty feet. In each case, the relative died due to injuries sustained in their fall back to Earth. During the 24-hour period after The Culling has ended, clothing and items stored in clothing (i.e., wallets and cell phones) have been found falling/drifting back to Earth. Medical devices (i.e., pacemakers) and body cameras from victim bodies have also been found back on Earth.

History [edit]

First Culling
On Thursday, March 5, 2015, at 18:07 GMT, at least 2,934 human beings left Planet Earth in a manner previously unknown and unrecorded. The distribution of this first set of humans mirrored that of the world’s population, with the most victims coming from China, India, the United States, Indonesia, and Brazil. Given the simultaneity of the occurrences, losses were documented in the daylight and the nighttime. Lost humans included children as young as four days old (Charlotte Evers) and the elderly as old as 93 (Xiao Lu). All major racial, ethnic, religious and sexual/gender identity groups were represented among those lost. While two pregnant women were taken, no unborn children were. No non-human life forms have been known to be taken. Video images and sound from several dozen episodes were recorded by families, friends and strangers (i.e., see the documentary The First Culling). By the end of the next week, a list of the names of these individuals was collected and printed by the New York Times, London Telegraph and China Daily. During early March of 2015, only one reporter (Sven Lundquist from The Copenhagen Post) noted the “coincidence” that The First Culling occurred at the same exact time as the full moon.

Responses to these incidents were described at the time as both horrified and confused. Family members, friends and neighbors frequently reported their efforts to grab and hold on to victims during both the initial floating stage, the moving stage, and the final departure stage. Multiple reports described individuals whose bodies were thrust through windows and doors, causing damage to buildings and vehicles, before they were swept up into the atmosphere. In several hundred incidents, First Culling (initially referred to as “First Departure”) victims could not access the open air from inside planes, cars and buses after six attempts to break through the physical material/structure impeding them.

The Second Culling occurred on Friday, March 20, at 9:39 GMT and corresponded with both a total solar eclipse and a new moon. At least 5,038 humans left the planet on this date. For a complete list of all Culling dates and times, see The Culling dates.

Reactions to Culling events – 2015
By the end of the Third Culling, it was generally understood that Departure Events (as they were originally called) occurred at both the full and new moon. Anticipating the Fourth Culling on April 18th, many people actively planned to avoid leaving Earth by sheltering in a place with limited access to the outdoors. Interior rooms in buildings, buildings without windows (i.e., 33 Thomas Street in Manhattan), bomb shelters, and caves requiring transport via elevators became popular destinations for those hoping to stay behind. As the phenomenon of the six attempts became more widely known and studied, it was generally agreed that having your body repeatedly smashed against walls was not a desirable end-of-Earthly-life occurrence and was heart-breaking for friends and family to witness.

By the end of the Fifth Culling, reliable statistics were being kept regarding the number of victims worldwide. It was estimated that an average of 3,200 people experienced a Departure Event roughly twice per month. Given a world population of over 7 billion, it was estimated that each individual human has a one in 100,000 chance per year of leaving our planet. Compared to the entire world’s mortality rate, on average, humans are 100 times more likely to die from other causes than they are due to The Culling. Mortality rates for young (under 40) and healthy humans are similar to the annual rates at which young people were falling victim to The Culling.

In April of 2015, members of the media, social scientists and many others began to catalogue the qualities and characteristics of those who were lost. Individual names, birthdates, birthplaces, horoscope signs, personality types, religious affiliations, racial and ethnic backgrounds, criminal records, the existence of tattoos, “records of sin,” and recent activities (including travels, writings and interactions with others) were all evaluated in some fashion. Numerologists, astrologists, theologians, and even fans of professional sports teams began to make claims that they could characterize those who were departing and/or predict those who would be departing. The World Veterinary Association analyzed the biological and biochemical differences between humans and other animals to assess why other mammals were not departing. These evaluations of who had been lost in an attempt to assess why they were lost intensified significantly when it was learned that extra-terrestrial travelers were involved.

