Wednesday, October 7, 2015


10 Lesser-Known Military Installations Of Conspiracy Lore
By David Tormsen,
Listverse, 7 October 2015.

Everyone knows about Area 51, supposedly the centre of secret American UFO research and the most secret military installation in the world. While in reality the base has been used for the development of superbombers and stealth aircraft, conspiracy lore has it that it has also been used for a variety of more esoteric research and development projects, including reverse-engineering alien technology, time travel, weather control, teleportation, and energy weapons. Although Area 51 is the most notorious military installation beloved by conspiracy theorists, there are other bases and facilities around the world with their own stories and legends as well.

10. Roosevelt Roads Naval Facility

Photo via Wikimedia

Once the largest naval facility in the Caribbean, the Roosevelt Roads Naval Facility near Ceiba, Puerto Rico, has been linked to the bloodsucking chupacabra. Rumours abound of animals found drained of blood near US military assets in Puerto Rico. Eyewitnesses have claimed that the Forestry Service was colluding with the creature or its handlers to allow it to escape into nearby woods, while agents of the Department of Agriculture actively kept people away. People believed that the chupacabras were fleeing into the Yunque and Toro Negro rain forests to escape deforestation and pollution.

Many of these reports also coincided with UFO sightings, particularly near a controversial US Navy radar installation at Lajas, the National Guard’s Camp Santiago in Salinas, and Roosevelt Roads. A janitor employed at Fort Buchanan in San Juan reported seeing a dead chupacabra kept on ice and said that military officers threatened him to remain silent. Supposedly, vicious living chupacabras were kept at Roosevelt Roads in the 1990s before being shipped to the mainland US. Some claim that the Navy was engaged in genetic manipulation, possibly linked with the nearby Caribbean Primate Research Centre. Rumours persist of a network of caverns beneath Roosevelt Roads, said to be inhabited by a tribe of chupacabras which were left for the people of Ceiba to deal with when the Navy abandoned the base in 2004.

According to Puerto Rican ufologist Jorge Martin, in 1997, a young man was killed on the streets of La Colectora in the city of Santurce. The man was shot at close range as he sat in the driver’s seat of a Honda Prelude. In the backseat, police found a vial inside a manila envelope in the pocket of a military-style jacket. The crystal vial contained some kind of embryo in a translucent liquid, and the manila envelope had the handwritten words “Base de Ceiba,” which could only refer to Roosevelt Roads. A television news investigation ensued, which received phone calls saying that the embryo was nothing more than a souvenir toy.

However, an anonymous source from the Puerto Rico Forensics Sciences Institute reported that a medical examination was underway when an American pathologist burst in, and federal agents came to declare the area off-limits. He also said,
We saw the small body that was in the jar, and it was different from the ones shown on TV. It was not a keychain. It was not a toy. [...] What I saw was made out of flesh, tissue and what seemed like blood. It had very pale skin. It looked like a small foetus or embryo...but it was really weird. It was an ugly little thing.
9. Rudloe Manor

Photo credit: Derek Hawkins

Situated beneath Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, RAF Rudloe Manor was a highly sensitive military installation that some conspiracy theorists believe to be far more extensive than the British government is willing to admit. They claim that beneath Wiltshire, there is a virtual underground city controlled by the government, with secret NATO command posts, nuclear bunkers, and computer complexes. It was indeed a highly sensitive facility, the centre for nuclear missile deployment, as well as for military and intelligence communications relays and the government’s contingency seat in the event of a crisis. They also claim that Rudloe Manor is the centre of the secret British UFO research program, a claim that is strenuously denied by the Ministry of Defense.

In 1996, MP Martin Redmond asked a number of questions in Parliament about the government’s UFO investigations. He was given some classified material, including documents related to a group called the Provost and Security Services (P&SS), which is based at Rudloe Manor. Several years earlier, ufologist Timothy Good had reported speaking to a P&SS agent who had detailed information about UFOs.

One of the responsibilities of the P&SS is the “Flying Complaints Flight” department, where citizens can complain about low-flying planes over Britain. Some believe that this is merely a cover for the Rudloe Manor UFO research program. In the early 21st century, many British UFO research documents were released, which admitted that Rudloe Manor collected information on UFOs until 1992 and also detailed several attempts by UFO enthusiasts to break into the base.

