Mirage Men

 

That’s the name of a new documentary film that that portends to show that UFOs are nothing more than a complicated decades long effort by the U.S. government to deceive its citizens in a grand disinformation project. The basis for the allegations is a 2010 book by the same name.

For years, ufologists have suspected that the government was hiding information on UFOs and the film contends that the allegation is true. However, what they were hiding was the disinformation program. Mirage Men even uncovers a former government agent, Richard Doty, who played the role of one of the notorious Men in Black.

“The UFO community is a textbook case of a gullible group susceptible to manipulation. Having spent too long watching the skies and The X-Files, it’s implied, they’ll readily swallow whatever snippet of ‘evidence’ suits their grand theory,” according to an article in The Guardian about the documentary. The article was recently re-published here in Raw Story.

The Guardian tells us that Mirage Men “unearths compelling evidence that UFO folklore was actually fabricated by the US government. Rather than covering up the existence of aliens, could it be that the real conspiracy has been persuading us to believe in them?”

If what The Guardian says about the documentary is true, then it sounds like a reductionist simplification of the UFO phenomenon. In other words, since there is a documented pattern of disinformation regarding UFOs, then there are no ‘real’ UFOs.

As I was reading the article, I kept wondering if there’s nothing to UFOs, and ufologists are basically nut cases, then why the need for disinformation? What’s the point?
Finally, in the last paragraph the writer seems to wake up to that fact when he concludes: “As always in the conspiracy-theory hall of mirrors, it’s possible to flip the hypothesis on its head: what if the lies and hoaxes Mirage Men reveals are simply a smokescreen for the fact that the authorities really do know secrets about extraterrestrials? What better way to conceal them than by getting ‘found out’ in their disinformation tactics?…Perhaps we’re no closer to knowing if the truth really is out there, but we can be sure the lies are.

We’ll probably watch the documentary and hopefully it won’t be as one-sided as the article implies. Clearly, there is more to the UFO phenomenon than disinformation. 

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The Star Synchro

This synchronicity comes from Melissa, whose synchros we’ve posted before. When our daughter was much younger, Melissa used to babysit her. She and her husband, Jon, now live in New York.

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As you may or may not know, Coca-Cola has a campaign going where you “share a Coke with ____” and the bottles/cans have various names on them.  We have yet to find one with either Melissa or Jon…

Yesterday morning Jennifer (Melissa’s sister) texted me a picture of a 12-pack of Coke and it said “Share a Coke with a Star.”  She tried to find a single can or bottle for me but there were none, so we had to settle for the picture.  Star is our cat. Here’s Star contemplating the Coke can with her name on it.

Fast forward to dinnertime that same day – we ordered Chinese take-out, which usually comes with a soda or two, depending on what we’ve ordered.  Jon was emptying the bag of take-out, not paying too much attention.  As I walked by I noticed we had gotten a can of Coke (they usually send Sprite!) and I thought, “That can better say ‘Star’ on it…” We had been having a pretty bad couple of days and when I picked it up, sure enough, it said ‘Star’ and I just held it up to Jon.

I took it as a sign from the universe that things will be looking up, and it worked for at least a moment, everyone was cheered up!

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Later that same day, Melissa emailed me again and said she now believed the synchro was actually a trickster. She and Jon had rented a car so they could drive to a party in Connecticut.  The rental was pricey – $160, but she knew about the price  ahead of time.

“The toll pass we got didn’t work and we were stuck in the EZ pass lane and got yelled at by a cop and then got lost even with directions and the GPS. I had an anxiety attack and we didn’t make it to the party and went home.”

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This is how the trickster seems to work at times. Hey, here’s a synchro for you, and what a good one it is. Then, later, things turn out differently than you expected and you can almost hear the trickster laughing.

 

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Where the Dolphins Ended Up

 

Back in September 2013, our daughter, Megan, had her first exhibit of her dolphin art. As a result of that show, she sold three of her dolphin pieces, and others followed later on.

The first piece, which had hung on our living room wall, went to our friend and novelist Nancy Pickard.  A second one went to our friend and fellow blogger, Nancy Atkinson. A third and fourth eventually went to a local couple, Rose and Dwayne, who is an artist himself.

I’m always curious what people do with the art they buy, and now I know!  Nancy Pickard’s piece was the largest and she said it was going to look great on her bedroom wall. A few days ago, she sent me a photo of the dolphin in her redecorated, very Zen bedroom. The dolphin looks quite pleased, with plenty of color to swim in.

 

Nancy Atkinson thought her dolphin would fit perfectly in the condo she and her husband own on Maui, and asked Megan to ship it to Hawaii. She gave the dates when she was going to be in Hawaii, and asked Megan to mail it to that address. Mercury, which rules travel and communication in astrology, was retrograde during that period and I had reservations about the painting being mailed during the retro.. Long story short, the dolphin never arrived and eventually found its way back to Megan’s apartment. She subsequently mailed it to Nancy’s home on the mainland. So her dolphin traveled more than 11,000 miles before Nancy finally received it. The full story is here. Her dolphin, whom I fondly call Nomad, will probably end up in Hawaii.