In November of 2015, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) decreed that all commercial air travel would cease twice monthly to correspond with the occurrence of Departure Events and to avoid instances when passengers’ bodies were repeatedly being flung against airplane doors or windows (i.e., see Ira Morgenstern). Soon thereafter, calls were made by civic and religious leaders to voluntarily end the use of all motor vehicles at Departure Event times to avoid collisions, property damage and the additional loss of life.

In December of 2015, social and traditional media outlets reported heavily on “Departure Parties” or “Departure Gatherings” (later called “Culling Parties”). Groups of people large and small gathered to celebrate their camaraderie, shared interests and their “shared humanity.” Doors and windows began being left open to avoid damage from six attempts. Just prior to The Culling time, many people assumed a body position selected as being memorable, dignified, and/or humorous during the Moving Stage (see Jim Carey). While some gatherings offered traditional party activities (i.e., music, dancing and alcoholic beverages), others included a shared activity (i.e., nature hikes, art-making, or sexual intercourse). Culling Parties have since become a bi-monthly, worldwide tradition for people to spend time with friends and family (in one location or connected digitally), engaged in activities seen as significant, life-defining and/or worthy of “My Last Act.”

Beginning in late 2015, Departure Grief Support Groups (later called “Culling Grief Support Groups”) were formed by relatives and friends of victims. Loved ones were/are mourned and remembered in these groups, many of which meet at every full or new moon (depending on when the person was lost). It is common for support group meetings to be offered free meeting spaces, counselling services, memorial messaging (i.e., print, radio, bill board, and television), and food by sympathetic area vendors. These groups often raise funds through Kickstarter and other social media sites for the families most impacted by the loss of breadwinners. A number of bereavement publications and websites have been created focusing on the unique emotional and community needs of victim families/loved ones.

During 2015, Culling/Departure events had little significant effect on international politics or business. While most national leaders openly acknowledged the uncertainty surrounding these events, discussed their concerns, and prayed for the victims and their families; small numbers of other officials 1) disavowed that their citizens were affected (i.e., North Korea), 2) claimed that God had chosen their citizens only (i.e., Pakistan and Indonesia), or 3) argued that their citizens were being victimized by United States and/or Israeli forces (i.e. Iran, Yemen and Syria). Many regional and national political leaders established support funds (some of them tax-supported) that offered financial support to the immediate families of those who had been lost. Other than bi-monthly closures of international stock markets (beginning December 2015), voluntary bans on travel, and increases in spending on both entertainment (i.e., movies, music concerts and “high-end dining” prior to full and new moons) and “My Last Act” activities/related-merchandise, international commerce was largely unaffected.

Between March 2015 and January 2016, as over 65,000 total people were being carried bi-monthly into the atmosphere, much of the world’s attention focused on the notion of the Rapture. Rapture is a term in Christian eschatology which refers to the “being caught up” discussed in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, when the “dead in Christ” and “we who are alive and remain” will be “caught up in the clouds” to meet “the Lord in the air”. For much of 2015, historians, theologians and many others deepened their studies of (and focused their media stories on) those who originated pre-tribulation rapture theology (the Puritan preachers Increase and Cotton Mather) and those who popularized it (John Nelson Darby, Grant Jeffrey and the Plymouth Brethren in the 1830s and the Scofield Reference Bible in the early 20th century). Theologians bolstered their arguments in support of the rapture with the “evidence” that the six attempts represented 666, the “number of the beast” or the devil. Those who argued that the Christian Rapture was occurring struggled to explain why the leadership of various Protestant denominations (i.e., Anglican Communion, Presbyterian Church, Methodist Council and Lutheran World Federation), the Pope and all Catholic Bishops did not “ascend to the heavens.” (In fact, during all of 2015, it was reported that only four Christian Clergy members, five Rabbis, three Muslim Imams, three Buddhist Monks, and one aide to the Dalia Lama were among those taken worldwide.)