8. Diego Garcia

Photo via Wikimedia

A plethora of wild and wacky conspiracy theories were touted in the wake of the tragic loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 somewhere in the Indian Ocean. Many focused on the military base on the Diego Garcia atoll, which is a British-controlled territory leased to the US military. Ex–Proteus Airlines head Marc Dugain has claimed that the US Air Force shot the plane down when they learned that hackers had taken control of it and were possibly about to stage a 9/11-style terrorist attack. He claims that Maldives residents spotted an aircraft with “red and blue stripes with a white background” heading toward Diego Garcia and that he has seen photographs of an empty Boeing fire extinguisher washed up on a beach at nearby Baarah island. He says that Boeing planes have a remote control system, which is vulnerable to attack.

Others have also cited anecdotal evidence for the conspiracy theory. British woman Katherine Tee says that she was aboard a sloop traveling between Cochin, India, and Phuket, Thailand, when she saw “the outline of a plane. It looked longer than planes usually do. There was what appeared to be black smoke streaming from behind it.”

Freelance journalist Jim Stone, meanwhile, claimed that a passenger named Philip Wood sent out an image and a voice-activated text claiming to be held hostage by unknown military personnel, along with GPS coordinates corresponding to a location a few kilometres from Diego Garcia. While it is true that the atoll is cleared as an emergency landing site for commercial aircraft crossing the Indian Ocean, the US military has denied that the plane came anywhere near the base. When possible wreckage from the ill-fated flight washed up on Reunion Island in 2015, interest in the Diego conspiracy theory peaked again.

Author John Chuckman agrees with the theorists:
There would be nothing unprecedented in such an act: on at least three occasions, regrettably, America’s military has shot down civilian airliners. [...] I have no idea what event (a rogue pilot, a hijacker?) led to Flight MH370 turning off its communications, changing course, and flying low, but I do know that the event could not have gone unnoticed by America’s military-intelligence eyes and ears.
7. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base

Photo via Wikimedia

While the UFO crash at Roswell is most commonly linked with the Area 51 facility in Nevada, it is said that the recovered aliens and their technology were actually transported to Hanger 18 at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. Inside the hanger, the story goes, is the infamous Blue Room, where the recovered extraterrestrial materials were inspected by President Harry Truman himself. While many have scoffed at the claims, Ohio ufologist Leonard H. Stringfield published monographs in which he claimed to have heard first-hand accounts describing the bodies of creatures with pear-shaped heads and large, slanted eyes being stored at the base.

There have been a number of Congressional investigations into the notion that there is extraterrestrial material stored at Wright-Patterson, but they have turned up nothing. However, that hasn’t dissuaded recurring interest from many different quarters over the years. Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater told the New Yorker that he asked his friend, General Curtis LeMay, if he could see what was inside Hanger 18. Goldwater described the response: “He just gave me holy hell. He said, ‘Not only can’t you get into it but don’t you ever mention it to me again.’” In 2014, an elderly woman told MUFON that a close friend who held a high rank at Wright-Patterson told her, “If the public knew what was at the base from the Roswell incident, there would be a general panic amongst the public.”

6. Loring Air Force Base

Photo via Wikimedia

In the 1970s, Maine’s Loring Air Force Base was the world’s largest strategic nuclear B-52 bomber base and home to the 42nd Bomb Wing, which was operational from 1953–94. On October 27, 1975, a patrolman near the Loring weapons dump reported seeing an unidentified aircraft over the northern perimeter of the base. It ignored attempts at contact and entered the area over the nuclear weapons storage area at an altitude of 100 meters (300 ft) before dropping to 50 meters (150 ft). It was described as having helicopter-like attributes.

The commander of the 42nd, Colonel Robert E. Chapman, soon arrived with military police and ordered the base sealed. The object was tracked on radar for around 40 minutes before it vanished from radar, though witnesses reported seeing it moving toward Grand Falls, New Brunswick, to the east. The base remained on high alert, and official attempts to identify the aircraft went nowhere.

The following evening, the craft, or another like it, returned. It was described as an orange and red football-shaped object and was seen hovering over the weapons depot while also being tracked by radar. The same object, or possibly a second one, was reported hovering above the flight line and was pursued to the edge of the northern runway. Described as five car lengths long, it moved in a strange, jerky fashion, turned its lights on and off, and at one point was reported as being only 1.5 meters (5 ft) off the ground. However, a Maine Army National Guard helicopter that was deployed to the area found nothing. While there were further military and civilian UFO reports in the area, no explanation was ever released.

5. Kapustin Yar

On the Volga River, close to the modern Kazakh border, stood Kapustin Yar, an extremely sensitive Soviet aerospace research facility that was one of the launch sites for the Soviet space program. The nearby town of Zhitkur was evacuated to help maintain the military’s secrecy, as Soviet and captured Nazi scientists worked on rockets for the Soviet space program, as well as new aircraft, new missiles, and other weapons systems.