The dolphin that Rose and Dwayne bought was framed and hung on a coquina rock wall in their living room. I think this dolphin looks quite happy, too!

Rob and I also bought several of her pieces and framed the smallest. That painting graces the living room wall with two other pieces that are done in panels. We call that wall The Dolphins’ Place.


Thanks to her Paint Nite classes, she is now expanding to other types of paintings and uses acrylics.

Nothing like bragging about your kid, huh?

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Mass Sighting Over Houston?

The coverage by a local TV station in Houston about this mass sighting is measured but not dismissive. Could this evolve into another Phoenix lights?

 

 

 

 

 

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The Green Tweezers

Communication between the living and the dead may occur more frequently than we realize. In Synchronicity and the Other Side, we included dozens of stories of spirit contact, experienced by people from all walks of life. Synchronicity, as a kind of connective tissue between our daily world and the world of spirit, often plays an integral part in such communication.

As you’ll see from the following story, spirits can use virtually anything to communicate with the living. This story comes from Anne Strieber and is about her and Whitley’s friend, Margo Adler, a Wiccan and author whose book, Drawing Down the Moon is a classic about paganism. Adler died recently.

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Our good friend, wiccan Margot Adler died last week. Margot was an NPR reporter and she was also a Wiccan. We never knew for sure if she believed in an afterlife, but as the dead now so often appear in our lives, I wanted to get in touch with her spirit. But how to do this?

I remembered that Laurence Gardner told us that green was the color of magic, and Margot was as magical a person as I have ever met. So I decided to look for things that were green. But since we were visiting in the country, there was green all around us. Whitley said that I should look for things that are not normally green, if that was where I was hoping to find a sign.

I walked into a green hallway, saw several men wearing green shirts, but none of this seemed somehow right. These were just ordinary experiences, not communications. Then I sent Whitley out to replace some tweezers I had mislaid. One pair was an ordinary sliver color, but the other, to my great surprise, was the only pair of GREEN tweezers I’d ever seen in my life.

It was a sign to me that Margot—or my love of our dear friend—was still around, working her Wiccan magic.

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I have never seen a pair of green tweezers, either! I asked Whitley if the original tweezers had ever been found. He said no, that Anne had come home with the silver and green tweezers.

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The Mademoiselle Gown

 

Our blogger friend Adelita at Lita Dreaming sent me the following story through Facebook. I asked her if we could post it.  The woman who experienced it, Wanda Burch,  is a friend of Adelita’s and an author whose book, She Who Dreams, is now on my must read list. Here’s the story, in Wanda’s words:

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Ron and I have known each other since the sixth grade, began dating in college and married 43 years ago today. Marrying your best friend is a special journey.

The graduate school years placed us hundreds of miles apart, Ron in North Carolina, me in upstate New York; but occasionally we talked about where we would marry and what kind of wedding it would be. Mademoiselle Magazine featured “folkloric” wedding gowns in 1970, and I was in love with the cover gown, a Romantic dotted Swiss dress with puffy sleeves ending in long Victorian cuffs. I tucked the magazine away among my class notes where glimpses of it would pop up as I fingered through my assignments. I had no income and no hope of owning such a dress but it hovered like a remembered night dream.

That spring my housemate asked if I would like to spend the weekend in New York City while she visited family. Never having been to New York City I eagerly accepted. As I packed, I pulled the magazine from its hiding place and looked on the “where to find merchandise” page: Lord & Taylor, New York City. Maybe I could just try it on.

I made myself at home in an old hotel, barely sleeping through the unfamiliar sights, sounds and aromas of Manhattan. Early Saturday morning I made my way to Lord & Taylor. I told the saleswoman my hapless tale of loving the cover gown and, like a fairy godmother fulfilling a dream, she happily filled the dressing room with all the wedding gowns featured in the pages of the magazine.

In the midst of trying on gown after gown and saving my dream gown for last, a floor attendant burst into the dressing room and said: “You’re the perfect size.” She told me a young woman and her mother were on the floor to “see” gowns, but the model had not shown up. Would I do it?

I had little choice. She had already pulled the first gown over my head. I spent an hour or more walking in circles while the young woman and her mother selected a gown. I returned to the changing room, looking one more time at the beautiful gown from the magazine cover. It was still my favorite.

The attendant walked in and saw the gown in my arms. “Take it,” she said.

“What?”

“Take it. We have no contract with you as a model, and I was wondering how to pay you. Take the dress.”

Ron and I were married August 7, 1971. I wore the cover gown from Mademoiselle Magazine.

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It’s the gown in the photo at the top of the post, which was on the cover of the magazine in the spring of 1970.

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Bizarre Trickster Synchro: the BBC and the Death of Robin Williams

 

 

 

Frequently, bizarre trickster synchronicities occur during mass events or stories that are covered globally by the media. One such synchronicity came to light today concerning the death of Robin Williams. Thanks to CF, who first found this synchro on Facebook and alerted us to it. The you tube video of Joseph Campbell talking about the trickster seems appropriate.

