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NHNE News Brief 49
Friday, February 21, 1997

"A thought-provoking exploration
of the extraordinary times in which we live."

Millennium Countdown:
1,043 days until January 1, 2000

Total Paid Subscribers: 110
Total Online Update Mailing List: 830

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CONTENTS:
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QUOTABLES:
Make No Mistake About It

NEWS WATCH:
Julia Set Crop Circle Reconsidered
Hesemann Denies Santilli Connection
New Eye in Sky Seeks Depths of Universe
Is the Universe Crystalline?
God Will Never Destroy World Again
False Memories Common

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:
Something Good Comes of Everything
Tracking Earth Changes Prophets
Setting the Record Straight

EARTH WATCH:
Geologists Critique "Dante's Peak"
NASA Monitors Killer Volcanoes
Antarctica Melting Fast

SPACE WATCH:
The More They Know, The More We Worry

PSI WATCH:
The Puzzle of Animal Mutations

HEALTH WATCH:
John Robbins on Reclaiming Our Health

NHNE STAFF
ABOUT NHNE & HOW TO JOIN US

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QUOTABLES:
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MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT

"The person who makes no mistakes, does not usually make anything."

---Bishop W.C. Magee

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NEWS WATCH:
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JULIA SET CROP CIRCLE RECONSIDERED
(Source: CNI NEWS, 2/16/97)

The Julia Set crop circle discovered last summer near Stonehenge was one of the most spectacular of a spectacular season. Then came the claim of crop circle hoaxer Rod Dickinson that the crop circle was faked by three people during the night of July 6-7, and remained undiscovered until the following afternoon, despite its proximity to a major highway and Stonehenge itself. Arguing against that claim, Busty Taylor, a veteran photographer whose aerial shots of English crop formations have been published around the world, states, "My friend [who has] been looking at crop circles with me since 1988, flew around Stonehenge seven times [that afternoon], and he said that crop circle wasn't there at 5:30 p.m." The crop circle was "officially" discovered later the same evening at 6:05 p.m. Convinced that his friend, a veteran flyer and crop circle spotter, could not have missed the huge glyph had it been there, Taylor believes the Julia Set must have formed within the 35-minute time window between 5:30 pm and 6:05 pm that Sunday afternoon. (JG)

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HESEMANN DENIES SANTILLI CONNECTION
(Source: CNI NEWS, 2/16/97)

Responding to accusations by Rebecca S. Keith published in the 2/1/97 edition of CNI NEWS, German researcher and publisher Michael Hesemann has told CNI NEWS that he has never received any financial compensation from English "Alien Autopsy" film owner Ray Santilli. Keith had stated that: "Shell, Hesemann, and Mantle... characterize themselves as part of the 'INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH GROUP,' claiming to investigate the film, but one wonders how unbiased they can be when they appear to accept Santilli's money for their 'research expenses.'" Hesemann told CNI News, "I never received a penny from Ray Santilli for my research on the film. I did the research for MAGAZINE 2000, and paid for it on my own. [My research] didn't really serve [Santilli's] desire to market the film as 'the Roswell footage,' since I established that it does not have anything to do with the original Roswell incident of July 4, 1947, but with another, formerly unknown crash on May 31, 1947, southwest of Socorro, New Mexico." In response, Keith told CNI News, "I said the research group [comprised of Shell, Mantle and Hesemann] had accepted expense money from Ray Santilli. Bob Shell admits that he has, and so does Mantle." Keith let stand Hesemann's insistence that he had not received any direct financial compensation from Santilli. Hesemann and Mantle have collaborated on a book, soon to be released, in which they argue for the authenticity of the Santilli autopsy footage. (JG)

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NEW EYE IN SKY SEEKS DEPTHS OF UNIVERSE
(Source: CNI NEWS, 2/16/97)

