This 1958 TV western predicted Trump with a character named... Trump

A 1958 episode of the television western Trackdown features a con artist named Trump who wants to build a wall to protect a town from destruction. From the Classic TV Archive:

Walter Trump, a confidence man, puts on a long robe and holds a tent meeting in the town of Talpa. He tells the townspeople that a cosmic explosion will rain fire on the town and that he is the only one that can save them from death. Ranger Hoby Gilman attempts to prove Trump is a fraud.

And a bit of dialog from the episode:

Narrator: Hoby had checked the town. The people were ready to believe. Like sheep they ran to the slaughterhouse. And waiting for them was the high priest of fraud.

Trump: I am the only one. Trust me. I can build a wall around your homes that nothing can penetrate.

Townperson: What do we do? How can we save ourselves?

Trump: You ask how do you build that wall. You ask, and I'm here to tell you.

"Trackdown Shakedown" (Snopes, thanks David Steinberg!)

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Short film on Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Art Museum

San Antonio, Texas has what is probably the world's largest collection of toilet seat art under one roof: Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Art Museum. Take a couple of minutes to enjoy Wes Plate's profile of a charming old guy's lifelong hobby. Read the rest

Hundreds of blackbirds mysteriously fell from New Jersey sky

Last month, more than 200 red-winged blackbirds dropped from the sky above Cumberland County in New Jersey. It's the second time in less than a month, and the third this year. From Philly.com:

"They just fell from the sky," said Larry Hajna, a spokesman for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection...

After county agricultural agents had been notified by homeowners, the DEP's Division of Fish and Wildlife arrived in Stow Creek and removed the birds, collecting some of them to be sent to a state lab for necropsy, toxicology, and histopathology tests.

But the results of all the tests were inconclusive, Hajna said last week.

"We did ascertain that the birds suffered trauma and internal bleeding from hitting the ground," Hajna said. "But what made them fall from the sky in the first place . . . we can't say for certain."

Even wheat seed from a nearby farmer's field was collected and tested for chemical compounds by the University of Pennsylvania... None of those compounds (found) is considered harmful to birds and none of the chemicals was found to be among those that are sometimes used by farmers to control "nuisance" species like blackbirds, Hajna said.

"Why are these birds falling from the sky in South Jersey?" (Philly.com) Read the rest

Strange object dropped from sky and smashed man's van

This strange object fell from the sky over Milwaukee, Wisconsin last week and smashed the roof of a van. (Image below). According to the van's owner, Michael Robinson, the large, heavy object "looked like a barbecue grill in the snow" but smelled of diesel. Police hauled the thing away and the FAA didn't respond to inquiries from a local TV station. From Mysterious Universe:

Fortunately, there are sites that track the re-entry paths of old satellites, rocket parts and space debris and it looks like Robinson’s space barbecue may have been a part from a Russian military “communications” satellite that was predicted to re-enter the atmosphere on December 19th on a path that would take it directly over – you guessed it – Mike Robinson’s van.

What is that?!” Unidentified, unexplained large object damages man’s van on Milwaukee’s north side (Fox6Now)

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Watch The Procedure, a NSFW 2016 Sundance short film winner

"The Procedure: A Parking Lot Kidnapping with Unexpected Consequences" is indeed unexpected. Note: you won't be able to unsee one of the more unexpected aspects of the kidnapping. Read the rest

Mysterious trumpets of the apocalypse heard in Spokane, Washington

Numerous residents of a Spokane, Washington suburb reported hearing unsettling trumpet sounds overnight on December 14. Listen to a recording of the noise below. Non-believers suggest that it may have been the sound of many snowplows scraping the concrete roads or train rails creaking in the cold. One news outlet's "science expert" commented that "temperature does affect the speed of sound, which can make certain things sounds different than what we are used to hearing."

Of course, we all know the truth: It is the seven trumpets as described in the Book of Revelation. The apocalypse is nigh, and it's starting in Spokane.

