"Why don't ETs abduct Japanese?" asks Philip Klass in the May, 1996 issue of Skeptics UFO Newsletter. While there is a widespread interest in UFOs, few Japanese claim to have been abducted. Klass recently lectured to the 600-member Japanese UFO Society in Osaka.

     "The fact that the abduction fad has not 'caught on' in Japan is worthy of sociological study. Perhaps it is the result of Japanese traditions and/or their Buddhist religion. Possibly there are fewer fantasy-prone persons in Japan," suggests Klass.

     The chairman of the Long Island (NY) UFO Network, John Ford, and two others have been charged with plotting to kill county officials and to burn down the Suffolk County Republican headquarters. Ford had told his followers in a recent newsletter that space aliens had crashed on Long Island's Pine Barrens last year touching off the Long Island forest fires. Ford believed authorities were conspiring to covering up the crash. According to the NY Times News Service, June 22, Ford believed, "his branch of the Conservative Party ... could become the balance of power if he could eliminate the Republican leaders and the party's nominating positions." Ford and his cohorts planned to poison the targeted victims by sneaking radium into their food and air conditioners.

     While O4R members were enjoying a free summer potluck, Olympia, WA residents could spend $5 (and more inside) to attend the Inner Peace Movement's psychic fair.

     From the August 17, Olympian, we learn there are four categories of psychics: "Aura readers," who perceive people's life energy through light; "psychometrists," who receive impressions by touching personal items; "prophetics," who receive thoughts and premonitions; and "intuitives," who hear inner voices. We learn, too, that many psychics can also "read impressions from guardian angels hovering nearby."

     The Olympian sponsored readings for five local residents, selected from among 50 volunteers who responded to the newspapers query for individuals willing to "suspend their skepticism ... to receive and evaluate personal readings." Four of the five volunteers believed that at least one psychic provided valuable insights. One volunteer said she was comforted to learn she had "an extra troop of angels helping in [her] regular life."

     One volunteer, however, was not so impressed. "These readers are not psychic," she commented afterwards. "I could not apply what they said to my past, present or my future."

     According to a wire report from the September 15, Oregonian, the University of San Francisco has finally made a deal with Pacific Bell to change its telephone prefix from 666 to a "less sinister" 422.

     "Nothing horrible has befallen us. Perhaps our Christian spirit deflected any spiritual assault by the forces of 666," said Rev. Frank Buckley, a professor at the Jesuit school, but added he was relieved at the change.

     More money per signature was spent to place Oregon's Ballot Measure 39 on the ballot than any of the other measures to be voted on this election. Supporters of Measure 39, which would require health insurance policies to carry coverage for alternative care providers, spent an average of $5.74 per signature, according to information gathered by the League of Women Voters. The cost for signature gathering was primarily covered by the tobacco industry in an effort to divert health care efforts away from the tobacco tax initiative.

     From the mini-Annals of Improbable Research (mini-AIR), an electronic journal of science humor by the people who bring you the Ig Noble awards, comes this information:

Free Paranormal Ability Testing Service

     As reported in the popular press, both the CIA and the KGB are hiring psychics. And they pay well.

     If you are interested in whether or not you have paranormal powers, just sit down in a quiet corner and mentally send your name and address to Wojtek Bourbaki, AIR's resident ESP expert. If you don't receive notification from us within three days you have no powers.

     In the name of national security (any nation, any form of security) and economic growth (in either direction), The Annals of Improbable Research is offering this service free of charge.

Paranormal Spoon Incident

     In the last issue of mini-AIR, we offered, free of charge, to test any reader who wished to know if he or she has paranormal powers. Testees were instructed to sit in a quiet corner and mentally send us their names and addresses. Alas, we had to terminate the testing program after readers in England and Israel reported a rash of bent spoons and then mentally lodged police complaints against us. We are now engaged in extra-cognitively presenting evidence to demonstrate that, whatever is bent or twisted, it is not the spoons.


     Our paranormal testing program has already had one commercial spin-off. Our engineers have developed a truly foolproof data security protocol. It is called PGP-Y - "Pretty Good Parapsychology." The mechanism is simple. You imagine that you have transmitted data to someone; that person then imagines that he has received them. Using PGP-Y, any type of information can be transmitted over the internet with complete security. The key is that the data are transmitted high over the net - so high that the data actually travel above the net rather than within it. The data are transmitted telepathically (and for those who distrust electronic funds, we also have a scheme for transmitting cash and gold telekinetically).

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 2001 Oregonians for Rationality