On February 12, Japan launched a satellite that will create the largest astronomical "instrument" ever built. Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) is a method of linking several widely-separated radio telescopes in a way that results in the resolving power of an instrument as big as the distance between the separate dishes. Up until now, the maximum size of such an instrument was limited by the diameter of the Earth. But now, by placing one leg of such an instrument in space, its size is limited only by its maximum orbital distance from the Earth. The orbit of the Japanese satellite is purposely highly elliptical, ranging from a low of 620 miles to a maximum of 12,400 miles. This will allow the new instrument to make a series of measurements of one target object at different resolving powers, an important feature for maximum clarity of data. At its greatest separation, the resolving power of the VLBI instrument will be acute enough to see an object the size of a grain of rice from a distance of 5,000 miles. This new instrument, along with the recently-improved Hubble Space Telescope, are being hailed by scientists as the beginning of a new era in space exploration. Questions regarding quasars, the most distant and powerful emitting bodies in the universe, and black holes, which may be the engines that drive the life of whole galaxies, may be answered by these new instruments. Even the question of the ultimate beginning and end of the universe is no longer out of reach, according to some scientists. (JG)

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IS THE UNIVERSE CRYSTALLINE?
(Sources: Phillip F. Schewe and Ben Stein, THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS BULLETIN OF PHYSICS NEWS, 1/23/97 via MILLENNIUM MATTERS, 2/19/97)

Surveys of deep space are benefiting from fiber optics and increasing automation which allow us to see further and further. As the more distant galaxy superclusters are measured and cataloged, the architecture of the universe is becoming more evident. A recent analysis of current red shift catalogs has revealed a periodic arrangement of superclusters, separated by voids on a scale of 120 megaparsecs (about 390 million light years). Great walls of galaxies on this scale have been discerned before but this apparent periodicity is new. Researchers suggest that a new theory might be needed to explain the sort of immense three dimensional chessboard structure they seem to be finding in the data. (JG)

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GOD WILL NEVER DESTROY WORLD AGAIN
(Source: REUTERS via CNN ONLINE, 2/16/97)

According to Pope John Paul II, God will never destroy the world again. In a recent homily in Rome, the Pope explained that after the Great Flood, God forged a covenant with Noah: "I promise that never again will all living beings be destroyed by a flood. As a sign of this everlasting covenant with the world, I am putting a rainbow in the sky." (Genesis 9:11-13) The Bible says the flood was inflicted as punishment for widespread sin in the world. Noah and his family were the only humans allowed to survive because of their goodness. "From the words of alliance between God and Noah, it is understood that now no sin could bring God to destroy the world he created," the Pope said. (JG)

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FALSE MEMORIES COMMON
(Sources: ASSOCIATED PRESS via CNN ONLINE, 2/15/97; THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 2/26/96)

Given a few bogus details and a little prodding, about a quarter of the adult population can be convinced they remember childhood adventures that never happened. "All of us, to some extent, are susceptible to these kinds of contamination of memory," said Elizabeth Loftus of the UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON in Seattle, who pioneered the field in the '70s. Researchers say that young children, the elderly and people with short attention spans appear most likely to fabricate false memories. In one experiment, Loftus asked parents to list some incidents in their children's pasts. Then she told the children she wanted to compare their memories with those of their parents'. She walked them through a series of real incidents and then threw in a fake one: As a young child, they had been lost in a shopping mall and were frightened and cried until an elderly person found them and reunited them with their parents. With just a little gentle coaxing, Loftus said, about 25 percent of the study subjects agreed that this happened to them. Some even went on to provide new details. With a few, their memory became so fixed that they refused to believe it was a fake when the experiment was over. Loftus has been a strong critic of psychologists who help people recover memories of supposedly-suppressed traumas, such as child abuse. Such memory recovery has been critical in trials of adults accused of sexual assaults on children. Loftus contends the techniques of some therapists to bring out blocked memories are similar to the ones she uses in her experiments to create fake ones. (JG)

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:
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SOMETHING GOOD COMES OF EVERYTHING

"I really enjoyed the NHNE Video, especially the climbing and the tour of Sedona. The background music was very fitting as well. Keep up the good work. I don't know what to think about all the predictions and prophecies that have surfaced over the last few years; however, something good comes of everything. If people are encouraged to become more self sufficient and spiritually attuned, all the better. God does work in mysterious ways. In the meantime, my husband and I continue to read, sift, sort, and pray -- a lot."