According to the Mirror (U.K.), minutes before William’s death was announced, the BBC ran an episode of the cartoon Family Guy about Robin Williams that featured a failed suicide attempt. “Viewers were shocked over the uncanny timing after watching the episode called Fatman and Robin, where Peter Griffin is cursed with the ability to turn everything he touches into Robin Williams,” said the Mirror. “During the episode Peter tries to commit suicide in a desperate attempt to stop the clones appearing…”

A spokeswoman for the BBC called it an “uncanny coincidence” and noted that episodes are scheduled two weeks ahead of time. Full story here.

Synchronicities like this always cause me to wonder about the nature of time. Perhaps there is no time and it’s only our perceptions that divide it into past, present, future.  Or maybe the scheduling of the episode was precognitive on the part of the BBC. Or maybe something else entirely is at work here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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RIP, Robin Williams

Here’s where we first met you. We knew then what a rare talent you were. I hope that you are now in that world of What Dreams May Come.

 

 

 

 

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Interdimensional places

Occasionally, I come across  stories on the Internet purported to be real events that frankly sound more like fiction, fantasy fiction, at that.

Such was the case with the following tale. Yes, it sounds questionable. But after I read it, it occurred to me that Trish and I had experienced something very similar, but on a smaller scale, and we’d also written a story told to us by our on-line friend Diane Fine that features the same interdimensional flavor. But first here’s the story that prompted these thoughts.

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In 2006, Carol Chase McElheney was driving from Perris, California to her home in San Bernardino, when she decided to stop in her hometown of Riverside. It didn’t take long, however, for Carol to realize that something was wrong. The geographical location was correct, but the town was different from her memories.

Towns change, of course, over time, but Carol couldn’t even find her childhood home or the homes of other family members. Had they all been demolished and replaced?

In fact, she didn’t recognize any of the houses in her old neighborhood. Even the cemetery where her grandparents were buried was just a fenced lot full of overgrown weeds.

Yet, she also found some landmarks that were familiar, such as the college and middle school. So she knew she must be in the right town. Her discomfort about the changes in her old hometown were soon reflected in the eerie vibe she felt from the Riverside residents. It was as if she was an outsider, an intruder and the locals knew she didn’t belong. The place started taking on a sinister aura, and she quickly departed without stopping or talking to anyone.

A few years later, when Carol returned to Riverside for her father’s funeral, it was the same old  town she knew as a child, and she felt none of the haunting eeriness that  she’d sensed on her earlier trip.  Did Carol inadvertently stumble into some darker version of her hometown that existed in a parallel world or dimension?

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Of course it’s easy to write off such a story as an exaggeration of an event in the woman’s life or just a  ‘what if’ fantasy tale.  But then I recalled Diane Fine’s story of  a trip during college in which she and friends had encountered heavy fog while passing through the town of Dannemora, New York. We wrote about it in Aliens in the Backyard. Here’s the excerpt:

They pulled off the road and stopped at a bar-restaurant that resembled a barn and included antique farm implements on the walls. Something odd happened there that left a blank in the minds of the four young women. None of them could remember leaving the restaurant or even driving the rest of the way to their destination!  On their return trip, when they approached the town, they decided to go back to the place. They found the road where they’d turned off, but there was no restaurant. They were certain they were at the right place, but it was as if the restaurant never existed.

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Then there’s the experience that Trish and I had while house-hunting about 15 years ago. We found a great house in Jupiter Farms, Florida, a rural community west of Jupiter that has no zoning laws. So you could have a mansion on five acres next to a goat farm with a yard filled with junked cars. You take your chances when you move to Jupiter Farms.

The house we liked featured two master bedrooms on either end wrapping around a large screened in swimming pool and overlooking two and a half wooded acres of  property. The central part of the house was an open style kitchen-family room featuring a stone fireplace with all updated appliances and granite countertops. We really loved that place, and I memorized the whole setting interior and exterior, including the view of other houses in the neighborhood. But our house hadn’t sold and we couldn’t make an offer. We ended up not moving at the time, but about a year and a half later we were in the market again, and looking at listings of available properties, I was amazed to see that same address in Jupiter Farms for sale.

We excitedly told our realtor that we had already seen this house when it was on the market earlier, and we were very interested. She drove us there and I recognized the neighborhood, even the gravel driveway, which was somewhat unusual, and wouldn’t be allowed in most neighborhoods. We walked inside and were stunned. It was a different house, and an unappealing one at that. None of the amenities of the place I remembered were presented. The open-style layout didn’t exit. There was a pool, but no double master bedrooms at either end.

We stayed a couple of minutes, but I just wanted to get out of there. It looked all wrong, and felt wrong. I walked outside and took a look at the property behind the house. I recognized one particularly unusual house with a Victorian style ‘tower.’ It was in the right place, as I recalled. The realtor was very confused, of course, when we told here it was the right address, but the wrong house. We had no explanation.

