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Strange news archive: September-October 2009

Muncaster Castle
Where do ghosts come from?
(Oct 30, 2009)

My assignment is to stay overnight in the Tapestry Room at Muncaster Castle in Cumbria, UK. Two previous guests have bolted in the night, one a premiership footballer, the other a diehard sceptic who came to scoff. I am here because of a controversial theory that some reports of ghosts could be caused by unusual magnetic fields triggering strange reactions in the brain.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Latvian crater now suspected of being a hoax
Doubts over Latvia 'meteor crash'
(Oct 27, 2009)

Scientists investigating a large crater in a field in northern Latvia, believed to have been caused by a meteorite, now suspect it was a hoax. Fire crews were called to the scene on Sunday outside the town of Mazsalaca by locals who said something had fallen from the sky and set the land on fire. One expert who had said the 9m (27ft) wide crater was caused by an impact, said he now thought it was artificial.

Read more. Source: BBC

An artist's impression of Edgar Allan Poe's 'aerial machine'
The first great balloon hoax
(Oct 20, 2009)

Quite why the Heene family of Colorado thought pretending to lose their son in the basket of an airborne helium balloon was a good idea is unclear. But as they contemplate possible criminal records for conspiracy and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, they can at least take comfort in the fact that they have distinguished company when it comes to balloon hoaxes.

Read more. Source: The Guardian

tree rings. Image credit: Sigrid Dengel
Cosmic pattern to UK tree growth
(Oct 20, 2009)

The growth of British trees appears to follow a cosmic pattern, with trees growing faster when high levels of cosmic radiation arrive from space. Researchers made the discovery studying how growth rings of spruce trees have varied over the past half a century. As yet, they cannot explain the pattern, but variation in cosmic rays impacted tree growth more than changes in temperature or precipitation.

Read more. Source: BBC

shroud of Turin
Scientist reproduces Turin shroud
(Oct 6, 2009)

The Shroud of Turin has been reproduced by an Italian scientist in another attempt to prove that the cloth bearing an image of Christ's face is a fake. A professor of organic chemistry at the University of Pavia said he had used materials and techniques that were available in the Middle Ages. These included applying pigment to cloth and then heating it in an oven.

Read more. Source: BBC

suspected Hitler skull
'Hitler skull' revealed as female
(Sep 30, 2009)

A bone fragment believed to be part of Adolf Hitler's skull has been revealed as being that of an unidentified woman, US scientists have said. The section of bone – marked with a bullet hole – was used to support the theory that Hitler shot himself. Russian scientists said the skull piece was found alongside Hitler's jawbone and had put it on display in Moscow.

Read more. Source: BBC

Bermuda Triangle flight routes
Bermuda Triangle plane mystery 'solved'
(Sep 15, 2009)

Two of the so-called Bermuda Triangle's most mysterious disappearances in the late 1940s may have been solved. Scores of ships and planes are said to have vanished without trace over the decades in a vast triangular area of ocean with imaginary points in Bermuda, Florida and Puerto Rico. But journalist Tom Mangold's new examination for the BBC provides plausible explanations for the disappearance of two British commercial planes in the area, with the loss of 51 passengers and crew.

Read more. Source: BBC

map of Ireland
Huge 'sky explosion' investigated
(Sep 7, 2009)

An Irish astronomy group is calling for help in tracing the origin of a huge explosion in the skies over the country on Thursday evening. Astronomy Ireland said it was currently investigating the explosion, which occurred at 2100 BST. A spokesman said the most likely explanation was a space rock or satellite crashing into the atmosphere.

Read more. Source: BBC

Apollo 16 astronauts at Plum Crater
Moon dust not as strange as hoped
(Sep 3, 2009)

Ever since a 1998 space shuttle experiment saw what appeared to be an anomalously heavy variety of matter, the hunt has been on for more of the same. Now, a search of lunar soil for so-called "strange matter" has come up short, casting doubt on whether it exists at all.

Read more. Source: New Scientist


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