---Mary Anne Markley, Carrollton, Texas

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TRACKING EARTH CHANGES PROPHETS

"Those of us looking for a 'new age' sometime early in the next millennium need to walk a careful balance between being open to information about transformative forces while being appropriately disciplined and skeptical about predictions, claims and counterclaims. Your work of keeping Scallion accountable is highly commendable. I too hope he learns to take his dream visions a lot less literally. And his lapses of integrity need to be systematically brought to light. How about the track records of other 'earth changes' prophets like Lori Toye? Is anybody tracking them? How about other psychics -- especially those who make maps (such as the 'I Am America' Map) that influence people to do drastic things such as relocate their homes to places that are supposedly safer from earth changes? Do you concentrate on Scallion because he is the most famous/infamous? And while I'm at it, how about an article on prophecies from outside our Western culture, such as the Mayan concept of the cycles within cycles? I read Frank Waters' book "Mexico Mystique" and was intrigued."

---Mike Mariner, Boulder, Colorado

[We have actively tracked Edgar Cayce, Paul Solomon, Aron Abrahamsen, Lori Toye, and a host of other psychics who are making predictions similar to Scallion's. We include several of these psychics in our Earth Changes Composite Map and have also mentioned many of them in past News Briefs. Most of these predictions are, however, very similar. Because of this we felt it would be a waste of time and resources to attempt to track all of the psychics who are making earth changes predictions. A wiser use of our time and resources seemed to be to focus on those who were the better-known and systematically track them. We assumed whatever things we learned from their hits and misses could probably be applied to other psychics making similar predictions. And this has turned out to be the case. You might want to swing by our Web site <http://nen.sedona.net/nhne/mailorder.html> and take a look at the background information used in our earth changes map. It lists many psychics who have come up with various kinds of earth changes maps and dire geological predictions. Concerning Scallion, if he tracked his own hits and misses more honestly, he might redirect his time and energy to other, more productive areas. He could do a lot of good with the organization he has put together. His coming clean would also take us off the hook; we could spend less time calling Scallion's predictions and practices into question, and more time focusing on other topics. David Sunfellow]

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SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT

"In News Brief 46, Steve Allen makes the following comment on astrology: 'There are three separate systems of astrology -- Egyptian, Chinese, and Persian -- and all of them are mutually exclusive, meaning if any one of them is essentially right, the other two are wrong. I wouldn't have the slightest emotional difficulty if it were suddenly to be established that astrology is a valid scientific discipline. But such a thing has never been established.' By this comment, Allen, who elects to be a judge of integrity, actually demonstrates that he is one of many ideological rationalists who, without integrity, criticizes other's branches of knowledge! In his case, he strives to diminish astrology on false and spurious grounds. To his first statement, a correction: every single culture in world history (apart from our own post-Renaissance Euro-American culture) has held astrology close to the center of its belief-system, and while their perceptions and techniques are often different, they are not mutually exclusive. To 'such a thing has never been established': the scientific validity of astrology has been demonstrated, repeatedly. The real issue is that scientists don't want to support an idea that doesn't fit into their world-view. This brings into question the validity of scientific validation methods: validity is accepted only when the scientific community agrees it is valid. I do, however, agree with Allen that it is necessary to raise integrity in public-domain TV programming."

---Palden Jenkins, Glastonbury, England


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EARTH WATCH:
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GEOLOGISTS CRITIQUE "DANTE'S PEAK"
(Sources: Press Release, VOLCANO QUARTERLY, 2/13/97; Bob Fenster, THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 2/26/97)

Despite some obvious and laughable technical goofs, the movie, "Dante's Peak" merits a "B+," according to the Puget Sound Chapter of the ASSOCIATION FOR WOMEN GEOSCIENTISTS (AWG).

