Super Powers Your Body is Hiding From You

We all want superpowers, I actually think it would be awesome if somehow we are all evolving into mutants and eventually our own unique superpowers would come out. I actually think if that happens, there would be a whole lot less crime in the world because you don’t know what powers other people possess. Imagine if a mugger tries to mug a little old grandma, but then the grandma shoots lasers out of her eyes and goes all Cyclops on the mugger.

But what if we all do have powers and we just don’t know it. Here are some superpowers you probably didn’t you had.

 

1. Super Strength

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Super strength or hysterical strength, is a display of crazy abnormal strength when people are in life and death situations.  Although many of these cases were documented, super strength is not recognized by medical science mainly due to the fact that it’s kinda hard to gather evidence on this stuff because they happen without warning and researchers can’t just point the gun at someone and tell them to go lift a car.

Like I said there are many documented cases of super strength. For example In 2006 in Tucson, Ariz., Tim Boyle watched as a Chevrolet Camaro hit 18-year-old Kyle Holtrust. The car pinned Holtrust, still alive, underneath. Boyle ran to the scene of the accident and lifted the Camaro off the teenager, while the driver of the car pulled him to safety.

And if you’re thinking maybe Time Boyle was just that strong, well In 1982, in Lawrenceville, Ga., Angela Cavallo lifted a 1964 Chevrolet Impala from her son, Tony, after it fell off the jacks that had held it up while he worked underneath the car. Mrs. Cavallo lifted the car high enough and long enough for two neighbors to replace the jacks and pull Tony from beneath the car. and a 1964 Chevrolet Impala is at least 3,500 pounds.

And finally, Marie "Bootsy" Payton was cutting her lawn in High Island, Texas when her riding mower got away from her. Payton's young granddaughter, Evie, tried to stop the mower but was knocked underneath the still-running machine. Payton reached the mower and easily tossed it off her granddaughter, limiting Evie's injuries to four severed toes. Curious, Payton later tried to lift the mower again and found she couldn't move it.

scientists believe The extra strength comes from the adrenaline that is pumped into the body when the region of the brain called the hypothalamus is stimulated. But of course are not sure that is the cause of this phenomenon.

 

2. Echolocation

When a bat flies through the air, it rapidly emits a series of high-pitched clicks, as many as 200 per second. The clicks are far higher in pitch than the human ear can hear but The bats hear them easily. By analyzing the way the sounds bounce off objects in their surroundings and following cues in the volume, direction, and speed at which these sounds return, bats can effectively see in the pitch-black dark.

But did you know that humans—both sighted and vision-impaired—are capable of something similar and sometimes they event taught themselves this ability naturally?

For example, Daniel Kish was Blind from infancy due to retinal cancer. He learned as a young boy to judge his height while climbing trees by making rapid clicking noises and listening for their echoes off the ground. No one taught him the technique He just started using it. He’s gotten so good at it, one of his favorite things to do is mountain biking.

Contrary to popular beliefs, you don’t have to be visually impaired to be able to use Echolocation. even an hour or so of practice can provide immediate results. But of course if you want to become an expert, it would take years of practice but the good news is, Yes you can actually learn to become Daredevil.

 

3. Body Temperature Control

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Imagine the ability to control your own body temperature, and I'm not just talking about maybe going out on a chilly autumn day and not needing a jacket I’m talking about having the ability to raise your body temperature so much you can actually dry sheets soaked in freezing water in a fridged room.

In a monastery in northern India, Tibetan monks entered into a state of deep meditation in a cold 40  degrees Fahrenheit room while 3x6 foot sheets soaked in cold water was wrapped around them. Soon steam began rising from the sheets. and the sheets dried in about an hour.

Herbert Benson an associate professor of medicine at the Harvard Medical School firmly believes that studying advanced forms of meditation "can uncover capacities that will help us to better treat stress-related illnesses."

During visits to remote monasteries in the 1980s, Benson and his team studied monks living in the Himalayan Mountains who could, by through meditation, raise the temperatures of their fingers and toes by as much as 17 degrees. and lower their metabolism by 64 percent.

To put that decrease in perspective, metabolism, or oxygen consumption, drops only 10-15 percent in sleep.

They also documented monks spending the night outside, 15,000 feet high in the Himalayas in February when temperatures reached zero degrees F. Wearing only woolen or cotton shawls, the monks fell asleep immediately and then walked back to the monastery in the morning like they just spent the night at Ritz Carlton. If I could do this, I would just go walk around Antarctica, no reason, just walk around in a Superman T-shirt and if anyone asks, not that I expect to run into a buncha people, I’ll just tell them I got locked out of the fortress of solitude.

 

4. Immunity to Pain

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This power is very useful! Especially when you give yourself a papercut, fall off your bike, getting tortured for information by the mob. I mean wouldn’t it be great to just be able to not feel pain whenever you want. Well, that may be possible because as they say pain is just a state of mind. First of all the already contain morphine-like substances called endorphins which is released into the body during exercise, excitement and when you hurt yourself, and it has the power to dull or completely eliminate pain by coating the receiving end of the synapses in the brain that would otherwise receive pain signals from the rest of your body.

There are also many cases where people are able to control the amount of pain they feel on command. Professional hypnotherapist and psychotherapist Alex Lenkei hypnotized himself before his hand surgery so he could skip the anesthetic says he was fully awake and pain-free during the 83-minute procedure. Lenkei says anesthetic has gotten him nauseous before, and he just feels avoiding it is healthier than using it, in part because it takes awhile to get it out of your system.

he told Early Show co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez that Doctors "were using a chisel, hammer to basically break a sort of walnut-sized bone in the hand to take it out. They also used small medical saw to attach tendon to the thumb."

He said he didn't feel anything at all, just very deep relaxation. I remember my psychology teacher in college used to do this too, every time he would go to the dentist he would ask him how long the procedure was and just put himself under for that amount of time. So like I mentioned before, if he was ever being tortured by the mob….hey guys, how long you intend to torture me for? Oh, 48 hours...ok thanks for the heads up. but he prob wouldn’t feel very good after he comes out of that state. This is also useful if you ever take your kids to a Justin Beiber concert.
 

5. Time Manipulation

So yea this is what Neo did in Matrix or time stalling, for those of you who have ever seen the show Time Trex. Oh and Max Payne calls this "bullet time." Basically in moments of extreme duress, such as that which police experience during a shooting, human perception alters radically.

Over a period of five years, a researcher named Alexis Artwohl gave hundreds of police officers a written survey to fill out about their shooting experiences. What’s really interesting is that virtually all of the officers reported experiencing at least one major perceptual distortion. For some, time moved in slow motion. For others, it sped up.  one cop wrote that  'During a violent shoot-out I looked over... and was puzzled to see beer cans slowly floating through the air past my face. What was even more puzzling was that they had the word Federal printed on the bottom. They turned out to be the shell casings ejected by the officer who was firing next to me.'

Experts say it's because your brain has two modes of experiencing the world, rational and experiential. The first one is calm and rational. But if someone all of a sudden shows up in front of you with a gun you'll suddenly be in the experiential mode.

Your brain goes into a kind of overdrive, bypassing normal processes in favor of hair-trigger decision-making. Most normal thinking processes are scrapped, and suddenly you're operating on instinct. And because you're processing information faster, the world seems to be moving slower.

I think that ability would be the coolest to have. Then I would literally become the greatest baseball player in history! It'd be like playing softball in the major leagues. Also if had this power you would never be afraid of getting mugged. Every fight would be like you had Spidey Sense.

Let me know.

Natasha Demkina: The Girl with X-RAY EYES

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X-ray vision is perhaps the one superman power I really had the least interest in. I mean to be able to fly would be awesome, invincibility and super speed would be superb, and X-ray vision... yea I guess that would be super awesome if I gambled or wanted to be a doctor or desired to beat the 3 card game but since I have no interest in any of those things, I think it would just be wasted on me. Look I'm not saying I’d turn it down if I could have that ability, just saying it wouldn't be my preferred mutant power. 

And although X-ray vision seems like something straight out of a movie, there is a girl who supposedly has this ability in real life.

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Born in 1987 in the Russian city of Saransk, Natasha Demnika discovered her unique ability when she was just about 10 years old. During that time, between 2003 and 2004, Natasha “scanned” her friends and relatives and presented them her observations.

“I have two sights. I can switch any minute without reason, should I want to see the state of health of a person,” Natasha reveals during one interview. “This switching makes no difficulty to me; I just need to think about it. I can see the full structure of the human body – how internal organs are positioned and how they function… afflicted organs produce a kind of radiation.”

Moreover, Natasha says that her x-ray sight only works in the daytime and, like some kind of plot twist, she cannot use her special ability to scan her own internal organs.

According to the media and to the people she scanned, her diagnoses appear to be sometimes more accurate than those made by medical professionals and doctors with the most advanced of equipment. Some people who have come to her even claim that Natasha was able to find illnesses and problems that they did not know they have in the first place.

Because of the local media covering this phenomenon for almost a year, Natasha has gotten the attention of various other media agencies around the world, most notably the Discovery Channel who sponsored a study that was conducted on Natasha to get to the bottom of how her ability to “scan” people really works.

 

The Study

Natasha and her mother claim that she can detect abnormalities in the body with 100 percent accuracy. All she needs is a few minutes to scan a person from head to toe.

