Gabon by Stephen Russell
Gabon (the Portuguese name of the Kome River) on the west coast of Africa is an independent state, also formally a french territory.
The country itself has diverse religious beliefs from Christianity, Bwiti to Animism and Islam. At least 5% of the population are considered Atheist in their beliefs. Raconteurs, who are story tellers, are working to keep the oral tradition of local folklore’s and legends alive within the culture.
The masks in Gabon culture, are designed for different beliefs in ceremonies depending on which tribe creates them. Made out of rare wood, or precious metals, they are internationally celebrated for there meanings and design. The masks are generally used in ceremonies such as births, weddings, or funerals. The Panu masks have their own use
of warding off evil spirits and witches. The concepts of life or death are very important in the meaning of the masks.
When used in the appropriate rituals set to the coinciding music, the mask transforms a male performer into an ideal feminine beauty or a spiritual being, while the carved white mask depicts a serine woman. As funeral rites are performed after a death, the masks contrast the rigorous stilt dances that are performed at the same time.
Another tribal mask is native to the Ogoou’e river basin in the country .The pun-lumbo mask.They are highly collectible and considered valuable pieces of African art. They are oval shaped with narrow eyes, high eyebrows and small ears. The male masks are considered ugly by the local people, where the females are seen as more attractive they have been linked to female ancestry celebrations and funerary spirit ceremonies.
By Katie Snow
The ‘Evil Eye’ & The Dordolec in Albania
The EVIL EYE, you know, the one that brings damage to all your valued possessions! Even your children!
In Albania this is a very real fear and they have just the cure, The “Dordolec”.
This stunning countryside is peppered with garishly dressed dolls and plush toys that they
straegically place throughout their properties and atop rooftops to protect against such curses.
Dordolec in Albanian means doll or scarecrow and they believe by placing this iconic figure it reduces the
danger of the Evil Eye curse that has shown a sudden emergence throughout their country. This is all related
to the ancient superstition of the ‘evil eye’ and the attempt by the superstitious to retain what
Traditionally the Dordolec would have been a figure, in the shape of a human, made out of old clothes stuffed with
straw, and many of these can be seen in your travels there, however, they have added plush animals and toys into the
mix. Though this is through the country as stated above the main concentration of these talismans seem to be in the
village of Tirana. They not only grace the rooftops and gardens but now the fences, fruit tress, vines and balconies
of the homes. Comically enough there seems to be a minimalist movement where you can also see just shirts tied to a pole
or a spiderman attached to a vacant building.
The idea of the dordolec is not to frighten away people as the scarecrow ‘frightens’ birds, it’s more complex than that.
The idea is the passer-by ‘fixates’ on the dordolec and in that way doesn’t covet the property on which it’s attached,
it’s there to prevent envy which might lead to someone taking action to acquire that particular piece of wealth. It’s
there to help reinforce one of the strictures of the Ten Commandments, the one about coveting your neighbor’s house,
wife, servants or ox. However, there is no direct correlation between this superstition and religious beliefs.
In Albania such beliefs can be found in all religious communities, Muslim, Orthodox or Catholic.
Just where this ideology has come from seems to vary. Some state the tradition, some state that poor men have a greater
fear of losing what they have. Some even state it was brought back from Greece where many Albanians have been forced to go to in
order to find work after the wholesale destruction of industry in their own country in the last 20 years or so.
Whatever the exact reason for such an upsurge it seems to fit into an isolated society that is looking for something to protect
itself from the hostile world outside.
The Ancient Star Mounds of America Samoa
By Katie Snow
America Samoa, the visualization of the word brings to mind lush landscaping jutting above the blue waters of
the southern pacific waters. Rain forests and volcanic ridges adds to the tropical climate of this America owned territory.
Along the almost impassable volcanic ridges Tutuila Ma Manu’a lies ancient man made structures called
Tia Seu Lupe, in English Star Mounds. These mostly overgrown structures have been nearly forgotten
by the modern day Samoan but by the sheer number of them found and located in difficult terrain and
the sheer magnitude of their construction attest that these Star Mounds must have been important
to the Ancients.
Constructed of earth and stone and faced with rock or coral slabs, tia seu lupe are basically level-topped platforms
of various sizes and shapes. They can be as large as 30 to 40 meters in diameter and as high as 5 meters. We, English
speakers, call them “star mounds,” because of their distinctive projecting arms or rays. There are
usually five to eight such projections.On Tutuila alone more than 80 star mounds have been discovered.
It is said from early written accounts that Samoan Chiefs took sport in pigeon catching. Now, the English
translation of tia seu lupe is “platform for netting lupe.”Lupe is the Pacific Pigeon (Ducula pacifica pacifica),
a large, fruit-eating forest bird whose succulent flesh has always been prized by Samoans. In the past it was a delicacy
reserved for matai and was included as an important gift in ritual exchanges. Once numerous, today they are so reduced
in numbers that their is a ban against hunting them. However, Star Mounds were probably of greater social significance
than just locations for their chiefs sporting events and the the first Christian missionaries took an early
and virulent dislike to the sport and suppressed it.
