Three Yemani men claiming prior ownership of Mars have filed a lawsuit against NASA for landing there. An Arabic-language paper quoted the men as saying "We inherited the planet from our ancestors 3,000 years ago." Adam Ismail, Mustafa Khalil and Abdullah al-Umari say they can prove their claim to the Yeman court in which the suit was filed. According to a July 25, 1997 Associated Press report, the men are demanding the court order NASA to stop all exploration on Mars until their case has been heard. They also want the court to order NASA not to release any further information about Mars' atmosphere, surface or gravity until they give their approval for its release.

     NASA also received numerous letters accusing them of either refusing to use the Hubble Space Telescope to photograph the Hale-Bopp comet, or refusing to release the photographs to the public. The accusations began after Richard Hoagland, who has reported seeing a face on Mars and a glass dome on the moon, was interviewed on the Art Bell radio talk show. Most of the letters were faxed to NASA and demanded to know what NASA was hiding. One letter, to NASA administrator Daniel Goldin, called for a "full-scale investigation."

     NASA provided sample of the letters with the senders' names deleted to Associated Press, according to a May 14, 1997 report. NASA responded to the accusations with a letter to Art Bell saying the Hubble had been used to photograph the comet and the images are available on the internet. Ed Weiler, chief Hubble scientist, said most observations had been made using ground-based telescopes because the angle needed to photograph the comet put Hubble in danger of being blinded by the sun.

     The Oregon Vortex is a strange and mysterious place according to the July 6 Sunday Oregonian travel guide. This tourist attraction, which opened around 1930, is a wooden cabin sitting crookedly on a hillside off I-5 near Gold Hill, Oregon. We learn from the report that birds and wildlife avoid the area and that local Indians had legends of strange occurrences in the vicinity where the miner's cabin was eventually built.

     Vortex tour guides awe escorted groups with strange phenomena, showing how a person appears to shrink or grow depending upon which end of a wooden plank he stands. The plank lays on the hillside outside the cabin. The guide "proves" the height change is real and not an illusion because the effect can be photographed. After the pictures are developed, you can measure the height of the individual and it will be different depending upon which end of the board he is standing on. "If it were just an optical illusion and not a physical change, there would be no change in your photograph," the guide tells the reporter.

     We are told the "vortex actually expands and contracts as much as 19 inches several times daily." And that "Albert Einstein thought a person's molecular structure also expands and contracts as they walk through the area."

     The reporter tells us that none of our current theories can explain all the strange phenomena, but then she didn't take illusionist Jerry Andrus to help her figure it all out.

    You might want to take a look at our own investigation of the Vortex! It was inspired by the above mentioned article...

     TradeNet Marketing, Inc. of Dunedin, Florida claims $1.2 million in sales weekly from its $75 miracle laundry ball. According to the May 6 Associated Press report, the ball is now being sold in Oregon. The Laundry Solution is a hard plastic ball with a blue liquid inside. Its promotional fliers say it contains specially structured water "that emits a negative charge through the walls of the container into your laundry water... This causes the water molecule cluster to disassociate, allowing much smaller individual water molecules to penetrate into the inner most part of the fabric."

     Portland State University chemistry professor Dennis Barnum examined the device and said the liquid was water with a blue dye which could not possibly change the molecular structure of water or remove dirt as claimed. Water molecules cannot be altered and still be water. "The explanation given in the brochure is nonsense. It uses some scientific terms such as ions and molecules that may make it sound technical to the layman, but it is, in fact, gibberish." The Oregon Attorney General's office was investigating whether the product was being marketed under an illegal pyramid scheme.

     The Jesus of the East has been waiting in Burnaby, British Columbia for the Jesus of the West to present himself to members of the God's Salvation Church. According to a July 13, 1997 Associated Press report, the 200-member apocalyptic sect placed an advertisement in a local newspaper in an effort to try find the Jesus of the West. Nine-year old Lo Chi-Jen, Jesus of the East, had received a message from God saying his western counterpart was a 28-year old, 6-foot tall Caucasian living in Vancouver, BC. Lo says he will know the other Jesus when he sees him. The two Jesuses are to unite and save the sect's followers from a nuclear war that is to occur in 1999. Hong-Ming Chen, the church's founder, was quoted as say, "After the great tribulation in 1999, our Heavenly Father and another Jesus Christ will come down to Earth from heaven and save people who live in Western Canada."

     Saturday, April 5 a passerby spotted the image of the Virgin Mary on the back of a road sign near Sunnyside, Washington. By Saturday night the Washington State Patrol was forced to close part of the Yakima Valley Highway as more than 1000 people came to light candles and lay flowers below what they believed was the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe in a prism-colored gown with her hands folded in prayer. Sunday, 1500 people came. Similar images were reportedly seen on several other road signs in the area, including some on I-80, according to the April 14 Oregonian report.

     A spokesperson for the Washington Department of Transportation said the rainbow-colored swirls on the backs of the road signs were the result of a treatment used to prevent oxidation and corrosion.

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 2001 Oregonians for Rationality