In March 2004, the Discovery Channel, together with the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP) and the Commission for Scientific Medicine and Mental Health (CSMMH) prepared a simple test to unlock the mystery of Natasha’s x-ray vision.

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To make the test as simple as possible and non-invasive, Natasha only needed to scan seven volunteers; six of them with abnormalities or medical conditions while one was completely well and normal. During the test, Natasha was provided with a set of cards with instructions in both English and Russian where she should indicate the abnormalities she has spotted on which participant.

In order for the researchers to arrive at a conclusive result, Natasha had to identify at least four of the seven conditions. The following conditions each participant has been a removed appendix, metal staples in the chest left after a surgery, a removed lower section of the esophagus, a removed upper-left section of the lung, a metal plate covering a removed section of the skull, and an artificial hip joint.

While Natasha was able to identify some of the conditions correctly, her biggest blow was not being to identify the patient with a metal plate in his head and instead said the patient with the appendix removed had a piece of his skull missing.

The study yielded to unsatisfactory results because of several other variables. For one, Natasha claimed that she could detect each anomaly in just a few minutes, but the entire test took her four hours to make her diagnoses. Also, several protocol violations were discovered as Natasha arrived earlier than expected and she was able to interact with two of the volunteers at the facility. Natasha’s mother was also present in the testing room and Natasha’s friend, who was acting as interpreter, was found to have constantly been sending and receiving text messages during the course of the test.

However, Britain’s The Sun was also able to conduct their own study with one of their journalists volunteering. The journalist, Briony Warden, suffered fractures and injuries to her leg after a car accident that required reconstructive procedures and the use of metal plates.

Unlike the study conducted by Discovery, the results from The Sun came out conclusive that Natasha indeed had special abilities. Said Warden after the study, “She described my pelvis as asymmetrical and pointed to the right side with several fractures… then she said she saw traces of several metal pins and screws that dinted in the bone. Without seeing the scars, she could not know that a fortnight ago my leg was fastened with several pins and screws.”

 

Where is Natasha Now?

At the onset of discovering her daughter’s abilities, Tatyana Demkina, Natasha’s mother, tried to conceal it from the public but when word began to travel fast and far, their tiny apartment in Russia flooded with curious onlookers and “patients.”

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Her father, Nikolai Demkin, narrates, “we’ve been hiding our daughter’s gift for a long time. But her uniqueness became public property, and after that our family was haunted by reporters. Local newspapers also wrote about her, and some articles brought us much sorrow.”

Allegedly, people or patients who wish to have their bodies scanned for any sickness or problems should be ready to shell out $13 to see Natasha. It may not be much, but in this part of Russia, it’s a lot of money to shell out by families whose income is extremely low.

Despite this, Natasha dreams of working in the medical field where she and her family believes that her abilities will be of much benefit and in 2004, she finished school and, in 2008 worked at the Moscow Center for Special Human Diagnostics.

Whether or not her x-ray eyes are real is still a matter of debate, at least in the scientific community – and whatever ability she has, it looks as if it will remain a mystery to us all, at least in this lifetime.


Sources:
http://www.pravdareport.com/science/mysteries/29-05-2008/105380-natasha_demkina-0/
http://sapienplus.com/natasha-demkina-superhuman-number-26/
https://www.livescience.com/109-natasha-demkina-girl-normal-eyes.html

Modern Armies that Tried to Win Wars with Magic

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They say that to win a war, you must be willing to do whatever it takes. The use of threatening words and brute force are all necessary for winning battles, but you’re going to need to take the extra mile if you want an assured victory. If you take a good look at our history of modern warfare, you’ll see just how much science has had a hand in the victory of one military force and the defeat of another. From coming up with the most effective means for gathering intelligence in times of conflict and fragile peace to developing weapons of mass destruction that put an end to a devastating global war and thwarted a powerful and influential empire, it cannot be denied just how many military groups have benefited from the bright minds of scientific experts.

But even in our supposedly technologically-advanced and scientifically-enlightened world, you might be surprised to know just how far our modern armies have gone all in the name of victory. Some have approached magicians and illusionists for tips and tricks in the art of deception while others have attempted to expand the abilities of the human mind beyond the boundaries of conventional science. There are also those that dared to construct weapons of mass destruction that you probably only heard of in literary materials of the science fiction genre. Others, however, have sought out the rumored ancient items mentioned in myths and legends that promised unlimited powers to those who manage to find them and possess them.

And so, let us enumerate five (5) cases of when modern armies and governments have tried to resort to magic or the supernatural to win real wars and achieve supremacy over their enemies.

 

#1 – The United States Government and the CIA Manual of Trickery & Deception

You’ve watched the movies and the TV shows - from the Bourne Identity films to 24 to Alias and more – and you’ve probably wondered if any of what they have shown in these entertainment pieces are anything like how actual spies and CIA field agents operate in the real world. As it turns out, some of what many actors have done in these spy films are not so far from what real intelligence agents have done in reality. In fact, there’s even an official manual for it.

Back in 2010, the Official CIA Manual of Trickery and Deception was declassified and released for the perusal of the general public. The manual was written during the Cold War by an American magician named John Mulholland. The book was essentially used in training intelligence agents of the CIA on how to use misdirection and deception in completing their assigned missions. The manual also teaches these CIA operatives on the best ways to conceal weapons, how to use sleight of hand to discreetly pass information, take items or put drugs in people’s drinks, and how to assassinate their targets using only a poisoned pen.

 

#2 — The Allied Forces and the Disappearance of the Suez Canal

Perhaps the most popular real case of an army using a magician to win a war is that of British stage magician Jasper Maskelyne and his alleged large-scale concealment of the Suez Canal during the Second World War.

In 1949, Maskelyne published a ghostwritten memoir titled “Magic – Top Secret,” in which he detailed his exploits in aiding the Allies during World War Two. The British magician was allegedly a part of a special unit focused on the war effort along the Suez Canal. Using his extensive experience and knowledge in the art of illusion, he devised a large-scale illusion system to conceal the Suez Canal and to misdirect the German flying bombers in the sky. To do so, he built an equipment referred to as “dazzle lights,” which was made of a revolving cone of mirrors. It produced a spinning light that was around nine miles wide, and it dazzled and disoriented German pilots, which consequently, made them drop their bombs off-target.

 

#3 — The British Government and the Use of Astrology

World War II was not an easy time from either side of the war effort, and every military strategy was explored, even the most absurd ones. It would have been easy for the British government to defeat the Nazis had they known everything that was running in Adolf Hitler’s unpredictable mind. And so, they tried to do so by hiring an astrologer to write horoscopes for Hitler and several other Nazi leaders.

In 2008, declassified documents released to Britain’s National Archives catalogs revealed that the British forces assigned an astrologer named Louis de Wohl to create fake astrological reports about the Nazi leaders and distributed them throughout Nazi Germany to demoralize the public. However, Wohl took a step further by offering his services to predict Hitler’s advisers' advice. And so, Wohl typed out a report titled “A Survey of 1943,” which was a seven-page guesswork of when Hitler’s major attacks will take place, and the possible fortunes of important figures from both sides of the war.

Wohl was also sent off by Winston Churchill to convince the United States to join the war, but following the events of Pearl Harbor, his convincing powers and astrological abilities were no longer required. And as disclosed in the declassified documents of the MI5, the British government came to regret their decision to involve Wohl in their military efforts, as many of them eventually led to the conclusion that he was nothing more than a charlatan that liked to boast of his secret role in the war.   

 

#4 – The Soviets and Their Extensive Study on Psychokinesis

During the Cold War, the Americans and the Soviets tried to outdo the other in many things, the most popular of which is probably the space race that resulted in the first of many successful missions that landed mankind on the moon. For both sides, it became necessary to explore every avenue to win the Cold War, including the paranormal. And so, both the Americans and the Russians raced against each other to be the first one to figure out how to harness the unknown by expanding the human mind and exploring individuals’ potential abilities in telepathy and psychokinesis.

So far, there has been no widely-accepted evidence that confirms the possibility that humans can be trained to read other people’s minds or move objects without lifting a finger. But between the United States and the Soviets, it seems the latter’s research about the paranormal was more on point than those done by the Americans. Amid the Cold War, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency – also known as DARPA – wanted to evaluate and compare the milestones achieved by the United States and the Soviets in researching about the paranormal. And so, they granted RAND Corporation the authority to conduct a study about it, the results of which was published in the early 1970s. The organization reached the conclusion that the Soviets’ research on the supernatural was more specifically geared towards biology and physics in comparison to what the United States came up with, which was largely based on psychological theories.

The Soviets did not only consider using telepathy as a means of communicating with submarines without the aid of electronic equipment, but they also explored the possibility of training their cosmonauts to tap on their precognitive powers to foresee potential accidents in space. They were also interested in using mental imagery or psychokinesis to move objects, which would be helpful in disrupting the guiding system of intercontinental ballistic missiles. Given the specificity in how the Soviets handled their paranormal research, they were the ones more likely to harness what the paranormal world had to offer if it really existed.

 

#5 — The Nazi and The Search for the Holy Grail and the Spear of Destiny

You’ve probably watched Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in which the Nazis were on the hunt for the mythical and magical Holy Grail. And while we can’t say for certain if they did encounter an immortal knight or solicited the expertise of an archaeologist with a dashing appearance equal to that of Harrison Ford, the Nazis did look for the Holy Grail in real life, along with other religious ancient artifacts like the Spear of Destiny.