One of the most impressive star mounds is the centerpiece of American Samoa’s Tiaseulupe Park. This tia is unique
because rather than being just a simple platform with rays projecting outward in a circle, it is also composed of two
large sections at different elevations. The combined length of the two sections is 34 meters and it rises more than
3 meters above the surrounding rocky terrain.
The question lies in the duality of the use of Star Mounds. Why pick rough terrain high in the mountains?
These would take years to construct and being a ritual were the star mounds used for ritual sacrifices to the
Gods of their time?
After some research into this subject I found the Samoan’s had many deities in which they worshiped that
the Star Mounds could also be used a an altar of sorts or a hollowed place such as
GEGE – A deity who specialized in ridding the Samoan island of Upolu of demons. Operating out of his base at Falealili
he roamed the island, met demons in contests of magic and transformed them into stone. Countless unusual rock formations
are said to be the petrified bodies of the demons overcome by Gege.
PAPA – In the Samoan pantheon she is the goddess of the flatrock base beneath islands. Admittedly that is an oddly
specific designation. She mated with the supreme deity Tangaloa to give birth to some of the Samoan islands.
These are just two of the Gods of worship among many which both would require an Altar of special importance. Another question
comes to mind as well. Who help in the construction of these large mounds I mean mining coral alone would take years to
harvest, was it those from other worldly places that lent a helping hand? We will never really know for certain
just why the star mounds were truly made or how for that matter… the secret lies with those gone before us.
John Enright with David J. Herdrich
|Contact Name||Bret Yacobucci|
|Energy work based paranormal organization, house clearing, rune reading, mediums, energy healing, remote viewing, finding people, places or things, demonology, protections and barriers, occult and Wicca background, person clearing, attachment removal.|
|Location||Moncton, New Brunswick Canada|
|GMPS is a non-profit group dedicated to investigating, documenting and sharing information about paranormal activity in and around the Greater Moncton Area. Our mission is to offer education and assistance to help others better understand their own and others’ paranormal experiences. We also aim to provide a safe, non-judgmental and confidential environment where members can share their paranormal stories.|
|We are a dedicated group of paranormal enthusiasts, sometimes known as “ghost hunters”, some with many years of experience, some with very little, but all having one thing in common; a passion and drive to find out as much as humanly possible about the mysterious and unknown field that is the Paranormal. Many experiences and incidents thought to be paranormal can soon be systematically debunked as natural occurrences.
From ghosts to cryptids, UFOs to urban legends, we cover the full variety of unexplained activity and phenomena. We also have a deep interest in local history, and aim to document historic buildings, cemeteries and other locations which can often be overlooked in this fast-paced era.
It is believed that 90% of alleged paranormal activity can be explained as misidentification, unusual atmospheric or natural phenomenon, tricks of the light and photographic glitches. Some cases defy all scientific explanation and it is the remaining 10% which we are interested in.
Our team incorporates a wide range of skills, qualifications and levels of expertise:
· Data Analyst
Plus a combined total of over 100 years of paranormal field experience!
We offer free assistance and support to people who believe they are experiencing paranormal activity – or activity that they simply can’t explain – in their home or business.
We do not charge anything for our services, as we are in this purely to further our own research. Any opportunities to investigate, experience and hopefully gain more knowledge about this unknown science will be greatly welcomed.
|Location||Greater Vancouver , BC CANADA
& Sonoma County, California USA
|VSPI is a small investigative team which specializes in the great connection we have with our clients. We are compassionate, trusted and honest. Being a small group has given us a closer relationship with our clients and builds life long friendships. We are non-profit & do not charge any fees for what we do. It’s our passion to look for
and find answers.
|Contact Name||John Moore|
|Our team deals in extreme negative and demonic cases. We also consult and are able to help teams in all areas. We have an orthodox Catholic bishop on our team as well as others able to help any one anywhere suffering from severe paranormal/demonic activity. Through the bishop we are connected to a large order of exorcists in all areas for those that are suffering and in need of help. Any individual or team looking for more information or help is welcome to contact us at any
Samuele Pirola- Founder IGHL
Daniele Pirola- Co-Founder IGHL
Giovanni Barlocco- Investigator
Paranormal team bases in Essex united kingdom.
|Location||Germany / NRW|
|We believe that Ghosts/Spirits exists, but at first we search during our investigations for “normal” reasons of the knockings, footsteps … experience over a couple of years and a lot of science. To help people is important, to take the dread.|
Denise Christian Pada-on firstname.lastname@example.org
Location: Silay City, Negros Occidental
|Contact Name||Mark Whyatt|
|Location|| Derby United Kingdom
Derby and Surrounding area
|We offer our services FREE of charge and only on occasions ask for a small travel fee depending on the location. We aim to prove whether a property or location is actually haunted or experiencing paranormal occurances by using a scientific approach.
