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Ripley's 'Believe It Or Not' Empire

Date: 02-04-11
Host: George Noory
Guests: Tim O'Brien, Edward Meyer, David B. Sereda

In the first half of the show, Ripley Entertainment's Tim O'Brien and Edward Meyer spoke about Robert Ripley, the man behind the Ripley's Believe It or Not! franchise. Ripley was working as an illustrator in the sports department of the New York Globe when he came up with the idea for his Believe it or Not cartoon, Meyer explained. Featuring unusual and exotic facts from around the world, the cartoon panel proved popular and was eventually syndicated everywhere. In 1929, Ripley used his cartoon to change history by informing Americans that they had no national anthem, Meyer noted. Shortly afterward "The Star-Spangled Banner" was officially adopted as the country's official anthem.

Ripley's cartoon remains the longest running daily panel in the world and is currently published in 200 newspapers in 17 different languages, and even online at comics.com, O'Brien noted. Its success allowed Ripley to expand into other media, including radio and television, and public exhibitions at what he called "Odditoriums." Today, the Ripley organization hosts 13 million people annually at its 85 various attractions, O'Brien continued. Meyer, who purchases items for the Ripley museums, told George he recently tried to acquire Lee Harvey Oswald's coffin. One of the strangest exhibits in the collection is hair purportedly from the abominable snowman, he added. O'Brien said his favorite exhibit is the head of a deranged French man that has been cut in half.

Polar Shift Update

During the third hour, scientist David Sereda discussed pole shifts (illustration) and a recent FAA advisory regarding magnetic anomalies in the Bermuda Triangle. Sereda said he believes the FAA advisory, which indicates GPS will be unreliable in the area due to Department of Defense testing, is merely a cover story. According to Sereda, a ham radio operator has discovered the magnetic field anomalies in that region are not manmade, thus could not be military-related. Recent events, including an evenly-distributed vibration that struck the whole planet and the massive bird die-offs, may indicate Earth is getting ready to find its new magnetic north and south positions, he explained. Such a polar shift would cause devestating earth changes, Sereda warned.

Open Lines followed in the final hour.

News segment guest: Glynis McCants

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