According to the book “The Desecrated Abbey” written by Montserrat Rico Góngora, Heinrich Himmler, the head of the Nazi SS, embarked on a top-secret mission during the Second World War to acquire the Holy Grail at an abbey in Spain. The book claims that the Reichsführer-SS believed that Jesus Christ was not the King of the Jews, and was in fact of Aryan blood. And so, Himmler allegedly thought that if the Nazis gained possession of the Aryan Holy Grail, the ancient artifact would grant him supernatural powers and help the Germans win the global war. Unfortunately for the Nazi leader, no such magical cup was found, and if he did find one, it was never disclosed to the public.

There are also stories and historical records claiming that Hitler himself acquired the Spear of Destiny – the lance that pierced the body of Jesus to confirm his death – back in 1938 following his annexation of Austria. According to legend, whoever gains possession of the Spear also gains the power to decide the fate of the world. However, once he ceases to be its owner, he meets his death and is refused entry to the gates of Heaven. While what he found may very well be a very expensive knock-off of the Holy Lance, Hitler brought this Spear to Nuremberg for safekeeping.

In 1945, U.S. soldiers under the leadership of General Patton got a hold of the spear Hitler thought was the real Spear of Destiny. Interestingly, Hitler died soon after he lost ownership of the lance, having committed suicide in his bunker. It seems to confirm the legend that losing possession of the spear results to the owner’s death, but we won’t be able to test this theory again unless we’re hoping to encounter another tyrannical global leader, so perhaps it is better that the spear Hitler discovered is being safely kept inside the Weltliches Schatzkammer Museum in Vienna instead.

 

People at war live in violent and uncertain times, which is why it is not that surprising that even in the modern world, opposing sides of a conflict are desperate to find ways to turn the tides of these bloody battles in their favor. To some of us, the idea of using magic, exploring psychic defense or searching for lost ancient artifacts all for the sake of winning a war seems an absurd waste of time. However, to the leaders of these modern armies, it is a factor that they could not discount so easily.

After all, they could not risk not giving magic and the supernatural the time of day when their enemies were spending resources to possibly utilize them as weapons. What if their enemies succeeded? How could they outsmart an enemy that has mastered the art of deception and misdirection? How could they fight against thousands of troops that can easily kill their opponents and predict the future using only their minds? How could they win against a colossal army in possession of a powerful ancient artifact that pretty much made them invincible?  

As commanders that lead thousands, if not millions, of soldiers, these military and intelligence leaders chose to exhaust all possibilities to end the conflict in their favor, even if it meant resorting to magic or the supernatural. Perhaps, from their perspective, they would rather have their pursuit for such things end up as a fruitless endeavor rather than neglect that option and allow their enemies to use it against them later on.


SOURCES:

http://listverse.com/2013/03/05/10-attempts-to-use-magic-and-the-supernatural-to-win-wars/

http://www.cracked.com/article_24722_6-modern-armies-who-tried-to-win-wars-using-magic-sci-fi.html

https://www.thrillist.com/vice/10-secret-lessons-from-the-cia-manual-of-trickery-and-deception

https://archive.org/stream/cia-manual-trickery-deception-2009/cia-manual-trickery-deception-2009_djvu.txt

https://www.magictricks.com/war-magician.html

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/23456119/#.WWjSIIiGPb1

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/revealed-how-mi5-recruited-an-astrologer-in-plot-to-outwit-hitler-790876.html

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/news-blog/us-and-soviet-spooks-studied-parano-2008-10-29/

https://www.wired.com/2007/12/rand-russians-t/

http://io9.gizmodo.com/5889471/what-is-the-spear-of-destiny-and-where-can-you-get-it

http://www.salon.com/2016/03/04/relic_hunter_a_missing_christian_relic_the_fall_of_nazi_germany_and_a_mystery_that_flummoxed_historians_for_centuries/

The Mysterious Dark Watchers

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The Santa Lucia Mountains or the Santa Lucia Range is a rugged mountain range located in the coastal area of central California. Named in 1602 by a Spanish cartographer as the Sierra de Santa Lucia, the mountain range stretches for 105 miles or 169 kilometers from Monterey County in the north all the way south to San Luis Obispo County. Among its southern peaks stands the famous Hearst Castle. The Santa Lucia Range is the coast north of Ragged Point, forming a 100-kilometer wall of wave-dashed cliffs known as the Big Sur, to which the Pacific Coast Highway clings. 

It is a land of immense beauty and tranquility, where California Condors fly high above its mountains, and sea otters and elephant seals populate the turbulent waters at their base. 

But lurking within these mountains is the strange and mystifying phantoms that stand motionless in long black cloaks. Surveying the crags and peaks of the mountains of Santa Lucia, these unfathomable creatures have been spotted by travelers to be looking out to the sea, often wearing broad brimmed hats, and sometimes carrying either a staff or a walking stick. But what is consistent in the description of those who have seen them is that they are always still, silent and featureless. Those who try to get a good look at these fantastical beings fail because, by the time that they attempt a second glance, they have already vanished. 

What Are Dark Watchers?

These mystical entities are believed to reside in the misty hillside of Big Sur in the Santa Lucia Mountains. The early Spanish explorers and Mexican ranchers that came after referred to these creatures as “Los Vigilantes Oscuros.” In modern times, they came to be known as “The Dark Watchers.”

The Dark Watchers are a group of migratory entities that have appeared in California Folklore for supposedly the past several hundred years and are purportedly stalking travelers along the Santa Lucia Mountains. They are apparently giant human-like phantoms that are only seen at twilight, and they are usually spotted standing silhouetted against the night sky along the ridges and peaks of the mountains. These beings are believed to possess incredible hearing as well as impeccable eyesight. They are also immune to high-tech detection and prefer to only reveal themselves to travelers or trekkers who are equipped with simple items like hats and sticks. 

Origins, References & Accounts

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Tales about the Dark Watchers appear in many books, and many personal accounts of encounters with them can also be found online. A description of the Dark Watchers can be read in many books about California’s famous supernatural stories, but these descriptions always referred to the writings of Pulitzer Prize-winner John Steinbeck and poet Robinson Jeffers as literary sources that mention this phenomenon. 

In 1938, John Steinbeck was living near Monterey at the northern end of the Santa Lucia Mountains when he published his book of short stories titled “The Long Valley.” One of the stories included in the book is the short story “Flight,” which most famously mentions the Dark Watchers specifically. The Dark Watchers had notoriety in the area at the time because of poet Robinson Jeffers – who also lived in Big Sur – published the poem “Such Counsels You Gave to Me” in 1937. In his poem, Jeffers described the Dark Watchers as “forms that look human… but certainly are not human.”

Steinbeck and Jeffers writing around the same time in the same region and drawing inspiration from the same local traditions implied that some form of Dark Watchers lore predated both of their literary creations. But what was it?

Original accounts of the Dark Watchers date all the way back to the Chumash - a native American tribe which has lived along the central coast of California and among the Channel Islands for around 13,000 years. These Chumash natives have included stories of The Dark Watchers in their oral legends and traditions since the Pre-Columbian era.

Validity of Origin Story

One of the most detailed and authoritative accounts of Chumash beliefs is arguably the 1974 1200-page doctoral dissertation by Thomas Blackburn, which was later on published as “December’s Child: A Book of Chumash Oral Narratives.” Blackburn’s principal source in writing his dissertation about Chumash beliefs was the massive archive collected by American linguist and ethnologist John Peabody Harrington between 1912 and 1928, including 111 oral narratives of the Chumash native tribe. Harrington’s body of unpublished research was housed at the Smithsonian’s National Anthropological Archives, and Blackburn went through it all, compiling virtually all there is to know about the Chumash beliefs. 

With an expert having researched extensively on the subject matter, we are now left with a very important question: Did the Chumash really tell stories about the Dark Watchers? If we are going to base our answer to this question on Blackburn’s work about the Chumash beliefs, then we can conclude that there were no creatures anything like the Dark Watchers mentioned in the oral narratives of this native American tribe. 

The closest thing that can be connected to these watchers was a creature called nunašīš. The Chumash believed that the Earth, as we know it, is the Middle World, which is an island surrounded by the ocean. The sun and other celestial bodies are a part of the Upper World, and down below are a Lower World. Among the dwellers of this Lower World are the Nunašīš, which are monstrous and misshapen animals who come up to the Middle World at night and spread bad luck, illness and other negative things. These creatures can also be shaped like humans, but they are neither dark nor cloaked. They are also not known for standing still against the night sky along mountain peaks.

The Chumash also believed in shape-shifting animals and humans, which is a belief widely held by many Native American cultures. However, so far, claiming that the Dark Watchers can actually be linked with any Chumash tradition cannot be done without casting doubts on its validity. Hence, it is also just as likely, if not more so, that the supposed connection of the Dark Watchers with Chumash oral stories could be just an invention of the 20th-century ghost story authors. After all, what better way to lend credibility to an urban legend than to tie it to an ancient culture?

Possible Explanations Behind the Dark Watchers

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So, if the mysterious dark watchers are not at all a supernatural or mystical phenomenon, why are there people claiming to have seen one while hiking in the Santa Lucia Mountains in the fading twilight? 

