MYSTERYBUSTING

SOLVING MYSTERIES OF ALL AGES

Over the ages, there have been some strange mysteries that baffled the experts at the time. Here are some likely solutions for those mysteries:


MYSTERIES RESOLVED
Click to view:
White Light Through Stained Glass Magnets in Pinball Machines The Shroud of Turin
Obamacare Destroying the Economy Why Casey Anthony was Acquitted Car Battery on a Concrete Floor
What Causes Cars to Run Away? Can Cruise Control Run Away? What If Wealth is Redistributed?
Is Drug Use a Victimless Crime? Can Homosexuality be Hereditary? Government Hiding UFO Evidence?
Jet Fuel Melting Steel in 9-11 Attacks Gasoline Fire, I-580 Bridge Collapse Was the US Attacked on 10/5/1960?
What Fused Civil War Battle Bullets? What are Little Gold Inca Airplanes? Can Parachute Flares Block Stars?
Two Cars Needed to Change Light? How can a Toilet Seat cost $600? How can a Hammer cost $400?
What Caused the Great Depression? Unlucky Friday the Thirteenth Mysterious Train Crashes
What is That "S" on a Hearse? Why do Clocks Turn Clockwise? What do Mirrors Really Reverse?
Cold Fusion Spook Lights Why So Many Pyramids?
Huge Rocks up in Trees Boy Disappeared into the Sky Where did the Time Capsule Go?
Dimpled Chad in the 2000 Election Cars Quit Running in Deserts Stupid Speed Limits
Why Quadraphonics Failed DNA Evidence Doesn't Prove Guilt Busy Computers Use More Power?
Bermuda Triangle Disappearances What was the Mothman? Power Vampire Appliances
Cattle Mutilations and the Chupacabra Jonbenet Ramsey Will the Stimulus Help the Economy?
Mysterious Rods and Orbs The Single Bullet Theory Do Only the Rich Pay Property Tax?
Where was Camelot? Did Caves Open to Magic Words? Did Japan Attack Mainland US?
What was Kirlian Photography? Why so many UFOs in the 1960s? What was Polywater?
A Man Dives into a Foot of Water? Did a 100 MPG Carburetor Exist? Does this Man Survive Sulfuric Acid?
Do Falling Rocks Break Windshields? Did Ancients Perfectly Fit Megaliths? Errors in Radioactive Dating?
Is the Bible Code Real? Is Heart Disease Getting Worse? Why did the State Fair Stage Fall?
Did the Students Hack the Files? The Antikythera Mechanism What was a Floating Flying Fat Man?
"The Manhattan Project" Movie "The Philadelphia Experiment" Movie "Raiders of the Lost Ark" Movie
Why did the Electricity go Crazy? How was a Boy Electrocuted? What happened at Fort Itaipu, Brazil?
Did UFOs Buzz Washington in 1952? How'd the Roots get Charred? The Self Solving Mystery
  1.  DO PROPERTY TAXES MAKE ONLY THE RICH PAY?

    Democrats cite the following reasons to use property taxes to fund local governments:

    1. Property tax makes only the rich pay.
    2. Property tax is a more stable source of funding for government.
    3. Rich people have more expensive houses, so they pay more.
    4. The poor rent their dwellings, so they don't pay property tax.
    5. Property tax is not a regressive tax.

    Rebuttals to the reasons Democrats want property taxes:

    • Poor people do pay property tax. Some people with property lose their jobs or retire.
    • All renters pay the property tax on their units, included in the rent payments. Landlords do not bear the cost of property tax on their rental units. They must pass it on to the tenants.
    • The property tax the poor pay is a higher percentage of their incomes than percentage the rich pay. Thus, it is a regressive tax.
    • Property tax is not income sensitive. A person whose income goes down still owes the same high amount of property tax.
    • Property tax is a "stable source of funding" because the government confiscates the homes of the poor people who can't pay the tax. They then auction those homes to the rich, who can afford to pay cash for the houses, to recover the tax money.
      • Maybe this explains why the Democrats believe the poor do not own homes. They think they already stole all of them.
      • Property tax transfers property from the poor to the rich. Democrats want this, so they can collect more taxes.

    If Democrats really want to help the poor, they would change taxes so that the people making less than twice the poverty do not pay ANY taxes. But they won't, because the prefer having more money to spend, rather than helping the poor.

  2.  HOW DID COLORED STAINED GLASS CHURCH WINDOWS LET WHITE LIGHT INTO THE ROOM?

    There are reports of a special kind of stained glass that no longer exists today. It was said that some medieval churches had colored glass windows that let white light into the room for reading purposes. No examples of this exist today, and it is not known today how it was done. Many in the renaissance period tried to recreate this effect, and failed.

    The page author has been in a 20th century church where this effect occurs, and there is no mystery of how it happens. No special glass is needed. The following conditions must be present:

    • There must be enough different colors in the windows to let in enough wavelengths of light.
    • The color distribution must be balanced enough that the colors mix on white surfaces to produce visibly white light.
    • The same distribution of colors must be present in all directions (to prevent color shadows).
    • The glass must be translucent, not transparent.

    The church the page author visited has 5-pane casement windows along one side of the sanctuary. Each pane is one solid color of translucent glass. The colors used are red-orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. Each window has all 5 colors, but panes of the same color were installed at different heights in different windows. The translucency was made by making one side of the glass nubbled. The author used a pocket spectroscope to verify that all visible wavelengths were present in a roughly even distribution. Test a simulated window

    The reasons the renaissance artisans failed were probably:

    • They didn't understand color theory. They hadn't realized that white light is composed of all colors. They thought that stained glass somehow added color to the light, instead of removing all of the other colors from the white light. Isaac Newton came along a few centuries too late for them.
    • They probably used the best transparent glass they could get their hands on. This made the effect disappear. The medieval churches probably used what they could get.

    Another technology is available today to produce an effect where white light goes straight through a piece of glass, but the glass appears colored when observed from an angle. This is how those holographic color images are made. But this was not available in medieval times.

  3.  DO PINBALL MACHINES HAVE MAGNETS TO CHANGE THE PATH OF THE BALL?

    Some machines have obvious magnets used to capture the ball (Magna-Save, and electromagnets that grab or pick up the ball). But people constantly say that there are magnets used to direct the ball away from high scoring targets. They say that nothing else could make the ball curve the way it does.

    There is something else that can cause the ball to have a path different than the expected one. A pinball can have English on it. This is the twist a pool player can put on the cue ball with cue techniques. Putting English on a ball changes its spin axis, so it is not parallel to the surface the ball is rolling on. This is visible on a pool ball, but not on a reflective chrome-plated pinball. The change in the spin axis affects the pinball in two ways:

    1. When the pinball hits a rubber bumper, it deflects the same way a pool ball with English on it bounces off a cushion.
    2. When gravity pulls the pinball toward the bottom of the playfield, it curves in an unexpected way, because of the English.

    How does English get on the pinball? There are several ways:

    1. The flippers put English on the pinball when they rotate to push it.
    2. A pinball striking a bumper at an angle has a spin imparted to it, changing the spin angle of the ball.
    3. When gravity curves the path of the pinball, it changes the spin axis of the ball.

    Sometimes a rough spot on the playfield (such as a loose light cover) can deflect the pinball. But this is a defect in the playfield, and should be repaired.

  4.  HOW DID THE IMAGE GET ON THE SHROUD OF TURIN?

    The scientists agree that the image on the Shroud was not painted or otherwise applied by an artist. So how did it get there? One scientist suggested a form of photography, but the Shroud is known to have existed before any kind of photographic effect was known.

    Here are some ways it could have occurred. All of them require an actual body to have been covered with the Shroud:

    1. The body may have given off gases that affected the surface layer of the material. The effect would be proportional to the distance between the Shroud and the surface of the body.
    2. Embalming agents used on the body could have affected the cloth, again with an effect that varied with the distance between the surface of the body and the cloth.
    3. This method requires that the body was that of Jesus. When He rose from the dead, His body disappeared from inside the Shroud in a flash of light. The light darkened the material directly exposed to it. This process also caused the Shroud to fall directly down from where it had been, as was reported in John.

    What about the variations in carbon dating on the Shroud?

    1. The Shroud was in a church fire, and was exposed to smoke from the fire. This probably added carbon atoms from the materials used in the church to the surface of the material.
    2. Parts of the Shroud were stained with water at some unknown time. Since the source of the water is unknown, any impurities in the water could have added newer carbon atoms.
    3. Parts of the Shroud were repaired, with an expert weaving in new material to replace damaged older material. The new material has newer carbon atoms in it.
    4. Tiny living organisms may have infested the Shroud and left deposits or their dead bodies.
    5. Various agents may have been used to clean the shroud at various times, resulting in the deposition of carbon atoms.
  5.  HOW DID JET FUEL BURN HOT ENOUGH TO MELT STEEL IN THE 9/11/2001 ATTACKS?

    Conspiracy theorists say that the temperature of burning jet fuel is not hot enough to melt steel. The melting point of steel is 1400°C (2700°F), but the temperature of burning jet fuel is only 1100°C (1800°F). They cite this as evidence that the buildings collapsed for reasons other than being hit by the jet planes.

    The fire didn't melt the steel. It just took the hardness out of it.

    What the conspiracy theorists forget is that the temperature used to harden steel is only 780°C (1440°F). Heating steel above this temperature takes the hardness out of the steel. Blacksmiths use this fact to soften steel so they can work it. They heat the steel to 780°C and let it cool slowly, so they can cut and shape it. When they are done working the steel, they heat it to 780°C again, but this time they quench it in an oil bath, to cool it instantly. This hardens the steel.

    When the fires heated the steel above 780°C, the steel softened to the point that the horizontal members could no longer hold up the floors. In a published video, a floor in the North Tower was seen visibly sagging downward (due to the softened steel). When it touched the floor below, the building collapsed.

  6.  DID GASOLINE BURN HOT ENOUGH TO MELT STEEL IN THE I-580 BRIDGE COLLAPSE?

    On 4/29/2007, a gasoline tank truck on Interstate 880 crashed into a pylon and burst into flames. The fire caused the I-580 overpass above I-880 to collapse onto I-880.

    As in the 9-11 case above, the fire didn't HAVE TO melt the steel. It just took the hardness out of it.

    Again, the investigators postulated that the steel melted (at 2700°F or 1400°C), rather than just having the hardness heated out of it (at 1440°F or 780°C). But taking the hardness out of the steel would be enough to make the bridge collapse. The bolts would have failed through losing hardness.

  7.  WAS THE UNITED STATES ATTACKED ON 10/5/1960?

    On 10/5/1960, the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS) reported a possible Soviet missile attack. It reported a number of missiles greater than 99 on the northeastern horizon. But it refused to find a trajectory, and had trouble even pinpointing the current position of the missiles. What really happened?

    The cause is funny, but only if you weren't one of the people monitoring the RADARs to defend the country. BMEWS detected the moon. On that date, the moon lined up perfectly with a Soviet launching site.

    The system was designed to detect missiles a few thousand miles away. The engineers were amazed that the sensitive RADAR picked up the moon a quarter of a million miles away.

    They changed the programming of the RADAR so it would ignore anything as far away as the moon.

  8.  WHAT REALLY CAUSED THE GREAT DEPRESSION THAT SPANNED THE 1930S?

    The following are the usual culprits listed as causes of the Great Depression:

    The textbooks always leave out the biggest cause, which also caused the first three on the list. The real cause was the misdeeds of the officials on the Federal Reserve Board.