"Strange sound in Spokane Valley has thousands of people talking" (KHQ via Mysterious Universe) Read the rest

Mama in Her 'Kerchief and I in My Madness: a Cthulhoid Christmas book

Back in 2010, John Holbo created a beautiful, illustrated cthuhoid version of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas called "Mama in Her 'Kerchief and I in My Madness," and this curiousity has lurked on Flickr ever since -- until now, when it has emerged as an actual book that you can actually own and cower from -- with guaranteed delivery by Christmas. Read the rest

Watch: 'Best Volleyball Blocks Ever' is weirdo dark comedy

This video from the sketch comedy show Studio C images a world in which a man’s face is the best possible volleyball block. Read the rest

Real photograph of the horrible Muriwai Monster!

Behold the Muriwai Monster, a horrifying beast that washed up last weekend on Muriwai Beach in Auckland, New Zealand. It's thought that the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit New Zealand’s South Island, raising the sea bed by two meters, spurred this evil behemoth to surface.

Unfortunately, some non-believers are insisting that the Muriwai Monster is actually a hunk of driftwood covered in gooseneck barnacles. They'll learn, as soon as the Muriwai Monster awakens.

(via News.com.au)

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Incredibly strange spherical cloud spotted in Japan

Twitter user @pmxpvrtmx posted images of an astonishing spherical cloud over the city of Fujisawa, south of Tokyo.

"When I saw the cloud it was an even more spherical shape, so I regret not taking the photo more quickly," she told Rocket News 24.

While it's certainly an amazing photo, the roundness may be an illusion. An individual in Fujisawa posted a photo reportedly of the same cloud from a different angle.

"While I can’t verify the origin of this image (just above), or whether it was even of the same cloud, it appears that the cloud only appeared spherical from one direction," University in Melbourne atmospheric scientist Todd Lane told ScienceAlert. "That is, the photographer was lucky to be in the right place to capture an interesting image of what is likely an uninteresting cloud. It looks to me to be some form of cumulus fractus cloud."

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Creepy Mall Santas

Distractify has thirty mall santas to be on the lookout for. There's plenty of listicle filler here, but would you just look at those vintage masked bastards. There's even a website dedicated to creepy santas. [via MeFi, which has even more]

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The lore of haunted television sets

We've posted previously about Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP), the weird sounds in electronic recordings that some paranormal researchers insist are actually voices of spirits. But I didn't realize that EVP is part of a larger genre of ghostly phenomena called Instrumental Transcommunication "said to occur on devices as varied as television sets, radios, computers, handheld devices such as ipods or iphones, and even fax machines," according to Mysterious Universe. In the 1970s and 1980s, one popular medium for these ghosts in the machine were television sets. (Remember Tobe Hooper's excellent 1982 film Poltergeist?) From Mysterious Universe:

Throughout the 1970s and 80s the ITC phenomenon as it relates to TV really got its roots, becoming quite popular with researchers of the weird, and there were numerous supposed video and audio recordings of these TV bound ghosts at the time. The investigators in these cases claimed that this phenomenon had even been documented with TVs that were turned off or completely unplugged.

One of the pioneers of using televisions to try and pick up signals from the dead was a German ITC researcher named Klaus Schreiber, who used an apparatus that he called the “Vidicomin,” which used a video camera aimed at a TV set that was switched on but not attached to an aerial, and the signal looped the output from the camera back into the TV. This loop was said to produce dramatic results, with various faces apparently blooming out from the white noise on sets, and on one occasion an actress from Austria named Romy Schneider supposedly clearly appeared on a TV in one such session years after her death.