We do not need to be an expert to know that our minds and eyes can sometimes play tricks on us, especially when we are in spooky environments where we are on edge, and our senses are on high alert. According to psychologists, illusions, hallucinations or misrepresentation of natural stimulus can be brought on by either exhaustion or isolation - conditions that are prevalent when you are traveling alone on the mountain trails of the Santa Lucia Range. 

Infrasound, which can be generated by the wind, can also cause feelings of uneasiness and anxiety in some people, which is why it is often connected to paranormal sightings. Studies show that infrasound between 7 and 19 Hertz can cause feelings of fear and panic in human beings. Researchers from the University of Hertfordshire conducted an experiment where they played music with and without tones of 17 Hertz frequency in the background. Results of the study showed that when the participants heard or felt the music with the 17 Hertz tones, they felt nervous, anxious and fearful. They also felt some pressure on their chests and chills crawling down their spine - feelings which are described by most people when they experience a paranormal event. 

An optical illusion known as the Brocken specter could also be a plausible explanation for the legend of the Dark Watchers. “Mountain Specter” can occur in certain atmospheric conditions when the sun is shining at a particular angle. A person’s shadow can be cast onto a cloud bank around them, which could create the illusion of a large shadowy humanoid figure. 

No one knows for sure who or what these Dark Watchers are. Where they come from or where they go when they disappear remains an unsolvable mystery to this day. As we have explained, it is likely that these creatures are nothing more than fictional legend, but even if they are real, these Dark Watchers were wise enough to have left no footprint behind that would have served as tangible proof of their existence. 


Sources:


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Watchers
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Lucia_Range
https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4522
http://www.weirdca.com/location.php?location=179
http://www.independent.com/news/2014/nov/13/search-dark-watchers/
http://www.messagetoeagle.com/mysterious-dark-watchers-one-of-americas-greatest-ancient-riddles/
http://mysteriousuniverse.org/2015/03/exploring-american-monsters-california/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrasound#Suggested_relationship_to_ghost_sightings
http://mysteriousuniverse.org/2013/06/ghost-of-the-machine-sounds-in-the-paranormal/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brocken_spectre
https://www.britannica.com/science/Brocken-specter
http://earthsky.org/earth/what-is-the-brocken-spectre
http://www.atoptics.co.uk/droplets/globrock.htm

 

The Butterfly Effect

It has been said that “little things are merely the causes of great things” and that the smallest actions can result in tremendous consequences. Therefore, some people argue that there are no such things as “little” or “insignificant” in the world that we live in because even the tiniest change or alteration in our current circumstance has a resounding impact in our future. 

It’s a fascinating philosophical perspective, but did you know that there is an existing mathematical concept that somehow operates partly under the same basic principles? What I am referring to is the mathematical phenomenon in chaos theory referred to as “sensitive dependence on initial conditions.” While the official term may be a little too wordy, you may be familiar with this concept with its more popular and catchier term – “the butterfly effect.”

If you “google” search this mathematical term, you’ll find plenty of materials online that are related to films, books, music, and articles about philosophy and religion, all of which somehow allude to an oversimplified version of what the “butterfly effect” is. And if you’ve watched, the 2004 movie “The Butterfly Effect,” which starred Ashton Kutcher, you probably got to see a crude illustration of how the smallest changes in a person’s life can result in large consequences in the grand scheme of things over time. 

Of course, the brilliant and scientific minds in the field of mathematics and physics will probably tell you that there is so much more to this mathematical idea than that, but it has been a challenge to adequately transmit what it means to the nonscientific population of our modern society. And so, for this video, let’s try to bridge – even just by a small fraction – the gap between mathematicians and the general population in their understanding of what the butterfly effect is. 

ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER VIDEO

Chaos Theory: A Brief Background

Now, before we delve deep into the definition of the butterfly effect, let us briefly talk about what chaos theory is in the field of mathematics. Chaos theory is a branch of study in mathematics that is directed at analyzing the behavior of dynamical systems which are substantially sensitive to initial conditions. Essentially, it deals with things which are nonlinear and unpredictable, and therefore difficult to anticipate and control. It is concerned with deterministic systems whose behavior, in theory, can initially be predicted but seems to become random over time. 

American mathematician and meteorologist Edward Norton Lorenz, who went down in history as one of the pioneers of chaos theory, described chaos as “when the present determines the future, but the approximate present does not approximately determine the future.” 

Chaotic behavior is a relevant consideration in the study of different natural systems, including weather and climate. The theory is also applied in various disciplines including, but not limited to, environmental science, biology, computer science, engineering and economics.

Lorenz's Concept Of the Butterfly Effect

The humble beginnings of the butterfly effect as one of the mathematical concepts of chaos theory can be traced back more than 50 years ago when Edward Lorenz was a professor of meteorology at MIT and was crunching numbers through a computer program that allowed the simulation of weather patterns. On this history-making day, Lorenz was redoing the simulation he ran earlier that day, only this time, one variable was rounded off to the thousandth decimal place. He discovered that this minute alteration significantly changed the predictive pattern that his computer program had produced, resulting in an entirely different weather scenario. 

It is this surprising simulated outcome that led Lorenz to reach a stunning revelation regarding how nature operates – that tiny changes can lead to big consequences. And so, in 1963, Lorenz published his findings in his paper titled “Deterministic Nonperiodic Flow,” which challenged Isaac Newton’s classical idea of a “clockwork universe.” Newton suggested the predictability of every aspect of the universe as it is a perfect system controlled by the laws of physics. For Lorenz, there is unpredictability even in a deterministic sequence. His work soon gained ground in the 1970s and the 1980s and became a founding principle of chaos theory. 

The mathematical concept of the butterfly effect is encapsulated in this proverbial question: “Does the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?” This was the title of a talk in 1972 conducted by Lorenz during which he explained that a butterfly flapping its wings could result in tiny alterations in the earth’s atmosphere and will consequently prevent, delay or accelerate the formation of a hurricane or tornado in a distant place. 

This does not mean that the butterfly itself possesses the power to create a tornado and direct where it goes. Instead, the theory implies that the flapping of the butterfly’s wings is one of the initial conditions of the Earth’s weather system. This means that in one set of conditions, the flapping wings in Brazil could over time led to the occurrence of a tornado in Texas. And so, had the creature not flapped its wings, the tornado would never have formed. However, it is important to note that it is just as likely that a set of initial conditions which do not feature the butterfly flapping its wings could be the one that gives rise to a tornado. 

Here lies the problem posed by the butterfly effect concerning mathematical prediction. In the real world, initial conditions for a particular system can never be identified with 100% accuracy. For example, all the variables that influence weather conditions, like temperature and wind speed, cannot be known completely. Instead of an exact prediction, we are forced to provide an ensemble of forecasts which have been mathematically calculated under known but also imperfect initial conditions.
    
Hence, Lorenz’s butterfly effect boils down to unpredictability. In a non-linear system, it is impossible to make predictions about the future unless we possess perfect knowledge of the initial conditions. And should we try to, even the slightest change or error in the established initial conditions could lead to an entirely different destiny.

 

The Problem With Pop Culture's Take On The Butterfly Effect

This is probably why popular culture is fond of the idea of the butterfly effect. Many of us believe that everything happens for a reason, and we hope that we can identify those reasons, no matter how minute they may be. And this where pop culture’s take on the butterfly effect gets it wrong. Nowadays, the original meaning of the butterfly effect has been lost along the way since it became a favored subject matter of mass culture. Instead of stressing the unpredictability of nonlinear dynamic systems, a large number of people from the non-scientific population gained a misguided understanding of the mathematical concept with their supposition and expectation that the smallest reasons or a chain of seemingly insignificant events can potentially alter history and form new destinies. 

A popular example often raised to explain the butterfly effect is the speculation over the spark that ignited the First World War. Some people say that it all boils down to a driver making a wrong turn while driving the car of the Archduke of Austria, Franz Ferdinand. This mistake led to the assassination of the Archduke and his wife, which was followed by Austria-Hungary’s declaration of war against Serbia. What came after that was the Germans declaring war on Russia, then France, Belgium, and the UK went to war to fight Germany. By pop culture’s understanding of the butterfly effect, World War 1 never would have happened the Archduke not been assassinated, and he would not have died if his driver did not make a wrong turn. 

Some of us would like to think that a trivial course of action was the one that triggered a series of events that resulted in a catastrophic consequence which resulted in the death and suffering of many people. However, what Lorenz’s mathematical theory is telling us is that it would have been impossible for us to accurately predict with absolute certainty whether World War 1 was going to happen when it did. The archduke’s driver making a wrong turn may have led to the start of the First World War, but then again, it would not have made a difference anyway. If the driver didn’t make that mistake, perhaps the war would have just been delayed, or maybe we would have been doomed to experience an even more terrible global armed conflict than the one that took place in real history. We would have just made several forecasts of what could have happened, but we would have never gotten every little thing right.

Before he died, Lorenz himself revealed that he was unsure of the proper answer to his question of whether a butterfly’s flapping wings can indeed cause a tornado. To him, the value of the question he raised decades ago lies in the bigger point it evokes – that nature’s web of cause and effect are often just too convoluted to unravel as it is highly sensitive to tiny changes. 

And while we cannot accurately predict future events, Lorenz’s butterfly effect concept has inspired significant advancements in various scientific fields as scientists are now less inclined to underestimate the intrinsic complexity of the world’s multitude of systems, from the atmosphere to the stock market. For the last few decades, modern science has evolved from the classical emphasis on stability, permanence, and predictability to the new-age recognition that our everyday lives are filled with instability, sensitivity, and unpredictability. And so, the butterfly effect is more than just a metaphor or a mathematical concept; it is now a symbol of modern science’s new and improved state of mind.  