    Officials in the Federal Reserve Bank were also privately playing the stock market, and they were manipulating the money supply to make their stocks go up. This reduced the supply of money to the point where there was not enough money in circulation to handle routine transactions. This deflated the currency.

    With the currency deflated, the penny was worth more than many products. This made it difficult to make change and pay workers. So did the lack of currency in circulation.

    Some states minted their own mil coins, worth 1/10 of a cent, to help with making change.

  9.  WHY IS FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH SAID TO BE UNLUCKY?

    For centuries, perhaps before time has recorded it, Friday the Thirteenth has been said to be an unlucky day. Many who have researched it have pointed to an attack on the Knights Templar on Friday, October 13, 1307. But this is a recent suggestion by secular investigators.

    The real origin is found in Christian and Jewish scripture:

    • Exodus 12 says the 14th day of the month is the Passover.
    • Each date begins at sundown in Biblical times.
    • The lambs are to be slaughtered at twilight on the 14th (right at the beginning of the day - twilight is after sundown).
    • The day of Preparation is the day before the Passover. It is the day the meals for the Passover must be prepared, since no work may be done on the Passover day.
    • This means that the day of Preparation is on the 13th.
    • The Jewish Sabbath is on what we call a Saturday.
    • John 19:14, 31, and 42 say that Jesus was crucified on the Day of Preparation, and the next day was the Sabbath.
    • Therefore, Jesus Christ was crucified on Friday the Thirteenth.

    But this means that Friday the Thirteenth should be unlucky to only nonbelievers. To believers, salvation was obtained for all who accept it on that Friday the Thirteenth.

  10.  WHAT CAUSED A MYSTERIOUS SERIES OF RAILWAY CRASHES IN THE 1900S?

    Three mysterious railway crashes occurred in the early 1900s in Great Britain. They were:

    All three cases had these same facts in common:

    Experts at the time could not find a solution to any of these cases.

    One theory nicely fits all three crashes - Carbon monoxide poisoning:

    • CO poisoning was not well documented at the time.
    • At low concentrations, CO causes a lack of judgment, explaining the Salisbury case.
    • At higher concentrations, CO causes a stupor. This explains the other two cases.
    • Because the engine cab was exposed to the air, CO poisoning was not considered a serious hazard on a locomotive.
    • The new designs might have been intended to control the coal burning rate with an air damper. This causes more CO production.
    • Because they were new designs, the enginemen might have been operating them wrong.
    • The winds might have been right for the CO to stay with the engine.

    Another possibility for the Salisbury case is the vacuum brake error:

    • There were two types of vacuum brakes on trains at the time. On old equipment, the vacuum put the brake on. On new vehicles, the vacuum released the brake.
    • A law passed in 1889 required the type where the vacuum releases the brake to be installed, so a broken coupling could not let part of a train run uncontrolled down a hill. It required compliance within 10 years.
    • For many years, cars of both types existed, and engines were built with a device to work either type of brake.
    • It's possible that the engine had this device, and the driver accidentally set his engine controls to work the old type.
    • When he went to put on the brakes, nothing happened. The extra vacuum from the brake lever took the brakes off.
  11.  WHAT REALLY HAPPENED IN WHAT WAS THOUGHT TO BE COLD FUSION?

    In 1989, Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons reportedly produced deuterium fusion while electrolyzing heavy water with a palladium electrode. This was later shown to be something other than nuclear fusion. But what DID produce the extra energy?

    In chemical safety books published well before 1989, an unexpected reaction was documented when chemical-grade palladium was immersed in water. The reaction was traced to other elements commonly found mixed with palladium that do not easily separate out during the purification process. These elements are not completely removed in chemical-grade supplies.

    The author of this page was working in a lab at the time the story broke. He looked up palladium in a chemical safety manual, and found a safety warning for just this kind of reaction.

    The reason the results were inconsistent when others attempted to duplicate the experiment is that they either used pharmacological-grade supplies, or used chemical grade supplies containing different impurities. Thus, the predicted reaction either did not occur, or occurred in different ways.

    The reported radioactivity could be from radioactive impurities or radiation from other sources.

  12.  WHAT IS A SPOOK LIGHT?

    There are several well-known "spook lights" that reappear in the same place often enough that people go there to look for them. Examples are the following lights:

    In most of these cases, the spook lights turn out to be distorted images of car or train lights that are actually beyond the horizon. A temperature inversion close to the ground at night (caused by the warmer ground) bends and distorts the distant light, making it visible. Continuity of the lights from before the advent of the automobile has been linked to nearby railroads and fixed ground lights (homes, etc.) that existed before the current automotive sources.

    Several investigators using telescopes or binoculars were able to resolve and photograph the pairs of headlights on the distant automobiles that caused the effects. The human eye blended these into one light.

    The last case listed involved one of the straightest stretches of road in the entire US. People saw a "phantom truck" moving right in front of them, following right behind them, or suddenly rushing toward or away from them at speeds beyond the capabilities of trucks. If they stopped, the truck stopped too. But it happened only if the motorists were otherwise alone on the road. This phenomenon totally disappeared by the 1970s.

    Back in the 1940s and 1950s, the area was undeveloped, and the highway itself, heated by the sun during the day, caused a roughly rectangular zone of heated air to hover above the highway along its entire length. This caused the lights of distant vehicles and/or a large lighted tavern sign to be magnified, so that they were seen up to 50 miles down the road. But if other vehicles were also on the road, they destroyed the image for any car farther away from the light source, by disturbing the air and disrupting the rectangular zone of heated air.

    The increase in traffic on the road, combined with continued roadside development, gradually destroyed this effect. Together they now prevent the long rectangular zone of heated air from forming. Thus, the effect is no longer seen.

  13.  WHY DID THE ANCIENTS MAKE SO MANY HUGE PYRAMIDS?

    There are many huge pyramids around the world. Examples are found in Egypt, the Sudan, Ur, Mexico, Central America, Peru, Greece, Samoa, Tahiti, Tibet, Java, and Japan, among others. What caused people around the world to make similar structures? Some people have even postulated that space aliens had something to do with it.

    There are three reasons that these massive structures are found in so many places around the world:

    1. It was the only way to make a structure that large and tall without modern engineering techniques. A pyramid is much easier to make than any other structure. Only gravity is needed to hold it together. And kings have always liked to build as big and as high as they could.
    2. The pyramid is more durable than any other design. Anything built using our usual rectilinear designs would not have survived to the present. In most cases, all we find are foundations. The pyramid is more resistant to floods, earthquakes, and storms than any other design. Since we see mostly what has survived to be seen today, we see a lot of pyramids. We also notice them more, due to the unusual shape.
    3. The original pyramids in each area were probably built as "flood insurance." Legends of a great flood equivalent to the account of Noah exist in almost all civilizations. So the people wanted high places to go to if they ever had another huge flood. Later pyramids were built as tombs, religious sites, or monuments to kings.
  14.  WHAT CAUSED THE DIMPLED AND PREGNANT CHAD IN THE 2000 ELECTION?

    Democrats claimed that these indentations in the punch cards were attempts to vote. But others said that it was impossible to make a rounded indentation with a sharp rectangular stylus.

    The page author once had a job repairing the same card readers. The instruction manual mentioned dimples in the cards without calling them chad:

    • The manual explains that an improperly maintained card reader can put dimples in the cards. Paper dust on the sense pins causes them to strike the cards with greater than normal force, causing dimples.
    • The recommended weekly test procedure to decide when to clean the card reader was to take a deck of 30 new blank punch cards and run them through the card reader 30 times. If any of the cards had dimples in them, the card reader should be cleaned - with a special Freon spray. Democrats had banned that spray years before, so the readers were not cleaned.
  15.  WHY DO OLDER CARS QUIT RUNNING WHEN IT IS WINDY IN DESERT AREAS?

    People reported that their cars quit running in the desert when a brisk wind was blowing. They were not able to start them again until that wind died down. Martin Bunn reported this in the May 1938 issue of Popular Science Magazine. Amazingly, this effect did not stop Model T Fords. The reports said that the reason the effect did not stop Model T cars was that Model Ts used 4 magnetos, instead of one spark coil and a distributor. But the explanation given at the time was not convincing. And most cars made after 1960 are also not affected by this effect.

    Static electricity caused by the wind blowing sand around caused the effect. This caused all of the spark plugs on the engine to fire continuously, wasting the fuel-air charges before they could be used to run the engine.

    Since the plugs were permanently connected to their magnetos on Model Ts, the static electricity was conducted to the car ground through the spark coil. It did this instead of firing the plug, so the Model T continued running. On the other engines, the spark plug wire is not connected to anything on the other end when the distributor is firing a different plug. This allows the static electricity to charge the plug wire and repeatedly fire the plug.

    Newer cars have rubber-covered spark plug wiring, so the static electricity can't get to the plug wires. So they are not affected by this phenomenon. And cars with computer-controlled ignition have multiple permanently connected spark coils, so this can't happen on them.

    In the 1950s, this effect caused many of the "UFO stopped a car engine" reports. And because most cars had 6-volt batteries in the 1950s, when the engine stopped at night, the headlights dimmed so much that the driver thought they went out. Most cars made after 1960 had 12-volt batteries, so the headlights did not dim as much.

  16.  WHY DO SOME SPEED LIMITS SEEM TOO SLOW FOR THE DESIGN OF THE ROAD?

    Many roads seem to have speed limits that are much lower than the road is capable of safely handling. Police are continuously issuing speeding tickets. But the politicians tell us that we are "speed demons," and we need to be punished for driving too fast.

    These are political speed limits, passed by politicians for political reasons, rather than for safety reasons. They are usually passed for the following reasons:

    • The politicians in charge are laymen, and pull speed limits they feel are correct out of their heads. Speed limits should be set by trained engineers, not layman politicians.
    • The politicians are greedy for more revenue to spend, so they trick good drivers into breaking their unjust laws.
    • Insurance actuaries tell the politicians to set speed limits much lower than the design speeds of the roads, so the government won't be sued for damages as often.
    • In similar cases, the engineers are told by politicians to overdesign the road, supposedly making it much safer at the intended speed limit. But it doesn't work. The speed differential between drivers obeying the low speed limit and drivers going the design speed of the road removes the intended increase in safety.
    • To save money on signs, the state creates a "blanket" speed limit for all roads inside city limits. But cities annex rural property to get more property on the tax rolls, subjecting drivers to ridiculously low speed limits.

    Traffic control should be taken away from politicians and layman citizen groups. It should be done by trained engineers.

  17.  WHY DID QUADRAPHONIC SOUND FAIL?

    Quadraphonic sound was introduced in 1969 as a way to increase the realism of recorded music. But by 1977, it had all but disappeared from the market. Why?

    There were several reasons why people didn't buy quadraphonic sound as expected - plus a reason nobody expected:

    • There were too many competing systems on the market. People didn't want to be stuck with obsolete equipment and recordings (remember 4-track cartridges and Betamax?). So they were waiting for a standard system to be selected.
    • The economy was bad at the time.
    • The early systems didn't produce convincing sound fields. Sounds to the sides were not heard in the correct locations.
    • Some of the systems (CD-4, UD-4) would not stand up to what many people considered normal use.

    The unexpected reason:

    • The manufacturers read the market wrong.
      1. When quadraphonic equipment first appeared on the market, 4-channel tape recorder sales exceeded all expectations. So, many manufacturers started offering many different kinds of quadraphonic equipment. The problem was that the other quadraphonic equipment did not sell at the newly expected rates. Only the quadraphonic tape recorders sold at the unusually high rates.
      2. The lack of sales of other quadraphonic equipment caused marketing "experts" to conclude that people wanted discrete quadraphonics instead of matrix quadraphonics, since only the discrete recorders were selling at high rates. But the new discrete systems they created didn't sell any better than the matrix equipment.
      3. TEAC was the first to figure out what was really going on. Those quadraphonic recorders were not going into quadraphonic sound systems. They were going into homebrew recording studios as multitrack studio recorders. So TEAC created the TASCAM division to create products for this market. The result was the portable studio - a multitrack recorder and mixer in one unit.