Identifying alien objects
On January 13, 2016, Richard Farnsworth, then President of California Institute of Technology, called a press conference intending to “further mankind’s knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the mass human departures” that had been occurring. Joined by a team of eight scientists and six technicians from the Palomar Observatory, Farnsworth provided an overview of the data they had collected since April of 2015 “proving” that “multiple non-Earth-based objects” had been arriving just outside of Earth’s atmosphere at times that coincided with both the full and new moons, and with the instances when humans were levitating in the direction of outer space. Although no objects were visible to the scientists, stars and distant galaxies were lost from sight of the Hale and Samuel Oschin Telescopes in a manner indicating that objects were blocking the incoming light. Data collected indicated that at least four of these unknown objects were arriving at “Earth’s doorstep” directly above set positions, as if they were in Earth’s orbit. The Cal Tech team estimated that these objects became positioned at between 70 and 80 miles from the Earth’s surface (between 115 and 130 kilometers) and were positioned there for approximately eighteen minutes.

Data later collected by other observatories around the world indicated that the number of unknown objects was actually eight and that they were positioned at just over 78 miles above the equator’s sea level, (126 kilometers – with correspondingly higher or lower altitudes depending on the heights of mountains and the distance from the equator – see Equatorial Bulge.) The size of these objects as they face the Earth is estimated to be approximately 100 feet by 50 feet (30 by 15 meters – roughly the size of a basketball court). It was also learned that the eight objects were not spaced evenly into octants, as first assumed. Instead, as observed by MIT Human Geographer Arnold Spitz, the objects were spaced such that equal numbers of humans lived underneath each of them.

At this first press conference, Farnsworth refused to “venture a guess” whether the light-blocking objects contained or were controlled by “alien beings.” He did, however, offer his conclusion that humans were being taken away from Earth by “some force within these objects, as if in some kind of Culling.” He offered no explanation for why humans were being taken or what happened to them once they left this planet. He ended his comments by saying, “I’m not sure we will ever understand the reasons behind The Culling.” As has been widely commented on by the media and various blogging communities, Richard Farnsworth would later become a victim of The Culling on October 16, 2016.

After the January 2016 recognition that “non-Earth-based objects” were involved in The Culling events, international politics and business were impacted significantly. Over a series of five months, 193 United Nations member states agreed unanimously 1) to convene an ongoing special session and to keep their delegations in New York until the “threat has been averted” – February 2016, 2) to cooperate fully with a “Communications Committee” tasked with messaging the alien beings and attempting to discern their motives (see below) – March 2016, 3) to “apply all available resources” towards the goal of understanding The Culling events (including the biological reactions of victims; the physics of the floating, moving and departure stages; and further assessments of the qualities and characteristics of those who become victims) – March 2016, and 4) to share both rocket engine and guided weapon systems knowledge, along with launch pads and airspace, to prepare for the possibility that missiles might need to be sent to “attack Earth’s invaders” – June 2016.

During the first nine months of 2016, many employers began to implement bi-monthly “Culling time-off” for employees to be with their families. Major cultural and sporting events such as “March Madness” playoff games, Chinese Dragon Boat Festival, and television’s Emmy Awards show were rescheduled to avoid full or new moons. Universities avoided scheduling classes and hospitals avoided scheduling surgeries during Culling times. Governmental agencies organized “Buddy Up & Open Up” campaigns encouraging people to not be alone, and to keep doors or windows open and accessible during the twice monthly Culling Timeframes.

Attempts to interact with objects
In February of 2016, NASA, the Russian Federal Space Agency, and the China National Space Administration, supported by the Union of Concerned Scientists, began making both navigational and tasking adjustments to 23 of the 1,100 active satellites orbiting the Earth. Satellites were selected based on their proximity to previously known orbital locations for the unidentified objects and on their ability to collect electromagnetic (or any other signaling) data coming from the objects. Other than confirming that “non-Earth-based objects” were temporarily positioned above the planet, authorities have indicated that “no currently understandable data” have yet been gathered. Without offering any explanation as to a cause, authorities have also reported that five of the satellites used for this purpose have cased functioning. Some members of the media (i.e., Dana Priest from the Washington Post and Matt Pearce from the Los Angeles Times) have claimed that scientists and leaders have learned more from these satellite studies than has been shared with the public.

