Category Archives: strange events

Acts 19:35–What Can It Mean?

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When St. Paul was in Ephesus, his Christian teachings riled up the pagans and the city nearly had a major riot. It was all the town clerk could do to avoid an insurrection.

“And when the townclerk had appeased the people, he said, Ye men of Ephesus, what man is there that knoweth not how that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddes Diana, and of the image which fell down from Jupiter?” (Acts 19:35)

Whoa! They had an “image” there that had fallen down from heaven? Or maybe something–a meteorite, say–had fallen out of the sky once upon a time, and they’d shaped it into an idol. Or maybe it was just P.R.: the idol that they worshipped was just so old, no one remembered its true origin and a legend grew up that said the image had fallen down from Jupiter.

I’d go with the P.R. theory; but there is this, from Plutarch’s Life of Lucullus.

During the Third Mithridatic War (75-63 B.C.), the Romans and their enemies had just squared off to do battle when the whole business was interrupted by something bright and metallic, so bright it might have been on fire, suddenly falling from the sky, to land on the space between the armies; and all the lads skedaddled.

Ancient historian Plutarch wrote about UFO sighting

Plutarch lived too late to get this story from any eyewitnesses, but he must have thought the traditional account of the incident believable or he wouldn’t have included it in his history.

No, I don’t believe any of this has anything to do with space alien Space Brothers in UFOs controlling human history. But we do get some idea of what Paul was up against.

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Here is an ordinary stone idol of Diana of the Ephesians as a fertility goddess. This sort of thing was very deeply rooted in Paul’s mission field.

God wouldn’t have commanded us not to worship graven images if He didn’t think we’d always need that commandment.

A Very Musical Household

This is what you get when Daddy and Mommy are musicians–a musical household.

Well, at any rate you get a dancing toddler and a dog who plays the piano and sings, insofar as a dog can do such things. Betcha J.S. Bach had this in his house! Anyway, we saw it last night and I knew I’d have to share it with you all.

A Close Call… with a Crocodile

If you think alligators give people a hard time in Florida, check out this couple in Zimbabwe, chased out of their backyard swimming pool by a crocodile. The man jumps out of the pool, leaving the woman to frolic with the crocodile. Quickly thinking better of it, he runs around the pool to shoo the croc from the woman, who is then able to escape unbitten.

Does this croc have an attitude, or what?

It could’ve turned out a lot worse.

The Mystery of Spontaneous Human Combustion

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There are pictures available for Spontaneous Human Combustion, but I’d rather not post them here. Readers might find them too upsetting.

In Charles Dickens’ novel, Bleak House, one of the characters, for no apparent reason, bursts into flame and is almost totally consumed–without setting fire to his room. Dickens based the incident on a real case, in Italy, that was reported in 1731.

“Spontaneous human combustion” is a mystery, it doesn’t happen often enough to generate a theory, there is no accepted explanation of it. Somehow, a human being catches fire–“from the inside out,” it often seems to police investigators–and although fantastically high temperatures must be achieved, to reduce human flesh and bone to ashes, usually the person’s surroundings–typically a bed or a chair–survive in reasonably good condition. Sometimes even clothes survive. Sometimes the victim’s legs and lap remain, with everything above the waist totally consumed. (

Two recent cases:

In 2010, in Ireland, a man burned to ashes indoors. The coroner found “no adequate explanation” for this and conceded it to be Spontaneous Human Combustion.

In 2017, in London, a man burst into flame while walking down the sidewalk. Passersby put out the fire, but he died the next day in the hospital. In the coroner’s view the fire was “an accident” probably caused by the victim trying to light a cigarette as he walked–although most people would surely pause while they did that.

SHC is often, but not always, linked to habitual consumption of lots of alcoholic beverages.

But in truth, we have no explanation for it.

‘Thunderbird Attack’ Revisited

Marlon and Ruth Lowe… after the, ahem, “incident”

This is one of those weird stories that sticks in my mind, demanding to be understood. And I keep trying, but I haven’t got there yet.

On July 25, 1977, in a residential neighborhood of Lawndale, Illinois–already we’ve got a solid time and place–two marvelously large birds swooped down out of the sky. One of them grabbed 10-year-old Marlon Lowe while another boy escaped by diving into a neighbor’s swimming pool. Marlon struggled violently, and after about 35 feet, the bird let go of him and he had the presence of mind to run into a house before he could be snatched again. There were seven witnesses to the incident, and their stories all tallied.

The big birds flew away well before police arrived.

After the incident made it into the news, Marlon was mocked as “bird boy” and his mother, Ruth, branded as a kook. Crank calls, threats, dead animals left on their doorstep–it’s difficult to understand the animosity felt toward these ordinary people who had done nothing wrong.

The birds were written off as turkey vultures. What bunk. We have lots of turkey vultures in my neighborhood. They’re big, but nowhere near big enough to take off with a 60-pound boy in their claws. No one’s in the least afraid of them.

No one in 1977 had a cell phone camera, so we’re out of luck for pictures.