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Sources:

http://fractalfoundation.org/resources/what-is-chaos-theory/
http://www.crystalinks.com/chaos.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly_effect
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly_effect_in_popular_culture
http://www.stsci.edu/~lbradley/seminar/butterfly.html
http://www.scholarpedia.org/article/Butterfly_effect
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/422809/when-the-butterfly-effect-took-flight/
http://perso.ens-lyon.fr/ghys/articles/butterflyeffect.pdf

Mystery Of The Naga Fireballs

source:  The Daily Grail

 

In our modern world, we are currently caught in a tug of war between those who believe in the supernatural and paranormal nature of extraordinary events and those who seek to refute them by providing rational explanations or placing these unusual occurrences under the microscope of scientific investigation. Many myths, miracles and strange phenomena over time have been disbelieved, debunked and dismissed by skeptics and individuals of conventional logic and science. And yet, believers in things beyond mainstream truths continue to insist in the validity of their unconventional beliefs although evidence to the contrary has already been presented to them repeatedly. 

One example of an on-going debate between believers and skeptics concerning a supernatural phenomenon is the controversial mystery behind the Naga fireballs. And in this article, we will not be just talking about what the Naga fireballs are and the tale surrounding this unusual yearly manifestation; we will also shed light on the two sides fighting to gain supremacy over this alleged paranormal occurrence. One side believes in the legitimacy of the Naga fireballs’ magical wonder, while the opposing team has dared to unmask this phenomenon as nothing more than a human-made hoax.

What Are The Naga Fireballs?

s ource:  HostelBookers

The Naga Fireballs are the reported tens to thousands glowing balls which spontaneously appear from and float above Thailand’s Mekong River at night every year. According to those who have seen them, these blazing balls of light emit a reddish color, and their sizes vary from smaller bubbles to bigger orbs as large as basketballs. 

Also referred to as “bung fai paya nak,” “Mekong lights,” or the “Naga Dancing Fire Balls,” these fireballs shoot up from the water and rise in the air as high as around 600 feet before dissipating completely. They ordinarily occur in the chilly evenings between late October and early November along the 300-mile-long stretch of the Mekong River. However, there are reports that they have occasionally surfaced in smaller ponds, rivers, and lakes found within this region of Thailand. 

The Phayanak Festival & The Naga

source:  BangkokScoop.com

Reports of floating fireballs are not solely unique to Thailand as many cases of similar fiery orbs have also been spotted in different parts of Asia. However, it is in Thailand that the Naga fireballs are celebrated as part of the “Phayanak Festival,” an annual event in the country in which Buddha is greeted by the locals upon his arrival on Earth at the end of “vassa” – the three-month Rain Retreat or Buddhist Lenten season. This usually takes place on the 15th day of the 11th lunar month and is held in October every year. 

The “Wan Ok Phansa” is the last day of the festival and locals in Thailand celebrate the return of Buddha by gathering near the riverbank to observe the fireballs rise from the waters, float up in the air, and then disappear in the heavens. According to local mythology, the orbs of bright red light that appear above the Mekong River each year are actually the exhaled breath of the Naga or the “Phaya Naga,” which is a colossal sea serpent residing in the riverbed and wakes up annually to observe the end of “vassa” or the Buddhist Lent. 

Theories

source: www.thailandholiday.info

source: www.thailandholiday.info

Although many have reported having personally seen the Naga fireballs arise from the Mekong River, there is still no universal agreement on the possible cause of the phenomenon and the reason why it consistently appears on an annual basis. Several theories, however, have been proposed in an attempt to explain the extraordinary event, and some of them can be classified as supernatural, natural or human-made. 

Given the mythological origin of the Naga Fireballs, the apparent supernatural explanation of this yearly phenomenon is that the burning red lights from the water of the Mekong River are indeed caused by a huge sea serpent living in its riverbed. Of course, to support this theory, the existence of the Naga must first be adequately proven. 

And so far, one of the proofs presented by those who believe in the existence of these magical sea serpents is a photograph featuring around 30 American soldiers supposedly carrying a 7.3-meter sea serpent found in the Mekong River back in 1973. Another proof supporting the supernatural value of the Naga fireballs and the existence of the Naga itself can be found at a Buddhist temple in Nong Khai City where fossilized bones of the mythical sea creature, such as an egg and a tooth, are reportedly on display. 

source:  Samui Times

source: Samui Times

Though they do not refute the possibility that reddish balls of fiery light can rise from the water, some insist on a more natural explanation for the Naga fireballs. A popular explanation raised by these individuals is referred to as the Swamp Gas Theory. This theory is familiar to those who are interested in UFO phenomena, and it proposes that the organic deposits in the riverbed of the Mekong River decompose, which in turn, produce methane gas. This gas forms bubbles that float its way up to the surface, and once the gas comes into contact with oxygen-air, these pockets of methane spontaneously ignite and are consequently set aflame before they take flight into the sky. 

This theory was presented by a pediatrician, Dr. Manos Kanoksilp, who extensively studied the Naga Fireballs. To him, producing these blazing orbs also require precise conditions such as the perfect alignment of the Earth, the moon, and the sun. 

A similar explanation to the Swamp Gas Theory is the reasoning raised by some people that the Naga Fireballs are produced by the combustible phosphine gas that came from the muddy environment of the river.  In fact, Saksit Tridech, the deputy secretary of the Thai Science Ministry, along with a group of scientists, conducted a study regarding the physical conditions surrounding the river, and they concluded that the Naga Fireballs are produced as a result of the large deposits of phosphine gas found in the area. Phosphine, however, is not a naturally-occurring gas and so, it is posited that this type of gas is the consequence of a bacterial reduction of phosphate in the decay of organic material. 

Other scientists also theorized that the Naga Fireballs are free-floating plasma orbs that form when surface electricity is released into a solution – which in this case, is the Mekong River’s waters. However, the problem with this theory is that this type of orb is not only different in color and appearance from the reported characteristics of the Naga Fireballs, but it can only be produced using high voltage electricity that does not naturally occur in the environment. 

Hoax?

source:  slam blogsma

source: slam blogsma

The plasma orb theory is not the only supposition whose soundness has been disputed by skeptics and supernatural believers alike. The phosphine gas theory and the swamp methane gas theory have also been cast aside by some people as the most logical explanation to the Naga Fireballs. These people say that the perfectly precise conditions required to consistently produce the orbs year after year cannot possibly occur in a natural setting unless some man-made manipulation is involved. 

And so, we have now reached the most controversial explanation of them all, and this particular theory claims that the annual appearance of the Naga Fireballs is nothing more than a hoax to perpetuate the popularity of the Phayanak Festival and the Mekong River, which consequently has a positive effect on the local economy and the livelihood of the area’s residents.

In 2002, a documentary aired on the program “Code Cracking” of the ITV television network investigated what could be the source of the mysterious fireballs that surface every year during the celebration of the festival. The team had to take a boat and quietly travel to the Loatian side of the Mekong River. Once they crossed the river, they found Loatian soldiers firing tracer rounds into the sky. Those who analyzed the footage of the event also came to the conclusion that the Naga Fireballs were caused by the firing of flare guns from the other side of the river while the festival is ongoing on the Thailand side. The loud audience of the festival was not able to hear the sound of the gunshot as it was drowned out by the cheering noises of people and the noisy crackle of fireworks during the event. And so, they would not have been able to tell so easily if they were being deceived in the darkness and from half a mile away. 

With the stunning revelation that the Naga Fireballs could be a man-made phenomenon originally intended to generate buzz and draw crowds for the annual Buddhist Lent-related festival, does this truly mean that this strange phenomenon is nothing more than a hoax?

For me, the answer would be no. In cases where there are varying theories to explain an unusual occurrence, we must not be so quick to cling onto a single explanation. And in the case of the Naga fireballs, there is no such thing as single truth, as the opposing sides of believers and skeptics have presented their respective evidence and have chosen to uphold their own perspectives on the matter. And so, at least for now, whether you believe in the supernatural, natural, or human-made explanations about the mysterious Naga fireballs is completely up to you. However, keep in mind that regardless of which perspective you think best explains this phenomenon, you should always, always try to keep an open mind.   


Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naga_fireball
http://altereddimensions.net/2015/naga-fireballs-of-mekong-river-mysterious-glowing-orbs-rise-from-water
http://mysteriousuniverse.org/2014/01/naga-fireballs-swamp-gas-or-divine-breath/
https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4183
http://www.messagetoeagle.com/mystery-of-the-naga-fireballs-at-mekong-river/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wan_Ok_Phansa
http://unexplainedmysteries.org/post/32736046368/unexplained-phenomenon-of-naga-fire-balls
https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wilderness-resources/photos/5-natural-events-that-science-cant-explain/the-naga-fireba
http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,391567,00.html
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/233486379_The_Postmodernization_of_a_Mythical_Event_Naga_Fireballs_on_the_Mekong_River

The Deadly Enigma of the Devil's Sea

We all have to respect the ocean; not just because it is the foundation of many forms of life, but because this massive body of water can also be quite ruthless when it comes to claiming lives. Many of us know better than to underestimate how many human lives could be lost in an ocean-related tragedy, and needless to say, mankind has had too many of them. Thousands of years of maritime history can attest to the harsh realities that humans have had to face when navigating through Earth’s “final frontier.” 
 
