Monday, 28 December 2015

Bart the Zombie cat:

I saw a news article recently about a cat that arose from the grave in Florida.
Either “Bart the Zombie cat” was buried prematurely after being found struck by a car by his owners neighbor, or his owner Ellis Hutson’s home is built on top an ancient Micmac Indian burial ground, à la Stephen King’s “pet sematary”.
Poor Bart the zombie cat arose from his shallow grave after 5 days of burial. 
He was stuck by a car and laid to rest, only to dig his way out and return to his owner.

He is currently in the hands of the humane society who are covering his medical costs and nursing him back to life
It is unknown weather Bart will be returned to his original owner.

(Sources: humane society fb, abc7)

The Death Valley Germans:

In October 1996 an abandoned Plymouth Voyager van was discovered near the Anvil Spring Canyon in Death Valley national park, by a ranger doing routine checks. Since the use of vehicles in this area was prohibited, it was unusual to find a car out there, much less an abandoned one, which was totally unsuitable for the terrain and seemed to have flat tires and was broken down. It turned out to be a rental, with California license plates and had been rented by a family of German tourists went missing while driving through Death Valley in July. The case remained unsolved until 2009, when one hiker got curious enough to take matters into his own hands and train to obtain the skills necessary to “man track” in order to find the missing death Valley Germans.

This is link to his website, with his journal detailing the story of how he went about resolving the case.
It’s an amazing read.

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Missing: Jim Kimball

As a child, Kimball was described by his family members as shy, sensitive and easy to get along with. But it was his cold and repressed reaction to the death of his father, when Jim was just 16 years old, which caused concern. 
Three years later, he was diagnosed with a schizoaffective disorder and manic depression. He had been acting out of character, so much so that his family members noticed and took him to see a professional.  Jim admitted to hearing voices and admitted that he carried a sadness around with him on account of his father’s passing.

He was prescribed the medication he required to help deal with his disorder, and although he graduated and worked several jobs, his life was often disturbed by relapses which lead to Kimball being hospitalized in order to recover.

In 1993 Jim traveled 10 miles from the halfway house that he was staying in, to his childhood home, in order to spend Easter with his family.
One of his brothers heard a commotion from down in the basement and upon investigation found Jim taking out his frustration on a stereo he couldn’t get working.
His brother confronted him, asking why he was having a tantrum and if he was feeling unwell and needed to go to the hospital. Jim rejected the idea and the two cleaned up the mess he had made.

That would be the last time anyone in the family saw Jim Kimball.
He took no money and no possessions. He walked out of the house and never returned.
Flyers were circulated and calls were made to hospitals and homeless shelters, to no avail.

A year later and 90 miles away officers patrolling south bend Indiana picked up a hitchhiking man, who appeared to be under the influence. They tested him with a breathalyzer and after coming up with a reading of 0.0 allowed him to be on his way. It was only a month later that they saw the flyer and matched the description to the man, by which time it was too late.

He has still not been found, and his family worries that without his medication he may never be able to find his way back home, nor care for himself alone.

If you have any information contact the Maywood Police Department on  708-450-4888 OR 708-450-9487(fax)

(sources: doe network, unsolved

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Three headed Japanese demon mummy:

The three faced demon mummy head of Zengyoji. 
Found in storage in a temple in Kanazawa, Japan. 
Origin story unknown.

Salvador Alvarenga's survival at sea:

36 year old Salvador Alvarenga earned the title of the longest surviving castaway after surviving on a diet of birds, turtle blood, sharks, rain water and his own urine for 438 days.
What was supposed to be a 48 hour fishing trip took an almost fatal turn as Alvarenga and his companion, 15 year old Ezequiel Cordoba, encountered a vicious storm and violent waves that tore through the ship.

His companion, who would earn $50 for going along on the two day trip, would not survive the ordeal. He ate a bird that had previously consumed a poisonous sea snake and after falling ill he began refusing food.

Alvarenga was an older experienced fisherman, and knew that he had to keep eating anything he could to survive, however, Cordoba, with his deteriorating health, began to panic and have hallucinations and delusions, often trying to throw himself over board and into the ocean despite the presence of sharks in the water. He would not recover and died on the boat.

Salvador Alvarenga kept Cordoba’s corpse for company, holding conversations with it and making small talk for almost a week. He would tell the body “Good morning” and ask “have you eaten yet?” often answering his own questions. Finally realizing his madness and fearing the onset of insanity, he tossed the corpse over board into the open water.
Alvarenga admitted that he wanted to commit suicide a few days after the death of his friend, but his religious beliefs would not allow it. He pushed on.