    With all of the wild marketing drives out of the way, the experts were able to create systems that do work properly without marketing pressures distorting the outcome. The result was Dolby Surround, a system that does work properly.

  18.  WHY DOESN'T DNA EVIDENCE ALWAYS PROVE GUILT?

    DNA evidence can be found at the scene of a crime without the person providing the DNA being guilty. How?

    It depends on how and when the DNA got to the crime scene:

    • The DNA could have been left by the person at some other time, hours before or after the crime occurred.
    • If the person is ordinarily present at the scene of the crime, it is expected that his DNA should be found.
    • A criminal could have taken a sample of the person's DNA and carried it to the crime scene to create misleading evidence.
    • The DNA could have been left elsewhere, and brought to the crime scene through various other means. Examples:
      • The item fell off a vehicle.
      • The wind moved a discarded lightweight item (such as a tissue).
      • An animal took a discarded or lost item somewhere else.
      • Children found a lost item and played with it elsewhere.
      • The item stuck to the wheel of a vehicle, and fell off somewhere else.
      • The item was collected with trash, but lost from the trash truck.
      • Someone found the item, took it, used it, and then discarded it at the crime scene.
      • The DNA was transferred onto another object through contact.

    It also depends on where the DNA is found:

    • If the DNA is found in a place where anyone can go, it is unlikely that it is connected to the crime.
    • If the DNA is found where only the criminal committing the crime could have left it, the DNA is evidence of the crime.
    • If the DNA is found where only the criminal or a few trusted people could have left it, there are only a few people to investigate.
    • If the DNA is found in places where anyone can go, but not where a key was needed to gain access, suspect coincidence or evidence planted by others. This is one of the discrepancies in the OJ Simpson case. Too much blood evidence was found in places where anyone can go. Only tiny drops of evidence were found inside areas where OJ's keys were needed to gain access (inside his car, and inside his house). This indicates evidence planting.
  19.  WHY DON'T COMPUTERS DOING MORE WORK USE MORE POWER?

    Most people believe that an idle computer uses less power than a busy computer.

    The central processing unit usually runs at the same speed no matter what the computer is doing:

    • If the CPU is not busy, it "twiddles its thumbs" in the operating system, constantly checking for new tasks, and using the same amount of power doing either.
    • The CPU is always doing the same amount of work as described by physics. It is not always doing the same amount of work as described by business managers. But the amount described by physics determines the amount of power used.
    • The CPU always gives off the same amount of heat when running at the same clock speed.
    • The CPU does not have any information about the type of program it is running. It behaves the same whether running a math intensive program, a computer game, a word processor, or just the operating system.
    • Even when running a trivial task, the multicore processor still uses all of the cores.
    • Some people believe the increase in the fan speed indicates an increase in the workload of the PC. Actually, it indicates that a thermostat inside the case detected an increase in temperature. Often the vibration from the use of a disk drive causes a thermostat that is ready to activate to activate a bit early.
    • The clock speed ordinarily does not change.
    • Opening more windows does not use more power. Each window just gets a smaller percentage of the CPU time.
    • An LCD monitor draws the same amount of power whether the screen is white or black. A fluorescent lamp behind the screen provides the light.

    The following DO use more power when the computer is busier:

    • The disk drives, CD drives, and flash drives use more power when actively reading or writing data (flash drive uses very little extra power).
    • The monitor draws less power when it is asleep. The fluorescent lamp inside an LCD screen turns off.
    • Some computers (a minority) increase the clock speed of the CPU when doing a math-intensive task. This uses more power and makes more heat.
    • The virus checker uses the disk drives more when scanning for viruses. So those who write viruses to reduce computer power consumption by disabling computers are outsmarting themselves.
    • The printer uses a lot more power when printing.
    • Some computers go into power saving mode when not busy. These shut down disk drives and the monitor when no windows are open for a set time period.
    • CRT, plasma, and LED monitors draw more power when the screen is white, and less power when it is black. This is not true with LCD screens.
  20.  WHY DO VEHICLES DISAPPEAR IN THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE?

    When a boat, ship, or airplane crashes in the Bermuda Triangle, there are times when no wreckage or survivors are found at the expected place. And sometimes when something sinks at a known site, the salvage team can't find it. This leads to claims of mysterious anomalies.

    The problem is that the Gulf Stream is moving the lost vehicles:

    • When search and salvage parties arrive, they always look on the ocean bottom straight down from the expected site.
    • Because of the constraining effects of Florida, Cuba, and the Bahamas, the Gulf Stream is one of the most swift and powerful ocean currents in the world.
    • If weather delays the rescue or recovery effort, the wind and current can carry an object far from the expected crash site.
    • If an object retains partial buoyancy, it can be carried underwater by the current many miles before it comes to rest on the ocean floor.
    • A sunken object can still be dragged along the bottom for many miles by the ocean current.
    • Anomalies in the earth's magnetic field in the area also cause navigation errors. These cause distress reports to contain the wrong location of the disaster. The use of Global Position System (GPS) navigation should reduce these errors.

    Examples of sunken vehicles found in the wrong place:

    • The 5 TBM avengers found in one place just off Fort Lauderdale were not Flight 19. They had all been lost further south, and on different dates. The Gulf Stream has over the years moved them, until they were all left in the same place. This is a place where the current on the bottom is weaker, so the planes would not be moved any more.
    • Several pleasure boats that sunk near Miami in various years were recently found by divers off the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina. Many of them were not lost under mysterious conditions, but sank in known locations with rescuers present. This is proof that the Gulf Stream does move objects from the places they sank.
  21.  WHAT WAS THE MOTHMAN?

    Several sightings of a 7-foot flying man were made in the areas of Flatwoods, Sutton, Parkersburg, Clendenin, Salem, and Point Pleasant West Virginia in the 1950s and 1960s. People called it "the Mothman."

    Several facts:

    • Most of the descriptions fit the description of a large crane or heron. Some cranes stand as tall as 6 feet.
    • The red eyes are a normal reflection of light off the retinas of these birds at night.
    • When standing in brush, it can look like a man at night.
    • Newsmen came up with the "Mothman" name.
    • The eyebars in the Silver Bridge were too long for the strength testing machine, so the manufacturer didn't test them. It had nothing to do with the Mothman sightings.
  22.  ARE YOUR APPLIANCES POWER VAMPIRES?

    Rabid environmentalists claim that people lose hundreds of dollars a year to appliances that are "power vampires." Power vampires are appliances that use power even when they are not turned on. Examples:

    Most appliances draw very tiny currents when they are off. They are not the power vampires the environmentalists claim:

    • The power drawn by most devices when they are turned off is in milliwatts, not watts.
    • A 1 milliwatt draw with a cost of 20 cents per kilowatt hours costs $0.000146 (0.0146 cent) per month, or about 0.175 cents a year. It would take 6 years for this device to cost one entire cent.
    • If you have 50 such appliances, the cost is 8.75 cents a year.
    • The environmentalists are mousemilking when they spread the word on this issue.

    Unplugging some appliances actually costs more in energy use when they are plugged back in:

    • If the appliance must be programmed before it can be used, the extra time it is plugged in and turned on to be programmed uses much more power than the amount used if the appliance is left plugged in. These include TVs, VCRs, DVD recorders, amplifiers, computer modems, and other devices.
    • Some appliances must automatically set themselves up before they can be used. Many TV sets, VCRs, and cable boxes do this
    • Some printers and electromechanical devices run motors when they are first plugged in, so their parts are known to be in the correct places. These use a lot more power when plugged back in than they would if left plugged in.

    Several exceptions do use a significant amount of power if left plugged in:

    • Old tube type TV sets with remote controls use more power if plugged in.
    • CRT TV sets with instant-on use more power if left plugged in.
    • But older sets without remote control or instant on use NO power when plugged in, but turned off.
  23.  WHAT CAUSED THE CATTLE MUTILATIONS AND THE CHUPACABRA EVENTS?

    Cattle mutilations were first reported in the 1800s, but didn't become numerous until the 1970s.

    Many explanations come into play in this multiple mystery:

    • The 1897 case was likely the result of a liar's club contest. It came in the middle of the rash of airship sightings.
    • Many cattle mutilations, upon investigation, turn out to be farmers trying to get payments from insurance that covers vandalism, but not natural deaths or wild animal attacks. Most of these were animals harmed by wild animals.
    • The mutilations that moved from state to state were solved when a satanist group was arrested. They were using the cattle for their ritual sacrifices. No footprints were found because they walked on cardboard sheets. Unfortunately, the only crime they could be charged with was trespass, so they got out of jail after a short stay.
    • The satanists even had a helicopter tricked out with lights to look like a flying saucer.
    • Because the chupacabra sightings have moved from location to locations, it may be that the satanists are still doing the same thing, but without the UFO effects. They are moving to avoid authorities.
  24.  JONBENET RAMSEY - WHAT WENT WRONG?

    Jonbenet Ramsey was a 6-year-old girl who was murdered in her own home in Boulder Colorado on Christmas day in 1996.

    Why government messed up the case:

    • The crime scene was left unsecured while it was thought to be a kidnapping, and even afterwards.
    • Police failed to collect forensic evidence at the time.
    • Police used faulty profiling statistics to choose the most likely people to investigate.
    • The faulty "single theory of the crime" was used by police. They investigated solely the theory that one of the parents killed her, without following any leads indicating other culprits.
    • The police ignored the fact that the DNA found on Jonbenet's clothes did not match anyone in the family.
    • The pornography offender's handwriting matched the ransom note. But his DNA didn't match the sample found on Jonbenet's clothes.
    • Nobody bothered to seriously check into people connected to the modeling activities Jonbenet and her parents were involved in.
    • If the police had not been using profiling and the single theory of the crime methods, they might have caught the offender.

    Police profiling methods should be banned. They save money at the expense of justice.

    The single theory of the crime method should be banned. It also saves money at the expense of justice.

  25.  CASEY ANTHONY - WHAT WENT WRONG?

    Caylee Anthony was a little girl who went missing in Florida, and was found dead in a wooded area near her home six months later.

    Again, government messed up the case:

    • No real crime scene was ever found, other than where the remains were found.
    • The theory now favored is that Casey became unbalanced when her daughter disappeared, and went into a mental state of denial. Her subconscious created plausible scenarios which Casey believed were true until they were shown to her to be wrong. These scenarios diverted police from the actual facts of the crime until after the evidence was long gone.
    • Police used faulty profiling methods to choose who to investigate.
    • Once police found that Casey had lied to them, they concentrated the investigation on Casey deliberately killing her daughter.
    • All of the circumstantial evidence could have had origins other than the ones police and the prosecutor believed were correct. Some of the links in the chain of evidence the prosecutor believed in were very tenuous, including:
      • The fact that the crime was not reported until 30 days after Caylee disappeared
      • Casey forgetting what happened to her car
      • The "death smell" found in the car after it had been in an impound yard for a long time exposed to wild animals in the area
      • The duct tape found with the body belonged to the same manufacturing lot as a roll found in Casey's parents' garage. But how many hundreds of other people bought rolls of tape from the same lot? It is usually sold wholesale by a shipping skid containing thousands of rolls.
      • The body was found in an area that supposedly had been searched earlier.
      • There was evidence that someone else found the skull, took it as a souvenir, and then put it back when he realized that authorities were looking for it.
    • The prosecutor was faced with a legal time deadline to either prosecute or turn Casey loose. He chose to prosecute with what little he had, and lost.
    • No investigator bothered to check into the possibility that other people were involved.
    • The authorities in that area were very strict on prosecuting cases of child neglect. It is possible that Caylee died accidentally (e.g. by falling in the swimming pool at Casey's parents' home) and Casey's father then faked a child abduction (without telling anyone else) to avoid being jailed for failing to watch the child closely enough or failing to secure the pool gate.
    • Another possibility is that an unknown sexual pervert grabbed Caylee, sexually molested her, killed her, and then hid her body until it had decomposed to the point where molestation could not be proved.