While the vast expanse of the Ocean promises treasures just as much as it forbodes tragedies, certain parts of the planet's hydrosphere pose deadlier dangers to those who dare pass through their waters compared to other sea and ocean regions. And one of those most dangerous stretches of water which is shrouded in curious mystery can be found in the gigantic Pacific Ocean. This region of the Pacific goes by many names. Aside from “The Dragon’s Triangle,” it is also referred to as the “Devil’s Sea,” “Formosa or Taiwan Triangle,” and the “Pacific Bermuda Triangle.” 

The name “Dragon’s Triangle” can be traced back to old Chinese fables which originated from around 1000 BCE. These tales spoke of dragons that lived underwater and, from time to time, capsized and sank naval vessels along with the seamen aboard them for these mythical creatures’ consumption and to satisfy their hunger.

On the other hand, the oceanic area’s name the “Devil’s Sea” or “Ma-No Umi” in Japanese was actually coined by the natives of Japan a long time ago because of the local legends that speak of the area’s notoriety in subduing and consuming even the strongest and the most buoyant of ships, and for being the home of terrifying sea monsters that drowned people to death. 

The “Dragon’s Triangle” is located in the region of the Pacific Ocean near the Japanese volcanic island of Miyake, which is just around 100 kilometers south of Japan’s capital, Tokyo. It is a triangle-shaped danger zone found between the coast of Japan and the Islands of Bonin, and it covers a large part of the Philippine Sea. Although this region is well-known by Japanese fishers, the Devil’s Sea is still not officially labeled on nautical maps, and reports on its size and the area it occupies have provided conflicting estimations that has yet to be reconciled conclusively. 

From the names referring to this part of the Pacific, we can already tell that there is something dangerous about this oceanic area. The reason why people regard the Dragon’s Triangle as a deadly enigma is because of reports of its unpredictable and sometimes violent weather. There are also claims of random and unexplained occurrences of ocean phenomena such as maelstroms, ocean swells, and rogue waves. Another interesting reason is the alleged disappearances of several maritime vessels and aircraft along with many other strange events in the region. 

Because of the perils, it poses to the vessels and the seafaring individuals that pass through it, the Dragon’s Triangle has gained significant notoriety that Japanese authorities went so far as to brand it as hazardous for marine travel and expeditions. 

What is also fascinating about the Dragon’s Triangle that makes it worthy of discussion is that it is one of the 12 Vile Vortices that exist today. Paranormal expert Ivan Sanderson coined the term “vile vortex” in his 1972 article titled “The 12 Devil’s Graveyards Around the World.” A vile vortex is an area found in different parts of the world, where the pull of Earth’s electromagnetic waves is thought to be at its strongest. Five of these vortices are situated on the same latitude below the equator, while five of them are on the same latitude above the equator. The remaining two vortices are the north and south poles of the planet. These 12 areas are said to be prime sites of magnetic anomalies, unexplained disappearances as well as other bizarre phenomena.

The Dragon’s Triangle, in particular, is located above the equator and is aligned opposite to where its Atlantic counterpart – the Bermuda Triangle – is situated. And just like the Devil’s Sea, this region in the western portion of the North Atlantic Ocean is also notorious for being the subject of similar cases of mysterious disappearances and paranormal phenomena. 

Legends, Stories, and Strange Incidents in the “Dragon’s Triangle

Kublai Khan and his men at sea

Kublai Khan and his men at sea

There are many legends, stories and cases of mysterious disappearances of boats, ships, and aircraft as well as other strange incidents in the Dragon’s Triangle that we know of today.

One popular tale supposedly took place back in the 1200s. According to this story, Emperor Kublai Khan of the Yuan Dynasty attempted to conquer Japan twice by crossing the Devil’s Sea. Both efforts to take over the country did not succeed, and they resulted in the loss of the Yuan emperor’s sea-faring vessels, as well as the demise of more than 40,000 crewmen of these ships in the initial attempt alone.

 

There is a famous Japanese legend dating back to 1803 that talks about another eerie incident in the Dragon’s Triangle. This Japanese Utsuro-Bune legend involves a hollow boat that’s shaped like a box and resembles an incense burner or “kou-hako.” Inside this boat was a foreign-looking female who bore unique physical features. Fishermen who found her brought the woman inland to investigate her, but she did not know how to communicate in Japanese. This has led for some people to speculate that this particular story is an actual case of a close encounter with an extraterrestrial or interdimensional being.

Modern linguist and author Charles Berlitz, in his 1989 book “The Dragon’s Triangle,” made a sweeping declaration that there were a lot of fishing boats, tankers, Japanese and American warships and aircraft, and Soviet submarines that had fallen prey to the harsh waters and weather conditions of the Devil’s Sea. In fact, there are even much-wilder speculations that link the Dragon’s Triangle to the world-famous disappearance of the renowned female pilot Amelia Earhart.


Another popular case of a ship’s disappearance in the Devil’s Sea is that of the Kaio Maru No. 5 back in 1952. The Kaio Maru No. 5 was a research vessel of the Japanese government that investigated the undersea activities of the region. The ship supposedly disappeared in the Dragon’s Triangle along with its crew of 31 people who were never seen or heard from again. 

 

Explanations on the Strange Mystery of the Dragon’s Triangle

As is usually the case with most mysterious phenomena, many theories have been put forward which took a crack at explaining the strange stories and incidents that have taken place within the danger zones of the Devil’s Sea. Some of the explanations are more scientific and rational, but there are also those who fit the realm of the supernatural, paranormal, and speculative science. 
 
There are those who believe that the Dragon’s Triangle could be housing a secret or hidden doorway or a black hole that leads to another dimension or a parallel universe. Some also connect the oceanic region with the lost city of Atlantis, while others have raised the possibility that extraterrestrials have something to do with the sudden and unexplained disappearance of many vessels and sea-faring individuals that passed by the area.

Of course, rational and natural explanations have also been presented to put the questions surrounding the controversial and strange mystery behind the Dragon’s Triangle to rest. For one, deep-sea fishing has always been a dangerous line of work, which is why it should not come as a surprise that many fishing boats have sunk in the region of the Devil’s Sea and other surrounding seas and oceans near Japan. Some even say that the number of incidents of fishing boats that sank in the Dragon’s Triangle is no higher than the average, and so, there could be no big mystery after all. 
 
Another explanation for the disappearance of the boats and ships in the area could be the vast field of methane hydrates that lies at the bottom of the ocean within the zone of the Devil’s Sea. According to this theory, methane hydrates – or ice-like deposits that detach from the bottom of the ocean floor – turn into the gaseous form of methane clathrates which, in turn, produce bubbles on the water’s surface. When methane clathrates surpass the temperature of 18 °C (64 °F), they result to gas eruptions that mess with buoyancy and consequently leave ships vulnerable to sinking easily. 
 
Some of the other natural explanations related to the disappearance of various vessels and people in the Dragon’s Triangle have something to do with undersea volcanic activities, the movement of tectonic plates, as well as agonic lines and magnetic anomalies.
 
The scientific and natural explanations mentioned above should have been sufficient enough for everyone to tear off the shroud of mystery and inexplicability surrounding the Dragon’s Triangle. Even then, many still prefer to believe in more unconventional theories of the paranormal. But regardless of whether or not you choose to believe the scientific or the supernatural explanation, it cannot be denied that the Dragon’s Triangle or the Devil’s Sea is among the world’s most compelling mysteries about the oceans and high seas and that much of it remains to be thoroughly understood.  
 
And so, for those who might find themselves cruising somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, perhaps it would be in your best interest for the time being that you steer clear of this region.


Sources:

http://www.crystalinks.com/bermuda_triangle.html
http://www.unexplainedstuff.com/Places-of-Mystery-and-Power/Japan-s-Dragon-s-Triangle.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devil%27s_Sea
http://edition.cnn.com/2011/TRAVEL/05/31/sea.legends.bermuda.triangle/index.html
http://listverse.com/2013/05/10/10-places-as-mysterious-as-the-bermuda-triangle/
http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/beyond-bermuda-triangle-devils-sea/
http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-the-dragons-triangle.htm
http://www.marineinsight.com/maritime-history/unexplained-mystery-the-devils-sea-the-dragons-triangle/
http://mysteriousfacts.com/mystery-of-the-devils-sea/
http://www.paranormal-encyclopedia.com/d/dragons-triangle/
https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4337

 

7 Real Life Entrances To Hell You Can Actually Travel To

Though its name may differ from one set of teachings to another, almost every religion that we know of believe that there is a special and horrific place for the souls of those who have been banished for purposes of either penance or perpetual punishment. From the toxic tunnels in Turkey, to the tricky Mayan City of Xibalba, and all the way to the Greco-Roman temples dedicated to Hades, cultures around the world have stories of fire and brimstone that speak of doorways, caves and rivers on Earth leading to hell or the underworld.

These purported entrances to the netherworld are scattered across the globe, and while many of them have already fallen to ruin, they are all still sites of mystery and danger that continue to grab the attention of even the best of us.

And so, without further ado, here are seven actual places on earth people believed were entrances to hell.