I guess we still don’t. Except it seemed that one of those house existed in another  dimension, and apparently it was  the one we liked. We eventually found our house here in Wellington and have been very happy with it.

 

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Cheery Synchros

These three women seem absolutely giddy as they talk about their synchronicities and visiting a spiritualist church for the first time. Love their accents.  Maybe our Brit friends can identify where they are from. Make a cup of tea and have a listen.

 

 

 

 

 

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Synchro Buggy in Brazil

This afternoon before we took Noah to the dog park, I set an intention: to hear about or experience a synchronicity. Since it’s been raining off and on this afternoon, we went later than usual.  The first person I saw entering the park was Marcio, a Brazilian married to Estis, who is Spanish.  Both are professional performance pianists who also teach music at schools in our county. I knew they’d been in Brazil for the last few weeks, performing at different venues around the country ,and wondered when they’d gotten back.

As soon as we got into the park, I told Marcio that the photos he and Estis had posted on Facebook of an island they had visited were just stunning. The island, Fernando de Noronha,  lies some 500 kilometers off the coast of Brazil.  In 2001, UNESCO designated it as a World Heritage Site because of the importance of its environment.  Marcio said it’s about an hour’s flight from Recife, and that the number of daily visitors are restricted.

Here’s a photo taken of a lagoon adjacent to a beach that Estis and Marcio posted on Facebook:

Marcio, Estis, and their two daughters were staying at one of the few houses on the beach. One day they decided they wanted to see the dolphins that congregated at a cove on the other side of the island. Since the roads were built in the 1800s and haven’t been updated, it meant they would have to rent a buggy, a rugged vehicle that can withstand the terrible condition of the roads.  The owner of the house told Marcio there were two kinds of buggies for rent on the island – the old ones and the new ones.

“What’s the difference between them?” Marcio asked.

“The new ones are twice as expensive to rent.”

Marcio decided they would take their chances with one of the older vehicles. So the owner arranged the rental of an older buggy and the next morning, Marcio and his family left for the 45 minute drive to the other side of the island. “We left at 6 a.m.,” he said. “And at 6:05, just as we were starting up a steep hill, the buggy broke down. There were no other buggies on the road, no one anywhere.” The area was so remote that Marcio undoubtedly felt a sinking in his gut.  “We didn’t have our cell phones with us. This area was so remote that Estis just looked at me and said, ‘What now?’”

“We push the buggy to the side of the road and walk up that hill and find someone who will call a taxi. Or something,” Marcio replied.

Just as they got the buggy to the side of the road, Marcio glanced back and saw an older man wearing headphones walking toward them, swinging his arms in time to the music  he was listening to. He came right over to them.

“What’re you doing out here?” Marcio asked.

“This is where I walk every morning. Are you out of gas?”

“No,” Marcio replied. “The buggy just broke down.”

“Oh, it’s probably the gas pedal.” He pulled on the pedal and the buggy was fine.

“How’s you know what to do?” Marcio asked.

The man laughed. “I own the buggy and rented it to the man with whom you’re staying.”

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“Wow, Marcio,” I said. “What a great synchronicity!”

“I know. It was the best moment on that island – spooky, but in a good way.”

Before Rob and I had left the dog park, Estis texted me the photo that appears at the top of the post. And I came home and wrote this. My intention worked! And so did synchronicity. Travel synchros are often powerful. We are out of our normal routines, our expectations are open, flexible. The miraculous happens. We are blown away.

 

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Maria Reiche: Lady of the LInes

 

What is it that prompts some people to devote most of their lives to a particular cause, idea, or mystery? Is it random? A result of the circumstances, time, and culture into which the person is born? Does the individual come into his life with a particular soul mission? Or is sit a combination of these or something else?

History is filled with examples – Gandhi (peace), Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King (equality and freedom for all) Carl Jung (the human psyche) Joseph Campbell (mythology and man) JK Rowling (bringing a certain wizard boy to life), Helen Keller (overcoming disabilities), Amelia Earhart (breaking a glass ceiling in aviation) Rosas Parks (sparked the civil rights movement). You get the idea here. In way one or another, these people made a significant difference in the world.

Now here’s another name for that list: Maria Reiche. To anyone who knows anything about the Nazca lines in Peru  her name is undoubtedly familiar.

In a nutshell, the Nazca lines lie in southern Peru, on an arid plateau that stretches for 50 miles between the towns of Nazca and Palpa. The lines are a series of ancient geoglyphs that scholars believe were created during the Nazca culture between 400 and 650 A.D. Hundreds of the lines are simple geometric shapes. But some of them are intricate designs of birds, fish, jaguars, spiders, monkeys, and llamas. The largest figures are more than 660 feet across.  The best way to see them is in the air. Here’s the hummingbird:

So how does Maria Reiche figure into the strange and intriguing saga of the Nazca lines?

In 1939, Dr. Paul Kosok, a professor of history at Long Island University, traveled to Nazca because he was interested in investigating whether the lines were ancient irrigation canals, his specialty. He’s often credited as the first serious researcher of the lines.   During his research, he concluded that the ground surface was too superficial to have carried water. He also identified the shapes of animals in some of the lines and noticed that some of them converged on the date of the winter solstice. This triggered his research into whether the Nazca lines were related to astronomy.