    The biggest travesty in the entire case is that the news media had already decided that Casey was guilty. This fortunately did not bias the jury, but it does bias how Casey will be treated from now on. A woman who already has mental problems will be saddled by the press with this stigma for the rest of her life.

    It should be illegal for the press to choose sides in any court case. The reporter's opinion is not germane, and can wrongly bias a jury.

  26.  WILL THE STIMULUS SPENDING REALLY HELP THE ECONOMY?

    When the economy gets bad, the Democrats always want to spend huge amounts of money to "stimulate" the economy. They give the following reasons why it works:

    But it doesn't really work:

    • For the economy to recover from a recession, wealth must be created.
    • Most of the projects government spends money on do not create any wealth.
    • If government gets the product of the work that is done by the project, no wealth is created. One exception is a needed road.
    • Only work done to create useful products for sale on the open market creates any wealth.
    • The best method to cause the economy to recover is to remove excessive tax burdens.
    • Democrats will not do that, because they want the money to spend.
    • The stimulus did not make the economy recover after the Great Depression. It did not really recover until after World War II ended.
    • Stimulus spending has never worked. Democrats just said that it worked, after the economy recovered for other reasons.
  27.  CAN OBAMACARE REALLY DESTROY THE ECONOMY?

    The Democrats say Obamacare will help the economy recover. They give the following reasons why it will work:

    But it doesn't really work, and could destroy the entire economy:

    • For the economy prosper, wealth must be created.
    • Health care spending (private or public) does not create any wealth.
    • No wealth is created because no product is created.
    • No expenditure mandated by government can ever expand the economy.
    • The program promises that every person can have the health care only the rich could afford before. But if every person exercises this "right", the cost would exceed the nation's Gross National Product (GNP). This means that those bills could not possibly be paid.
    • Democrats want the health care tax money to spend on other things.
    • The requirement that employers must pay for health insurance for full-time workers is destroying full-time jobs. Many jobs are being eliminated, moved outside the country, or cut to 3/4 time, to avoid this expense.
    • Stimulus spending has never worked. Democrats just said that it worked, after the economy recovered for other reasons.
    • Newsmen have been slanting reporting on Obamacare, because they want it for themselves. Most newsmen do not get benefits from their employers.
  28.  WHAT ARE MYSTERIOUS RODS AND ORBS?

    Mysterious objects not seen by the photographers appear on still pictures and video tape:

    About rods:

    • Rods are not found anywhere except on video tape.
    • The History Channel's "Monster Quest" show did a standard 30 frame per second (fps) video and a simultaneous 1000 fps video covering the same location. Where the 30 fps video showed rods, the 1000 fps video showed moths.
    • The rod is an artifact effect of a fast flying insect close to the lens, combined with the raster scanning of standard video.
    • Interlace scanning of NTSC video causes the wings to appear in multiple places in the frame.
    • Because the moths flap their wings at high speeds, the wings appear in multiple places in each frame.

    About orbs:

    • Orbs appear on cheap cameras with built-in electronic flash.
    • Expensive professional cameras with separately attached flashguns do not photograph orbs.
    • An experiment using dust and a small camera produced orbs on demand.
    • Orbs are caused by the flash being close enough to the camera lens to illuminate specks of dust near the lens.
    • Because the specks are so close to the lens, the orbs are out of focus.
  29.  IS THE SINGLE BULLET THEORY VIABLE?

    When President John F Kennedy was assassinated, the investigators proposed that a single bullet caused 2 wounds in Kennedy and 5 in Texas Governor John Connelly. Opponents say the following:

    1. The bullet would have to follow an S-shaped path.
    2. The bullet would have to be shot from a location lower than the 6th floor of the Texas School Book Depository Building.
    3. The bullet would have to be virtually undamaged to match the bullet that was found.
    4. The fourth shot would have to be accounted for.

    The single bullet shot has been successfully replicated at least 3 times:

    • The History Channel ran a conspiracy theory show where the shot was successfully replicated by a sharpshooter.
    • The Discovery Channel's Mythbusters show successfully replicated the shot, again using a sharpshooter.
    • Another Discovery Channel special, "Unsolved History: JFK - Beyond the Magic Bullet", also successfully replicated the feat.

    About the objections to the single bullet theory:

    1. Because the governor was sitting in a special removable seat, he was lower and farther to the left than President Kennedy was. It was unnecessary for the bullet to follow a curved path.
    2. The theory that the shot had to come from a lower site assumes the President was sitting straight up. But the Zapruder film shows he was bent over and turned slightly to the right.
    3. The bullet that was found was flattened on one side. It entered the governor's back sideways.
    4. The "fourth shot" was not a shot, but a backfire. The only evidence for it is one sound recording.

    Objections to the "other shooter" theories:

    • The shooter would have had to be a small child to not stand out on the grassy knoll. That hiding space is a lot smaller than it looks in photos. And the single bullet would have hit Jackie, not the governor.
    • A shooter in the storm drain would not even see the limo at the time the shots were fired. There is a rise in the road between the two sites. And he would have to be a contortionist to be able to aim a gun from there.
    • Any shooter on or near the railroad bridge would have been seen by union workers on the bridge.
    • Any shooter in a building behind the Book Depository would not have been able to see through trees that existed at the time.
    • Any shot coming from either the overpass or the underpass would have had to break the windshield to reach the President.
  30.  WHAT CAUSES CARS TO RUN AWAY?

    In 2009 and 2010, several events occurred where cars suddenly accelerated to full throttle. The drivers could not regain control, even by turning the ignition switches off. Most of these were Toyotas, but other brands were involved.

    Some Facts:

    Microprocessor machine language The solution to this problem is a glitched microprocessor running the wrong code:

    • Most microprocessors have instructions that use more than one byte in memory.
    • Each instruction has an operation code byte. It may be followed by one or more addressing bytes (see diagram).
    • A pointer called the program counter steps through the bytes and tells the microprocessor what instructions to follow.
    • It is possible for an electrical disturbance (lightning, static electricity, CB transmitter) to cause the program counter to jump to a random location in the computer's memory.
    • This can cause the program counter to land on an addressing byte, and to treat it as an instruction.
    • The microprocessor is now out of registration with the program. It reads the wrong bytes as instructions, executing the addresses as though they were instructions, and treating the instructions as addresses.
    • The microprocessor has no way of knowing that it is reading the program out of registration.
    • This can cause the computer to do anything to any function the computer has under its control.
    • This continues until an instruction pattern causes the program counter to read an instruction as an instruction, or until power is removed from the microprocessor.
    • Another possibility is that the program counter randomly jumps into an area containing data instead of a program. It then executes data as random instructions.
    • Since the correct program is not running, no log entries are made for the duration of the malfunction.
    • If the microprocessor is doing interrupt-driven time sharing among several functions, the other functions might continue to operate normally.
    • This is one of the things that can happen when a computer program "stops responding" on Windows. The process must be stopped or the computer must be rebooted.
    • Removing power from the microprocessor, and then restoring it several minutes later, causes normal operation to resume.
    • This can be fixed by inserting instructions to reset the computer between program segments and between data values.
    • A "watchdog" device can be built into the car, to monitor that the computer is running the correct code. If the computer fails to use certain ports periodically, the watchdog device resets the computer.
    • The ignition switch should always remove power from the ignition circuits without computer intervention. No more keyless ignition or remote start devices.
  31.  CAN CRUISE CONTROL CAUSE CARS TO RUN AWAY?

    Many stories have been told where the cruise control of a vehicle caused the car engine to run at high speeds when the wheels were on a slippery surface. No brands were mentioned.

    Some Facts:

    The solution to this problem is the nonstandard way a few older cars were made:

    • The cars which showed this effect had rear wheel drive, but the speedometer (and cruise control speed) was taken from the left front wheel.
    • This happened when, due to slippery surfaces, the left front wheel was not turning at the speed the rear wheels were turning at.
    • The difference in speeds fooled the cruise control, which expected all of the wheels to be turning at about the same speed. It opened the throttle to feed more power to the rear wheels.
    • Because the rear wheels are spinning on a slippery surface, the feedback loop between the engine speed and the rotation speed of the left front wheel is broken. So the cruise control accelerates the engine.
    • This does not happen on most cars, because the speedometer and cruise control reading is normally taken from the rotation speed of the drive shaft. The drive wheel speed and the speedometer speed are always the same. The feedback loop can never be broken by road conditions.

    This happens on a few older cars. If in doubt, have a mechanic check the speedometer source.

  32.  WHAT IF A CAR BATTERY IS LEFT ON A CONCRETE FLOOR?

    Many Internet postings say that a car battery can be discharged or damaged by leaving it on a concrete floor.

    The facts:

    • This started with an auto tip in a magazine in the late 1930s or early 1940s. The tip said:
      • "Leaving a car battery on a concrete floor will ruin it."
    • That pronoun "it" has too many antecedents.
    • This does not ruin the battery. It ruins the concrete floor. The acid vapors from the battery eat away at the concrete.
    • The original purpose of the auto tip was to save your garage floor from damage.
    • Car batteries discharge by themselves over time if not periodically charged. That's why trickle chargers were invented.
  33.  WILL EVERYONE BE RICH IF ALL WEALTH IS REDISTRIBUTED?

    Several versions of these liberal sayings have been found at various places on the Internet:

    The actual facts:

    • Most of the wealth disappears with redistribution, because it is created by work.
    • If the money is redistributed evenly, everyone gets about $2500 - once.
    • Without work being done, there would be no products to buy.
    • In most companies, redistributing the salary of the CEO equally among all workers results in a raise of a few cents per paycheck per worker.
    • Without the CEO, the company would probably go out of business.
    • Government spending does not expand the economy the way Democrats believe it does. We have just seen proof of this in the Obama recession.
    • Nobody can be paid more than the amount of wealth the work he does can be sold for on the open market.
    • Most of these errors in thought are due to not actually doing the math. They underestimate the number of people involved.
    • We have to remember that the classical Greek civilization was powered by slave labor.
  34.  IS DRUG ABUSE A VICTIMLESS CRIME?

    Many proponents of legalizing recreational drug use claim that it should not be a crime, because there is no victim. Here are their arguments:

    There are other victims:

    • Numerous victims of accidents (auto, industrial, domestic, etc.) caused by drug users - Many are fatalities
    • Damage to industrial equipment caused by users using it wrong (the original reason drugs were prohibited)
    • Merchandise wrongly assembled by careless drug users
    • Accidents caused by the products carelessly assembled by drug users (e.g. the wheels that fell off cars a few years ago)
    • Families deprived of support because an addict spent his pay on drugs
    • Drug users fired from jobs because insurers will not insure employers who hire them.
    • Drug users on public assistance because nobody will hire them.
    • Items stolen to be pawned to get money for drugs (will still happen if drugs are legal)
    • Injuries caused by violent activities of drug users.
    • Crimes caused by the degradation of the sense of right and wrong caused by the drugs
    • Drug users being allowed to vote, changing outcomes of elections.