According to conspiracy lore, in 1948, an unidentified object was picked up on radar, and a visual sighting was confirmed by a fighter pilot, who described it as a silver, cigar-shaped object. Ordered to engage, the pilot attacked and brought down the UFO with a lucky missile shot after a three-minute dogfight, but he may have also been shot down by a particle beam weapon. Recovery teams collected the wreckage and brought it to the underground facility at Kapustin Yar.

After that, MiG pilots were ordered by Stalin to attempt to bring down any UFO seen over Soviet airspace, which they allegedly did many times over the ensuing decades, helping to boost the Soviet space program with alien technology. A team of scientists was even sent to the site of the 1908 Tunguska explosion, where they allegedly collected radioactive metal fragments and noted an area around the blast site where plants and animals died.

Kapustin Yar allegedly became the epicentre of Soviet UFO research. American U-2 spy planes photographing the base reported not only launch sites and runways, but also mysterious glyphs, which ufologists speculate were used to attract UFOs. In 1960, another two UFOs were said to have crashed near the base, causing a fireball that persisted for over an hour, killing personnel and damaging parts of the base. In 1989, members of two army units near Kapustin Yar reported seeing a phosphorescent green UFO hovering 20 meters (60 ft) above the base’s arsenal. It was described as a 5-meter-wide (15 ft) circular disc with a semi-spherical dome on top. Some ufologists believe that even today, the Russians still have caverns filled with UFO material and alien corpses at Kapustin Yar.

4. New Berchtesgaden

In 1939, a secret German expedition was sent to Queen Maud’s Land in Antarctica, supposedly with the intention of setting up a base. According to most historians, the expedition aboard the naval vessel Schwabenland was largely for aerial mapping purposes, with an eye toward making territorial claims or setting up a whaling station. The outbreak of World War II pretty much scuttled those plans.

Conspiracy theorists don’t believe that story. They claim that the Germans successfully constructed a base in Antarctica, an icy redoubt to which the Nazis could flee. They did just that in U-boats following the end of the war. One theorist called the base New Berchtesgaden and claimed that a German U-boat, U-530, which had called into an Argentine port in 1945, was spiriting Hitler, Eva Braun, and others to the secret base.

The British, meanwhile, had their own secret bases on the icy continent, which they used to spy on the Germans. The British SAS attempted to attack and destroy the base on Christmas 1945. Attacks by the Americans during Operation Highjump culminated in the detonation of three atomic weapons over the base, finally eliminating it. Rumour has it that the Germans defended themselves with flying saucers.

As sensational as the story is, the narrative is pieced together from random factual information and doesn’t really hold together. The Germans didn’t have the time or resources to set up a base in Antarctica in 1939–40. Subsequent British and American activities in Antarctica had their own geopolitical motives and were nowhere near Queen Maud’s Land. The nuclear tests over Antarctica took place in the upper atmosphere, south of Cape Town. There was no way for U-boats to approach any secret base due to pack ice, and supposed references to flying saucers were a bad translation of an article in a Spanish magazine in which a US Navy admiral talks about the threat of Soviet aircraft operating over the polar regions.

3. Porton Down


According to pseudonymous ufologist James Prescott, in 1974, North Yorkshire police sergeant Tony Dodd was stationed at an Army barracks in Southern England when his unit was suddenly placed on emergency status and ordered to proceed toward Birmingham. They were then ordered to North Wales, where they finally ended up in the town of Llangollen. The Welsh town was buzzing with military activity, both in the air and on the ground. They were next directed to the village of Llandderfel, where they were charged with delivering two oblong-shaped boxes, without opening them, to the base at Porton Down.

When the unit reached the facility, the staff opened the boxes. According to Dodd:
What I saw in the boxes that day made me change my whole concept of life. The bodies were about five to six feet tall, humanoid in shape, but so thin they looked almost skeletal with a covering skin. Although I did not see a craft at the scene of the recovery, I was informed that a large craft had crashed and was recovered by other military units.
He also told of speaking to other military men who claimed that they had been given similar missions, but the creatures they had transported were still alive.

Even stranger was the fact that at the time, the Ministry of Defense was said to be giving technical assistance and support to a BBC science fiction production titled Invasion Earth that dealt with an alien attack on Earth. People thought it was suspicious that the MoD would be helping to produce programs about the Royal Navy shooting down UFOs while publicly dismissing them.