His research assistant was Maria Reiche, born in Dresden, Germany in 1903. At Dresden Technical University, she studied math, astronomy, geography and foreign languages. She spoke five languages fluently. In 1932, she became a nanny and teacher for a German consul in Cuzco and when the war broke out, was detained in Peru because she was a German citizen. She became Kosok’s assistant shortly after his arrival in Nazca.

Reiche and Kosok began to map and assess the lines for their connection to astronomical events. After Kosok left Peru in 1948, she continued the work on her own. Her background as a mathematician enabled her to analyze how the Nazca could have created such large scale figures and with such sophisticated mathematical precision.

The Nazca lines can best be seen from the air, so Reiche convinced the Peruvian Air Force to help her make aerial photographic surveys. She eventually wrote a book on her theories – The Mystery on the Desert  – that the that the builders of the lines had used them as a sun calendar and an observatory for astronomical cycles.  With the proceeds from her book, she campaigned for the preservation of the Nazca lines. Her quest intensified when a segment of the Pan American Highway cut through one of the figures.

She eventually convinced the Peruvian government to preserve the Nazca area. When she died in 1998, she was buried with official honors, with great pomp and circumstance, in Nazca.

Our friend Kathy Doore, who has written about Markawasi, Peru, has a piece of her website  about Reiche that perhaps best explains what drives people like Reiche.  In 1986, when she was asked what events in her life had prepared her for this lifelong passion, she replied:

“It was a kind of destiny. When I first came to Peru by sea the ship went passing through the center of four consecutive rainbows, four arcs, one inside the other. It was a marvelous spectacle! It must have been some kind of prediction or something. Imagine a boat, a boat driving through the open sea, passing through arching rainbows that touched the waves.  Everything had prepared me for this life. The isolation into which I found myself, my parents putting me aside after my brother was born, my shortsightedness not being detected, all made me an introvert. It made me aloof because I was never the popular type. Now the tourists have made me popular. I was never popular! I sometimes wanted to be, but I could never be. What compelled me on this quest was my curiosity. I wanted to know!”

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In late July, a pilot discovered new Nazca lines that include a snake some 200 feet long, a giant bird, and a huge zigzag line. It’s believed the lines were uncovered during a sandstorm. So it seems this area is stll surrendering its secrets.

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Blogging Synchro: Photo Bombshell

Last night before I went to bed, I realized I hadn’t experienced a synchronicity for awhile and thought how I would like to begin the next morning with a synchro.

My usual routine each morning is to take my iPad out into the kitchen and, as I eat breakfast, use it to pick up email, read a couple of blogs, and take a look at the news on Huffington Post.  My first stop is usually Mike Perry’s blog and then I eventually make my way to Huffington Post.

So this morning’s post on Mike’s blog is about how a married couple were unknowingly photographed together on a beach in the U.K. eleven years before they met and got married. Aimee Maiden, 25,  and Nick Wheeler, 26, were going through old family photos before they got married and were astounded to find a 1994 photo  of themselves as kids, playing on the same beach.

Aimee grew up in the seaside village of Mousehole, Cornwall, and visited the beach regularly and Nick just happened to be there on vacation. The two spent the day just a few yards apart on the beach building sand castles, but their families were strangers and never spoke.

Nick moved to Cornwall a year later but didn’t meet Aimee until they were at the same sixth form college in Truro and fell in love.  They didn’t have any idea they’d met before until they were going through old holidays photos at Nick’s grandparents’ house. Aimee was shocked to see herself as a little girl in the background.

She said: “The photo was taken by Nick’s grandad. Nick is sitting front right in the boat with his sister and two cousins and his family, his mum, uncle and nan are to the right and behind them.”

After college, they moved in together and Nick joined the army and Aimee trained as a teacher.  They recently got married at a church in Mousehole that’s just a minute’s walk from the beach where the photo was taken twenty years ago.

After I read the story, I told Rob about it, then clicked on Huffington Post and found the same story: The Bride Photobombed Her Groom in Childhood Photo 11 Years Before They Met.

“Maybe Mike got his story from the Huffington Post,” Rob said.

“Or Huffington Post got the story from Mike’s blog,” I said.

I went back to Mike’s blog and clicked on the credit for the photo, which took me to Kent Online, where the original story had appeared. It had gone up on July 31. Mike’s story had gone up at 6:00 a.m. on August 2, the day that I read it, so it’s unlikely that either source got the story from each other, and that both got it from Kent Online. It’s simply one of those stories that seizes your attention because of the odds involved.

And for me, it’s definitely a synchronicity. Within a few minutes, I found the same story in two different sources that are regular stops for me in the morning.

 

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Shamanic Meditation & the Medicine Wheel

Rob is now teaching meditation twice a week at a local yoga studio. I don’t make the morning classes – way too early for me – but I usually make the evening classes, especially when it’s a shamanic meditation.