Eventually, After 13 long months lost at sea, on the 30th of January of 2014, Salvador Alvarenga swam to the shore of a small island of the Ebon Atoll where he was found dehydrated, naked and bellowing in Spanish by two locals.

After recovering, he published a book about his experience, titled “438 days”, which only managed to sell around 1,500 copies. Cordoba’s family filed to sue him for the sum of one million dollars and claimed that Alvarenga had eaten his companion despite denial from the man in question.

(sources: Wikipedia, People)

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Where is Suzanne Gloria Lyall?

Suzanne Gloria Lyall was a quiet young woman and an Avid “Rush” fan, often clad in black with a silver runic “S” pendent on a black cord choker. 

A student at  SUNY, in Albany, New york, 19 year old Suzy, as she was known to her friends, was also employed part time at “Babbage’s software” located at the Cross gates mall in Guilderland. She was interested in computers, so the job suited her well.
Suzanne was seen for the last time in Albany on March 2nd 1998.
She was wearing a black trench coat, a black T-shirt and blue jeans as well as assorted items of jewelry, including her silver “S” circle necklace, a gold bow ring and a silver ring in the shape of a frog with diamonds.
She went missing after her shift at Babbage’s. She finished at 9:20pm and took a CDTA bus back to the circle stop at SUNY campus around 15 minutes later.
She hasn’t been seen since that night, leaving her work name tag behind in the visitor’s parking lot.

Lyall’s ATM card was used 1 day later on March 3rd at 4pm. The person who made the purchase has never been identified, however they got the pin correct. 
Suzanne’s co-workers at Babbage’s reported that she mentioned having a stalker; however she didn’t seem frightened or unnerved.

She needed her glasses or lenses to see, due to extremely bad eyesight. Suzanne had also had a boyfriend who alerted her parents that she hadn't shown up the night before. It is unknown why he did not search for her that night, as he lived locally. He was also unhelpful in the investigation, refusing to be questioned. 

If you have any information on the case, please contact:

Barbara newhall follett: The girl who walked away

By the age of 12, child prodigy Barbara Newhall Follett, with the assistance of her father, had penned her first novel “The house without windows”, which was published through Knopf publishing in 1927.
A year later, her next book, “The voyage of the Norman D” was published and received the same literary success as the previous novel.

With her quick success came a quick disenchantment, and by the age of 14 Barbara became depressed and disillusioned following the separation of her mother and father. Although still a teenager, she had hit the peak of her career.

In 1933, the then 19 year old Follett married and traveled with a man named Nickerson Rogers. Although their marriage was a happy one, Barbara believed that her husband had been unfaithful. This depressed her greatly, so much so that on the 7th of December 1939, she left the house following an argument and was never seen again.

She left with only $30 on her person.

Follett’s disappearance went unreported for 2 weeks. Her husband claimed that he was waiting for her to return, however when she didn’t, he reported it to the police.

The missing poster, which was circulated by the media featuring her surname as “Rogers” as opposed her famous pen name “Follett”, was largely unnoticed.
Despite Barbara’s mother and her stern words to Rogers regarding his lack of effort in the investigation, and her accusations against him, 

Follett was never seen again. 

What happened to Jonathan Luna?

I've been reading about a lot of unsolved mysteries this week.
Maybe you've already heard of this one? 
What do you think happened to Jonahtan Luna? 

On the 4th of December 2003 the body of 38 year old U.S attorney assistant, Jonathan Luna, was found dead in a creek in Pennsylvania.
Although the cause of the death was ultimately drowning, Luna had also been stabbed across his neck and chest a total of 36 times with his own Swiss army pen knife. At the time he was working a case involving a drug ring which was supposed to be presented on the day he was found dead. The night before he left he had promised to fax over some his notes on the case, but never got the chance.

On the night of December 3rd, Jonathan left the Baltimore courthouse at approximately 11:38pm. He then proceeded to drive north east on 1-95, using his E-Z pass to clear 3 toll ways before changing to tickets which would eventually be found spotted in his own blood by investigators hours later.
An hour and ten minutes into his journey he made a transaction at an ATM close to Delaware before crossing the toll bridge into the state.

His ATM trail ran cold after he purchased gas at a service station around 3:20am.
By 4:04am Luna’s car was stationary in Denver, Pennsylvania before being driven into the Lancaster County Creek. The vehicle was not discovered until 5:30am by a driller named Daniel Gehman, and a co-worker of his, who were employed by “Sensenig and Weaver Well Drilling”. They noticed blood smeared across the car and contacted police.

