BRIEF REPORTS from INVESTIGATOR MAGAZINE 126 to 129
INVESTIGATOR 126 (2009 May)
After a long legal battle the Malaysian Catholic newspaper the Herald was permitted to use the word "Allah" as a translation of the word "God" in its Malay-language edition provided it printed "For Christians" on the cover.
However, the ban was then reimposed with the Government arguing that "Allah" should be used only by Muslims.
The editor of the Herald, Father Lawrence Andrew, says that Malaysian Christians have used the word "Allah" for centuries in translations of the Bible and prayer. (The Australian, March 2, 2009, p10)
UFOLOGISTS DEMAND DATA
Hundreds converged on the Nevada desert in February 2009 to attend the International UFO Congress in Laughlin.
The agenda included delegates discussing their extraterrestrial contact experiences and prospects of the new US Government admitting to CIA meetings with extraterrestrials since the 1950s.
Government historian Gerald Haines says in a declassified report titled CIA’s role in the Study of UFOs that over half of the 1950s and 1960s UFO sightings were secret Cold War spy planes of saucer-like design.
Unusual sightings, however, still occur. The Australian reported: "…ufologists were electrified last year by the appearance over Stephenville, Texas, of a series of fast-moving, flashing orbs seen by hundreds of people." (2009, February 23, p12)
INVESTIGATOR 127 (2009 July)
The Courier-Mail reported: "Gambia: Up to 1000 people have been kidnapped and held by so-called witch hunters backed by armed men carrying out orders from Gambian authorities. Amnesty International said victims of the purge have told of horrific ordeals including rape after being force-fed potions inducing hallucinations." (March 25, 2009, p. 22)
The witch hunts appear to be an initiative by the Gambian government. In at least one instance the Gambian military crossed the border into neighboring Senegal to pursue fleeing "witches".
See http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7949173.stm for more information or search on "Witch+Hunters+Gambia" in Google.
The remains of Paul the Apostle, the presumed writer of 1/3 of the New Testament, may have been found.
Archaeologists have uncovered the white marble sarcophagus, under the Basilica of St Paul’s Outside the Walls in Rome, long believed to be the tomb of the Apostle.
Tiny bone fragments were retrieved with a probe introduced though a small hole and carbon dated. On June 29 Pope Benedict announced the bones "belonged to someone who lived between the first and second century." (The Australian 2009, June 30. p7)
St Paul Outside the Walls is one of the four great basilicas of ancient Rome. It was erected by Constantine over the presumed burial place of Paul the Apostle where Christians had erected a monument after his beheading which took place by order of Emperor Nero around 67 AD.
INVESTIGATOR 128 (2009 September)
PSYCHIC EXPO and "THE ONE"
The promotion brochure for Adelaide’s 2009 Body-Mind Psychic Expo describes Dr Jason Betts:
Australia’s smartest psychic… As 2008 Australian Psychic of the Year, he starred on the hit TV show 'The One'. [See #127]
Jason is a genius Reiki Sensei whose stand is to help, teach and heal.
The brochure listed Expo workshops (each participation $4), highlights, and entertainments. Astonishing workshops included:
ELIZABETH JENSEN MESSAGES FROM ISIS FOR THE FUTURE. Will the world end in 2012? Elizabeth will channel direct messages from Isis, the ancient Egyptian Goddess of Prophecy about our future...
ANIL NAR GHOST WHISPERER Medium. Anil has a natural talent which leaves the Audience stunned as he brings through messages from those who have passed over…
THE LIQUID CRYSTALS …the Atlantean Way crystal Healing and an Atlantean Meditation spoken in the ancient language.
The 2009 Expo was held at the Wayville Showground, May 30-31.
FRED FLINTSTONE HELPS CREATIONISTS
British scientist James Williams of Sussex University advocates teaching 5-year-olds evolution so that they don’t mistake Fred Flintstone and Dino the Dinosaur as fact.