It took Rob about fifteen minutes to set up this evening before class because he had to make a medicine wheel. And since we have such a bumper crop of mangos, the wheel was made of – yes, mangos!

The class was divided into three parts.  In the first part, he played a Sandra Ingerman CD. Right from the start of the CD, there’s music – rattles and drums. The monotony of the rhythm is strangely compelling for me. I immediately find myself drifting into an alpha state, then into theta. Ingerman provides brief explanations for what each direction means and the animal associated with it.  The one irritating thing with the CD is that she started whistling – calling the spirits of each direction. That first whistle snapped me out of my relaxed state so quickly that I thought an alarm had gone off outside.

In the second part of the class, Rob takes us through a guided meditation for each of the four directions. We move around on the mat so we are facing the direction we’re working on. Bringing your body into alignment with the direction you’re addressing is particularly  effective. It’s as if the energy contained within that direction  becomes more focused.

The third part of the meditation was short and actually part of a larger meditation that we didn’t do because of lack of time.  We lay with our heads to the south and Rob asked us to create our own definition of what the south means, a rather advanced shamanic technique. I was so relaxed at this point that I got lost.

I would love a class where we do this with each of the four directions.  He addresses this in his meditation book, The Jewel in the Lotus: Meditation for Busy Minds, and a lot of the material for tonight’s class came from the book. It will be published this fall.

If you’d like to do the medicine wheel meditation on your own, put on a CD with rattles and drum music on it, then you can follow these guidelines, excerpted from Rob’s book. He uses the tradition of the Q’ero Indians from Peru, an indigenous tribe descended from the Incas:

The South

In the Q’ero tradition, the journey begins in the South, which is considered the home of the Serpent. That’s where you heal old wounds and traumas by learning to shed the past, like the Serpent sheds its skin. Understand that you can let go of emotional wounds and old personal stories.

If you have recurring memories of incidents in which you were hurt or offended and still feel anger rage, that’s where you begin. You might immediately recognize the anger and toxic energy that you are carrying related to certain matters from the past.

Take at least fifteen minutes to allow one or more such memories to surface. If nothing occurs to you, don’t force it. Don’t look for troubling matters from the past. Let them surface on their own.

If your mind strays, imagine a snake meandering slowly past you.  Or visualize it curled several times forming a spiral, turning inward, a symbol of wholeness, of the inward journey. You have no fear of the serpent, because it will do you no harm.  You’ll know that you’ve completed your journey to the South when, in your daily life, you are reminded of an unpleasant incident and you don’t react in the usual manner.

The West

The journey moves to the West, where you encounter the Jaguar, who teaches you about life, death, and rebirth. Visualize the Jaguar. See its glowing eyes. Notice its power and agility.

The West is about moving ahead and embracing what’s new, what’s coming into your life. It’s about moving beyond fear, anger, guilt, and shame. You learn to face fears and overcome them. You let go of relationships that no longer serve you. You cross a bridge from your old ways to your new life. Old, outmoded relationships fall away. You can now speak your truth without fear.

You move ahead with power, as a peaceful warrior. You no longer need to engage in battles within or outside of you. Instead, you are able to support yourself as you ask and receive what you desire so that you can leap into the person that you are becoming and journey into your creativity and your journey of love.

The North

In the North, you meet the Hummingbird and engage ancient wisdom and knowledge. We learn to manifest the impossible, and to receive help from ancestors. In doing so, we reconnect with nature.

You step outside of linear time. You can influence past events as well present and future ones as you become a co-creator of reality. You step inside the person you are becoming. You act with power and love. You release all the roles that you’ve identified with so that you have nothing left to defend. With your new knowledge you move through the world with freedom, flowing with ease, close to nature.

The East

Finally, in the East you encounter the archetype of the Eagle as you summon your destiny, and more. It’s about the big picture. In essence, you dream the world into being. It’s the way of the visionary who sees all the possibilities. It’s about developing your vision of peace.

The Eagle guides you fully into the role and responsibility of co-creator. You take all that you have learned and bring it back into your everyday world. See the Eagle gliding overhead, soaring. Imagine that you are soaring with it.

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At the end of the class, everyone selected mangos to take home with them.

Happy meditating!

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The Story of Milkaukee Avenue

During our recent trip to Minneapolis, we went out one evening to meet some of Rob’s friends and took a brief detour through historic Milwaukee Avenue in the Seward neighborhood.

The homes along this wide avenue were built between 1884 and 1890 by William Ragan, a Minneapolis real estate speculator.  The homes were intended for low-income families, who were mostly Scandinavian immigrants, and were constructed on small, narrow lots that have virtually no front yards and tiny side yards. The road was originally platted as an alley and since it bisects 22nd and 23rd Avenues, it was originally called – get this – 22 1/2 Avenue! Below is a photo from the Minneapolis Historical Society.

The street kept it’s ½ designation until 1906, when petitioners asked the Minneapolis City Council to change the name to Woodland Avenue. They said the ½ made them feel like they lived in an alley. But instead of changing the name to Woodland, the council changed it to Milwaukee Avenue, perhaps because of its proximity to the Milwaukee Short Line Railroad.