They were impressed with the seamless blending of Mount St. Helen's and other stock volcano footage, shots of the volcano model, and computer graphics. The volcanologists looked, acted, and talked believeably. References to modern volcano monitoring technology were reasonably authentic. Even the robot, "Spider Legs," was based on its real-life counterpart, "Dante." The CASCADES VOLCANO OBSERVATORY (CVO) gave the mudflows an "A-" and the gas monitoring a "B+."

As for minuses, one particularly disappointing oversight was the fact that Cascade (West coast) volcanoes do not erupt fluid, Hawaiian-type basalt. Their lava would be thick, slow moving, and confined to the immediate base of the cone. Other technical flaws listed by AWG members and CVO personnel were:

-- The seismograms shown were not typical of pre-eruption earthquakes.

-- The lake could not possibly have become that acidic that fast.

-- A hot spring couldn't blow out such red stuff.

-- There was no way the drinking water could have become that polluted that quickly.

-- One geologist was pretty certain that the "volcanic rock" Harry picked up was actually sedimentary.

-- The movie showed people and vehicles moving unshaken and unaffected by earthquakes strong enough to collapse structures.

And speaking of vehicles, the AWG wants some of those trucks that swim rivers, drive over molten lava without blowing gas tanks, create invisible force fields that keep driver and passengers cool, and outrun pyroclastic flows.

Here are some additional goofs pointed out by movie critic Bob Fenster:

-- When the National Guard arrive to rescue people from the volcano, they jump out of their trucks and run down the streets waving their rifles. What are they going to do -- shoot the volcano?

-- When the volcano's eruption is imminent, an emergency meeting of the town folk is called. How come all the parents (including the mayor) leave their kids at home alone?

-- The acid lake eats the prop right off the outboard motor, but it has no effect on Harry's jacket or hand.

-- Since Harry only paddles from one side of the boat, why doesn't it go in circles?

-- After being trapped in that crushed truck with a compound fracture for two days, Harry would have most likely died from shock and loss of blood. Yet not only did he survive, he walked out under his own power, with scarcely a hair mussed.

As fun as it was to critique the scientific flaws and other goofs, both the AWG members and professional volcanologists agree that "Dante's Peak" is still several orders of magnitude better than any other volcano movie ever made. Without the fluidic lava flow gaffe, it would have earned an "A" from the professionals. That authenticity certainly owes much to the three principle technical consultants: Jack Lockwood, Dave Harlow, and Norm MacLeod. (JG)

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NASA MONITORS KILLER VOLCANOES
(Source: Douglas Isbell, NASA Press Release, 2/7/97)

NASA scientists are developing a variety of airborne and spaceborne remote-sensing tools to study volcanoes that pose a potential threat to populated areas in the U.S. and around the world. A number of domestic volcanoes are being studied, including Mount St. Helens and Mount Rainier in Washington; Mount Shasta and Lassen Peak in California; and Kilauea and Mauna Loa in Hawaii.

Using information collected with Spaceborne Imaging Radar, Airborne Emission Spectrometer, Thermal Infrared Scanner, and airborne Laser Altimeter, the scientists created computer-generated three-dimensional "flyover" video animation clips that help them study how the volcanoes are changing. "Imaging radar is a particularly useful tool for studying volcanoes because the radar is able to see through the weather and volcanic clouds. It's a good tool for mapping new volcanic deposits because of the radar's sensitivity to texture such as ash and different types of lava flows," said Dr. Jeffrey J. Plaut at NASA's JET PROPULSION LABORATORY (JPL).

"By combining the radar data with information from scanning laser altimeters, we are now tracking changes at the summits of Mount St. Helens and Mount Rainier that will document the impact of erosion, climate and other factors on the topography and stability of large volcanoes," said Dr. James B. Garvin, chief scientist for the Shuttle Laser Altimeter at NASA's GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER, Greenbelt, MD. "These laser altimeters also have successfully measured the flank topography of volcanoes beneath their tree canopies. This is important because many of the most dangerous volcanoes are heavily vegetated, and the subtleties of their local relief must be known to accurately predict the path of their flows."

