Saturday, January 19, 2008
Very little is known about the mauve stinger
Swansea University marine biologist Dr Jon Houghton has been given £50,000 to find out how many mauve stingers there are between Wales and Ireland.
The small purple jellyfish recently wiped out £1m worth of salmon at fish farms in Northern Ireland.
Known as pelagia noctiluca, they have a wasp-like sting and glow in the dark.
Swarms of the jellyfish, which vary in size from a 10p piece to the size of a clenched fist, have affected Mediterranean beaches.
They are small enough to drift through the mesh of salmon cages and in November 2007 billions in a layer 35ft (10.7m) deep and covering 10 square miles of water wiped out 120,000 salmon in a fish farm in Glenarm Bay, Antrim.
This was the first major infestation of the mauve stingers affecting British waters and scientists suspect that global warming is probably the principle cause....
"Spooky goings on in Margam Park this weekend
Jan 17 2008 by Emma Pengelly, Port Talbot Guardian
GHOST hunters are invited to Margam Park this Saturday (January 19). The paranormal event is being put on by Ghost Watch Wales, which has appeared on numerous TV programmes, such as Most Haunted and Weird Wales.
Tickets cost �40 for the event, which will take place from 9pm until 4am."
Jan 19 2008 by Rhodri Clark, Western Mail
WALES is missing out on millions of pounds a year in income because of a glut of “authentic” Welsh souvenirs manufactured in Asia, a trade body claimed yesterday.
The Wales Craft Council says many tourists may think they are buying a genuine piece of Welsh workmanship when they are actually paying for a mass-produced trinket made thousands of miles away.
It says even lovespoons – the epitome of the Welsh craft tradition – are now being imported, with many being brought to Wales from Indonesia.
From tomorrow to Wednesday, craftworkers will exhibit in Llandudno at the Wales Spring Fair, where hundreds of buyers will choose some of this summer’s stock for UK gift shops.
But many Welsh shopkeepers will ignore the event because they can get cheaper souvenirs from foreign countries where labour costs are low.
Philomena Hearn, chairman of the Wales Craft Council, said she knew of one shop in Denbighshire which appeared to sell Welsh gifts but stocked nothing that was made in Wales. “Even the lovespoons come from Borneo,” she said.
“The general public assume lovespoons are made in Wales. I don’t know whether they care or not.
“Souvenir shopping isn’t why you go on holiday. You don’t spend a lot of time browsing for that gift to take back.
“You think you’ve found the perfect gift and it’s only when you give it to your friend or relative that you, or they, realise it’s made in Thailand or China.”
She said the Wales Spring Fair attracted buyers from Lancashire, but few from Llandudno itself. “This is a trade fair for selling Welsh things on their doorstep, and they can’t be bothered to come.”
Les Williams, whose Pageant Wood Products firm makes up to 7,000 lovespoons a year in the Conwy Valley, said lovespoon imports had begun about four years ago....
Friday, January 18, 2008
Jan 17 2008 by Gareth Evans, Glamorgan Gazette
THE future looks bright for a celebrity psychic.
Gavin Cromwell, aged 26, of Tythegston, has read the lives of some of the biggest names in showbusiness.
He has visited stately homes and mansions the length and breadth of the country and worked with stars such as Pete Burns and the Osbournes.
More locally, he has read for Stuart Cable, Jamie Baulch and Peter Karrie.
Last week, he was involved in filming MTV’s new programme Crazy In Love, a fly-on-the-wall documentary about Kerry Katona. He went to see her and gave a no-holds-barred reading.
He said: “It was great and the reading was quite a mixed bag. She was lovely but very troubled.”
Using a brand of pyschometry, he can also read from old objects and recently picked up information from one of John Lennon’s jackets.
He put it on at the Beatles Museum and, from inside the “white room” made famous by Lennon’s Imagine, he unearthed secrets hidden for years.
Manager Martin Clowes, of The Event Service, believes Cromwell has what it takes.
“He’s doing very, very well for himself,” he said.
“Not only is he the celebrity psychic medium, he’s a celebrity in his own right.”
But here in Wales, he is something of a “hidden gem”, and Mr Clowes insists he is definitely no fraud.
He said: “Gavin doesn’t know how to research online – he has a job putting the computer on. When we go out on jobs, we don’t tell him where he is going.”
The psychic medium caters for all kinds of people, and has had the gift since the age of four.
“I saw things and situations when other people couldn’t,” he said.
“I would draw my memories, and my mother’s kept them all to this day.”
But in the early days, his parents were not so convinced.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
WELL, Christmas lights took on new meaning in Cardiff a couple of weeks ago.
Nope, they weren’t decorating trees. They were – pause for ominous Dr Who chords – skimming through the skies. Yes, our old flying saucer friends are back.
Come to think of it they’ve never really been away.
But when two South Wales sightings a week are reported by phlegmatic airline pilots it seems that there may be intelligent life Out There after all. Maybe one day we’ll find intelligent life Down Here as well.
