2014 kicked off in style when a mysterious crop circle suddenly appeared in a field in Chualar, California. The crop circle was then quickly ploughed over, sparking conspiracy theories. UFO enthusiasts went into overdrive, attempting to decode the strange symbols depicted within the circle. It was soon realised that some of the symbols were in fact written in Braille, spelling out the number 192 repeatedly. Investigators also commented on the likeness of the design to a computer chip. However, before anyone had a chance to contemplate why aliens would send us a message in Braille, the disappointing news emerged that the crop circle was in fact an elaborate marketing hoax, perpetrated by computer chip manufacturer NVIDIA who wanted to promote their new microprocessor containing 192 cores, ahead of the CES technology show.
However, after this disappointing start, a couple of intriguing outer space stories hit the headlines. Firstly YouTube user 'WowForReeel' spotted what he saw as a triangular shaped object with perfectly aligned dots on a photo of the lunar surface found via Google Moon. Was the object merely a digital artefact, or could it have been an alien base? The interesting image still remains unexplained. Secondly, NASA revealed that their Opportunity rover on Mars had taken a photo of a rock that had mysteriously appeared from nowhere. The rock had not been present in a photo taken of the same area several days earlier. Some took this as final proof of life on Mars, and one man even decided to sue NASA for failing to investigate alien life. NASA did not seem to take this threat seriously, and shortly after announced that the mysterious rock had simply been kicked into position when the rover's wheel had moved over it.
Shortly after, a poll conducted by the 'Public Religion Research Institute' stated that half of Americans believed that supernatural forces influence the Super Bowl. However, this news was soon eclipsed by one of the most prominent UFO reports for a while. It was revealed that a Thomas Cook aircraft had a near miss with a UFO while travelling from Ibiza to Manchester in the UK. The captain of the aircraft described the object as being 'cigar/rugby ball like' in shape, bright silver and apparently 'metallic' in construction. The sighting was investigated by the UK Airprox Board and so far remains unexplained.
Meanwhile back across the pond, Del Rio concluded its first ever UFO festival to much acclaim. And as January moved towards its end, a family in Indiana revealed the terrifying experience of their former home being haunted by up to 200 demonic entities. The family claimed that they encountered many different unsettling experiences within the house, including one of the sons walking backwards up a wall whilst possessed by a demon. The family reported that the paranormal activity finally ceased after three exorcisms.
Celebrity news then entered into the fray as it was announced that pop super-sensation Rihanna was a firm believer in extraterrestrial life, and had even hired a man to track UFO activity for her. Meanwhile, back in the UK, the 'Cornwall UFO Research Group' declared that the county of Cornwall had the most reported UFO and paranormal activity in the country, and decided to dub the area the 'Cornwall Triangle'.
These are just the highlights from January 2014. To read more, check out the news archives at unearthlynews.com.
Stay tuned for February 2014's Summary of the Strange, coming soon...