"We use the thermal infrared data to study volcanoes in three ways. The first is to map ground temperatures, which we can relate to geothermal phenomena. The second is to map variations in the composition of lava flows and the third is to map the sulfur dioxide in volcanic plumes," said Dr. Vincent J. Realmuto, a scientist at JPL.

All of these instruments are part of NASA's Mission To Planet Earth, a coordinated research enterprise designed to study the Earth as a total system. In recent months, they were a part of a cadre of scientific instruments onboard a NASA DC-8 aircraft that captured images of the Manam Volcano within hours of an eruption in New Guinea. (JG)

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ANTARCTICA MELTING FAST
(Sources: CNN ONLINE, 2/8/97; ASSOCIATED PRESS via CNN ONLINE, 2/5/97

Two years ago, the 500-square-mile northern section of the Larsen Ice Shelf in Antarctica broke up after a period of warmer-than-usual temperatures. Now deep holes and cracks several miles long are spreading through the rest of the 4,600-square-mile ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula, and Rudi del Valle, Director of Geology with the ARGENTINEAN ANTARCTIC INSTITUTE, has predicted the whole thing will collapse within two years.

Last week, GREENPEACE sent two helicopters from its research ship, the "Arctic Sunrise," to investigate. Marc de Fourneaux, a climber and Antarctic expert dropped down onto the ice from one of the helicopters and reported that he had never seen so many cracks in the surface of an ice shelf. He also was surprised at the number of lakes -- some larger than football fields -- that have formed from melting ice. Glaciologists David Vaughan and Chris Doake from the BRITISH ANTARCTIC SURVEY contend that the disintegration of ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula is a sign that they are reaching their "limit of viability" due to increasing temperatures over the peninsula.

Over the past 50 years, the Antarctic Peninsula has experienced a sustained atmospheric warming of 4.5 degrees -- the fastest rate of warming seen anywhere in the world. Scientists disagree over whether the warming is due to the greenhouse effect, or whether it is part of the Earth's natural warming and cooling cycle. In recent years it has even rained in coastal Antarctica -- a previously unheard-of event. (JG)

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SPACE WATCH:
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THE MORE THEY KNOW, THE MORE WE WORRY
By James Gregory

Discoveries of very faint or distant objects are increasing due in large part to the introduction of technologically advanced, fully-automatic telescopes, such as the Near Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT) installed on the 39-inch telescope at the summit of Mt. Haleakala on the island of Maui in Hawaii. Since NEAT began operations in late 1995, it has detected more than 4,500 new celestial objects.

One such object is a member of a rare class of asteroids called Atens, which stay within Earth's orbit most of their lifetimes. Dubbed "1997 AC11" by the JET PROPULSION LABORATORY (JPL) in Pasadena, California, the asteroid measures about 600 feet in diameter. It is only the 24th Aten to be discovered since the first one was found 21 years ago. With their short periods and orbits that are smaller than Earth's, Atens are frequently in the vicinity of our planet. This closeness to Earth makes them more likely to impact the planet than other types of asteroids.

As JPL continues to observe "1997 AC11" in coming months, they will be able to characterize its orbital path with more precision and thus determine its potential for collision with Earth. An image of the object is posted on the Internet at: <http://huey.jpl.nasa.gov/~spravdo/neat.html>.

But it seems that the more we know, the more we have to worry about. Undersecretary of Defense Paul Kaminski recently ordered a study of how asteroid collisions with Earth might be predicted years ahead of time, and how they might be dealt with. Defense Department spokesman Ken Bacon explains, "The question arises: Should we prepare ourselves or develop systems that might be able to respond to an asteroid disaster?" Current nuclear and rocket technology is not capable of neutralizing the threat of asteroids the size of "1997 AC11." Bacon said that the study was not spurred by recent TV shows featuring major asteroid strikes, such as the four-hour miniseries which aired this week and next week's episode of Star Trek: Voyager, but was rather a natural evolution of the ability to better track objects in space.