Porton Down had already been linked with rumours of germ and chemical warfare experimentation on humans in the 1950s and 1980s. These are said to involve 20,000 unwitting British servicemen who were exposed to sarin and tabun nerve gas, mustard gas, CS and CR riot gas, LSD, and a mysterious hallucinogen called BZ. One campaigner who tried to uncover the truth was Liz Sigmund, who said:
We know that 40 people were injected with the biological warfare agent Kyasanur Forest Monkey (KFM) disease in 1968. That was apparently done to see if it was of any therapeutic value to leukaemia patients. KFM disease has a 28 per cent fatality rate and causes horribly painful encephalitis in humans.
While nothing has been uncovered about the supposed North Wales UFO crash, the British government has admitted to secret biological weapons trials from 1940–79. Centred at Porton Down, the experiments were designed to test British defenses against attack, using “harmless” analogues to biological and chemical weapons. They included dumping zinc cadmium sulphide from Northeast England to Cornwall via plane and exposing over one million people on the south coast of England to bacteria including E. coli and Bacillus globigii. Some ufologists have suggested that it is no coincidence that captured extraterrestrials were taken to a centre of germ warfare research.

2. Mount Weather Emergency Operations Centre

Photo via Wikimedia

Mount Weather Emergency Operations Centre is a FEMA facility located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, about 100 kilometres (60 mi) west of Washington, DC. Originally used by the National Weather Bureau to launch weather balloons and kites in the early 1900s, it was acquired by FEMA in 1979. An underground complex was set up to house government officials in the case of nuclear war. The centre has its own fire department, ambulance service, and police force. The facilities present at the base are said to include hospitals, streets, office buildings, a freshwater lake, sewage systems, a transit system, a television station, and accommodations for thousands of people.

It is an open secret that these facilities are meant to protect high government officials during periods of crisis. However, conspiracy theorists take it a step further. In 1976, author Richard Pollock wrote an article entitled “The Mysterious Mountain,” claiming that the Mount Weather facility houses an unelected “Government-in-Waiting.” Pollock claimed:
High-level Governmental sources, speaking in the promise of strictest anonymity, told me that each of the Federal departments represented at Mount Weather is headed by a single person on whom is conferred the rank of a Cabinet-level official. Protocol even demands that subordinates address them as “Mr. Secretary.” Each of the Mount Weather “Cabinet members” is apparently appointed by the White House and serves an indefinite term, many through several Administrations. [...] The facility attempts to duplicate the vital functions of the Executive branch of the Administration.
Mount Weather is said to house shadow versions of nine federal departments (Agriculture, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Labour, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Health, Education and Welfare), five Federal agencies (Federal Communications Commission, Selective Service, Federal Power Commission, Civil Service Commission, and the Veterans Administration), and even offices for the Federal Reserve and US Postal Service. According to Pollock:
As might be expected, there is also an Office of the Presidency at Mount Weather. The Federal Preparedness Agency (predecessor to FEMA) apparently appoints a special staff to the Presidential section, which regularly receives top secret national security estimates and raw data from each of the Federal departments and agencies.
Other activities that are said to be carried out at Mount Weather include collecting data on American citizens, storing information vital to the maintenance of government in crisis, war games, civil crisis management, and maintaining a “survivor’s list” of those deemed vital to national survival. Not surprisingly, the facility has attracted a lot of attention from conspiracy theorists, as they fear that it will be used by FEMA to launch a coup under the guise of a national crisis. In truth, little is known for sure about what’s happening under Mount Weather. In 2001, a FEMA spokesman told Time magazine, “I’ll be glad to tell you all about it, but I’d have to kill you afterward.”

1. Dulce


Northern New Mexico’s border town of Dulce is a small community made up of around 3,000 mostly Native American residents. Over the years, residents have reported strange vibrations coming from the ground, as well as the frequent appearance of military helicopters, vehicles, and personnel in the desert. There have also been frequent reports of UFO sightings and cattle mutilations over the decades. Many people believe that there is a secret military base in the area which is engaged in nefarious experiments, performed by humans and aliens working together. There are rumours of a secret underground connection with the Los Alamos National Laboratory, implying that the two centres share information.

In the 1970s, Albuquerque resident Paul Bennewitz began to intercept extraterrestrial signals coming from Dulce, which is near the UFO hot spot around the Colorado–New Mexico border. After some investigation, he came to the conclusion that the signals were originating from an underground base and were communicating with other alien bases and spacecraft. The notion proved popular, and soon, the Dulce base had its own complex mythology surrounding it.

Supposedly, a subterranean nuclear blast in the 1960s carved out a chute to build a secret underground facility that is shared between humans and aliens, specifically the reptilians and the greys. Their primary interest is in genetic experimentation on kidnapped human subjects, but they are also said to be involved in such research as atomic manipulation, cloning, human aura studies, advanced mind control, human-animal crossbreeding, and the wiretapping of human beings’ visual and aural systems. Some say that the aliens are working on ways to adapt their own physiology to Earth’s environment.