Luna was found face down in the water under the partially submerged front end of his car.
His blood was found pooled in the back seat, suggesting the possibility that he had not been driving, although this is a debated theory.
The front left side of the car and the driver’s door also had blood smeared on them and the $200 he had withdrawn earlier was scattered around the car.
Despite the FBI theorizing that Luna’s death was a suicide, the local authorities suspected it a homicide due to the later discovery of another blood type and a partial fingerprint found in the vehicle. The FBI claimed that there were no defensive wounds on the hands and arms of Luna, which are usually present on homicide victims. The wounds were dubbed superficial hesitation wounds by the Bureau, due to the shallowness of the inflictions which is often something seen in cases of suicide. The coroner’s report conflicts with the theory and stated that Luna did in fact display defensive wounds as well as cuts to his neck consistent with murder victims.
He also had a cut to his carotid artery, a head wound, possibly from the fall into the creek, and bruising to his testicles.
An unnamed official in the case stated that the FBI also suspected that Luna’s case could have been set up for sympathy as he was under investigation at the time. They proposed the idea that he didn’t actually intend to die.

Investigation into Luna’s personal life for possible suicide motives turned up debt, an upcoming investigation in regards to stolen money of which Luna was a suspect, and possibly infidelity due to a profile on a dating website and a charge card he had concealed from his wife.
Jonathan Luna had neglected to take his eye glasses, which he needed for driving, as well as his cell phone.

Jonathan Luna left behind a wife, two children and a lot of unanswered questions.

There is a $100,000 reward for any information leading to the conviction of his killer, if indeed there is one.

The case remains unsolved.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

The cult of Aravindan Balakrishnan:

I saw this story in the news recently and after reading a lot of articles on it decided I'd put together my own post with links to interviews and sources.
Although I do not go into descriptive deal, I do have to warn you that this post does contain mentions of subjects that some people may find difficult to read about, so please skip over this post to avoid mentions of rape and abuse. I've put some helplines and contacts at the end of the post (usa/uk/worldwide)

73 year old Aravindan Balakrishnan and his 67 year old wife, Chanda Pattni, were arrested on the 21st of November 2013 in London, under the suspicion of slavery and domestic servitude. They held 3 women captive, who had been brainwashed, abused both emotionally and physically, and shackled by invisible cuffs that prevented them from escaping the house they were held trapped in for almost 30 years.

Balakrishnan was said to have used rape and violence as well as mental abuse to control his female victims. By the time he was finished with them, they believed that he was a God.
He claimed that he could control the powers of nature and the elements, that he could cause natural disasters and dissemble governments. “I am nature and nature is me” he told his followers.

He began to “purify” the women, to “Clean” them of their previous lives and strip them of their identity and dignity, along with the help of his mind reading mystical assistant who he referred to as “Jackie”. Balakrishnan had invoked Jackie, who was an unseen force, to keep the women in line and in fear when he wasn’t around to do so himself. If they had disobedient actions or thoughts, Jackie would know. Jackie could torture and kill, he assured them.

By having his victims cut off contact with their families, he managed to keep three of them for over 3 decades. Without family, without identity, without choice, they lost their dignity and freedom to  Aravindan Balakrishnan. Any followers who had jobs outside of the cult would donate their entire salaries per week. They could not go out alone and would constantly have to be with another member when outside of the commune.
Their leader and captor, Balakrishnan was the son of a soldier. He was politically active as a student and thought of himself something of a revolutionary. He immigrated to the UK following his studies in Singapore, and continued to be politically active while in England; always at demonstrations, and protests, with one hand in a raised fist and the other waving a chairman Mao banner.  

He was a member of the British communist party until he was forced to leave and went on to make his own group. He badmouthed his old party in a newsletter he produced on a second hand printer at his HQ, and gained some followers. Over time most would leave, but a dozen dedicated female followers stayed, some of which continue to support him even today.
Balakrishnan now had his own group, a cult, and they were “Theworkers institute of Marxist-Leninism-Mao Zedong thought” and based themselves in Brixton, South London. They held their meetings at 140 acre lane, which today serves as a restaurant.

Over the many years his female victims were under his control he subjected them to horrific abuse and conditioning, fueled by his own delusions of God-like power.
He would rape and beat them in front of each other, and when he wasn’t making displays of his brutality he would call his followers to his office and force them to perform sex acts on him and ingest his “Elixir of life”. One member, Sian Davies, even bore his child. The child grew up in the commune, only leaving one a year on her birthday as she got older. For some time, she was not even aware that she was Balakrishnan’s daughter. He told his followers that she had been born of some electronic satellite.