This announcement was made the same week that scientists reported that they had finally found the smoking gun that proves that a huge asteroid smashed into the Earth 65 million years ago killing off the dinosaurs. The scientists spent five weeks collecting cores from the ocean floor in 8,500 feet of water off the east coast of Florida. The team penetrated 300 feet beneath the sea bed, drilling through sediments laid down at the time of the dinosaur extinction.

Richard D. Norris, leader of the drilling expedition, said the deepest layers contained fossil remains of many animals from a healthy "happy-go-lucky ocean" just before the impact. Just above this was a layer of small, green, glass pebbles, thought to be material instantly melted by the massive energy release of the impact. Next was a rusty brown layer which was thought to be from the "vaporized remains of the asteroid itself." Just above the brown layer, were two inches of gray clay, evidence of a nearly-dead world. "Most of the species that are seen before (early in the core sample) are gone," said Norris. This dead zone lasted about 5,000 years and then the core samples showed evidence of renewed life.

"In my view, this is the most significant discovery in geosciences in 20 years," said Robert W. Corell, Assistant Director for Geosciences of the NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION. "This gives us the facts of what happened to life back then": That an asteroid 6 to 12 miles in diameter smashed into Earth at thousands of miles per hour. It instantly gouged a crater in the Gulf of Mexico 150 miles wide. The energy release was more powerful than if all of the nuclear weapons ever made exploded at once. Billions of tons of soil and rock were vaporized and lofted into the atmosphere, blotting out the Sun. Temperatures around the globe plunged. Up to 70 percent of all species, including the dinosaurs, perished. Among the few survivors were small mammals that, over millions of years, evolved into many new species, including humans.

Scientists predict that a collision with an asteroid one kilometer wide (3,300 feet) would produce the end of civilization as we know it and possibly the extinction of mankind. The statistical probability of such an event occurring are remote, and yet here we have new proof that it has happened to Earth in the past, and just a few years ago we watched spellbound as a string of comets slammed into Jupiter. To end this article on a positive note, let me point out that in the 12,000-year history of the human race there is no record of a major meteorite striking the Earth. Knowing more now doesn't mean that the probability of such a strike has increased, it just gives us more to worry about... if we choose to. (Sources: Charles Aldinger, USA TODAY, 2/19/97; NASA Press Release, 2/1/97; ASSOCIATED PRESS via CNN ONLINE, 2/16/97)

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PSI WATCH:
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THE PUZZLE OF ANIMAL MUTILATIONS
(Source: Tracie Cone, SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 2/2/97, via Steve Haag)

Animal mutilations are a phenomenon that just won't go away. They keep occurring around the world and there is still no theory that adequately explains away all the puzzling aspects of the mystery.

First some background. Animal mutilations have been going on for decades. They follow a predictable pattern: the animal is usually found in a remote area; it appears to have died instantly without a struggle; the mutilations typically consist of the removal of the sex organs, and other body parts such as tongue and ears; the body is completely drained of blood and there is no blood spilled in the area; there are no tracks around the carcass.

Police have investigated many cases over the past 20 years and have come up with nothing. Cattlemen's associations have offered big rewards for information to no avail. "There has never been an arraignment on an animal mutilation charge in the 800 cases I have investigated," says writer Linda Moulton Howe, who since the '70s has been a clearinghouse for mutilation reports. Howe has written the book, "Alien Harvest," which investigates reports of livestock mutilations back to the early '60s. Once a documentary film maker, she began following animal mutilations full time in 1979 because, according to her, "You follow the story where it keeps leading."

Theories abound. THE ALBERTA UFO RESEARCH ASSOCIATION (AUFORA) claims that 10,000 mutilations occurred in the U.S. from 1973 to 1979. They are of the opinion that the skillful dissection and missing sex organs and blood point to genetic experimentation. Others blame goat suckers, also known as "el chupacabras" -- five-foot-tall lizard creatures with razor sharp teeth originally spotted in Puerto Rico and now reported as far north as the American Southwest. Government conspiracies, plasma vortices, satanic cults, animal terrorists and ETs round out the spectrum of theories.