After Elizabeth Bleacher wrote a March 2016 editorial promoting the idea in London’s The Sunday Times, individuals began purchasing and utilizing body cameras at the full and new moons. On the chance that the body camera owner became a victim of The Culling, the goal was to record both video and sound that would document the event. Loved ones left behind would have a recording of the victim’s last moments on Earth and scientists would have additional data they could comb through to better understand the phenomenon. The wearing of body cameras has been credited with the discovery that most victims are quietly humming/moaning during the departure stage. Regrettably, it’s been found that some form of electromagnetic interference ends all body camera signals soon after victims end their perpendicular trajectory and as they begin their movement towards alien ships. Body camera debris has been found among victim clothing/belongings that drift back to Earth. In December of 2017, the President of the People’s Republic of China declared that all Chinese citizens would be required to wear a body camera twice per month.

In March of 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) of the Government of the People’s Republic of China, and the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media in Russia, and an additional 78 governments agreed that “every organization broadcasting audio or video content via any electronic mass communication medium must allot “every minute of the three hour time overlapping full and new moons” to a series of Welcome to our planet messages.” These messages, in the language of the sending country, attempted to introduce the human race and also describe humanity’s “peaceful intent.” In the 16 weeks that these messages ran, they became increasingly desperate and hostile, ending in August of 2016 with some version of the following: “Because you have not responded to mankind’s repeated attempts to communicate with you, we are left with no choice but to assume that you represent an invading force. We intend to respond accordingly.” (See “Final Message.”)

In May 2016 through June of 2017, NASA, the Russian Federal Space Agency, and the China National Space Administration combined forces with the commercial firms Virgin Galactic and SpaceX to send a series of probes to the region just below low Earth orbit (LEO) in an attempt to gather more information than had been gathered by existing satellites. These probes were specially designed to gather any and all signals that might be coming into or out of, and to transmit visual images of, the unknown objects, and to transmit them back to Earth in real time. They were also tasked with assessing the direction from which, and speed at which, the objects arrived and departed. Because the unidentified objects locate at an altitude that has proven to be impossible for man-made satellites to establish sustaining orbits (Sputnick orbited at an altitude 55 miles higher), scientists found that locating their probes at the proper altitude was problematic. As occurred with the satellites, the probes (named Culling One through 14) confirmed that “non-Earth-based objects” were temporarily positioned above the planet but did not provide any “currently understandable data” for scientists. Reports that three probes were destroyed “by external forces” (see Miami Herald and Houston Chronicle) have neither been confirmed nor denied by the authorities.

Attempts to destroy objects
In February through July 2017, several attempts were made to destroy the unidentified objects. The Laser Weapon System or LaWS (a directed-energy weapon developed by the United States Navy in 2014) was reportedly deployed first from the USS Ponce (an Austin-class amphibious transport dock) and then from a specially-designed platform at the rear of two different Antonov An-225s. The US Navy and US Air Force reported that in the firings from both the USS Ponce and the An-225, the targets were further away than LaWS was designed to strike and that the power of the beam was weakened by the distance it had to travel. (Note that the An-225 flies at a maximum altitude of 36,000 feet or just under seven miles, leaving it about 70 miles away from the targets.) It is not known if the laser beams directly hit or had any noticeable effect on the objects. Note that there are currently no known operative orbital weapons systems, laser or otherwise, based on a functioning satellite. The United States, China and Russia each claim to be developing such systems.

According to leaked reports, at least seven attempts have been made to date to destroy the unidentified objects with Tomahawk Missiles, Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM), or similar non-nuclear weaponry. Although the United States, British, Israeli, Russian and Chinese governments are not responding to requests from citizen groups and the media for further information, officials from Lockheed Martin Space Systems and Raytheon have indicated that the directional precision of each of their respective systems was not built anticipating strikes on small objects (roughly 5,000 square feet in area – 450 square meters) located miles outside of Earth’s atmosphere. Self-propelled guided missiles were typically built to navigate within the atmosphere and are targeted through use of radiation, radio waves and/or visual contact, all of which have proved problematic for these targets. ICBMs were built to travel outside the atmosphere, but the accuracy of their strikes was intended to be based on available geophysical information related to the Earth’s surface (i.e., GPS) and not to target on air born/space born objects. Some in the media have questioned these claims of “missile incompetence.”