    These drugs alter the minds of users, causing the above troubles.

  35.  CAN HOMOSEXUALITY BE A HEREDITARY TRAIT?

    Several "scientific studies" say that homosexuality is caused by a gene.

    All of it was bad science:

    • Those "scientists" were political scientists, not genetic scientists.
    • They were people with axes to grind. They wanted a positive result. No valid science can be done with such biases.
    • The sampled the wrong population, using a sample size that was too small, and sampling methods of dubious value.
    • They did not use a control group.
    • They controlled for the dependent variable instead of the independent variable.
    • They tested the data with the wrong statistic.
    • They used the faulty argument mode "Affirming the Consequent."
    • They used the norms for behavioral science instead of the genetic norms.
    • They explained the use of wrong norms by saying the gene is sex linked, even though it is not on a sex chromosome.
    • One group of "scientists" couldn't even get divide two numbers correctly.
    • Some positive results were due to the observational error caused by the small sample size.
    • When their results were marginal at best, they went ahead and concluded what they wanted to conclude.

    No liberal has stopped to consider the ramifications of proving that homosexuality is hereditary:

    • Proving that homosexuality is hereditary disproves evolution by natural selection.
    • Any such gene would have been naturally selected out of the population long ago.

    Homosexuality is a behavior, not a trait.

    • Homosexual rights violate the religious civil rights of members of most of the world's religions.
    • The fact that Hollywodd wants this to be a civil right is not germane to the scientific outcome.
  36.  ARE GOVERNMENTS COVERING UP EVIDENCE THAT UFOS ARE FROM OUTER SPACE?

    Many UFOlogists claim that government is somehow covering up the truth about many UFO sightings.

    Several important facts about this:

    • There is no way the government could ever prove it does not have any secret UFO files.
    • It is impossible to prove that something does not exist. Therefore, the burden of proof is on those making the claim it exists.
    • Some UFOlogists refuse to believe the truth, because they won't accept any truth other than an extraterrestrial spacecraft.
    • The secret being kept might be that the government does not want to admit that it does not know what is going on.
    • The military has used the unidentified label to hide secret activities.
    • FAA crash detectives have given UFOlogists wild stories just to get rid of them, so they don't disturb the crash scene.
    • Anyone who tries to connect UFOs to unrelated psychic phenomena is no scientist.
    • Wild, but fictitious, UFO stories have been used by security officers and the CIA to test for security leaks.
    • A few wild UFO stories started as interoffice memo pranks that leaked to the press.
    • Governments have denied responsibility for physical damages they have caused, to avoid paying damages.
    • The FAA usually does not know the identities of all of the aircraft flying in the area at the time. They just try to keep them apart.
    • The fact that a UFOlogist claims that a secret file must exist does not mean that it actually exists.
    • The UFO case may be the fabrication of an author for the purpose of selling books (e.g. the Fort Itaipu, Brazil 1957 case).
    • Many files on older cases were thrown away when they exceeded the 25 year requirement for keeping files.
    • The government term "alien activity" refers to citizens of foreign countries, not outer space.
    • One woman several years ago believed she was a space alien, because her mother told her she was an alien. She was a Mexican citizen.

    Some files are secret for reasons other than the reasons the UFOlogists think:

    • The witness has the right to request privacy.
    • Secret information relating to procedures used in intercepting unknowns is in the file.
    • The UFO was a secret US device (Many cases were caused by high altitude balloons, or the U-2 and SR-71 spy planes).
    • The UFO was a secret Soviet device (Many cases were spy satellites seen in orbit or crashing to earth).
    • The UFO sighting was caused by criminal activity, and the crime is still under investigation.
    • Something else in the file must be kept from the public for security or international diplomacy reasons.
    • UFO witnesses might also be in the witness protection program from unrelated cases. Publicity might endanger them.
    • When juveniles release prank UFOs, any crime involved is sometimes required by juvenile criminal law to be kept secret.

    What I want to know is this: When an unknown object is seen in the sky, why is an alien spacecraft the first thing people think of?

  37.  HOW DID GOBBLER'S ROCK AND OTHER HUGE ROCKS GET HIGH UP IN TREES?

    In the later 1990s, a 400 pound rock was found 30 feet up in the crotch of an 80 foot tall tree in Yellowwood State Forest, near Unionville Indiana. Since then, three more rocks have been found in nearby trees, one weighing half a ton. Several theories were proposed:

    The solution (provided by a veteran pilot of World War II):

    • Helicopter training was taking place at nearby Camp Atterbury during World War II.
    • An instructor devised an exercise of putting heavy rocks into triple tree crotches with the helicopter's hoist.
    • The idea was to learn how to lift, set down, and precisely place heavy loads, but without endangering actual equipment.
    • This probably took place in winter, when the leaves were down.
    • The war effort was supreme during those years. Nobody would question such an exercise, as long as it wasn't done to private property.
    • The area had recently been designated a state forest.
    • There were no environmentalist tree huggers to complain about the practice back then.

    The tree supporting Gobbler's Rock (the first one found) collapsed in 2006.

  38.  HOW DID A BOY DISAPPEAR INTO THE SKY?

    Several UFO books have cited a case where, on 12/24/1909, a child went missing in Rhayader Wales. The facts are as follows:

    The fact that it was Christmas Eve should have been a clue. The kid was probably in the chimney.

    • Imagine a curious young boy wondering how Santa Claus came down the chimney.
    • The kid probably climbed up on the roof and into the chimney, where he either became stuck, or reached the smoke shelf and could not climb up or down.
    • His calls came from above, because they were coming out of the top of the chimney.
    • The calls became fainter because the boy became weaker.
    • If the fireplace contained coals, he might have been weakened quickly by carbon monoxide.
    • He was never found. But I wonder if, many years later, burned fragments of a child's skeleton were found in the chimney when it was repaired or torn down. This might have started a second mystery.
  39.  WHERE DID THE TIME CAPSULE GO?

    In the 1980s, they searched in vain for a time capsule they believed was buried in the foundation of the southeast corner of the courthouse in Monroe County Indiana. They did not find it before they started an extensive renovation of the courthouse.

    In 2010, a time capsule was found in the northeast corner of the foundation of the courthouse when repairs were being made there.

    • Nobody could find out when it was buried.
    • It matched the expected contents (by year) of the missing one.
    • Somebody got the directions wrong when they recorded where it was buried.

    It's amazing how stuff can get misplaced or forgotten after even 20 years pass. If that time capsule had been buried outside of the courthouse foundation on the southeast side, it would be under the concrete stage that is now there.

  40.  WHAT FUSED CIVIL WAR BATTLEGROUND BULLETS?

    On some civil war battlefields, pairs of bullets have been found fused together. This has never been seen elsewhere. Several theories have been proposed:

    The diary of a Confederate soldier tells the tale. They were short of powder, so a Confederate commander had an idea. He told the soldiers to put two bullets in the gun for each shot. But he didn't know two things:

    • The explosion of the charge fused the two bullets together.
    • Without a larger charge of powder, the fused bullets did not make it across to the enemy lines. They landed in the middle of the battlefield.
  41.  WHAT ARE THE LITTLE GOLD AIRPLANES THE INCAS MADE?

    Small gold objects about 2 inches long were found among Inca ruins. Ancient astronaut theorists say that these little "airplanes" are just that: models of flying machines.

    The configuration of these objects is much closer to a flying fish than to an airplane. The pectoral fins are the wings, the ventral fins are the horizontal stabilizers, and the caudal fin is the vertical stabilizer, far behind the ventral fins. The "cockpit" is the gill.

  42.  HOW CAN PARACHUTE FLARES BLOCK OUT THE STARS BETWEEN THEM??

    In several cases (e.g. the 1997 Phoenix Arizona case) where a UFO was identified as an airplane dropping several parachute flares, witnesses reported that the stars disappeared behind the "object" they thought was carrying the lights. The same effect was reported in cases where fire balloons are known to have caused the sighting. Are these witnesses lying?

    Probably not. There are several effects that can make this happen:

    • The parachutes themselves or the envelopes of the fire balloons may be made of materials that block starlight.
    • The glare from the flares or candles may hide the visibility of a dim star. This effect occurs inside the eye, where light from the flares or candles scatters, drowning out the tiny amount of light from stars.
    • If the lights of the UFO are bright enough, the irises of the eyes may close down, hiding the stars from the witness.
  43.  WHY MUST TWO CARS BE WAITING BEFORE THE TRAFFIC SIGNAL CHANGES?

    At some intersections, I have to wait until another car comes up behind me before the signal will change to green. Why does it happen? Is this done deliberately?

    This depends on the circumstances at the individual intersections:

    • If the first driver drives up beyond the stop line, his car may no longer be in the detection zone. So the signal is not activated until the second car arrives and stays within the detection zone.
    • Some protected/permissive left-turn signals do not display the protected green arrow until at least three cars are waiting. If one or two cars are waiting, they are expected to use the permissive turn (circular green or flashing yellow arrows).
    • Do not expect the light to change immediately. The signal must finish what it is doing before it releases other traffic. It might also be waiting for a coordination timing signal from the master controller. So the arrival of the second vehicle when the signal changes might just be a coincidence.
    • Some vehicles do not reliably activate loop detectors. Small vehicles (motorcycles, and bicycles), and vehicles with very little metal in them, often do not activate metal detector loops.
    • Some (very few) vehicles match the pavement at infrared wavelengths, and are not seen by the television detectors.
    • The signal may have something wrong with it that keeps it from detecting the first car in line.
  44.  HOW CAN A TOILET SEAT COST $600, OR A HAMMER COST $400?

    The following were on the list of government expenditures that former Senator Proxmire called "wasteful spending."

    What, other than fraud, could make a toilet seat cost $600?

    • The $600 toilet seat was for the space shuttle. It was designed to seal to a spacesuit in the vacuum of space, and work with no gravity. This seems like a bargain at $600.

      Proxmire saw just the $600 and the item entry "toilet seat" on a large list of budget items. He did not read the individual descriptions.

    • The $400 hammers were another matter. A typist checked the wrong box on the requisition. Instead of checking "test random samples," the typist checked "test each." The high cost was that of testing all of the hammers, rather than a small random sample of the hammers. This is a case of government waste caused by a typographical error.
  45.  WHERE WAS CAMELOT?

    Many legends tell of fabled Camelot. It was the home of King Arthur and his round table of knights. But was it real? And where was it?

    The page author has a map based on Roman maps during the time of Roman Emperor Trajan. On this map are two towns near each other in the Roman province of Britannia. One is named Londinium. It is in the location of present day London. The other is Camelodunum. What else could this be but Camelot?

    It is at or near the location of present day Colchester England.

  46.  WHAT IS THAT S-SHAPED THING ON A HEARSE?

    Most hearses in America today have an S-shaped decoration on each side near the back. What is it for?

    It is a fake Landau bar.

    Before the automobile replaced the horse drawn carriage, a hearse was a carriage adapted to carry a coffin. The style of carriage favored by mortuaries was the Landau, which had a top divided into front and back halves that could be individually retracted. This made it easy to get the top out of the way for lifting the coffin into or out of the carriage.

    The Landau bars were the supports for the top when it was up, and folded out of the way when the top was down. As the Landau carriage fell out of favor for other uses, the Landau bars became associated by many as being part of a hearse.

    In the 1920s, when the horse-drawn Landau was replaced by the automobile, someone got the idea of putting fake Landau bars on hearses. The idea stuck. But note that some luxury cars that were not hearses also had fake Landau bars.