1. Cape Matapan Caves (The Mani, Greece)

The cave network in Cape Matapan was one of the several entrances that the Ancient Greeks once ascribed to Hades, the Kingdom of the Shades. When Orpheus headed down to Hades in order to rescue Eurydice, it was believed that he had done so through a cave on Cape Matapan. Hercules, too, allegedly used these caverns when he ventured into the underworld as well.

The Cape Matapan Caves are located on the southernmost tip of the Greek mainland. Also known as Cape Tainaron, or Tenaro, it is situated on the end of the peninsula currently known as the Mani. In modern times, the caves at Cape Matapan can still be entered by visitors. However, they must ride a boat if they want to pass through this particular hellgate.

2. Hekla (Iceland)

This active volcano located in the southern mountains of Iceland has developed its reputation as a gateway to hell sometime in the 12th century, after its historic 1104 eruption. The monk Benedict’s 1120 poem about the voyages of Saint Brendan referred to Hekla as the “eternal prison of Judas.” In 1341, the medieval Icelandic manuscript “Flatey Book Annal” described large birds where were reportedly seen flying inside the volcano’s fiery crater, and these creatures were believed to be the swarming souls of the damned.

There have been more than 20 serious volcanic eruptions of Hekla recorded since 874 AD. Since its activity has remained somewhat peaceful in recent years, most superstitions surrounding Hekla disappeared by the 19th century. However, even in recent times, Hekla has kept its diabolic status, as local folklore claims it to be a place where witches meet with the devil.

3. Lacus Curtius (Rome, Italy)

At present, this pit in the Roman Forum doesn’t look like much, but according to a legend told by the Roman historian Livy, Lacus Curtius was once a wide chasm that appeared in the middle of Rome, and nothing could fill it. According to Livy’s story, an oracle once prophesized that the chasm would not close and that the Roman Republic would fall unless the city sacrificed that which had made it strong. To a man named Marcus Curtius, the strength of Rome lied in its weapons and the bravery of its citizens. And so, fully armored and armed, Marcus Curtius rode his horse, entered the chasm, and supposedly went straight into the underworld. Because of his bravery, the chasm closed and the city was saved.

4. Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave (Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve, Belize)

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Located in Belize, this place is once believed to be the entrance to the Mayan underworld known as Xibalba. The name Actun Tunichil Mukna translates to “Cave of the Crystal Sepulchre,” and extensive research has linked the site to ancient Mayan legends that speak of rivers of blood and scorpions and a vast subterranean labyrinth ruled over by the demonic death gods of Xibalba.

The caves of Actun Tunichil Muknal have become a popular destination for explorers since it was rediscovered back in 1989. One of the more notable discoveries in the caves is the skeleton of an 18-year-old-girl who is believed to have been ritualistically sacrificed and murdered for the Death Gods of Xibalba. More than a thousand years since her death, her bones calcified, creating a shimmering crystal effect which earned her skeleton the nickname the “Crystal Maiden.”

5. Ploutonion (Denizli Province, Turkey)

For thousands of years, the Ancient Greek site known as “Ploutonion” or “Pluto’s Gate” was dismissed as nothing more than a work of fiction. That is until the site was rediscovered in 1965 in the ancient city of Hierapolis, which is near modern-day Pamukkale in Turkey. Long believed to have been a gateway to hell, an archaeological dig revealed the remains of an ancient temple, believed to be the sacred Temple of Pluto, which is situated on its thermal spring.

One of the distinctive features of Pluto’s Gate are the toxic fumes which travels from the tunnels beneath. In ancient times, these fumes were often inhaled by the priests of Pluto, which inevitably sent them into hallucinogenic trance states. Even now, the poisonous vapors of the area take the lives of birds that fly too close to the ruins.

6. Fengdu City of Ghosts (Chongqing, China)

The 2,000-year-old City of Ghosts is located in the Chonqing municipality of China, and it has long been believed to be a pitstop of the dead on their way to the afterlife. Founded during the Han Dynasty, which ruled China between 206 BC and 220 AD, the City of Ghosts bases its heritage on the story of two renegade officials who escaped the wrath of the emperor. Their names, Yin and Wang, were later used to create the title for one of the rules of hell – “Qinguang Wang Jiang.”

Fengdu is famous for its traditional architecture and elaborate craftsmanship. Its streets and squares are filled with statues of ghosts and demons, but it’s most striking landmark is arguably “The Ghost King” – a giant, carved face looking down on the city from a rock face. Measuring about 452 feet tall and 712 feet across, it is considered as the largest rock sculpture in the world.

7. Chinoike Jigoku (Beppu City, Japan)

Japan’s Beppu City is the home to a series of nine hot springs, and each one flows in a different color and composition. At the heart of these health spa pools lies the dark legend involving the pool known as Chinoike Jigoku or the “Bloody Hell Pond.” This particular pond gets its name from its rich hellish red color which comes from the natural iron oxide deposits located on the pond bed. The Bloody Hell Pond is presided over by a collection of sculpted demons, some of which were carved into the rocks themselves.

The Chinoike Jigoku has been likened by Buddhists to the bubbling pits of hell, and in olden times, the Bloody Pond – which is very hot at around 78 degrees Celsius – had been used to torture prisoners before they were boiled alive.

Are there really gateways to hell in different parts of the planet? For most of those who believe in some religions, the afterlife can only be reached spiritually. However, it cannot be denied that there are those who believe that there are places on Earth that serve as portals to the underworld. And even if that is not exactly true, these ancient sites still stand as the common link that ties various human cultures and belief systems in different parts of the world together. And perhaps that is more than impressive enough.


Alleged UFO Sighting on May 16, 1808 in Biskopsberga, Sweden

For as far as written history permits us to remember, mankind has always witnessed strange things happen in the skies, which people, by the standards of that particular time, have not been able to explain adequately. The sighting of an unidentified flying object or UFO is not a rare phenomenon, and many of these occurrences over the years have been carefully studied and subsequently debunked, while others remain as mysteries that baffle even the best of us. Among those which are left unexplained, many of these UFO sightings are believed to be flying spaceships of extraterrestrial beings.

However, not all unidentified flying objects are potential alien spacecraft. Some are even stranger. One such remarkable and unexplained phenomenon took place in a small village in Sweden over 200 years ago.

UFO Sighting on May 16, 1808 in Biskopsberga, Sweden

On May 16, 1808, civilians living in the small village of Biskopsberga - which is located near Skanninge in Ostergotland, Sweden – witnessed a strange event which cannot be easily explained. At present, the village no longer exists, but at the time of the unusual phenomenon, it was the home of around 300 inhabitants.

The UFO sighting took place in a hot and cloudless afternoon. The wind was blowing from the west. People were still preoccupied with working on their farms when they noticed that the sun shining over their village suddenly dimmed, turning into a dull brick-red shade. The sunlight became so dark that villagers could stare right into the sun without feeling any kind of pain in their eyes.

At the same time that darkness engulfed the small village, a large number of spherical objects appeared from the western horizon. These unidentified objects appeared small, and they measured just several inches in diameter. They appeared dark brown in color and they seemed to be headed toward the sun. Then, as these strange figures got closer to the sun, they changed their colors from dark brown to black.

For some unknown reason, the spherical objects changed their course slightly, moving in a straight procession across the sky to the eastern horizon. When these small figures approached the sun, they reduced their speed, only to increase their pace again after passing in front of it. The strange phenomenon didn’t stop there. For a significant period of time, new spheres appeared from the west and subsequently disappeared when they reached the east.

That afternoon, the number of spheres flying across the village’s sky was so many that it became impossible to count them. In the eyes of the villagers, it seemed as if millions of small balls were, for reasons unknown to them, suddenly flying in the heavens.

According to the Transactions of the Swedish Academy of Sciences from 1808, “the phenomenon lasted uninterruptedly, upwards of two hours, during which time millions of similar bodies continually rose in the west, one after the other irregularly, and continued their career in exactly the same manner.”

One of the witnesses of this unusual phenomenon in the skies over Biskopsberga was K.G. Wettermark, who was a respectable citizen and secretary of the Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Not far from where Wettermark stood, one of the spheres fell down to the ground, and he managed to observe the ball’s behavior when it did. He noticed that just before these spheres touched the ground, they looked like air-bubbles which children used to play with and produce from soapsuds using a reed. Moreover, he immediately examined a spot where one of the balls had fallen, and he saw nothing but a scarcely perceptible gelatinous film which was as thin and fine as a cobweb. It was still changing colors, but it soon dried up entirely and vanished without a trace.

What were these weird bubbles? Why were there so many of them flying in the skies that afternoon? And why did it seem like they were capable of consciously changing the course of their movement?

The older the UFO sighting, the harder it is to investigate and explain. Most likely, the alleged UFO sighting in the skies of Biskopsberga, Sweden in 1808 was nothing more than a natural phenomenon that could not be explained by the scientific knowledge available at the time. And even if modern science is capable of resolving this mystery, a strange case like this one can be very difficult to study as such phenomena occur so rarely.

Similar Incident in Basel, Switzerland in 1566

A similar, although not entirely identical incident occurred in Basel, Switzerland on August 7, 1566. At the time, citizens of the city saw a large number of black spheres fill the skies. Not only did these objects appear to be flying towards the sun, they also looked like they were engaged in some sort of aerial battle.

The UFO sighting in Switzerland in 1566 took place at the time when the sun rose. People saw many large black balls that moved at great speed in the skies, flying toward the sun. These figures also made half-turns, with each one banging against the others as if they were engaged in fierce combat. Many of them turned red and igneous before they were consumed and died out. The strange phenomenon lasted for several hours that day before disappearing completely.