But given these sightings let us today mark a famous anniversary: true believers, maintain that 60 years ago this week aliens claimed their first known earthly victim, and this time they can’t all be dismissed as the usual nutters.
Flying saucer fans say that in January, 1948, our cousins from somewhere beyond Sirius arrived mob-handed.
But conspiracy theorists disagreed.
They insisted the “aliens” were actually US airmen piloting something called a Kugelblitz, the “Ball Lightning Fighter” invented by Nazi scientists just too late to win the war but taken over, like the rocket scientists themselves, by the US military.
Whatever, in that distant January the Kentucky police were deluged with calls from hundreds of frightened citizens who reckoned they’d seen a huge metallic saucer at least 300 feet in diameter hovering above woods in a place called Maysville.
Remember, this was at the height of the great Flying Saucer Panic.
Six months earlier businessman Kenneth Arnold reported seeing nine “brilliant wingless discs” flashing over the Rockies at more than 1,000mph – “like a saucer would if you skipped it across the water”.
So the words “flying saucer” entered the language and in no time at all thousands saw them, hundreds insisted they’d been abducted by spacemen, a few said they actually were aliens and found plenty of innocents dimwitted enough to believe them.
But this Kentucky incident triggered so many calls that the police asked the US Air Force to investigate.
World War II ace, Captain Thomas Mantell, was sent up.
He was followed by two trainee pilots who had to drop out at 15,000 feet (luckily, it turned out) because their jets didn’t have the necessary oxygen equipment.
Mantell kept going, radioing that he had a huge metallic craft in his sights but couldn’t get close as it kept a constant, teasing distance between them.
“I’m going up to 20,000 feet. If I’m no closer I’ll abandon chase.”
Then his plane exploded. The official explanation – he’d passed out through oxygen starvation, nose-dived and crashed.
But no answers when the USAF was asked exactly what Mantell had been chasing.
No answers, either, to the sightings over Cardiff.
Maybe curious spacemen are paying a return visit, to see how we’ve progressed.
A return visit? Why not, when on January 17, 1913, no less a personage than Captain Lionel Lindsay, Chief Constable of Glamorganshire, saw a strange object passing over Cardiff.
No, he insisted, it didn’t belong to our own pioneering Ernest Willows: “It was much bigger and much faster than his airship.”
Plenty of witnesses backed his story but for infinitely more mysterious visitations we only have to go back to 1977 when West Wales was overwhelmed by alien visitors – not only the obligatory lights in the sky but silver-suited entities stalking across fields, herds of cattle allegedly teleported from one place to another, discs seen flying into rocks then vanishing inside when sliding doors opened, Thunderbirds style.
Then 15 children swore they’d seen a UFO land in a field next to Broad Haven Primary School overlooking St Bride’s Bay.
Out of it stepped “a silver man with spiked ears” and in the next six months 45 similar sightings were reported, giant humanoids, car-chasing UFOs. You name it, they had it.
There were even suggestions that the aliens had set up a flying saucer base beneath the Stack Rocks in the bay. Alien invaders? Or mass delusion?
Anyway, four years ago the Royal Astronomical Society suggested there could be 10 billion other “earths” in our own galaxy, the Universe could be teeming with alien civilisations.
So if they’re trying to tell us something, why don’t they land on the White House lawn with their message instead of flying over Cardiff?
And maybe take George W Bush back with them.
Friday, January 11, 2008
'GHOST HUNTERS INTERNATIONAL' DEBUTS AS THE #1 REALITY SERIES TELECAST IN SCI FI CHANNEL HISTORY!
SCI FI is #1 Cable Network in For the Night
New York, NY January 10, 2008 Cementing the immensely popular Ghost Hunters as the #1 paranormal franchise in cable, SCI FI's spin-off series Ghost Hunters International debuted to record-breaking ratings on Wednesday night. The series premiere delivered a 2.0 Household rating, 1.765 million Adults 18-49, 1.733 million Adults 25-54 and 2.8 million total viewers, making it the most-watched telecast of any alternative reality series in the history of the Channel.... [A future episode ] Then, a trip to Wales takes them to the legendary Nanteos Mansion, which lore dictates to be the one-time resting place of the Holy Grail.
Friday, January 4, 2008
‘UFOs are seen as a joke but it’s almost an absolute certainty they exist’ - icWales
Dec 29 2007 by Laura Wright, South Wales Echo
‘UFOs are seen as a joke but it’s almost an absolute certainty they exist’
If reports of UFO sightings are to be believed, we are not alone. Echo reporter LAURA WRIGHT delves into South Wales’ very own X Files...
SIGHTINGS of unidentified flying objects have soared in the last month, with at least two a week seen by airline pilots in South Wales.
Dancing lights, large craft and mysterious flashes are among dozens of UFOs sighted above Cardiff and the South Wales Valleys in the last few years.
And only four days ago, on the night of Christmas Day, a couple saw spherical orange lights in the sky above their home in the capital.
According to figures released under the Freedom of Information Act, the Ministry of Defence has looked into 13 reports of UFOs in South Wales in the past three years. Several other sightings have been posted on UFO websites but it is thought that many more go unreported....