  47.  WHY DO CLOCKS TURN CLOCKWISE?

    Other than a few novelty clocks that turn the hands the other way (and digital clocks that don't have hands), most clocks turn clockwise. Why?

    The practice came from the markings on a sundial. In the Northern Hemisphere, the marks on a sundial are in clockwise order, because the shadow of the sun moves clockwise. As seen in the sky, the sun also seems to move clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere. The clock was given similar markings so people could easily equate it to the sundial.

    So what did we call clockwise and counterclockwise before there were clocks? The following words were used in English and Gaelic:

    • Deasil - clockwise, as the sun goes, or turning to the right.
    • Widdershins - counterclockwise, contrary to the expected motion, or turning to the left.
  48.  WHAT DOES A MIRROR REALLY REVERSE?

    Most people say a mirror reverses left and right. But if you put the mirror on the ceiling or the floor, it appears to reverse up and down. And everyone would agree that it exchanges the directions of near with far.

    But what does it really reverse?

    The mirror exchanges clockwise with counterclockwise in all planes.

    Take the case of a man in a tee shirt with letters on it representing left, right, neck, waist, front, and back, attached in the proper positions:

    • First the case where he faces a very tall and wide mirror, using the labels:
      • Looking down he sees in clockwise order: neck, left, waist, and right.
        In the mirror, he sees the clockwise order neck, right, waist, and left.
        The lettering in the mirror is reversed.
      • Someone above him sees his shirt in clockwise order front, right, back, and left.
        That person sees in the mirror a clockwise order of front, left, back, and right.
        The lettering is reversed in the mirror.
      • Someone to his right sees his shirt in clockwise order neck, front, waist, and back.
        This man sees in the mirror, a clockwise order of neck, back, waist, and front.
        Again, the lettering in the mirror is reversed.
    • Next the case where he turns so his left side faces the mirror:
      • Looking at the left of his shirt, he sees in clockwise order neck, back, waist, and front.
        But in the mirror, the clockwise order is neck, front, waist, and back.
        The lettering in the mirror is reversed.
      • Someone above him sees in clockwise order the front, right, back, and left.
        That same person sees in the mirror a clockwise order of front, left, back, and right.
        The lettering is reversed in the mirror.
      • Someone the man is facing him sees in clockwise order neck, left, waist, and right.
        But in the mirror, he sees in clockwise order neck, right, waist, and left.
        Again, the lettering in the mirror is reversed.
    • Finally the case where he stands below a very large horizontal mirror:
      • Looking down at his shirt, he sees in clockwise order front, right, back, and left.
        But in the mirror, the clockwise order is front, left, back, and right.
        The lettering in the mirror is reversed.
      • Someone in front of him sees in clockwise order neck, right, waist, and left.
        That same person sees in the mirror a clockwise order of neck, left, waist, and right.
        The lettering is reversed in the mirror.
      • Someone on the man's right sees in clockwise order neck, front, waist, and back.
        In the mirror, he sees in clockwise order the neck, back, waist, and front.
        Again, the lettering in the mirror is reversed.
    • Now the strange case where the man with the shirt is between the observer and the mirror. Both are facing the mirror:
      • Observing the back of the man's shirt the clockwise order is neck, right, waist, and left.
        Looking in the mirror, the clockwise order is neck, right, waist, and left.
        The lettering is reversed in the mirror, but not on the shirt itself.

        This seems perplexing, until we realize that the observer is seeing the back of the real shirt, but the front of the shirt is seen in the mirror. When we turn the man around so he sees the front of the shirt, but remembers how it looked in the mirror, the following happens:

      • Observing the front of the man's shirt the clockwise order is neck, left, waist, and right.
        Remembering what was in the mirror, the clockwise order was neck, right, waist, and left.
        The lettering is still reversed in the mirror, but not on the shirt itself.
  49.  WHAT WAS KIRLIAN PHOTOGRAPHY?

    Discovered in 1939 by Semyon Kirlian, this is placing objects connected to a high voltage on photographic film. The images are produced from the electricity instead of light. Many enthusiasts believe that Kirlian photography records the mystic aura of whatever is placed on the film.

    The idea of Kirlian photography producing an aura came from the fact that a leaf that had part of it cut off still showed the shape of the entire leaf on the photograph.

    One electrode is connected to the object placed on the film. The other is a frame around the edge of the film. The exposure takes place in the dark.

    The major sources of the "auras" were water vapor, and moisture within the film emulsion conducting the electricity. When the voltage is applied to the object on the film, it reaches and affects the film after following any moisture present.

    The cut leaf still showed approximately its original shape because moisture was escaping from the cut edges in approximately the same amounts the missing parts of the leaf originally consumed. Thus, the moisture spreads out in a rough approximation of the original shape.

    Those electric discharge globes you can touch and attract the discharge behave in a similar manner.

  50.  WHAT WAS POLYWATER?

    The Soviet physicist Nikolai Fedyakin reportedly created a new form of polymerized water by forcing ordinary water through very fine quartz tubes. Only very tiny amounts of the substance were produced.

    This discovery caused a flurry of scientific study in 1969 - 1973, plus a large number of speculations on uses for polywater and effects of polywater on living beings. Some scientists failed to find any polywater in their experiments.

    Chemical analysis of every tested sample of polywater showed that it was contaminated with substances other than water that tended to collect in the quartz tubes.

    When attempts to create polywater were attempted with carefully cleaned equipment and distilled water, no polywater was formed.

    One scientist determined that polywater and sweat had the same properties.

    The anomalous results were caused by bad scientific methods.

    Scientists eventually came to a consensus that polymerized water does not exist. Hydrogen peroxide is as far as water can polymerize.

  51.  HOW CAN A MAN SURVIVE A DIVE INTO ONE FOOT OF WATER?

    A man was shown on TV in 2011 diving from up to 40 feet high into a 4 by 8 foot inflatable pool filled with water only one foot deep. He regularly survives this dive. How?

    The answer seems to be in the properties of the pool:

    • He does a belly flop into the pool. This distributes the impact across the surface area of his body.
    • The size of the pool seems to be critical. A larger pool might not keep him from hitting the bottom as hard.
    • The air in the sides of the pool absorbs much of the impact. The sides act like airbags in a car.
    • If the bottom surface of the pool also inflates, it provides extra absorption of impact.
  52.  WERE THE STUDENTS HACKING THE FILES?

    In 2005 Harvard, MIT, and Carnegie-Mellon colleges were rejecting applicants who peeked into their files to find out early if they had been accepted. The schools called it "hacking."

    MIT Dean of the Sloan School of Management Richard Schmalensee compared the peeking to "using the keys to the admissions office" to sneak in to look at the files.

    But the information on how to find this out was encoded into the source code of a public web page. Anyone who knows how to use a web browser could access it by clicking on "Page Source" in the "View" or "Tools" menu of most web browsers. No hacking was required. It was really more like the following happened:

    • The files were left in plain sight on a table in the hallway outside the admissions office.
    • They were indexed by applicant number, not applicant name, so they are worthless to any applicant who does not know his number.
    • A sheet of paper containing the applicants' names and numbers was left on another table in the same hallway.
    • The security consisted of writing "Applicants' names and numbers" in Spanish on another sheet of paper, and laying that sheet on top of the sheet containing the applicants' names and numbers, to hide it.
    • Although the admissions office itself was locked, the doors to the hallway remained unlocked to the outside world.
    • When someone who knew Spanish came in and read the title sheet, he then told the other applicants where they could find their admission status in an unlocked area. All they had to do was lift the title sheet, read their numbers next to their names, and then find their numbers in the other sheet.
    • Nobody needed a key. The stuff was in an unlocked hallway.

    Apparently this dean thought that source code for web pages is hidden to web users, and that the encoding information was safe. It is not. ANYONE can access that information with two mouse clicks, using any web browser. And anyone who knows HTML (now required in most high schools) can understand the source code. No hacking required.

  53.  WHAT WAS THE ANTIKYTHERA MECHANISM USED FOR?

    A complex mechanical calculator was found in a shipwreck off the coast of Antikythera Island, between Greece and Crete. The wreck was dated to circa 80 BC with the mechanism being only a few years older. The calculator could be adjusted for the observer position on the earth, and indicated the positions of the sun, moon, Venus, and Mars. It indicated the Metonic cycle for a 19 year lunar calendar, the signs of the zodiac, the 18 year Saros eclipse cycle, and the Olympic Games. But what was it intended to be used for?

    The small size indicates that it was intended to be carried.

    • Although the parts were made of bronze and subject to corrosion, it would have been very useful on a ship.
    • It could definitely be used to find longitude, a solution to a problem solved in 1713 by the Harrison Clock.
    • The calculations of the various calendars and the Olympic Games could tell the owner of the ship the times and locations of paying passengers.
    • Because no other copies of this have been found, it might have been a prototype being tested.
  54.  WHAT WAS THAT FLOATING FLYING FAT MAN?

    There were several sightings in the 1960s, usually from shore, of an oblate object out in the ocean, floating on the water. One report described it as looking like a sunburned fat man floating too far out from the beach. In each case, the object then rose into the air, hovered there for a while, and then rose higher, disappearing in the distance in the sky. What was it?

    It was a radio antenna lifting balloon for a submarine. The crew in the submerged submarine ejected it through a special port. A small helium cartridge inflated the balloon. At first, it rose and floated on the surface of the sea. Then, when the balloon was inflated enough, it lifted the antenna wire into the sky. The submarine crew then used the antenna for communication. When they were finished with the antenna, they cut the wire off at the port, letting the balloon carry it into the sky. The balloon is red so boats, ships, and planes don't hit the wire.

  55.  IS THE BIBLE CODE REAL?

    Many people are searching the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin texts for "hidden" texts. These texts are discovered by choosing a number n, picking a starting point, and taking every n-th letter. Many words and phrases describing historical events occurring long after the Scriptures were written. But do these have any basis in fact?

    The answer is found in the following:

    • The texts of Moby Dick, War and Peace, Mein Kampf, The Lord of the Rings, Shakespeare plays, and other large works have produced similar results from this technique, even though they are not sacred texts.
    • The number of possible permutations resulting from this method is astronomical. This is reminiscent of the "monkey theorem" (the conjecture that, if enough monkeys are given typewriters and enough time banging on them, they would eventually produce all of the works of Shakespeare). Thus, is statistically probable that the Bible Code texts were produced by nothing but random chance.
    • This is the same kind of vague prediction process used by mediums, Tarot cards, palm reading, and fortune cookies. The recipient then matches up the vague predictions with later events in his life.
    • This is like a word-search puzzle. How many words are found in those puzzles that were not intended to be there by the puzzle creator?
    • God does not use trickery. The texts themselves are the real message. Time is much better spent on studying them.
    • If these were really messages from God, he would have made the same messages show up in all of the various translations into all languages, not just one language.
    • Apply these tests to this process:
      1. How many phrases found by this method do not match up to anything historic?
      2. How many phrases must be forced by semantic tricks into agreeing with the event?
      3. How many sets or words that make no sense at all are found by this method?
      4. How many historic events are not found in this code?
      5. What is the ratio of special codes found to total text in the work?
      6. Does the Bible have a higher code to total text ratio than other long literary works?
  56.  DO HIGHER DEATH PERCENTAGES BY HEART DISEASE MEAN DECLINING HEALTH?

    Statistics show that heart disease is the leading cause of death, and that it is increasing as a percentage of all deaths. Politicians claim that this increase is a result of faulty lifestyles or other horrible causes.