According to Thomas Castello, who claimed to be a former member of the Dulce base security personnel, genetic, psychic, and esoteric experiments of many kinds are being performed on human beings who are kidnapped from across the country, caged, and then heavily sedated to seem insane or catatonic. He even reported that a 1978 battle for control of the base took place between human soldiers armed with beam weapons and the reptilians, while the greys played both sides against each other. Interestingly, he claims that the reptilians aren’t actually aliens. They consider themselves native Terrans.

Unfortunately for Castello, after he supposedly took photographs and video footage of genetic experiments, caged humans, greys, and alien technology, he returned home to find that his wife and son had been abducted. Coming to the surprisingly rapid conclusion that they were probably too far gone to be saved, he went on the run to save his own skin.

Top image credit: Giacomo Carena/Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0.

[Source: Listverse. Edited. Top image added.]


Creepypasta: 10 Weird Stories from The Dark Side of the Internet
By Debra Kelly,
Urban Ghosts Media, 6 October 2015.

There’s a part of all of us that likes to be scared, and it’s not surprising that with the advent of the internet came a whole new upgrade to the idea of sitting around a campfire telling spooky stories. Enter creepypasta, a term that grew out of the 4chan terminology ‘copypasta,’ for copy-and-paste text that goes viral. These modern-day ghost stories and urban legends often walk that fine line between internet fact and internet lore, and some are downright terrifying. They’re the stuff of nightmares, and we’re going to take a look at 10 intriguing examples.

1. Herobrine

Image: via Creepasta Wiki

Minecraft has enjoyed a run of unbelievable popularity among gamers of all ages. People have spent hours building mind-blowing creations, and according to the story told by one player, they’re not always alone when they’re doing it.

Upon starting a new, single-player game, the narrator goes about his building. Until, that is, he sees something in the fog seemingly just beyond what his computer is rendering. The default character disappears into the mist, and as he continues to expand his little world, he stumbles upon items that were clearly built by another player.

Hitting the forums, he finds that others had seen the mysterious player too, supposedly also while playing in single-player mode. Gradually, the name “Herobrine” is uncovered, and it’s been claimed that he was the character of the developer’s real-life brother. When the narrator reaches out to the developer to see if he has a brother who plays the game, the response is short.

“I did, but he is no longer with us. - Notch”

A single screenshot is included, supposedly one of the only pieces of evidence supporting the existence of the mysterious player with terrifyingly blank eyes.

According to the Minecraft Wiki, a lengthy disclaimer states that there isn’t - and never was - any kind of code written into the game to support the appearance of Herobrine or any other phenomena associated with him. There are stories of strange messages left on signs, trees that have had all their leaves cut off, and weird, glowing towers, which are all chalked up to features built by real players or glitches in the game.

2. Ted the Caver

Image: via Creepypasta Wiki

There are some places in this world that are just eerie, even without supernatural stories to go along with them. Cemeteries, ancient forests…and caves. Ted the Caver is an epic creepypasta dated from March 2001. Along with an associated webpage (now largely defunct), the narrator tells a story that he claims began in December of the previous year, and warns that he won’t be divulging where the photos were taken, nor where the cave itself is located.

On a trip to the so-called Mystery Cave, the narrator and his friend find a small hole, which they ominously dub “Floyd’s Tomb” after a turn-of-the-century caver. After months of chiselling away at the hole, it’s finally big enough for a little exploration, carried out by the dog of one of the cavers - which immediately acts as if Satan himself was sitting in the darkness just out of sight. It’s not long before they hear a scream coming from the other side of the mysterious, still-narrow hole, and re-double their efforts in spite of the very human-like sound from within.

Every trip, they get farther and farther into the hole, into the passage, with some absolutely bone-chilling pictures of incredibly tight spaces. Finally getting through, the narrator claims to have seen some oddly-shaped round rocks and hieroglyphics on the cave walls. But introducing another caver to the mix goes horribly wrong, when the terrified newcomer refuses to say anything about what he saw, and refuses to answer phone calls after swearing he would never return to the Mystery Cave.

The narrator isn’t so wise, however, and ventures back. With a smashed light, communications cut off, and the appearance of a mysterious passage that leads deeper and deeper into the cave, he flees what he describes as nothing less than Lucifer. It’s when he reaches the surface and tries to return to his everyday life that things get really weird - he starts to think that whatever was in the Mystery Cave came with him to the surface. The only way to find out what’s going on? Go back.

