The last person to see Gina DeJesus before she disappeared in 2004 was her classmate Arlene Castro, the daughter of the man suspected of holding her captive with two other women for nearly a decade.
The revelation was the latest twist to the remarkable story of how the three women were kept prisoner in a rundown home in Cleveland while their alleged kidnapper cooked barbecues and listened to music with neighbours. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Numbers stations are mysterious shortwave radio channels of indiscernible origin that exist in countries all across the world and have been reported since World War 1. They are identifiable by the unusual contents of their broadcasts: seemingly random sequences of numbers, words, letters, tunes, and Morse code, usually spoken by artificially generated voices of women and children.
The most common theory regarding the purpose of these bizarre stations is that they’re used by governments the world over to secretly transmit encrypted commands and messages to spies. That said, even though numbers stations have been discovered all over the globe and in any number of different languages, no government has ever officially acknowledged their existence. While the espionage theory is a logical one, with no official confirmation of their purpose the jury is still out.
One particularly odd station, UVB-76, has existed since the late 1970s and has broadcast a simple, repetitive buzzing tone 24 hours a day ever since. On very rare occasions, however, listeners have reported a Russian voice interrupting the buzz to read out sequences of numbers and words, always in a consistent format — this happened once in 1997, once in 2002, once in 2006, 56 times in 2010, and 14 in 2011. As with all numbers stations, its true purpose is and will probably remain unknown, but the increase in frequency of whatever it’s doing is certainly odd.
You can listen to well over 100 recordings of numbers stations for free on archive.org but be forewarned that they’re all kind of, well, eerie. They feel like something you shouldn’t be listening to, which stands to reason since apparently you’re not supposed to know they exist.
On September 28, 1988, a 19-year old girl named Tara Calico left her home in Belen, New Mexico to go bike riding on Highway 47. Neither Tara nor her bicycle were seen again. Her case went cold until June 15, 1989 when a woman found a Polaroid in a parking spot outside a convenience store in Port St. Joe, Florida. A white van had previously been parked in the spot, and the photo featured a teenage girl and young boy were both bound and gagged in the back of a van. It was speculated that the girl in the photo might be Tara and that the boy was Michael Henley, a nine-year old who vanished on a New Mexico camping trip the previous year. However, Michael’s remains were soon found in the same area he originally went missing. Two other photographs featuring a gagged girl resembling Tara surfaced over the next few months, though they have never been released to the public. Years later, a Valencia County sheriff publicly stated his belief that Tara was killed the day she disappeared when two local residents accidentally hit her with their truck and disposed of her body, but he had insufficient evidence to make an arrest. But if this theory is true, then what’s the story behind the two kids in the photograph?
Mantis shrimp are beautiful creatures. They also have perhaps the most incredible eyes in the entire animal kingdom.
Human beings have binocular vision, because we have two eyes which work together. Mantis shrimp eyes are compound, composed of up to 10,000 individual lenses. They’re also segmented into three parts, so each individual mantis shrimp eye has trinocular vision, meaning that just one eye has better depth perception than both of ours do together.
Mantis shrimp also have hyperspectral vision. Where the photoreceptors (cones) in human retinas come in three types, corresponding to red, green, and blue light, mantis shrimp have 12 different types of photoreceptor (some species have 16). This means that mantis shrimp can see a much more colourful world than we do, as well as being able to see both ultraviolet and infrared light, invisible to us.
Mantis shrimp eyes can also see polarised light with a better response across the whole wavelength than man-made optics like those used in blu-ray discs.
These creatures see the world in ways which we humans can never fully comprehend.
A spider discovered deep in the jungles of Madagascar spins the largest webs in the world, using silk that’s tougher than any known biological substance.
Named Caerostris darwini, or Darwin’s bark spider, the inch-wide arachnid’s webs can cover 30-square-foot areas, hanging in midair from 80-foot-long anchor lines.
The webs’ size generates enormous structural stresses, magnified by the struggles of trapped prey. Strands must “absorb massive kinetic energy before breaking,” and are “10 times better than Kevlar,” wrote University of Puerto Rico zoologist Igni Agnarsson in Public Library of Science One.
Some other spider may hold the World’s Toughest Material title. The researchers point out that there are more than 40,000 arachnid species, manufacturing some 200,000 types of silk. Scientists have studied only a few dozen.
“This is a photo of my aunt’s wedding day. The year was 1942, and the photo was taken with a box camera. On some of my feedback I’m told it’s not really there! Well, I know it is. This picture has been passed down. It was taken in Jasper, Alabama.”
Dated to 60-50 BC, the shipwreck was found off the coast of Antikythera. The ship carried cargo dating from 4th to 1st century BC and was sailing towards Italy carrying among other cargo bronze and marble sculptures, glassware and jewellery, and amonst these the famous “Antikythera Mechanism”. The finds reflect the new phenomenon of art trade, the first in the history of Western civilization.
These marble sculptures have been severely eroded by stone-eating organisms of the sea, and only their parts trapped safely in the mud of the seabed have remained wonderfully intact.
Scarred and deformed, the half-destroyed sculptures seem even more human, nearly demonic. No longer serving as images of idealised beauty, their artistic quality has reached a new dimension, distorted by nature’s interference. Their image haunts you long after you’ve left them behind.
The 2009 movie The Haunting in Connecticut appears to be based on the events experienced by the Snedeker family in the 1980s.
The Snedekers moved into a house in Southington, Connecticut in order to live closer to the UConn Health Center, where Carmen’s son was being treated for cancer. The family would later claim that it was plagued by some manner of demonic presence. Mortuary equipment was discovered in the basement, and it was later found that the house had been a funeral home. Carmen described the demons: “One of the demons was very thin, with high cheekbones, long black hair and pitch black eyes. Another had white hair and eyes, wore a pinstriped tuxedo, and his feet were constantly in motion.”
The house was examined by Ed and Lorraine Warren. According to a write-up on the case in 2009 by NBC, the morticians that worked in the mortuary were allegedly involved in necromancy and/or necrophilia with the corpses, and the room where the two youngest children stayed was previously the show room for caskets; down the hall was where bodies were prepared for viewing. Lorraine Warren would later state that, “In the master bedroom, there was a trap door where the coffins were brought up, and during the night, you would hear that chain hoist, as if a coffin were being brought up. But when Ed went to check he found two women down there dancing around in circles and singing; when he walked towards them, they disappeared.” In response to the film, Lorraine would later say the actual case was “much, much scarier than any movie could ever be,” and that the film was “very, very loosely based” on their investigation of the house. Lorraine Warren has told the Associated Press that the house was cleared of any presence after an exorcism conducted in 1988.
Carmen Snedeker’s accounts were covered in episodes of the television series A Haunting and Paranormal Witness.