The houses were built from brick veneer on timber frames. They were neglected during the Great Depression and WWII and by the end of the war, had deteriorated badly. In 1959, the city listed the houses on Milwaukee Avenue as such, a designation that meant they had no indoor plumbing or were severely battered. In 1970, the city planned to demolish the houses and raze the neighborhood.

However, many of the residents were seasoned protestors from the Vietnam War era  and they formed the Seward West Project Area Committee (PAC) in an attempt to save it. They argued that the houses had significant historic value and should be preserved. But the city contended that it would cost more to refurbish the houses than to build new ones.

So these former Vietnam protestors pulled a slick one. They secretly submitted an application to the National Registry of Historic Places for the Milwaukee Avenue district. It  was approved by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior on May 2, 1974.  It meant the city couldn’t alter or destroy the houses using federal funds without a public hearing.

Even so, nine of the Milwaukee Avenue houses had to be destroyed because they were in such terrible condition and a tenth was moved elsewhere. The rest of the houses got big makeovers – indoor plumbing, new basements, improved woodwork and porches. A pedestrian mall was built down the avenue to replace the street. No cars are allowed – just bikes and pedestrians.

As Rob and I were walking, some residents were sitting out on their front porches and others were involved in a community project – laying down mulch around the many trees on the avenue. This beautiful avenue is a striking example of what can happen when a group of people who are passionate about something can bring about change.

 

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Alive Inside

The RSS feed in my mail comes from Apple and consists of tidbits of information about new products. I clicked the most recent feed today and found an amazing story  and trailer for a documentary, Alive Inside of Us.    The film, which has now been released – a limited release – explores the power of music to restore memory in patients with Alzheimer’s.

Patients in an Alzheimer’s facility were fitted with earphones connected to iPods (the reason Apple carried this feed). Most of these patients are very elderly – 80s and 90s, and are in advanced stages of Alzheimer’s. The iPods held music from the patients’ earlier lives and their transformation is stunning.

My mother had Alzheimer’s for about seven years, so I found this powerful clip especially moving.  What a difference this might have made for her. The film won’t be shown in Florida until September – and then, in only two cities, Winter Park and Sarasota. It’s on my MUST SEE list.

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Colin Wilson & Interdimensional Travel

I read a fascinating story about a man who – while on a flight to Japan – supposedly had passed through a portal from a parallel Earth and discovered that his home country, Taured, did not exist in this version of reality.

The story was published in a book by Colin Wilson, who I consider a very reputable author about mysticism and the paranormal. So I decided to e-mail him and ask about the story. Then it occurred to me that he might no longer be alive. I wasn’t certain. Had I heard that he died? I got up from my desk to get a glass of water and for the next couple of minutes, Colin Wilson was neither dead nor alive. When I sat back down, I knew his fate was about to be decided. I Googled his name and instantly saw that he had died Dec. 5, 2013 at the age of 82.

Wilson was a prolific British writer, not only writing about mysticism, but also true crime and fiction. He was recognized as a philosopher while still in his 20s after the publication of The Outsider.  His best asset as a writer ironically was also a detriment of sorts. Colin Wilson wrote long. Not long-handed, not long-winded, just very long. Any subject he tackled was dealt with in minute detail. So much so that it was difficult to pick up one of his books and read it from cover to cover. In fact, one of his books was actually called, The Mammoth Book of the Supernatural.  In that tome, Wilson combs through the entire history of the supernatural in the Western world. While he was recognized for his intellect and his willingness to probe deeply into a subject, his expansive style served to limit his popularity.

So I didn’t have a chance to e-mail Wilson and ask about the strange story of the man from Taured. But here it is. Read it and wonder.

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One day in 1954, a man flew into Tokyo, but upon landing at the Tokyo International Airport, his seemingly normal trip took a very drastic turn for the weird. When he handed over his passport to be stamped, the man was interrogated as to the whereabouts of his origins. It wasn’t a case of racial profiling: While his passport looked authentic, it listed a country no one had ever heard of called Taured.

The mystery man claimed his country was located between France and Spain, but when he was asked to point it out on a map, he pointed to the Principality of Andorra. Insisting he had never heard of Andorra and that Taured had existed for 1,000 years, he claimed that he was in Japan on business, something he had been doing for the past five years. His passport seemed to back up his story, as it was covered in previous customs and visa stamps, and he carried with him legal currency from several European countries. He even had a driver’s license issued by the mysterious country and a checkbook containing checks from an unknown bank.

After more interrogation and confusion for both parties, the traveler was sent to a nearby hotel until an official decision could be reached. There, two immigration officials stood outside the hotel door until morning. It was then that they discovered the mystery man had vanished. That was puzzling since the only possible exit was a window with no ledgge 15 stories above a busy street. The Tokyo police department conducted an extensive search, but came up empty-handed. Hopefully, if he really was from a parallel Earth, he was able to find a way back to the comforts of his home in Taured.