3. Stay in Bed

Image: StockSnap

This one preys upon another kind of fear, the nondescript sort of anxiety over traveling and the hassle of a hotel room in an unfamiliar (or even a familiar) city. (Related: The Vanishing Hotel Room Legend.)

Forced out of his regular hotel by an influx of attendees to a car show, the narrator books another room at another hostelry - the Stay Inn. Nothing’s really amiss when the cheerful clerk checks him in and gives him his room key - a room key described as the sort that all of us would be familiar with had we stayed in a certain type of motel. Nothing’s amiss, that is, until she warns him that he must stay in bed after midnight.

The room is nondescript but creepy, and then he hears a disturbing sound from outside. Curfew be damned, he decides to investigate. Looking through the peephole of his room, he sees a young woman - clearly in some kind of trouble - in the parking lot beyond. When he tries to open the door, something’s in the way. When he looks through again, he sees nothing but red.

Running to the lobby, he’s met by the same clerk, but she’s no longer so cheerful. She warns him that the curfew is out of necessity and that he must stay in bed, as the motel is still haunted by the terrifying ghost of a murder victim who roams the premises after midnight and drags away anyone she sees.

Anyone that she sees with her bloody red eye.

A newspaper clipping in the lobby offers the narrator another glimpse into the true nature of the Stay Inn. A fourth killing is reported, and it’s only then that he realizes the legs of the cheerful clerk are not entirely where they should be.

4. Penpal

Image: via Amazon

At six-years-old, the narrator had a penpal. It’s something many of us did in our youth - at least, if we’re of a certain age, and most of the time it’s harmless enough. But obviously not in this case.

It starts with the recounting of an episode where the narrator woke up not in his bed, but in the woods. Cold and alone, he makes it back to his house, where he finds that his mother has already called the police, who have arrived. Grateful he’s home, his mother says she hopes he’ll never run away again. He’s baffled, but then she shows him the note he left on his pillow. The note that he didn’t write…

The story of his childhood - and of his penpal - unfolds over the next several chapters. This story’s a long one, most accurately described as a novel in six parts. And since the author did, in fact, turn it into a novel, we won’t spoil it.

What we will say, though, is that the book is an exploration into a question that we can all ask ourselves: how much do we really remember from our childhood? Bits and pieces, probably, ideas and feelings, strange occurrences that seem just a bit out of place…and things that we’d be hard-pressed to remember, despite the fact that they shaped not just our childhoods, but our adult lives too. When this narrator starts asking questions of his mother, he finds out way more than he bargained for.

5. Polybius

Image: Newsilver95

This one straddles the line between creepypasta and urban legend, but as it has had a strange sort of persistence in popular culture, we’re including it.

According to the story, an arcade game called Polybius appeared in a handful of suburbs around Portland, Oregon in 1981. It was made by a German company with the unnerving name Sinnesloschen (meaning Sense Deletion), and it wasn’t long before the people who played it began to get sick. Some only suffered from headaches, while others had blackouts, hallucinations and amnesia. Some even committed suicide.

Eventually, all the games disappeared - but not before men in black suits were seen downloading the data it had collected, whatever that was. While Skeptoid debunked the idea of there being an real Polybius (no one had ever actually seen one, and there was no mention of them in any reputable sources), there’s a disturbing factual basis for the story.

In 1981 Portland, a boy did end up getting sick from playing a video game. It was Asteroids, and he was trying to break a record by playing for more than 28 hours straight. On the same day, another local boy was hit by a migraine after playing Tempest, later collapsing. It was the start of a rare phenomenon due to which we still see warnings on video games today; the two cases were followed by several more instances of what’s now known as photosensitive epilepsy.

Factor in the idea that the government was also using video games (one of the earliest military simulators, Battlezone, was modified to mimic a real M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle and was actually used in training as far back as 1980) and you have the makings of one of the earliest creepypastas out there.

Polybius isn’t going away, either. Only recently there was a (failed) Kickstarter campaign attempting to raise money for more investigation into what they called “The Polybius Conspiracy.”

6. Anomaly

Image: Creepypasta Wiki

The narrator of Anomaly is an everyday kind of guy, working at a small publishing company, holding down an office job that’s likable enough. The projects he gets are pretty run-of-the-mill, turning out the sorts of books that people buy for gifts and coffee tables, and nothing much else.

That’s until he gets a pitch from someone with a series of photos he wants compiled into a rather non-traditional volume. All of the photos are ‘anomalies,’ showing something otherworldly or unexplained. The photos are so valuable, in fact, that rather than sending them to be processed all at once, the client insists on sending them one at a time. When one comes back, he sends the next.