    The answer is that the percentages of all causes must add to one hundred percent:

    • When a cure is found for another fatal disease, its percentage as a cause of death drops.
    • Increases in safety devices have greatly reduced the percentages of accidental death causes.
    • When the percentages of some of the causes of death are reduced, the percentages of the remaining causes must necessarily rise, so the total is still 100%.
    • Everyone must die of something. With many of the causes of early death reduced or eliminated, men are living longer. Heart disease is one of the causes of death cited when a human body is too worn out to continue living.
  57.  WHAT CAUSED THE INDIANA STATE FAIR STAGE COLLAPSE?

    In Indianapolis Indiana on August 13, 2011, a powerful blast of wind caused the massive rigging holding up the lighting and projection TV equipment to collapse, killing 7 people. An investigation ensued. But what was the real reason this collapse occurred? The equipment was supposed to be able to stand the winds encountered.

    First, note the following facts about the equipment itself:

    • There was nothing unusual about the trusses and other rigging parts that were on the stage. It was a standard set of components sold to be assembled to make that very setup. It is shown in the catalog of products made by the company. Many concerts on many stages have used the same setup. It was not a one-of-a-kind custom rig, as some have said.
    • If all of the components had been assembled correctly, the accident would not have happened.
    • The roof tarps are part of the set.
    • The instructions require the footings of the uprights and the guy wires to be staked down into the ground with the provided large stakes. Alternately, the footings can be bolted down to a substantial structure with specified anchor hardware.
    • The structural integrity of the structure depends on all of the uprights staying on the ground. If even one upright is lifted off the ground, the strength of the structure is compromised.
    • There was no cross bracing, because the entire upper structure is designed to be lifted and lowered on the uprights by powerful electric motors. Any cross bracing would prevent this from working.
    • The instructions say to lower the upper structure if severe weather is expected.

    Here is how the setup was actually assembled:

    • Someone decided, probably to avoid making holes in paved surfaces, that the guy wires keeping the structure upright would be fastened to massive concrete road barriers, rather than staking them down as the instructions require.
    • Because no parts of it were fastened down to the ground or something substantial, the entire structure was held in place by nothing but gravity.
    • At least one of the following must have happened for safety to be so ignored:
      • Nobody bothered to calculate the force on a diagonal guy wire needed to move one of the concrete barriers.
      • Someone calculated using the wrong formula.
      • Someone miscalculated
      • Someone thought the resulting friction force would be enough.
      • Someone assumed the weight of the barrier would be enough to keep it from moving.
    • The uprights of the structure are usually placed on the ground and staked down. These were placed on a raised platform. Whether or not they were fastened to it has not been released. From the way the uprights moved, they either were not fastened down, or they broke the fastenings.
    • The uprights were probably not fastened down to avoid putting holes in the stage belonging to the fair.
    • The severe storm being discussed was at least 15 minutes away, as seen on RADAR. The weather that caused the high wind was later found on the RADAR records, but was so small that it was not noticed at the time of the accident. If it had been the only weather in the area, no warning would have been issued.

    Putting the disaster together:

    • The weather that caused the accident would not have been noticed even if staff had been closely monitoring the RADAR. The warning would still have been issued too late, because the weather that caused the strong wind was still too small to be noticed on RADAR as anything significant.
    • The video screen added extra wind loading to the structure that was not in the manufacturer's loading specifications.
    • The sound equipment on the stage and the video screen prevented the structure from being lowered. But there was also not enough time to lower it, even if the RADAR image had been interpreted as a severe wind.
    • The wind pulling on the structure caused the guy wires to move the concrete barriers anchoring them.
    • Once the guy wires were loose, the wind could have directly toppled the structure sideways, or it could have lifted it off the ground. Parts of the structure were not connected directly to guy wires, and could have lifted off the ground even with the guy wires intact. They should have been staked down.
    • The loose tarp acted like a sail, increasing the wind loading and also lifting the structure.
    • The bottoms of at least two of the uprights moved in a direction opposite to that of the wind, as seen in the videos. This means that they became detached from their footings, or the footings were not staked down.
    • As soon as even one upright was moved out of place, the structure lost much of its strength. It failed.
    • If anyone ordered that holes not be made in the platform or the surrounding surfaces for the necessary tie-down stakes and/or bolts, that person caused the accident.
  58.  WAS THERE REALLY A 100 MPG CARBURETOR?

    This story goes back to the 1930s, when a man named Pogue claimed to have a special carburetor that could make an automobile go 100 miles on one gallon of gasoline. He would demonstrate this car by filling it with one gallon of gasoline, and then driving it 100 miles on a circular track. Then he sold shares of stock to help him market the carburetor.

    After several months of this, he then claimed that an oil company bought him out, to keep him from making the carburetor.

    This story has endured until today. People still believe this carburetor exists, and is being hidden by the oil companies.

    There are a few things wrong with this story:

    1. Investigators found a secret extra fuel tank on the car that provided several more gallons to run the car on.
    2. They also found that the carburetor was a standard carburetor that had been machined on the outside to make it look futuristic.
    3. Any patent on this carburetor would have expired by the 1960s. And anyone could find it at the patent office if it existed.
    4. If an oil company had actually bought the carburetor, it could make more money by manufacturing and selling it.
    5. The laws of physics preclude this story from being true. A gallon of gasoline doesn't contain enough chemical energy to move a normal car 100 miles. Only a specially modified automobile of very low mass could go 100 miles on one gallon of gas.

    The entire episode was a stock scam, intended to bilk the investors out of their money. Pogue invented the story that the oil company had bought him out after an investigator discovered his secret extra gas tank. The scam would soon be exposed.

    Strangely, there are people who today still believe the Pogue carburetor was real.

  59.  DOES THIS MAN SURVIVE SULFURIC ACID POURED ON HIS BACK?

    A TV show showed a man in India who reportedly has someone pour concentrated sulfuric acid on his back. His shirt is instantly destroyed, disappearing into the liquid, but his body is apparently unharmed.

    There are several discrepancies here:

    1. The poured liquid flows like water. Concentrated sulfuric acid is quite viscous.
    2. Sulfuric acid turns skin a bright yellow color even when diluted. The man did not show this color.
    3. The normal effect of sulfuric acid on hydrocarbons (most materials used for clothing) is charring, not dissolving.
    4. The rest of his clothes were not harmed.

    Obviously, the liquid was not sulfuric acid. So what was it?

    • A diluted sulfuric acid could possibly cause natural fibers to fall apart, causing the shirt to fall apart.
    • If the shirt was polyester, the liquid could have been a plastic solvent.
    • The liquid could have been water, and the shirt made of a trick fiber that dissolves in water.
  60.  DO ROCKS FALLING FROM TRUCKS BREAK WINDSHIELDS?

    Many people claim that a rock falling off a truck hauling gravel or crushed stone broke their windshields. The problem is that, unless the vehicles are on a steep incline, or the car is tailgating, the rock falling off the truck should not have enough energy to reach a windshield, let alone damage it. Yet, windshields are being broken. How?

    The rock that went through the windshield did not come from the bed of that truck at that time.

    • The rock that falls from the truck drops to the ground, bounces a couple of times, and stops moving. It does not have enough energy.
    • A rock already on the road is squeezed between the treads of a truck tire. Or a larger rock is squeezed between the dual tires.
    • As the tire rotates away from contact with the pavement, the tire stops squeezing the rock. The rock is thrown into the air by the rotation of the tire.
    • This rock does have the energy to crash through a windshield.
  61.  HOW DID ANCIENT STONEMASONS FIT MEGALITHIC ROCKS TOGETHER SO WELL?

    At many ancient sites, it appears that the stonemasons who created them were able to fit the stones together with a precision unattainable today. How was it done? Did they have technology that is unknown today? Or is there another answer?

    Maybe the following processes improved the accuracy of the fit during the intervening centuries:

    • Plastic flow in the stones causes the gaps to be reduced, as the weight of the upper stone causes a slow flow over centuries of time.
    • Daily heating and cooling caused grinding motions at the contact points, wearing down the parts that made the most contact more than other parts.
    • The great pressures involved could cause materials ground from the stones to become parts of those stones at places where they ended up.
  62.  HOW CAN RADIOACTIVE DATING GIVE WRONG AGES?

    The radiometric dates obtained from testing some items are inconsistent with the known histories of those items. Examples:

    Why so many errors?

    There are many processes that can lead to wrong age determinations.

    • Differences in the initial ratios of the radioactive isotope studied, the non-radioactive isotopes of the same element, and the isotopes of different elements produced by the radioactive decay.
    • An organism obtaining materials for life from sources other than the assumed source.
      • Plants obtain carbon from both the air and the soil. The ratios in the soil will be different than the ratios in the air.
      • The soil contributes its own age to that of the organism that uses it.
      • Animals get their isotope ratios from what they eat, not from the air they breathe.
      • The clams obtained the minerals from sources present in the area they live in. Those minerals already have isotope ratios from when they were formed.
    • Mistakes in the assumptions of the original isotope ratios present in the sample.
    • Radioactive irradiation of the sample after it formed changed the isotope ratios.
    • Some life processes work with one isotope, and fail with another isotope of the same element.
    • When carbon 14 decays into nitrogen, it often destroys the compound it was part of inside an organism. The nitrogen then escapes. The compound is then replaced by the organism if it is still alive. If the organism has died, the escaped nitrogen is not replaced.
    • The former existence of another radioisotope with the same end product isotope can not be tested for if the half life is short.
    • The nail in the coal seam was probably the result of a centuries-earlier mine collapse that went undocumented. The coal would then re-form around the nail, due to the pressure from the rocks above it.
    • Some "scientists" who find ages that don't fit the standard theory will throw out the samples that produce the "wrong" results.
    • Each of the different ages obtained for the same sample is the result of different processes acting on each ratio separately.
    • There is the possibility that God placed those isotopes for people who would try to disprove Him to find and make monkeys of themselves.
  63.  WHAT'S WRONG IN THE MOVIE "THE MANHATTAN PROJECT"?

    The movie depicts a teenager who builds a working atomic bomb as a science fair project. The government men then chase him down, and in the process, the bomb's timer arms the bomb and begins a countdown. They then have to disarm the bomb before it explodes.

    There are many faults in this story that do not match reality:

    1. The teenager used no radiation shielding. He was exposed to close to a critical mass of uranium, yet had no radiation sickness.
    2. Why was a long-period timer built into the atomic bomb, unless it was intended to be used for terrorism? This was not normally part of an atomic bomb. A short-term timer was used to let the airplane get away from the bomb while the bomb was falling.
    3. The use of camera flashguns as detonators was wrong. A high current at a low voltage is needed to fire a blasting cap, not a high voltage.
    4. The method used to disarm the bomb was wrong:
      • The very first thing they should have done was to cut the wire to and remove the last segment of explosive where the uranium was earlier inserted. This alone prevents any nuclear detonation. After this was done, any explosion would scatter the uranium, rather than compressing it to critical mass.
      • Next, the uranium should have been removed and taken away from the rest of the bomb. The remaining bomb is a just a chemical bomb.
      • After this, the blasting caps could be individually cut loose from the circuitry. Metal cutters would short out the blasting cap, preventing its detonation. Or the bomb could be placed in a clear area, or taken to a bomb disposal site.
  64.  DID THE PHILADELPHIA EXPERIMENT HAPPEN?