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It certainly would’ve been interesting to find out where Colin Wilson heard about this story, and if he was confident that it really happened. As far as I’ve been able to determine, the events have never been independently documented.

 

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Synchronicity & Winning the Lottery

When the weather is good – not too hot and no rain – the dog park becomes a social gathering for people who have at least one thing in common – a love of dogs.  We sit under trees that provide ample shade and the conversations take some unusual turns. Sometimes, they veer into the terrain of synchronicity.

Yesterday, we arrived later than usual, around 6 p.m., and Rob got out into the field with an orange ball and the walking stick he brings to the park to hits balls to  Noah. There were two other dogs vying for the ball – Tootsie, a poodle/golden retriever mix – and a German shepherd that shadowed Tootsie and Noah whenever they were racing for the ball.

At one point, both dogs were right in front of Rob as he was trying to hit the ball and when he swung, the German shepherd leaped up. There was a resounding CRACK as the stick hit both the ball and the shepherd. The shepherd emitted this horrible whimpering and ran away. His owner rushed over, we all converged on the shepherd, trying to see where he was injured. A heated discussion ensued. Rob told the owner it was an accident, he wasn’t trying to hit the shepherd. The shepherd had a small cut over his eye. We all felt terrible, but the owner got a bit nasty. He said he would now have to take the dog to the vet and needed Rob’s name and information.

Everyone there – except the owner – had seen what had happened. One of the women, a retired nurse, looked at the cut and said it wasn’t serious. The owner left in a huff with his dog.

As we approached the shaded area with the benches,  a young woman I’d seen before but didn’t know,  said, “It was definitely an accident. These things happen for a reason.”

Karin, who owns an Alaskan Husky, Cody, remarked, ” I’ve been telling her that you and Rob write books on synchronicity, Trish.”

“I absolutely believe in synchronicity,” the woman said. “Today at the Hippocrates Center in West Palm Beach, I attended a workshop with a ‘happiness’ coach and synchronicities were happening all over the place. Meaningful coincidence, right?”

“Right,” I replied.

Mike, who owns Bogie, a cute Boxer, sort of rolled his eyes. “Hey, shit happens. It’s random.”

The young woman smiled and shook her head. “Nothing’s random.”

“So do you have some synchronicity stories?” I asked her.

“I sure do. Here’s a good one. A few years ago, my dad started telling us he was going to win the lottery. He talked about what we would do with the money, how we could help other people…” From the way she talked about her father and his desire to win the lottery, it was obvious than in his mind, it had already happened.

“So did he win?” asked Mike.

“Yeah, he did -$167 million!”

After income tax and New York state taxes, he walked away with $67 million.

The stunned silence in the group was breathtaking.”Wow, I love stories like this,” I said. “Has the money changed them?”

“Not really. They bought an Italian restaurant and a house and that’s about it.” They’ve donated money each year to good causes and have made sure that their kids would be provided for.

Mike remarked that her dad had just gotten lucky. After all, millions of people buy lottery tickets every week and don’t win. But he was missing the point. For the young woman’s dad, winning the lottery had already happened in his mind, within himself emotionally. His powerful desire and his belief drew that possibility to him. On a quantum level, the particle of potential called I win the lottery collapsed into a wave in physical reality and became his reality.

I later texted Karen and asked her and young woman’s name, that her lottery story was one of the best synchros I’ve heard in awhile. Karin replied that her name was Joy. “And the conversation began because of a   CRACK of the bat!”

 

 

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The Alternate Beatles

We all know there’s a lot of strange stuff on the Internet. For example, there are people saying that the aircraft from the missing Malaysian Flight 370 was the same one shot down over the Ukraine and the dead people were already dead before the plane was downed. That’s a stretch. Let’s see if the black box proves that bizarre Internet-based conspiracy. I have my doubts.

But let’s get to the Beatles. John and George are dead, right? Hey, not so fast. According to a man writing under the name James Richards, there’s an alternate reality in which the Beatles are all living and performing together.

He knows because he’s been there…and he’s got proof. Here’s his story.

Richards claims he was chasing his dog through Del Puerto Canyon in California on September 9, 2009 when he tripped in a rabbit hole and knocked himself unconscious. Upon waking up, he found himself in a room next to an unrecognizable machine with a man who introduced himself as Jonas. According to the strange man, while on a work-related trip for a dimensional travel agency, he had used the machine to transport the unconscious Richards to a parallel Earth in order to help him.

So the two compared notes about their worlds and the talk turned to pop culture, and it turned out that The Beatles existed in both worlds. Except, to Richards’s surprise, in this parallel Earth, The Beatles were all alive and had produced music that didn’t exist in our world.

To prove it, Richards brought back a souvenir cassette tape entitled Everyday Chemistry that was composed of Beatles songs never released in our dimension. Cassette? Don’t they have digital recordings yet in that alternate Earth? That question aside, guess what, Richards uploaded these unknown Beatle song to his website.

Have a listen. The old fellows still sound pretty good. I wonder where can I get a ticket to their next concert.

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