When he gets a better offer from someone wanting to buy all the photos, the publishing project is terminated. Lawyers get involved, copies are seized, and most of the photos are wiped from their computers - with the exception of a few, which the narrator says just need to be seen.

The photographs and their stories are spine-tingling. There’s a blurry photo of children, taken before a 1908 fire that killed them all. There’s a hooded woman (who might not have been a woman at all) with a snarling dog on a lead, and a photo that was recovered from a man’s camera after his mysterious disappearance. A possible image of the Axeman of New Orleans, evidence of shadowy, cave-dwelling cryptids, and a photo of a Danish family later killed in a terrible accident…and all hacked to pieces in the same places the photo was flawed.

There are 14 photos in all and it’s not immediately obvious what’s out of the ordinary - which makes Anomaly all the more creepy.

7. The Smiling Man

The story of the Smiling Man is one that’s brilliant in its simplicity. It preys on the terror of walking home late at night, and coming across something completely terrifying and inexplicable against the familiar backdrop of Everytown, USA.

The narrator is walking home at 2 a.m. when he sees the man, looking up at the sky, doing a strange sort of waltz. And smiling.

The narrator crosses the street as the man dances closer…and then follows. The narrator runs…and so does the Smiling Man. He doesn’t look drunk or high, the narrator notes. He looks insane, and it’s absolutely terrifying. The malevolent individual stalks nearer, dancing on his toes, looking every inch a giant and he gets closer and closer…and still he smiles.

Originally posted on the subreddit r/LetsNotMeet, it was eventually made into a short film that’s every bit as chilling as the original creepypasta.

8. Candle Cove

Image: Candle Cove Wiki

At first, Candle Cove seems to be a handful of users on an online forum sharing stories about - and trying to recall - a television show that was once screened when they were younger. Gradually, they all share details about the show.

Shown in 1971 or 1972, it had the limited audience of a local TV network. It was about Janice, a little girl who befriended a group of pirates. One of those pirates, Pirate Percy, wasn’t much use because the smallest thing would scare him. There was the ship, Laughingstock, that seemed to almost devour the ocean in front of it, and a villain with a handlebar moustache. The characters were marionettes - poorly crafted, pieced together puppets.

The forum posters recall details, like the ship’s ominous order to the terrified pirate: YOU HAVE TO GO INSIDE. Then, there’s the villain - the Skin-Taker, a skeleton with a jaw that only moved sideways, for better grinding the skin of the children he’d killed.

Candle Cove gets darker and darker with the shared memories of frightened children, walking a line between TV show and nightmare. The last entry comes from a user who asked his mother if she remembered the show. According to the user, his mother simply thought he had an active imagination because he would - bizarrely - go to watch his pirate show, then turn on the TV to a station broadcasting nothing but white noise and watch for half an hour.

9. Abandoned by Disney

Image: davebloggs007; aband0ned Disneyland.

According to the urban explorer who narrates “Abandoned by Disney,” there were once grand plans to build Mowgli’s Palace on an island off the coast of North Carolina. After a significant challenge from the local community, Mowgli’s Palace was up and running, but only for a short time. A handful of people stayed, promotional materials were sent out, and then it mysteriously shut down. Rumours circulated that wild animals shipped in to add to the jungle atmosphere had been released, that the place had fallen into ruin and even been destroyed by angry locals.

The intrepid explorer ventures out to see what’s there, and finds Mowgli’s Palace as trashed as the reports suggest. The words “Abandoned by Disney” have been painted over signs, and when he finds an 80-foot-long python, the rumours that they’d just released the animals seem to have been proven.

Eventually, though, he finds what used to be the backstage prep area for mascots. Attempting to stage a photo with one of the rotting mascot heads, he takes it from the body…and a skull falls out. Others - most notably an unusually odd Mickey Mouse costume - begin to move. Here, the sign says, “Abandoned by God.”

Like other great creepypastas, this one has a bit of truth to it. A number of locations genuinely have been abandoned by Disney, and while we haven’t heard any reputable reports of mascots still controlled by the corpses of the people rotting away inside them, the actual places are nevertheless eerie.

According to io9, the original ImageWorks: The What-If Labs, marketed as the playground of Epcot, was closed in 1998 and remained abandoned at the time of writing. Meanwhile, Discovery Island in Florida has been abandoned since 1999, while the Pop Century Resort was never even finished. The New Global Neighbourhood of Epcot was abandoned in 2004, and Disney’s River County closed down in 2001.

