Backpackerverse's Top 10 Unexplained Phenomena - Part 2

Welcome back to Backpackerverse's Top 10 Unexplained Phenomena. We hope that you enjoyed the last installment of our favorite unexplained, mysterious and just plain weird happenings.

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In the final 5, things get weirder as we highlight some of the darker unexplained phenomena that has intrigued us. As noted in the comments of Part 1, we will be developing each topic into it's own in-depth article in the near future.

The comments last time around were great! If you have something to say about any of these, please, leave a response and let's discuss these as a community! :)

Backpackerverse's Top 10 Unexplained Phenomena - Part 2

5. The Taos Hum

The Taos Hum is a mysterious low-frequency humming noise of unknown origin that reportedly exists in Taos, New Mexico. Other occurrences of this phenomena have been reported all over the world and most have been attributed to industrial sounds. What makes the Taos Hum interesting is that the hum is often intensified inside of buildings and is only heard by around 2% of the local population.

Generally, the Taos Hum is thought to be one of the following:

  • Man-made noises (subwoofers, industrial machinery, etc)
  • Infrasound from different possible sources, possibly geologic or plate tectonic in nature.
  • Pulsed microwaves
  • Electromagnetic waves caused by meteors
  • Extremely low frequency communications systems (submarine communication, etc)
  • Ionospheric heating systems (HAARP)

It should be noted however, that the source of the hum has not been identified, even after exhaustive research by local universities and hobbyists.

You can listen to a recording of the Taos Hum here.

4. Near Death Experiences

Ascent of the Blessed by Hieronymus Bosch

Ascent of the Blessed by Hieronymus Bosch

Is there an afterlife? Many individuals who have had a near death experience (NDE) believe so. Their experiences often leave them with newfound spirituality and religious belief, changing their lives forever.

Interestingly enough, a near death experience isn't the same for everyone. Far from it actually, in most cases, a NDE any particular person experiences will reflect whatever religious beliefs that the person held.

From Wikipedia:

"Children, who typically do not have enough time to develop strongly towards one faith, had very limited NDEs. Examples of this include a boy simply having talked to his brother in his NDE and a daughter having a conversation with her mother. The phenomenology of an NDE usually includes physiological, psychological and alleged transcendental aspects. Typically, the experience follows a distinct progression:

  1. A very unpleasant sound/noise is the first sensory impression to be noticed (R. Moody: Life after Life);
  2. A sense of being dead;
  3. Pleasant emotions; calmness and serenity;
  4. An out-of-body experience; a sensation of floating above one's own body and seeing the surrounding area;
  5. Floating up a blue tunnel with a strong, bright light or garden at the end;
  6. Meeting deceased relatives or spiritual figures;
  7. Encountering a being of light, or a light (often interpreted as being the deity or deities they personally believe in);
  8. Being given a life review;
  9. Reaching a border or boundary;
  10. A feeling of being returned to the body, often accompanied by a reluctance.
  11. Feeling of warmth even though naked.

The sometimes fantastic claims of those who have reported NDEs have not gone unchallenged. Most of the scientific community regards such experiences as hallucinatory and even sometimes completely fabricated.

While the paranormal community is somewhat more accepting of the NDE phenomenon, there is constant objective research into the field.

In September 2008, it was announced that 25 UK and US hospitals will examine near-death studies in 1,500 heart attack patients-survivors. The study will attempt to determine if people without heartbeat or brain activity can have an out-of-body experience with visual perceptions.

3. Doppelgangers

While often the work of fiction, Doppelgangers (and evil twins) do have some pretty interesting tales.

Here are a few famous historical accounts of Doppelgangers, evil twins and harbingers:

  • Queen Elizabeth I reportedly saw herself lying pale and still on her bed, soon before she died.
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, is said to have seen his double wearing a gray suit, trimmed in gold, riding towards him in the opposite direction while on his way to Drusenheim. Eight years later, while riding from Drusenheim on the very same road, he realized he was wearing the exact outfit that he had seen on his double eight years earlier.
  • Catherine the Great of Russia saw her own image coming toward her and became so frightened that she ordered her soldiers to fire upon it, which they did, but to no avail.
Abe Lincoln