    The Philadelphia Experiment is claimed to be an experiment that was conducted aboard the USS Eldridge in 1943, during World War II:

    The claims made for this experiment are in conflict with reality:

    1. The sole sources of the story are letters Morris Jessup received from Carlos Allende (aka Carl Allen) and annotations found in the margins of a copy of Jessup's book, Case for the UFO, which had been sent to the Office of Naval Research.
    2. The USS Eldridge was not in either Philadelphia or Norfolk during the time the account says the experiment happened. The log places it thousands of miles away.
    3. There are no news accounts of the USS Eldridge being in Philadelphia during that period.
    4. There is no local memory of this event. Ships in the shipyard were in full view of the public. People would report such a disappearance.
    5. No hospitals reported any patients exhibiting any of the symptoms reported in the accounts.
    6. An experiment like that might be believable as an attempt at RADAR invisibility, but not optical invisibility.
    7. Einstein's Unified Field Theory does not predict any form of invisibility.
  65.  COULD THE MOVIE "RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK" REALLY HAPPEN?

    In the movie, set during World War II, the hero races the Germans to find the lost Ark of the Covenant. The ark was the means used by Israeli priests to contact God. It disappeared sometime after the time of Josiah (II Chronicles 35:3), when it is last mentioned as being present.

    The Ark of the Covenant most likely no longer exists.

    • 2 Kings 24:13 says that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took and cut up all of the gold items in the temple of the Lord. II Chronicles 36:7 says that he took everything from the temple to Babylon.
    • Jeremiah 3:16 is interesting: "'In those days, when your numbers have increased greatly in the land,' declared the Lord, people will no longer say "The ark of the covenant of the Lord." It will never enter their minds or be remembered; it will not be missed, nor will another one be made.'"
  66.  WHY DID SWITCHES TURN ON THE WRONG ELECTRICAL DEVICES?

    In July 1945, an electrical storm struck Mexia Texas. Lightning struck a house, doing no apparent damage. But the next day, the family living there discovered that the switches in the house turned on the wrong lights and appliances. Turning on a switch in one room made a light in a different room go on. An electrician had to rewire the entire home to get rid of the trouble.

    The same thing happened to the page author. The lightning opened the neutral link of the 120/240 volt service at the electric meter.

    This placed the two 120 volt halves of the service in series with each other across the 240 volt service. The change in balance of the two halves of the service increased or decreased the voltages on each side, making it appear that the wrong devices came on when a switch was thrown. Fortunately, there were enough constantly operating loads on each side, and the neutral link was still making some contact, so the voltage on one side did not become so excessive that it could destroy something.

    Replacing the neutral link in the electric meter fixed the trouble.

  67.  WHAT CAUSED THESE MYSTERIOUS ELECTROCUTIONS?

    In 2003, a 9-year-old boy was suddenly electrocuted to death as he was touching a light pole on a bridge in Columbus Ohio. Electrical tests found nothing wrong with the wiring of the light and no voltage could be measured on the metal pole.

    There have been other instances of shock or death under similar circumstances. In some cases, the person was using a power tool that was electrically grounded to the power system through the cord while working on a metal object attached to the earth. In each case, nothing could be found wrong with the objects that were touched. What happened?

    A high voltage high current power line short from a live phase to the neutral somewhere else in the city probably caused a momentary high voltage to appear on all items tied to the power system ground. This persisted until the high voltage fuse blew or the original cause of the short was destroyed.

    A person in contact with only the one item tied to the power system ground, or in contact with several items all bonded to the same power system ground, would not be harmed. Only if a person is touching both an item bonded to the power system ground and another conductive object that is connected to nothing but the earth itself would that person be harmed. The short raises all items bonded to the power system ground to a higher voltage.

    The city came up with an explanation to satisfy the press, but it makes no sense. How did the "uninsulated wire" make contact just long enough to kill the boy, but not long enough to affect anyone else? Unless the entire pole was loose, they were grabbing at straws.

    To prevent this hazard, everything metal or conductive embedded in the ground should be electrically bonded to the power system ground. This includes concrete structures (such as bridges, buildings, or patios), fences, posts, and anything else that might be touched.

  68.  WHAT HAPPENED AT FORT ITAIPU?

    The account says that a UFO came close to Fort Itaipu at 2 am on November 4, 1957, near Sao Paulo Brazil. The soldiers in the fort experienced a burning heat while the UFO was present. Some reported their clothing burned off

    There are many contradictions in this story:

    1. The story first surfaced in the United States, not Brazil.
    2. The fort is not listed on any current maps of the area. An abandoned fort is visible on a tree covered peninsula south of Praia Grande.
    3. A location called "Forte Itaipu" is a division of the city, not a fort or base.
    4. There is no local memory of the event. UFO investigators in the 1980s found that the only knowledge local people had of the event was what they had read in UFO books.
    5. There are no records of any injured people admitted to any hospitals on that date. The fort is too small to have its own hospital.

    Conclusion: Nothing matching the report happened at Fort Itaipu. The story was probably concocted to make the military look like it was keeping secrets about UFOs. A denial would be seen by believers as keeping the secret, instead of an admission that nothing unusual had happened.

  69.  WHY SO MANY UFO SIGHTINGS IN THE 1960s?

    The number of UFO reports increased to record numbers in the years 1965 - 1968. Most of these extra sightings were of objects yellow or orange in color that followed unusual paths through the night sky. At the time, in addition to extraterrestrial visitors, several theories were proposed about these objects, ranging from plasma discharges to life forms.

    This caused the US government to pay the University of Colorado to study what UFOs are. The result was the Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects (1969), also known as the Condon Report. It left the public as puzzled as ever, because, while many of the UFOs were identified, some of them were just as baffling to the scientists. Even more baffling was the fact that the numbers of sightings dropped back to previous levels after the Condon report was released.

    One thing the Condon Report did report was the prank fire balloon, calling them plastic bag hot air balloons.

    • The Condon Report says 3 of the 59 detail study cases (18, 27, 45) were caused by or contained sightings of fire balloons.
    • 11 more cases (6, 9, 12, 13, 17, 31, 32, 34, 37, 39, 59) were later determined to be caused by or contain sightings of fire balloons.

    The rise in the numbers of sightings coincides with repeated publication in several "science fair project" magazines over several years of a project using fire balloons to track atmospheric wind patterns at night.

    The publication of these projects, combined with teenagers using these fire balloons to make UFO sightings, is probably responsible for the large increase in the number of sightings that occurred in the years 1965-1968.

    Adding to that is the press interest in the subject, caused by the rise in the number of sightings. The press lost interest after the Condon Report was released, until the number of UFO sightings increased again in 1973.

  70.  HOW DID CAVES OPEN TO MAGIC WORDS?

    Most people have heard the Arabian Nights story of Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves. In the story, the thieves had a magic cave that opened to the words "Open Sesame." But there accounts of real doors that opened and closed by themselves when commanded to with a password.

    No magic here at all. A trusted slave in a hidden compartment was operating the door through a windlass and ropes or chains. He could see who was at the door, and could hear the password.

    This means that Ali Baba would not have been able to fool a real version of this door. The slave would not have recognized him as an authorized person.

  71.  DID FLYING SAUCERS REALLY BUZZ WASHINGTON DC IN 1952?

    News reports said that fighter jets chased flying saucers over the nation's capital on the night of July 19/20 1952, and again a week later, on July 26/27.

    One strange aspect of the case was that when the jets arrived to look for the UFOs, all of them disappeared from the RADAR screens.

    They did a lot of chasing, but very little finding. Several effects combined to make this sighting happen:

    1. New equipment had just been installed on the RADAR sets that week. Each set got an automatic gain control (AGC) and a moving target indicator (MTI). The MTI eliminates stationary targets from the screen. Some new knobs were added to the console, and the function of the old gain control was changed to AGC/MTI calibration level.
    2. There was a temperature inversion over the area. This caused the RADAR beams to curve downward, instead of moving in straight lines.
    3. Someone forgot about the changes, turning the old gain control instead of the new one. This uncalibrated the set.
    4. As soon as the last airplane left the area, the now uncalibrated AGC raised the gain enough to pick up birds, clouds, and objects on the ground.
    5. Because the set was not calibrated, the MTI did not reject stationary targets.
    6. The air controllers saw many targets on the RADAR sets. They called for jet interceptors to protect Washington from invasion.
    7. People looked in the sky to try to find the targets. They saw Mars glowing brightly on the horizon, and reported it as a UFO.
    8. As soon as the first jet appeared on the scope, the AGC turned down the gain, and the UFO targets went away.
    9. Pilots picked up strange targets on their RADARs. But when one pilot tried to intercept, he kept finding his plane diving toward a steamboat on the Potomac River.

    This same effect caused the sightings at Lakenheath and Bentwaters bases in England four years later

  72.  HOW'D THE ROOTS GET CHARRED?

    In West Palm Beach, Florida, on the night of August 19, 1952 (exactly one month after the first sighting in the Washington DC case above), a scoutmaster was reportedly burned by a UFO. The scoutmaster said he saw lights go down in the swamp, and that he thought a plane had crashed. He went into the swamp with two flashlights and a machete to help, telling the scouts with him to call the sheriff if he didn't return in 15 minutes. The scouts saw colored lights flashing over the swamp, and then went for help. When help arrived, the scoutmaster staggered out of the swamp, burned. The Air Force investigated, and took samples of the ground and vegetation in the area.

    Due to inconsistencies in the evidence, the fact that the cap was probably folded flat and burned by a hot iron, the changes in the scoutmaster's story, and his reputation as a teller of tall tales, the Air Force was ready to dismiss the case as a hoax. Then the lab called, and asked how the roots of the grass samples got charred. Unable to answer that question, the Air Force classified the case as Unknown.

    A swamp fire several months earlier probably charred the roots. When a swamp fire occurs, the leaves above the ground level burn off. The roots are below ground level. Being full of water, the roots are not killed by the fire. But their outside surfaces near the surface of the ground are charred by the heat from the fire. After the fire, the plants grow back, but the charred surfaces of the roots remain.

  73.  DID JAPAN ATTACK THE MAINLAND UNITED STATES IN WORLD WAR II?

    History books say that Japan never attacked the mainland of the United States during World War II. But they dismiss the Battle of Los Angeles, which occurred on the night of February 25, 1942. An object was seen in the sky, and antiaircraft guns opened fire on it. But no bombs were dropped, and no airplanes were shot down. At that time, the War Department called the event a case of war nerves.

    We now know that Japan had been attacking the US, but not in a conventional way. They were launching "FuGo" balloon bombs aimed roughly at America. Some were launched from Japan, because the Japanese already knew of the existence of the jet stream. The rest were launched from submarines some distance from the US coast. But once the bomb was launched, it was at the mercy of the wind.

    None of these ever harmed anyone or caused any damage to property during the war (but there was damage from the falling flak fragments the night of the battle). Most of the FuGo bombs exploded (or landed without exploding) high in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

    Hikers, mountain climbers, and landowners have since found several of these devices, and in the 1980s, the government admitted that they were weapons used by Japan during World War II. They had kept them secret at the time, to prevent panic (they remembered Orson Welles' "invasion" in 1938).

    The flak shot at it on February 25, 1942 probably exploded the FuGo, leaving no identifiable trace. And the explosion was probably indistinguishable from the flak bursts.

    There was one other attempt at a direct attack on the mainland US. A Japanese submarine tried to shell an oil refinery south of Los Angeles. The shells fell short of the beach.

  74.  THE SELF-SOLVING MYSTERY

    In the 1960s, a man was brought into an emergency room in New York City with a broken leg. He said he had been taking a bath in his third-floor apartment when a heavy business typewriter flew through the window and broke his leg. The doctor was thinking this was a made-up story, intended to hide something more embarrassing.

    The next patient was a business store burglar the police brought in. He had fallen off a fire escape while trying to get away. But the cops couldn't find the typewriter he stole.

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