There are some odd aspects about mutilations:

-- On November 6, 1996, Susan Nottingham of Burns, Colorado found her 800-pound bull dead with its genitalia, left muzzle and one ear sliced off. There was no sign of a struggle. Animal tracks in the vicinity indicated that while coyotes had circled the carcass, they never came within 25 feet of it. Neither had buzzards.

-- On October 16, 1996, Jean Barton, Chairman of the Lassen County, California Cattlewomen's Association, found two mutilated cows in a meadow of long grass. There were no tracks in the mud and the grass of the meadow had not been disturbed. One additional curiosity was the fact that one cow had one of her eight-inch horns buried in the ground right up to the skull, as though she had been dropped from a great height. Comments Barton, "I couldn't even pull her head loose from the soil." This was the third time Barton had had her stock mutilated.

-- In early December 1996, Guy Falsey, a rancher in San Benito County, California, found his prize Simbrah bull dead sans penis. He explains, "He was mean. We can't figure out how someone could have got close to him. There was no sign of a struggle -- if he was shot or tranquilized he would have thrashed around. The cut was so precise -- only one eighth of an inch separates the base of the penis from the stomach cavity, and it wasn't perforated." There were no tracks.

-- In early December 1996, veterinarian Leesa McCue of Limon, Colorado performed an autopsy on a freshly-mutilated buffalo with its mammary tissue removed. Before the autopsy, she commented, "Whoever or whatever is doing this, uses techniques that most people don't have available -- immobilization is a big one." She suspected the animals might have been poisoned with bad feed or that someone might be drugging the animals to knock them out. The results of the autopsy revealed that the buffalo had not been shot, but other than that, the cause of death was unknown -- there were no signs of drugs or toxins in the animal. McCue said she "was disappointed but not surprised."

One promising lead is that there appear to be some biophysical similarities between the grasses growing around mutilated animals and the condition of grains in flattened crop circles. This according to William C. Levengood, a Michigan-based consultant to seed companies who in 1989 began examining plants taken from crop formations. The most prominent similarity is mitochondria in the plant cells indicates that both types of plants have been exposed to a source of extremely brief, intense heat.

A search on the Internet for "animal mutilations" comes up with 10,000 hits, yet this is a subject with which few people are familiar. One reason is that, while 100 years ago cattle rustling was an offense punishable by hanging, dead cows are no longer high on the list of priorities of the local sheriff's office. And so the animal mutilations continue, sometimes closer to home that you might realize -- reports are now coming in of dogs and cats disappearing from front yards in urban settings, only to be found later drained of blood, and body parts surgically removed. The cause is as elusive as ever. No animal is safe. (JG)

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HEALTH WATCH:
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JOHN ROBBINS ON RECLAIMING OUR HEALTH
(Source: W. Bradford Swift, YOGA JOURNAL, Nov-Dec/96)

At the age of 21, John Robbins walked away from the family business when he realized that the purpose of his life did not include selling ice cream. 20 years later, he gained national prominence as an advocate for healthy living with the publication of "Diet for a New America," taking on what he called the "Great American Food Machine." In the book, Robbins advocated the benefits of a vegetarian diet and revealed the emotional, economic and ecological price we pay for our dependency on animal foods.

"Diet For a New America" touched Americans deeply, and many wanted to know how they could translate the book's message into their own lives. In response, Robbins formed EARTHSAVE, a non-profit organization set up to teach people the advantages of a plant-based diet. Since that time, the consumption of beef in America has declined 20 percent. According to Robbins, this translates into fewer heart attacks, strokes and cases of diabetes and cancer; many square miles of rain forests left standing that would have otherwise been obliterated, and many more species around the world that would have otherwise been extinguished.