10. Satellite Images

We’re particularly fond of this one, because it’s something we’ve been known to do. Google Earth and Google Street View reveal some incredible things, from herds of elephants roaming across Africa to the world’s greatest monuments and even the house you grew up in. But this one’s particularly eerie, and we probably won’t be able to take a virtual tour of the Taj Mahal ever again without thinking of it.

The narrator does exactly what we do - gets online, and looks to see what’s interesting. He checks out the streets of London and Paris, tours Japan, peeks into Dracula’s Castle and explores the Great Barrier Reef.

That is until he sees someone in particular - a brown-haired woman with a grey bag and red sneakers. He sees her in Tokyo first, then in Paris, then Berlin.

The narrator sees the mysterious woman again in Sydney, Zurich and Hong Kong. He can’t find out much about her - aside from what she’s wearing - as faces are, as we know, always blurred. Terrified by the strange, seemingly ever-present woman, he exits out of Google Maps altogether, vowing never to use the tool again.

That’s when the knock at his door comes, and the security camera shows a woman with a grey bag and red sneakers. And a blurred face…

Top image: The Collinwood Fire by Anomaly. Credit: Creepypasta Wiki.

[Source: Urban Ghosts Media. Edited.]


Sansha: A City That Includes Almost an Entire Ocean
By Kaushik,
Amusing Planet, 5 October 2015.

On July 2012, China announced a new prefecture-level city called Sansha whose seat of administration lies on what it calls Yongxing Island, in the South China Sea, some 350 kilometres southeast of Hainan Island. The island, known on international charts as Woody Island, is so small that the 8,900 feet long (2,700 meter) airstrip, which the Chinese military completed in 1990, sticks out nearly half its length into the sea.

An aerial view of Woody Island, or Yongxing island. Photo credit

Sansha's government administers several island groups and undersea atolls, including the Spratly Islands, the Paracel Islands - of which Woody Island is the largest, the completely submerged Macclesfield Bank and a vast swath of the surrounding ocean. Sansha means "three sandbanks" in Mandarin and refers to these three groups of islands and atolls. The total land area of Sansha is less than 13 square km, but the water area claimed by the city approaches nearly 2-million square kilometres. This makes Sansha simultaneously the smallest and the largest city in China - smallest by land area and population, but largest by total area.


The islands in the South China Sea are contested by several countries - Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Taiwan, over and above China. The Paracel Islands are claimed by Vietnam, but is now entirely controlled by China. The Spratly group is also claimed in entirety or parts by Vietnam, which occupies the largest number of islands, as well as by Malaysia, the Philippines, and Taiwan. The Macclesfield Bank, a vast, totally submerged atoll with rich fishing grounds to the east of the Paracels is also claimed by Vietnam, the Philippines, and Taiwan.

An aerial view of Woody Island, or Yongxing island. Photo credit

By establishing the city of Sansha in the disputed, resource-rich South China Sea, China is essentially asserting its right to the islands, and consequently its right to fish and drill in the vast oil reserves that is believed to be under the seabed. The area is also extremely significant in a geopolitical sense, being the second most used sea lane in the world. One-third of the world's shipping transit through its waters.

Located five miles Southwest of Yongxing Island, Qilianyu consists of seven small islands, and is part
of Sansha. Photo credit

Since the announcement of Sansha, development on Wood Island has been undergoing at a swift pace, even as Vietnam and the Philippines continue to voice their protest. The Philippines said it does not recognize the city or its jurisdiction, and Vietnam said China's actions violated international law. The US government also voice its concern by stating, "we remain concerned should there be any unilateral moves of this kind that would seem to prejudge an issue."

An aerial view of the Islets and reefs in the Yongle archipelago in Sansha. Photo credit

Living facilities on Woody Island have been built along with official buildings, banks, libraries, an observatory, hotels, hospitals and other important buildings. The city has also recently started taking on tourists, and for that purpose built two museums. Other tourist attractions include a couple of monuments and towers left by the Imperial Japanese Army during WWII.

An aerial view of the village on the Yagong Islet in Yongle archipelago in Sansha. Photo credit

Fishing boats and public service vessels rest along Woody Island harbour. Photo credit

The government building of Sansha was built on Woody Island. Photo credit

The view of Woody Island from a nearby jetty. Photo credit

A sign at Woody Island, which is the centre of government for Sansha. Photo credit

An aerial view of a port located at the southern part of Woody Island. Photo credit

Article Sources: Wikipedia / Stimson / CS Monitor / China Daily

Top image: Photograph from the International Space Station of the South China Sea which includes the Anphitrite Group and Woody Island (Sansha) features. Credit: NASA-Johnson Space Centre/Wikimedia Commons.

[Post Source: Amusing Planet. Edited. Top image added.]