Explorer of the weird and unusual, Varla Ventura, discussed her research into Mermaids and other strange and mythical creatures that come from the sea. She also updated her investigations into magical beings, including fairies, banshees, gremlins, werewolves, and shape-shifters. One of the earliest myths of a mermaid goes back to around 1000 BC, in which an Assyrian goddess killed a mortal man, and then tried to hide herself in a lake, where she turned into a half-fish. This legend contributed to the idea that mermaids lure mortals (usually men) into the water, where they drown, she suggested. Later in the 19th century, W.B. Yeats wrote about Irish mythology, documenting tales of mermaids from throughout the ages.
Most often a mermaid is described as a beautiful woman in the waves with long, tangled hair, and a tail that is underwater, though in some cultures they are depicted as enticing from a distance, but attacking like a vampire when up close. In our era, there's a lot of disbelief and mocking regarding mermaid sightings, she remarked, yet she received one recent report of an encounter in the Bahamas of a merman-type creature with glowing eyes. She also received a story from a woman living on a boat who had a disorienting experience when she heard a mermaid-type song out in the fog. Ventura contrasted mermaids to selkies, described in Scottish and Irish folklore as a creature that lives as a seal in the sea, but turns into a human when on land.
She spoke about changelings, who are said to swap out a human baby with one from the fairy realm, and pondered whether recent tales of the Black Eyed Children might be related to this phenomenon. Banshees, the subject of her forthcoming book, are thought of as the ghosts of women who died in childbirth, or whose children died young and then they took their own lives. "You hear these kind of crazy wails and cries," somewhat akin to Irish funereal keening-- a long mournful wail, Ventura explained, adding that seeing a banshee can be a portent of death.
First hour guest, lecturer on new technologies, health and earth science related issues, Dr. Nick Begich, talked about the reported shutdown of Project HAARP (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) in Alaska. According to HAARP's program manager James Keeney, the site has been closed since May, when Air Force funding ceased. Yet, Begich pointed out that this is not surprising, as the program has typically run intermittently. Additionally, he noted that DARPA has been involved with HAARP since 2006, and has funded $8.8 million for new research to be conducted in the fall and winter. "I think we can look at this as sort of a furlough," where it's being shut down for blocks of time to save the military money, he commented.
We're happy to share an announcement from Premiere Networks that came out today. George Noory has renewed his relationship with the company, in an exclusive long-term agreement. "By renewing my deal with Premiere Networks, I'll be around when astronauts land on Mars," George said. "I want to thank Premiere and Clear Channel Media and Entertainment for having the confidence in me and our amazing team to take Coast to Coast AM into the future. I look forward to many more years of bringing riveting programs during the late-night hours to our millions of listeners around the world." Read the full press announcement here.
Bumper music from Wednesday July 17, 2013