To date, no nuclear warheads have been used against the unidentified objects. Political and military leaders, members of the media, and bloggers across multiple nations have engaged in fierce debate regarding both the efficacy of, and the dangers involved in, using nuclear weaponry. Until recently, most arguments against “going nuclear” have included concerns regarding the potential for worldwide radioactive fallout and the fear of retaliatory strikes from aliens. As of late, more and more people have argued against attacking the objects by putting forward what some have called “fatalistic” claims that the alleged alien beings are unstoppable in their pursuit of human victims and/or are taking “sustainable” numbers of victims. Groups such as “Supporting The Culling” compare the 75,000 to 80,000 people who become annual Culling victims to a yearly net world population gain of 70,000,000 and argue that The Culling phenomenon is helping to mitigate this planet’s significant over-population challenges. Other groups, such as “Avenge The Victims,” have argued that “every possible military option” should be applied in order to “destroy the evil beings who have perpetrated these crimes against our species.” (See Victim group vs. supporters debate, below.)

Impact on life attitudes [edit]

It is generally agreed that mankind’s perspective towards life has been altered significantly by The Culling. After the collective initial experience of confused, fearful and angry reactions, the American Psychological Association (APA) and the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP) recently reported on studies that fully one-third of Americans and Europeans have both “accepted” the ongoing nature of The Culling and are either supportive or neutral towards its occurrence. After spiking dramatically in 2015 and 2016, instances of panic attacks and a broad category of Culling-related anxiety disorders have now been reportedly decreasing.

Given the continuing uncertainty regarding an explanation for The Culling, human use of protective charms, amulets and concoctions has become widespread. Many forms of jewelry, clothing, items located around the home, food, drink, and inhaled vapors have been claimed to protect the owner from The Culling. Some so-called “protective” items have been found floating/falling back to Earth (see Mjolnir or Thor’s Hammer), thus discrediting their efficacy.

In the three plus years since The Culling first occurred, participation in religious life has increased at the same time that the acknowledgement of secular/humanist world views has increased. In the United States, for example, social scientists (see Jane Ebel) have documented how the 70% of Americans who had previously described themselves as belonging to or being raised within one specific religious denomination (i.e., Catholicism or Methodism) were more likely to attend church/synagogue/mosque on at least a weekly basis than was the case prior to March 2015. In the same studies, Ebel found that the 30% of Americans who would have previously described themselves as being atheist, agnostic, a religious skeptic, or religiously unaffiliated were more likely to “admit to friends and relatives” their beliefs.

At first, The Culling was not being discussed in most of the world’s elementary and middle schools. Educators indicated that they did not want to frighten the children and that they wanted to respect each family’s right to present the facts and discuss the theories within the context of their unique values. Now, the National Education Association (NEA) and World Education Research Association (WERA) have each issued statements arguing that young children should be taught about The Culling, that they should not fear it, and that they should “endeavor to live a life rich with knowledge, connections and experiences” on the chance they may fall victim.

Despite “Supporting The Culling” claims that human losses due to The Culling have mitigated population increases, birthrates have begun to increase within the past year, especially within western societies, due to concerns regarding the potential loss of “only children.”

Victims group vs. supporters debate [edit]

Media and Culling bloggers have focused much attention on the debate between Lucy Lawson, Spokesperson for “Avenge The Victims” and Thomas Ortega, spokesperson for “Supporting The Culling.” Lucy Lawson is a Pasadena, CA (USA) lawyer who lost her daughter Rebecca to The Culling in April of 2015. Thomas Ortega is a sociologist at The Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM – National Autonomous University of Mexico). Contentious and overtly personal at times, this debate between these two individuals can be summarized by the position statements of each group.