When on trial, Balakrishnan dismissed the rape charges and the charges of domestic servitude, claiming to the court that his followers wanted to serve him domestically and that they wanted to have sex with him, in fact, he said, they competed for his sexual attention. “They were very pushy”, he stated. They were simply providing him a service, he claimed, so that he could immerse himself in his political work.
In fact, so much was Balakrishnan’s delusion that he even laughed at the rape allegations in court; He referred to himself as “The natural center of all things”. To the few that he broke down and brainwashed, he was.

There were deaths in the cult between ’86 and ’92. Davies, the mother of his child, fell from a window in what was thought to be an attempted escape. One follower died as a result of a head injury from a fall in the Peckford Place apartment where they stayed.

Three of the captive women were recused in October 2013 after one of them, a 57 year old Irish woman named Josephine Herivel, contacted a charity called “The freedom charity” after watching an ITV documentary about forced marriage. The charity then contacted the local police and the woman was rescued along with 30 year old British Rosie Davies and 69 year old Malaysian Aishah Wahab.

The now 33 year old daughter of Davies and Balakrishnan, known by her alias as “Fran”, revealed that it was her secret reading sessions that opened her eyes to the truth about her father. Fictional villains such as J. K. Rowling’s Lord Voldemort and Tolkien’s Sauron made her realize that her father was a bad man. 
She revealed in an interview with aBritish day time T.V show that she forgave Balakrishnan and that “hate didn’t help anyone”, going on to quote a Nelson Mandela speech “… I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison.”
Fran is working towards getting her independence and is progressing well.


Other RLIH posts that you may find interesting: 

Terri Hoffman and the cult murders - "Self-made spiritual guru, Terri Hoffman, attracted all kinds of people, from all kinds of different backgrounds, with her own brand of new age spirituality. She ran a free meditation class out of Southern Methodist University, where she gained followers and taught subjects familiar to most spiritual classes, such as astral travel, reincarnation, the theory of karma and meditation." (To continue the article, click here << )

The enslaved hitchhiker - "It was the 19th of May, 1977. Twenty year old Colleen Stan was hitchhiking to a friend’s surprise birthday party. Many people used to hitchhike in the seventies, and it was nothing new to Colleen, who was a semi pro at this point. She let a few cars pass her by as she scouted the perfect ride, and eventually settled on a couple who had a baby with them. Climbing into their blue van, she could never have imagined the horrific seven year ordeal ahead of her..." (To continue the article click here << )

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Missing in Missouri:

On the 4th of April 1991, Angela Marie Hammond’s abandoned car was found in the parking lot of a food barn store in Clinton, Missouri.
20 year old Hammond had been talking to her fiancé in a phone booth at around 11:45pm. She informed him that she would have to cancel their plans to meet as she was tired and had decided to head home. During the conversation she mentioned a dirty, bearded man in a truck had been circling around the parking lot suspiciously and had gotten out, flash light in hand, acting as though he had lost something.
It was then that Angela, who was four months pregnant at the time, let out a scream.
The line cut.
Her fiancé, a man named Rob Shafer, got into his car and raced to Hammond, passing a green F-150 Ford pickup truck with a water / nature scene obscuring the back window and what appeared to be a damaged fender. As he passed the vehicle, he heard Angela screaming his name, and turned to tail the truck. He followed it for over 2 miles, before his own car ran into problems, forcing him to pull over.
The truck escaped him, taking Angela with it.
Witnesses at the Food Barn parking lot described the driver of the Ford as a Caucasian man with a mustache, clad in a dark colored baseball cap and overalls with seeing glasses.
Despite reports of some unconfirmed sightings in various states, Angela Hammond was never seen again.

Cheryl Ann Kenney, was also kidnapped in Missouri the same year, this time in Nevada. Kenney’s white Chevrolet was also found abandoned in the parking lot. She worked as a clerk at a convenience store. Since it as a slow night on Business state highway 71, she decided to close up early at 10pm and head home.
Despite 2 witnesses hearing a woman’s screams around 10:20pm, they failed to report it to the police until after reading of the woman’s disappearance in the media, by which time it was too late.
An investigation into Cheryl Kenney’s personal life revealed that her mother had recently passed away. Investigators briefly considered it a motive for voluntary disappearance, but an ill father, a husband, two children and the fact that she had only $6 on her person at the time of disappearance indicated otherwise.