Professor Williams believes that such TV shows along with movies like One Million Years BC prime kids for indoctrination by young-earth-creationists. These creationists believe the Universe was created 6000 years ago and are armed with DVDs that mix little science with much fiction. Professor Williams calls the creationist strategy of teaching pseudoscience as science "intellectual abuse". (Sunday Mail 2009, July 12, p36)
DUALLING CREATIONISTS REACH SETTLEMENT
A civil case between young-earth creationists that started in 2005 in the Queensland Supreme Court, reached an out of court settlement ratified by a US court in Cincinnati in April.
The case pitted Carl Wieland's Queensland-based Creation Ministries International against Ken Ham’s US-based Answers in Genesis. Both ministries teach that the Universe was created in six days, 6000 years ago.
The dispute involved alleged stolen mailing lists, breached copyright and how best to spread the creationist message.
Wieland and Ham worked together in the formative years of Australia's young-earth creation movement. Ham left Queensland in 1987 to spread the word in the American Midwest.
In 2005 Ham opened a creationist museum in Kentucky with exhibits of the Garden of Eden, Noah's Ark, and dinosaurs interacting with humans. Ham also preaches on 1000 radio stations in North America, which makes the ministry one of America's most prominent creation ministries.
Wieland commissioned a magistrate report which found that Ham ran the US operation with, "unbiblical, unethical, unlawful behaviour."
Ham reacted by formally splitting from the Australian organization. He started a rival creationist magazine in opposition to Ex Nihilo (now Creation) which Wieland founded in 1980. (The Australian 2009, April 30, p7)
Although radio astronomer Seth Shostak does not believe ufologists have sound evidence for alien intelligence, he is himself in the scientific forefront of the search. His new book is out and titled: Confessions of an Alien Hunter: A Scientist’s Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (2009).
INVESTIGATOR 129 (2009 November)
There was a debate in Investigator (78 to 83 and 118 p49) on whether children of old fathers (i.e. aged over 50) have higher rates of medical problems.
We can now declare Frank Russo the probable winner of that debate for the following reasons:
The Weekend Australian Magazine (2009 May 16-17) referred to a study involving 33,000 American children. Older fathers had children with lower scores for memory, concentration and reading skills. The IQ differences were not great, "just a few IQ points". The risk of schizophrenia begins to rise in children when the father is over 30 at their birth. There is also greater risk of bipolar disorder and autism. For both sexes the most favourable time to produce children is under the age of 30.
GOD IN JAIL
Agus Noro also called Agus Imam Solihin (leader of the faithful) led a Muslim cult in Indonesia called "Chosen Warriors from the Belly of the World". He called himself God, forbade fasting and prayer, and encouraged followers to perform group sex. He was found guilty of having blasphemed against Islam but sentenced to 2½ years instead of four because he withdrew his claim to be God. (The Weekend Australian 2009, August 1-2, p15)
UFO RESEARCHER DIES
For Adelaide-born Colin Norris the flying saucer phenomenon began in 1942. He was in Geraldton (WA) with the RAAF and, "a shining orb…hovered over my head giving off a luminous purple aura." (Sunday Mail 2001, November 18, p31)
Mr Norris founded the Australian International UFO Flying Saucer Research organization in 1952. By 2001 he had "logged 2000 sightings and given 700 lectures on UFOs."
The Sunday Mail article quoted Mr Norris: "I believe the world is breaking itself up with war, all mainly over religion, and this is being observed by others, watching us like a species. They are biding their time before they come and straighten things out."
A report on Mr Norris and on amazing claims made at one of the Flying Saucer Research meetings appeared in Investigator #47.
Mr Norris died in 2009.
A girl who lived with cats and dogs and communicated by barking was taken into care by Russian child protection officers in May.
Police named her "Mowgli" after a character in Jungle Book (Rudyard Kipling, 1894) who grew up with wolves.
The five-year-old lived in an apartment with her father and grandparents in the Siberian city of Chita but was left alone with their dogs much of the time. She could understand Russian but not speak it.
At the care facility the girl jumped at the door and barked like a dog whenever the carers left. (The Australian 2009, May 29)