The main difference between the sighting in Sweden in the 19th century and the odd occurrence in Switzerland in the 16th century is that the black spheres in Switzerland were unable to survive the heat from the sun. The spherical objects seen in Sweden, on the other hand, changed direction when they approached the sun.

Without a doubt, the inhabitants of Biskopsberga were confused and puzzled by what they had seen happen in their skies. The Swedes didn’t succeed in solving the mystery, and not a single person got closer to the truth even after the UFO sighting in the village that day was published in the North American Review in 1816.

At present, there are several theories that have been presented, speculating on what the strange UFO phenomenon in Sweden in 1808 really was. However, just as when the eerie occurrence took place around 200 years ago, no one really knows the answer for sure until now.

And so, it is safe to say that this particular case of UFO sighting remains unsolved.


The Mysterious Black-Eyed Children

It’s late at night, you’re all alone in your home and it’s very dark outside. While you’re nestled in the warmth of your own home as you read a book to get yourself to sleep, you suddenly get startled by a sharp knock at the door. You stand up, head for the door, pull back the curtain of your window. Outside, you see a pair of trendily-dressed, olive-skinned teenagers. At first, you feel annoyed that some kids were disturbing you on a peaceful night, but you take a second look at them and realize that they are not the average, ordinary teenagers that live in your hometown. These two adolescents have something horribly wrong with them – their eyes. The creatures standing on your front porch have no white corneas, no colorful irises. All they have were just a pair of big, black and shark-like eyes, which sent chills down your spine as soon as you saw them.

At first, you may think that these bizarre teenagers are just dropping by to give you a scare before going on their way, but to your horror, they insist that you help them. And as they stare piercingly at you with their dull black eyes, they demand that you let them into your house. Despite a hypnotic temptation to give in to their demand and let them in, you actively resist in doing their bidding, and chose to keep them out of your home.

What just happened? What are those creatures that tried to convince you to let them into your home? And why did they have such terrifying blackened eyes?

What Are the Black-Eyed People?

Modern mythology has always been riddled with unexplained phenomenon, and among them are these legendary creatures known as the “Black-Eyed People.” They are also often referred to as “Black-Eyed Kids” or “Black-Eyed Beings,” but what they really are is a complete and total mystery.

Most encounters with the Black-Eyed People usually follow the same patterns. In most cases, a human-looking entity with pure black eyes – including the sclera or the white part of the eye – will approach a person at their home or their car, asking to be let in. They usually have a very dull or dry personality, as if they possess no personality at all - that is until they are told that they can’t come in. At this point, they get very agitated and those who encountered these creatures firsthand report a feeling of intense dread and fear when in the presence of these Black-Eyed Beings, even if they can’t exactly explain why.

The Black-Eyed People usually have very pale or sickly-looking skin and very dark hair. The clothes they wear vary but some describe them to be wearing all-black or very dark clothes. These creatures are more well-known as the “Black-Eyed Kids,” a term which is used very often to generalize this phenomenon since a high number of reported cases involve children with black eyes. In many cases, there will be one or two children between ages 6 and 16 and they are reportedly seen hitchhiking or panhandling, or are encountered on doorsteps of residential homes. They often wear no shoes, and they also look dirty and disheveled. Much like their older counterparts, these children are devoid of personality until they get aggravated when denied entry into your home or your car.

Origins of the Myth/Legend of the Black-Eyed People

The exact origin or primary source of the phenomenon of the Black-Eyed People is very difficult to pinpoint. The stories about these terrifying creatures slowly began to surface back in the mid- to late- 1990s through various internet message boards – the Facebook of that decade. However, one source of the phenomenon might have been the story of Brian Bethel in 1998.

According to Bethel, two boys approached him while he was sitting in his parked car, and they asked him for a ride home. He was tempted to let the boys into his vehicle but he claimed that he was also overwhelmed by a “fight-or-flight” response. And so, he resisted the urge to grant their request, which as a result, only agitated the boys and they grew even more insistent that they be let into the car. It was only then that Bethel noticed that the boys had “cloak black” eyes, and he felt momentarily paralyzed with fear. When Bethel collected himself, he promptly exited the scene.

When Bethel shared this personal experience in a ghost hunter forum, it unleashed the legend of the Black-Eyed People onto the online world. Since then, cases and personal experiences of other people have been reported from all across the globe, with only few variances among different accounts.

Paranormal Explanations for the Black-Eyed People

Are the Black-Eyed People real? Or were the increased sightings and alleged encounters with these unusual creatures simply a paranoid overreaction to everyday events? The evidence is not clear either way, but paranormal and supernatural explanations have been presented in support of their existence.

Many encounters with the Black-Eyed Beings consist of youthful, and usually dapper young men who use hypnotic voices and mesmerizing black eyes to convince and coerce their “victims” into doing their bidding. They also display an evident inability to enter someone’s property without first being invited. And while, to date, attempted blood consumption has not figured into any reported encounters with these creatures, some believe that the attributes of the Black-Eyed People are very vampire-like.

There are also suggestions that Black-Eyed Beings might be the result of a strange synthesis of human and extraterrestrial DNA. This particular speculation originates from the vague reference of alleged female alien abductees having encountered half-human, half-alien babies that were supposedly created from these abductees’ extracted unfertilized eggs. Many of these women have claimed to have come into contact with humanoid babies, which they described to have olive-shaded skin and jet-black and almond-shaped eyes.

Some have considered these Black-Eyed Beings as merely the lost spirits of the departed children who are sorrowfully wandering the mortal world seeking help from the living. However, given that most eyewitnesses report feeling an almost overpowering rush of fear when they encountered these beings, some believe that it is more likely that these Black-Eyed creatures are dangerous predators in disguise. And so, while this theory is no more or less reasonable than the others we have just presented, those predisposed to believing in the existence of angels and demons are more inclined to consider the fact that the Black-Eyed People might be old-fashioned, shape-shifting critters from the bowels of hell.

Scientific, Medical & Psychological Explanations for the Black-Eyed People

As exciting as paranormal explanations to the Black-Eyed People phenomenon may be, there has never been a shred of physical evidence to suggest that these creatures are physically present in any way or if they actually exist. So, if we cannot say that the Black-Eyed People are real due to this lack of evidence supporting their existence, what else could they possibly be?

Psychology and medical science present several interesting possibilities. In psychology, the first explanation is people’s overreaction on a particular event they had been mentally prepared for. This preparation is called “priming.” In priming, pre-suggestion has already been placed into the mind and only an activator stimulus that is appropriately vague under the right conditions sets off the connection between the knowledge in the brain and the senses. A false connection is then made between the two, leading people to a flawed conclusion that is not supported by actual evidence.

Priming is tied to pareidolia – the unification of sensory data into a familiar subject based on the perception of complex lines, patterns, gradations, sounds, or random colors. Our perceptions of the everyday world work the exact same way, and frame of reference and context mean everything when it comes to putting things in perspective. For example, if you visit an old house in the middle of the day and you hear stories about it being haunted, you probably won’t be scared at all. However, if you visit the same place in the middle of the night or during an intense thunderstorm, your perceptions of the situation will change drastically.

In short, priming, pareidolia, frame of reference and context all play important roles in how people perceive events, experiences, and even other people. All of these factors combine together to create a terrifying experience, even if we would ordinarily dismiss such scary ideas for their absurdity.

Medical causes combined with psychological factors and environmental parameters could also lead people to think that a particular experience is an encounter with the Black-Eyed People.

The dilation of the pupil in the human eye is called mydriasis, and the terms is used to refer to pupil dilation that is not the result of physiological causes, like drugs, illness or injury. There are several conditions that can cause a pupil to expand beyond what most people have typically observed. A blown pupil, for example, refers to a condition where the pupils are dilated beyond the normal limits due to a possible increase in intercranial pressure or brain hemorrhaging. Drugs, traumatic damage to the iris, third cranial nerve palsy, and pharmacological dilation among many others may also bring about a similar effect.  

None of these medical causes could lead to a fully black-eyed entity, but if combined with the right atmospheric parameters and/or primed conditioning, it may influence the brain to make a connection between confusing and unknown sensory data and information held in long term memory. And so, an encounter with a supposed Black-Eyed Being is created in our minds, where there really isn’t one.  

The internet is an invaluable tool for the distribution of information, but it is also just as easily a medium abused by people in disseminating hearsay, rumors and outright lies. Every paranormal event is riddled with scores of pranks and copycat reports, and so it may very well be that the mystery behind the Black-Eyed People is nothing more than an urban legend that has taken on a life of its own ever since it was introduced to the rest of the world. While this phenomenon could be true even if it is also considered an urban legend, the evidence proving the existence of the Black-Eyed People remains elusive until now, and will probably never be found.


Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black-eyed_children
http://www.messagetoeagle.com/mystery-of-the-black-eyed-people-why-are-they-so-different-from-the-rest-of-us/
http://mysteriousuniverse.org/2011/04/black-eyed-kids-insidious-threat-or-myth-in-the-making/
https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4410
http://www.gods-and-monsters.com/black-eyed-people.html
http://www.snopes.com/horrors/ghosts/blackeyed.asp
https://www.thoughtco.com/black-eyed-kids-horror-or-hoax-2594476