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Own your own two-headed calf taxidermy

Start your own odditorium by spending $15,000 on "Mike & Ike - they look alike," a purportedly real two-headed calf taxidermy mount that was previously part of the the Museum of Lost Arts – International Historical Exhibition. Only available for local pick up in New Castle, Pennsylvania. From the eBay auction description:

This is a real life-size two headed black and white calf mount cow in great condition with some light fur around the heads and body due to age and exposure to sun and light. The mount measures 40” long from the tip of the nose on the longer head to the back tail and 35” high from bottom of hoofs to top of ears and 39” high from bottom of wheels on the base to top of ears. A superior mount by a professional taxidermist. Genuine oddity taxidermy mounts like “Mike & Ike – they look alike” are exceptionally rare. This unique mount is a full size black and white calf with fully developed heads and complete facial characteristics along with it’s long necks is an extreme rarity in two headed calves. The mount was purchased by “The Museum of Lost Arts” at a farm estate auction many years ago in Ellwood City, PA where the calf was born. The provenance (history and origin) and physical attributes to support the fact that it is entirely genuine and this coupled with the strong market for well executed oddities in taxidermy, makes it especially desirable and rare.

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Peter Sellers recites the Beatles (in funny voices)

Robbo writes, "Peter Sellers recorded a series of performances, in a variety of voices, reciting the lyrics of popular Beatles songs. It is demented weirdness - and perfect in all its madness." Read the rest

Bubble porn aficionados keep refining their NSFW art

Bubble porn is where a non-nude photo or video gets a swiss-cheese-like opaque overlay that gives the illusion of nudity. Since its meme heyday, the practice, known as bubbling, now uses translucent overlays that make the effect even more striking. Read the rest

Was Jesus an extraterrestrial?

In 1954, a London taxi driver named George King received an extraterrestrial mental telegram informing him that he's been deemed the voice of the Interplanetary Parliament. Motivated by his new cosmic position, he launched the Aetherius Society to spread the spiritual teachings of extraterrestrial gurus like Buddha, Sri Krishna, Confucius, and Jesus. Sure, why not. King died in 1997 but the Aetherius Society lives on. MEL Magazine's Jonathan Parks-Ramage paid them a visit:

“The biggest reason why the Aetherius Society is here, why the Cosmic Masters came to earth, is because the Mother Earth has to change,” Keneipp says. “She’d held herself back for hundreds of thousands of years because she’s providing mankind a home to evolve. She’s been told by the karmic lords that she can no longer hold herself back. And so the big push by the Cosmic Masters is to raise as many people up so that they will be able to get to a point where they will enter a new age here on earth.”

Essentially, the Society’s goal is to lift Mother Earth’s burden with love and prayer, a task helped by descended Cosmic Masters like Jesus and Buddha.

Inspired by his new religion, Keneipp soon abandoned the pre-med program at SIU, deciding instead to moved to Los Angeles in 1978. Keneipp devoted his life to the church, working directly with George King as he expanded his religion. I ask Keneipp what it was like to work for King during those formative years.

His response surprises me.

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Man attempts illegal soak in Yellowstone acidic hot pool, is reduced to wallet and flip-flops

Via a Freedom of Information Act request, Yellowstone National Park recently reported the tragic details of an accident last summer, where a 23 year old man dissolved after an illegal attempt to bathe in Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park. He had gone 200 yards past the legal tourism area with his sister, who was recording on her cell phone when the incident happened. Luckily, that video has not been released.

Though search and rescue was attempted, Deputy Chief Ranger Lorant Veress remarked, "in a very short order, there was a significant amount of dissolving" due to the churning, acidic water. The man was reaching down to test the temperature, with the intent to "hot pot," aka bathe in the steaming water, when he slipped and fell in.

Reports Wyoming's KURL news:

Search and rescue rangers who arrived later did find the victim's body in the pool, along with his wallet, and flip flops.  But, a lightning storm stopped the recovery efforts.  The next day, workers could not find any remains.  Veress says the water was churning, and acidic.

He remarked, "In a very short order, there  was a significant amount of dissolving"

Veress said the park posts warning signs for important reasons,  "… because it is wild and it hasn't been overly altered by people to make things a whole lot safer,  it's got dangers.  And a place like Yellowstone which is set aside because of the incredible geothermal resources that are here, all the more so."

Yellowstone is meant to be wild and preserved as such, so the park posts warning signs for this very reason. Read the rest

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