Abe Lincoln

Abe Lincoln, of all people, claimed to have witnessed himself with two faces in his mirror. Abe was pretty superstitious and old mirrors can be kind of tricky, but here is Honest Abe’s recount of the incident:

“ It was just after my election in 1860, when the news had been coming in thick and fast all day and there had been a great "hurrah, boys," so that I was well tired out, and went home to rest, throwing myself down on a lounge in my chamber. Opposite where I lay was a bureau with a swinging glass upon it and looking in that glass I saw myself reflected nearly at full length; but my face, I noticed had two separate and distinct images, the tip of the nose of one being about three inches from the tip of the other. I was a little bothered, perhaps startled, and got up and looked in the glass, but the illusion vanished. On lying down again, I saw it a second time, plainer, if possible, than before; and then I noticed that one of the faces was a little paler — say five shades — than the other. I got up, and the thing melted away, and I went off, and in the excitement of the hour forgot all about it — nearly, but not quite, for the thing would once in a while come up, and give me a little pang as if something uncomfortable had happened. When I went home again that night I told my wife about it, and a few days afterward I made the experiment again, when (with a laugh), sure enough! The thing came back again; but I never succeeded in bringing the ghost back after that, though I once tried very industriously to show it to my wife, who was somewhat worried about it. She thought it was a "sign" that I was to be elected to a second term of office, and that the paleness of one of the faces was an omen that I should not see life through the last term.”

Somewhat in tune with the Universal Tricker (sometimes Universal Prankster), Doppelgangers are believed to provide their “twins” with misleading or malicious advice and sometimes are even thought to implant ideas in their minds. Thus, it is considered gravely unwise to attempt to communicate with one’s doppelganger.

2. The Sudarium of Oviedo

The Sudarium of Oviedo is a bloodstained cloth purported to have covered the head of Jesus after his burial. The 34" by 21" Sudarium is currently housed in the Cathedral of San Salvador, Oviedo, Spain. The cloth is not mentioned in accounts of the actual burial of Christ, but is mentioned as having been present in the empty tomb. It is also described as a cloth physically separate from yet another popular relic, The Shroud of Turin (which consists of the same material as the Sudarium).

The Sudarium of Oviedo

The Sudarium of Oviedo

In an attempt to verify the authenticity of the Sudarium, an investigation of the stains by Dr. Jose Villalain showed that the victim died in an upright position, and the stains are comprised mostly of fluid from the lungs. This finding is consistent with crucifixion, which tends to suffocate the victim instead of causing death by blood loss, as commonly believed. Pollen samples taken from the cloth by Dr. Max Frei are consistent with Jerusalem, North Africa and Spain, all of which the Sudarium has been kept.

1. Black Triangle UFOs

One of the most regularly sighted UFOs is the Black Triangle UFO. The black triangle ufo is characterized as being totally silent in its flight despite being a very large, triangular craft hovering or slowly cruising at very low altitudes over cities and highways. They are often described as having bright lights on the underneath at each corner of the triangle. Sometimes a red pulsating light in the center is reported as well.

Triangle shaped UFOs have been reported regularly since the early 1940s. They are one of the most "social" UFO types, often being seen at night time over major population centers, thus explaining their frequent sightings. Due to the enormous amount of sightings in the US, many believe the craft to be a secret aircraft of the US military.

A Typical Black Triangle UFO.

A Typical Black Triangle UFO.

Here is a quick summary of The Rendlesham Forest Incident, one of the most famous black triangle incidents and my personal favorite:

A pyramid-shaped craft was reported to have landed near an American air base at Rendlesham Forest in Suffolk, England, on December 27, 1980. Military personnel reported having approached at least one landed craft in the forest and observed it in great detail before it once again took flight. Another craft was observed landing in an open field near the base and then taking off at incredible speed. Between 2002 and 2005, reporter Bryant Gumbel hosted a series of exclusive SciFi Channel documentaries, one of which, entitled UFO Invasion at Rendlesham, focused on this incident. Gumbel interviewed some of the men involved with the sighting, and the documentary toured some of the scenes, attempting to gather evidence that something landed in the forest. The History Channel also aired an episode of UFO Files on the incident, calling it "Britain's Roswell". Via: Wikipedia.

That concludes our Top 10 Unexplained Phenomena! We hope you enjoyed our list and remember, if you have anything to say, feel free to leave a comment below!

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