Robbins' next task was to explode the medical myth he saw as so limiting and destructive. This was in part triggered by his own childhood experience with polio which left him at 21 with one weakened leg several inches shorter than the other. His physician told him there was nothing that could be done, but luckily Robbins didn't listen. He continued practicing the yoga he had started a few years earlier, changed to a healthier diet, and began taking more responsibility for his life. As he did so, his leg grew and became as strong as the other. Today he is a marathon runner and competitive triathlete. According to one physician, Robbins' most recent book, "Reclaiming Our Health: Exploding the Medical Myth and Embracing the Source of Healing," will do for the AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (AMA) what his first book did for the NATIONAL CATTLEMAN'S ASSOCIATION.

What follows are factoids taken from his book "Reclaiming Our Health":

-- Number of accredited medical schools in U.S.: 127.
-- Number of medical schools with no required courses in nutrition: 95.
-- Average U.S. physician's course work in nutrition during four years of medical school: 2.5 hours.
-- First-year medical students who consider nutrition to be important to their future careers: 74 percent.
-- Third-year medical students who consider nutrition to be important to their future careers: 13 percent.

-- Births attended by midwives in Western Europe: 75 percent.
-- Births attended by midwives in U.S.: 4 percent.
-- Average cost of midwife-attended birth in U.S.: $1,200.
-- Average cost of physician-attended birth in U.S.: $4,200.
-- Women who give birth in birth centers who say they are satisfied with their experience: 99 percent.
-- Women who give birth in hospitals who say they are satisfied with their experience: 60 percent.
-- Incidence of fetal distress in hospitals compared to birth centers: 17 times greater.
-- Incidence of jaundice in hospitals compared to birth centers: 6 times greater.
-- Incidence of neurological abnormalities in hospitals compared to birth centers: 3 times greater.
-- Position of AMERICAN COLLEGE OF OBSTETRICIANS AND GYNECOLOGISTS on birth centers: opposed.

-- Average bone loss of a 65-year-old, meat-eating woman: 35 percent.
-- Average bone loss of a 65-year-old vegetarian woman: 18 percent.
-- Number of U.S. physicians who recommend low-fat vegetarian diets: less than 1 percent.

-- The most widely prescribed drug in the U.S.: Premarin (Estrogen Replacement Therapy).
-- U.S. physicians who routinely prescribe estrogen: 84 percent.
-- Years a woman must take estrogen to obtain benefits against osteoporosis: 20 or more.
-- Years a woman must take progesterone to obtain benefits: 1.
-- Post-menopausal women who showed substantial new bone formation on natural progesterone cream: 97 percent.
-- Percentage of U.S. physicians familiar with natural progesterone: less than 1 percent.

-- Menopausal women who obtained relief from hot flashes using natural herbal treatments: 67 percent.
-- U.S. physicians who discuss natural approaches with their patients: 2 percent.

-- Number of years before more than half of all Americans are either uninsured or underinsured: 20.
-- Number of fully-industrialized countries other than the U.S. that do not guarantee minimum health care to every citizen: 0.

-- Average tax per pack of cigarettes in Canada: $3.25.
-- Average tax per pack of cigarettes in U.S.: $0.51.
-- Number of nations who have raised cigarette taxes substantially who have NOT experienced dramatic reductions of cigarette consumption: none.

-- Effect of antibiotics on viruses: none.
-- Number of antibiotic prescriptions written by U.S. doctors for cold viruses annually: 4 million.

-- Average amount of time patients are allowed to speak before being interrupted by their doctors: 18 seconds.
-- Percentage who, when interrupted, finish their statement or question: 2 percent.

In the YOGA JOURNAL interview, Robbins concludes on a positive note: "It's possible that the dysfunction that marks our current health care system could represent an unprecedented opportunity for fundamental change. We're seeing how alienating and harmful it can be to think that experts always know more than we do about our bodies and our minds. When we realize that doctors aren't gods, we are more free to seek the divine within us and to give it increasing expression in our lives." (JG)

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NHNE STAFF:
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