All investigations we do we have an open mind and the plan to debunk and find a logical and natural reason for the evidence we find first before assuming that it could possibly be of a paranormal nature. We rarely use mediums or clairvoyants due to the information being very hard to prove and we strictly forbid the use of Ouija boards, Witchcraft, Table tipping, and Seances as we do not believe in opening new doorways into the unknown.
We do not claim to be experts in the paranormal since there are no experts in the Paranormal Field being professional at what we do is merely how we conduct ourselves on investigations & by taking our work
extremely seriously. All of our team members have signed confidentiality & safety agreements so privacy for clients is assured.
We also carry public liability & indemity insurance of up to 5million should you require it.
|Contact Name||John Brian|
|Scientific Paranormal Investigative Research Organization (SPIRO) was established in 2008. Known as SEIPO until 2012, SPIRO changed its name to reflect the groups expansion nationally and internationally. Today SPIRO paranormal investigates within 10 US states and internationally. SPIRO is based in Pocatello, Idaho.|
Beast of Bodmin Moor
Lions, Tigers, Leopards, Cheetahs, Jaguars and the Beast of Bodmin Moor. Why is a giant cat roaming the British countryside?
There has never been a Genus Panthera on the British Isles. Its appearance is a large black feline…similar to a leopard or jaguar. What is interesting is there have been similar sightings in the South Eastern United States of a large black cat.
Some say it’s a cat that escaped from a zoo, but Scientists say it’s impossible to have a surviving number of Panthers on the UK.
Like any other large cat, it hunts livestock for food and care should be taken when looking for it. You will not know when it is stalking you until it is too late.
Look for it living on the moor in mid Cornwall in the UK
Mokèlé-mbèmbé, meaning “one who stops the flow of rivers” in the Lingala language, is a Large sauropod likely to be a Brachiosaurus living in the Congo or Sub Saharan Africa.
Descriptions are that its body is as large as an elephant with an extremely long neck. Reports are that it is a herbivore.
Is it such a stretch to think a living sauropod is still alive? With Africa having large Elephants, Rhinos and Hippos…the sauropod is very similar if not a dinosaur.
There have been and continues to be expeditions to find the Mokele-mbembe and with lush the jungles and unknown territory in equatorial Africa such as Congo, Cameroon and Gabon, and the sightings of Plesiosaurus and Pterosaurs around the world…are dinosaurs still with us?
Andrew Johnson: email@example.com
Team, organization, or location name: Eerie Shores Paranormal Services
Location: Blenheim Ontario Canada
Almost complete assortment of investigative equipment. Open minded and non-judgmental when it comes to investigations. Access to a few other paranormal teams to draw assistance from when investigating and
Dan DevilsMaster: dan_the_devils_master@yahoo.
Team, organization, or location name: Para-Unity Worldwide
Location: No real set location as we are worldwide
We have a facebook group that is against cyber bullying and the exploitation of people for profit by groups and individiuals who not
only con people, but who can put people in danger though lack of knowledge just to make a quick buck. We allow only authorised groups and organisations to advertise on the group, so that our members are safe in the knowledge, that should they
need a medium, cleanser or investigation, that any group link they click on is a trusted group, and will not put the public in any
Anyone is free to join and partake in discussions as long as they follow a couple of basic rules: Everyone is entitled to their
opinion, and to express their opinion, as long as it is not disrespectful or bullying to any other member. Only authorised groups that are on the pinned post at the top of the group page are allowed to advertise their groups as they have proven
themselves to be trustworthy and knowledgeable. Failure to adhere to this simple rules will result in removal from the
group and the prevention from rejoining. This is not that any group thinks they are better than anyone, this is to keep the members safe from harm, exploitation and their facebook account safe, as there are many people posting links that like to try
and steal your information such as facebook password etc. For this reason we enforce the rules with an iron hand.
Though unity within the respectable groups we can make the field of paranormal investigation safer.
Dan DevilsMaster: dan_the_devils_master@yahoo.
The facebook part of our community, where we encourange active discussions on all aspects of the paranormal field.
we are against cyber bullying and commerical exploitation of this field and support the Para-Unity Worldwide group on facebook.
We do have many members that regularly go out on investigations, for non profit, at current myself am not getting out in the field anywhere near as much as i would like to due to family commitments. I do spend a lot of time researching haunted locations so that we can let people know of haunted locations history’s etc. We do have have a medium with us that does tarot readings, numerology etc.
The name devils master isnt because i am a devil worshipper or anything like that, but is in fact due to my 2 and half year old son
that is a pedigree rottweiler called Lucifer, who literally chose his own name with a yip as i was saying out loud a group of names that i liked, Lucifer being an angel before being cast from heaven, so isnt actually an evil name at all, and i am his master ( well i am his daddy and moving chew toy lol )
Lee Davies: firstname.lastname@example.org
Location: Uk, Midlands, England
Specialties: H.B.I are a non profit, well respected paranormal research investigative team. We use specialist video and audio equipment as well as various environmental meters to gather alleged paranormal happenings. We investigate, FREE of charge any haunted locations from private residences to castles and stately homes.
Name: Supernatural & Paranormal Investigation Team
Location: Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England,