I don’t know about you, but I’d believe seven witnesses. What they were describing was outlandish, but surely not impossible. Eagles have been known to take small children. It’s a very rare event, but not unknown. But no one in Lawndale thought these birds were eagles.

Is it possible that somewhere in North America there are enormous birds yet unknown to science, only rarely seen–and not very many of them?

If you say “no, it’s totally impossible,” you’ve probably spent too much time in a city or the suburbs.

Another ‘Mysterious Human Relative’?

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Hail, hail, the gang’s all here…

Four teeth found in a cave–and we have yet another “mysterious human relative,” National Geographic has reported (

“Many human species once walked the earth,” we are told, including whoever once had those four teeth, supposedly 200,000 years old. How do we know they’re that old? Honest answer: we don’t, really. It’s almost as problematic as dating ancient stone tools.

Hey, maybe this whoever-he-was is related to the Denisovans, a whole batch of people who supposedly branched off from the Neanderthals some 400,000 years ago. Our vast fund of knowledge about the Denisovans, according to National Geographic, consists of “three molars, a pinky, and a skull fragment.” Who could ask for more?

The problem with identifying these fossils, we read, is due to a lot of interbreeding going on, way back when, among the plethora of human species around at the time. I hope we all know that a pug and a schnauzer can interbreed and produce unusual-looking puppies: but despite how different the parents look from one another, they’re still dogs. If they were different species, they either couldn’t interbreed at all or, if they could, their offspring would be sterile, like mules.

So if all these folks were successfully interbreeding–and that was only a speculation–then that means they all belonged to the same species. Humans.

The first paratroopers had a motto, “It’s foolish but it’s fun.” Paleoanthropologists might want to borrow it.

‘When TV Personalities Spout Gibberish’ (2015)

Back in 2011 there were several incidents of TV personalities looking straight at the camera and spouting pure gibberish. By 2015, the cause of this was still unknown. Nor is it known today.

The most famous victim of this weird affliction was Judge Judy, who had to stop taping her show because nothing but nonsense was coming out of her mouth. They rushed her to the hospital, but doctors could find no cause for the symptom. Soon it just went away.

It also happened to several noozies in the United States and Canada, while they were live on the air. Was it a mini-stroke? Tests couldn’t confirm that.

Back in the 1950s, novelist Hal Goodwin, writing as “John G. Blaine,” suggested a means by which this could be done to someone on purpose.

My original video link doesn’t work anymore, so let me see if I can find another one for you. OK, got one: see the video, above.

This happened to half a dozen other reporters as they were on the air. I have not heard that it has happened since; nor have I heard any explanation of it, beyond the really scary one offered by Hal Goodwin.

Crazy Cuisine: Fish and… Toothpaste?

Patty found this video while she was noodling around Youtube. Never mind the whole thing: we’re only interested in the first “genius kitchen hack”–

Which features squeezing out a line of toothpaste over your fish before you grill it.

Toothpaste? The video does not explain what this is supposed to accomplish. We searched around the internet, but even the hosts on other cooking videos admitted to being puzzled by this.

Like, you’re not really supposed to eat toothpaste–right? Or am I just being old-fashioned about this? We have not found a word of explanation as to any purpose for putting a lot of toothpaste on your fish.

Maybe you could serve it with toothpaste sandwich cookies.

I’m sure some of you out there are skilled in cookery. Have you ever heard of doing this? If you know the secret, please share it with the rest of us.

You Won’t Smile if You’re On This Candid Camera

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How would you like being banned from shopping in hundreds or even thousands of stores, because a security camera once caught you shoplifting? And how would you like it if you hadn’t shoplifted, the hi-tech fancy robots got it wrong, and you were severely punished for something you not only didn’t do, but had never even been arraigned and put on trial for?

They call it “facial recognition,” and there are no rules ( If the robot says you’re guilty, that’s that. No appeal. In fact, you don’t need to commit a crime, to wind up on somebody’s watch list. Because there are no rules to decide who is to be put on the list, or why, or who is to be left off. Big Brother will be watching–all the time.

So far it’s not the government doing this (not that we know of!), but chains of stores, airports, concert venues, tunnel entrances–all private concerns. But don’t let that comfort you. If the police want to watch you closely, and can’t get a warrant for it–or would rather not ask any court for a warrant, because their case is too flimsy–how hard would it be for them to ask nicely for some store’s “facial recognition” watch list data? (I may not be using the right techno-terms here, but you know what I mean.) But at least if they arrest you, you’ll have a chance to defend yourself in court. If 500 stores ban you because a robot told ’em you’re a crook, you have no defense.

The freedom-eaters are hungry.

Authentic and Bona Fide Centaur Footage!

Hi! Mr. Nature isn’t here today, so it is I, Dr. Credulous, presenting overwhelming and undeniable proof that centaurs are really real!

Video doesn’t lie!

All right, I admit one of these five centaurs does look a little hinky, there just might be something about it that’s not 100% kosher. But the other four!

It is believed that Climate Change and Income Inequality have contributed to the increase in centaur sightings. And that makes perfect sense to me–because… I’m Dr. Credulous!

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