Another case thought to be linked to that of Hammond and Kenney is that of Trudy Darby, also in 1991.
She was also a store clerk at a convenience store, taken from her place of employment at Mack’s Creek.
However, in this case, $200 was stolen from the cash register and Darby’s naked body was found two days later in the little Niangua River, with two bullets to the head.
Her killers, Jesse Rush and Marvin Chaney, who were half-brothers, were charged and convicted of the robbery, as well as with the rape and murder of Trudy Darby. 

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

The origins of the EVP:

We’ve all seen at least one of the many ghost hunting TV shows out there; self pro-claimed paranormal investigators waving EMF meters around, swinging crystals in circles and attempting to record the voices of the dead. But did you ever wonder about the roots of the EVP?

Although he was known for being a writer and intellectual, it was parapsychology that Latvian born Konstantīns Raudive was passionate about.
So much so that he dedicated the last decade of his existence to the study of voices from beyond.

Once a student of psychiatrist and psychotherapist Carl Jung, as well as working as a university lecturer whilst in exile in Sweden to escape the Soviet occupation of Latvia during the second world war, Raudive settled into his old age with an intense interest in the afterlife.

In 1968 he published his book “Unhörbares wird hörbar” (inaudible becomes audible). The book was the fruit of 10 years of investigative labor into electronic voice phenomenon, or EVP for short, which was published three years later in English under the title of “breakthrough:an Amazing Experiment in Electronic Communication with the Dead”.

He made over 100,000 recordings in his decade of research, using methods such as leaving a microphone and recorder in an empty room and allowing it to record without interaction, recording radio static and white noise and diode recording using a regular antenna crystal radio, set to AM frequency.

Raudive was Originally inspired by Friedrich Jürgenson’s book published in 1964 titled “Voices from space” which was inspired by some reel to reel recordings of EVP’s Jürgenson had accidentally picked up while recording birds singing in his garden. Allegedly, the birds could not be heard at all when he played the  recording back, and instead there was static and hissing. He heard the voice of his passed mother “Friedel, can you hear me? It’s Mummy”.

After hearing the voice, Jürgenson was said to abandon all of his other interests in pursuit of Parapsychology. In 1965 Raudive and Jürgenson met and together began investigating the voices of the dead. Raudive would listen to the audio over and over and was said to clearly hear and understand the different polyglottic voices present on the tapes. 

Here's a YT video of the Flexi for "Breakthrough" with examples of the EVPs. 

(Broken link. Soon to be replaced.)

(sources: worlditc, sonoloo, wikipedia)

Joseph Towne the moulageur:

Hello there. 
For those of you who don't do well with mention of disease, I would give this post a miss.
I've actually attempted to keep the mentions of disease to a minimum in this post and concentrated on the art and history side of things, as I don't like to gross people out too much. There is no real gore in the post below, everything is a wax work or sculpture. 

British born Joseph Towne was a moulageur, stereoscopist and sculptor. He made models exclusively for Guy’s hospital in central London, and remained loyal to the hospital for as long as it remained open, with the exception of sculpting for some international clients in the USA and India.
Towne was born in Hertfordshire, and spent two years an artist’s apprentice. His first major project was constructing a to-scale human skeleton using anatomy books as his reference. Having never seen an authentic human skeleton in his life, he traveled to London where there was a Society of Arts competition in progress. There, a doctor looked over Townes work and wrote him a note of approval. He came second in the competition, and was only 17 years of age at the time. The following year he took the number one spot with his anatomical wax model of a dissected head.

Towne went on to work at Guy’s Hospital for an anatomist named Dr. Hilton and physician and scientist Thomas Addison, who taught materia medica lectures at the time. Addison discovered much pathology during his career, most famously Addison's disease and Addisonian anemia. Towne’s anatomical models were invaluable to Addison and his students, and he sculpted around 800 at Addisons request during his career at Guy’s hospital. He made 1000 of them in his life time. The wax models allowed training medics to study the symptoms and progressive effects of contagious diseases without contracting them.  

Now day, for the purpose of medical and military medical training (combat injury simulation), modern day monlageurs apply imitation inflictions and injuries to otherwise healthy subjects, usually using make-up and latex.

The website “militarymoulage” has extensive information and galleries on military moulage combat injury simulation and training. You can visit their page by clicking the link. 
This website, Moulage supplies, also gives you more of an idea of contemporary moulage techniques and uses. 

Although not often celebrated as a particularly artistic moulageur, Italian born, Baroque era sculptor Gaetano Giulio Zumbo was one of the first known anatomists. He created morbid sculptures often themed around death and disease, often looked upon as memento mori or curiosity pieces.
Examples of his work can be found at the Museum of Natural History in Florence in the La specola section of the building. A couple of examples of his work can be seen below.

(images: Wikipedia and