Here at Worldwide Wacko Watch we are closely watching three stories this morning, all sent to us by faithful readers of Skeptophilia.
The first one is an article written by frequent flyer Dirk Vanderploeg, and tells us that NASA scientists have discovered (and are covering up) a city on Mars.
The alleged alien city is located in Tithonium Chasma, a valley at 89.62 W longitude and 4.96 S latitude, and is visible in the Google Earth maps of Mars. It's so easy to identify as an artificial construct, Vanderploeg says, that "even children can spot them on photographs immediately." The video link provided states that there are "parallel lines, rectangles, and virtual squares," and that several of the buildings have "flying buttresses." There's also a "huge monument, shaped like a reclining human with its arms folded." Thus, we have evidence that there's an extraterrestrial colony on Mars.
Or, possibly, we have the same thing we've dealt with here many times; the tendency of people to superimpose structure on natural objects that have an accidental resemblance to human constructs. Often, those similarities turn out not even to be as striking as they'd appeared at first when the light is coming from the other direction -- our minds were tricked by patterns of light and shadow. (Remember the "Face on Mars?")
So, we'll leave Mars behind, and head back to nice comfortable Earth, where things are about to get a whole lot scarier, to judge by the other two stories we're following.
The first of these (read it in its entirety here) is that some monks are about to risk a repeat of the final scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark, wherein several Nazis were variously melted and/or batter-fried to a deep golden brown for messing with the Ark of the Covenant. Much to my surprise, the article claims that Indiana Jones did not, in fact, find the Ark, and then chase the Nazis via submarine to an island in the Indian Ocean; the Ark has all along been in a church in Ethiopia. Who knew?
In any case, some monks in Ethiopia have apparently claimed for years that the Ark, along with the original Ten Commandments, reside in the Chapel of the Tablet in Aksum. But now the chapel roof has started to leak, and the monks don't want to take the chance of the Ark getting damaged by rain. The Old Testament god was always smiting the crap out of people for stuff like that, as I recall, so I understand their concern. In any case, they need to move the Ark, which will be problematic because only the head monk is ever allowed to look at it, and he can't lift it alone.
So, it's a quandary. The devout are thrilled because this will necessitate bringing the Ark out of the chapel, and it will give them the chance to take a look at what's been hidden for all of these years. Skeptics are excited for much the same reason. In any case, it will be interesting to see what happens next.
That is, if we don't get assimilated by the Borg first.
This is the concern of Alex Collier, noted Canadian wingnut who has appeared in Skeptophilia before. You may recall that he was the originator of the theory that there was a giant human/alien war in the 1930s, but we don't recall it because we've somehow gotten pushed into an alternate timeline, and we need to try to get back through the rip in the space-time continuum to return home.
If the whole thing sounds a little like a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, you ain't heard nothin' yet. Because now Collier is claiming that Comet Elenin, which even most of the world's woo-woos have already forgotten about, is still heading toward us (won't this damned comet ever give up and go away?), and furthermore, it is shaped exactly like the Borg cube from TNG. (Read the whole story here.)
Not only that, but this cube, which Collier calls a "Galactic Obliteration Device" -- or "G.O.D." -- is the god of the Old Testament. This thing is heading toward us, with the intent to destroy life on Earth, as predicted in such prophetic holy texts as the Book of Revelation and the script for the TNG episode Best of Both Worlds. I guess that after that we'll have the Second Coming of Locutus, or something.
As far as when all this is supposed to happen, Collier hasn't said. Maybe of that day and hour knoweth no man, not even the angels of heaven. Me, I'm not going to worry about it. I've heard that resistance is futile, and in any case, it's so often cloudy where I live that I probably wouldn't see them coming.
So, that's our news for today: a city on Mars, the Ark of the Covenant to make a public appearance, and the Borg ship is coming to town, as revealed in the scripture. And keep those cards and letters coming, folks. Here at Worldwide Wacko Watch, we're always interested in any new developments out there, even ones that put us at risk of being melted, fried, or assimilated.