From avengethevictims.com. “It is with horror that we regularly witness our loved ones being taken. Mankind must fight back to both avoid further loss of life and to avenge the innocent lives that have ended so abruptly. We urge our political and military leaders to use every possible military option to destroy the evil beings who have perpetrated these crimes against our species.”

From supportingtheculling.org/english. “While the loss of human life that has occurred during The Culling is tragic, it is clear that the alien beings are taking sustainable numbers of victims, are utilizing technologies far advanced to what mankind possesses, and are capable of causing much greater damage than what has already been witnessed. We believe that aggressive military action against the aliens will not prevail and will, instead, create incentives for them to kill more of us or even destroy our planet entirely. We believe that a peaceful human response will be more likely to lead to benevolent alien behavior.”

Ms. Lawson has argued that she would rather see all of humanity die in a battle with the aliens than see them continue to “steal away with victim after victim after victim.” Mr. Ortega has maintained that human life has been “shocked but also enhanced” by the steady loss of victims, given that “the threat of random, imminent death has motivated people to live life more fully, seeking stronger connections with each other and aggressively pursuing meaningful and memorable activities.”

Views on rationale [edit]

Many scientists, writers, political and religious leaders believe that human bodies are being taken by alien beings to be used in some unknown fashion. Given our inability to communicate with these aliens, it is impossible to understand why this has been occurring. Theories have included 1) food for the aliens, 2) test subjects for alien medicines, 3) the harvesting of specific bodily parts (i.e., the Cerebrum, Thalamus, Hypothalamus, and/or Thyroid Gland), 4) the harvesting of DNA, 5) bodily incubators for alien babies, 5) fertilizer for alien crops, and many other hypotheses.
While the majority of people polled indicate that they do not want to become a victim of The Culling, roughly 12% of survey respondents in the U.S. and European Union indicated their hope that they will “be chosen.” Instead of considering them as Culling “victims,” these “Chosen Activists” believe that those who leave Earth have been chosen for some “higher” though unknown purpose. Given this perspective, people lost during previous Cullings are revered, studied and imitated. Instead of using protective charms, amulets and concoctions to not be selected, these people pursue techniques and make lifestyle decisions that they believe will lead to their being taken.

Many Culling commentators ask questions that are driven by philosophical and spiritual disagreements, uncertainty, and/or a search for an unambiguous “meaning of life.” These questions seek to explain how The Culling fits into or alters an individual’s or a group’s previously held beliefs on the topic. For those who have concentrated their discussions on the individually-focused question of “What is the meaning of my life?” The Culling has invigorated attention on personal fulfillment, consciousness, and “doing your own thing.” For those who have concentrated on the collective question of “What is the meaning of human life?” (i.e., a “higher meaning”) The Culling has raised many questions on which religious and spiritual leaders have struggled to agree. While Secular Humanist group leaders have reported being emboldened by The Culling, several leaders of traditional religious groups have admitted to “significant struggles” trying to understand and explain The Culling within the framework of their beliefs.

One key element in all Culling rationale discussions is whether people are chosen or whether their “selection” is random or based purely on luck. Social scientists, members of the media, and many others have offered numerous theories on the human qualities and characteristics that increase the likelihood that someone will become a Culling victim. For every promising quality that is identified, multiple examples of disproving cases are then found. The Gallop Organization (United States), Angus Reid Strategies (Canada), and Allensbach Institute (Germany) have each completed public opinion polls that document significant increases in percentages of respondents who indicate that Culling Selection is random.

Some theorists have likened The Culling to the human breeding, slaughter and consumption of livestock. In these arguments, as is the case for farmed cattle, hogs, and turkeys; human beings (the “victims”) are unaware that their lives, the length of their lives, the circumstances that lead to death for some members of the group, and their actual deaths are dictated by “controlling beings.” In many of these discussions, human existence on Earth has been referred to as “free range.”

Credit To – Bob Gielow

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