The Weirdest Happenings Of 2017
December 26, 2017 6:00 AM ‐ Long Reads
This article is more than six years old.
There's no denying that 2017 has been a weird year. In the last twelve months we've seen flat Earth believers gather at their first ever conference, astronomers may have finally solved the mystery of the "alien megastructure" around Tabby's stars, and weirdest of all, Donald Trump hasn't been impeached yet.
It's the year when odd black smoke rings were spotted in skies around the world, released British papers revealed that Winston Churchill predicted there would be life on Mars, and conspiracy theories gathered traction that both Finland and Australia are made up countries and don't actually exist.
Here are some of the most memorable and important moments from the weird list of things that took place over the last twelve months...
Ghosts Cause Gayness
The year started with an odd claim from the Spiritual Science Research Foundation, who think they've discovered that the cause of homosexuality is ghostly possession. According to the ludicrous article, about 85% of gay people have an evil spirit living within them.
The foundation said, "the main reason behind the gay orientation of some men is that they are possessed by female ghosts, it is the female ghost in them that is attracted to other men."
The SSRF go on to say that "due to being possessed by ghosts, the majority of the LGBT population is more susceptible to being influenced by negative energies which give them thoughts to encourage them to display their homosexuality in a shameless and even aggressive manner."
Secret CIA Papers Declassified
Around 12 million formerly classified pages were released by the US intelligence agency, which include their findings on psychic powers, flying saucers and even the recipes for invisible ink, amongst other unusual topics.
One of the most interesting parts of the documents are those which detail the long-running "Stargate Project," launched 1978 by the Defence Intelligence Agency and the codename for a secret US Army unit based at Fort Meade, Maryland. Their remit was to research and harness psychic powers and assess the threat of UFOs to national security.
The project gathered a large amount of information relating to credible UFO sightings, they also recruited mediums and put together a "psychic spy unit" who were able to see behind enemy lines from anywhere in the world. Celebrity psychic and spoon bender Uri Geller was tested for psychic powers as part of the project.
The military even tried to train their psychics to spy on alien civilisations. One of the first volunteers to attempt remote viewing as part of the Stargate Project, Pat Price claims to have made contact with alien life using his extrasensory powers, but surprisingly these lifeforms weren't on a distant planet, they were in four secret alien bases here on Earth.
Flock Of Birds Performed A Satanic Ritual
Twitter user @TheReal_JDavis captured a video of flock of turkeys who seemed to be taking part in a weird dark magic ritual around the remains of a dead cat in Massachusetts.
The video show 12 turkeys walking in a perfect circle around the cat's body and was retweets over 38,000 in less than 24 hours, along with his theory on the event, "these turkeys trying to give this cat its 10th life."
Weird North Korean Assassination Likened To The Plot Of Derren Brown TV Stunt
In February, an Indonesian woman arrested in connection with the murder of the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un's half-brother says she thought she was taking part in a comedy prank as part of a television show.
The 25-year-old, who had travelled to Malaysia for work, was paid to convincing men to close their eyes and then spraying them with water. But rather than spraying water, it's alleged that the bottle contained the toxic nerve agent.
The woman was tricked into sprayed the liquid into the face of a the 46-year-old North Korean exile, Kim Jong-nam at Kuala Lumpur's international airport.
The whole story sounds like the kind of stunt that psychological illusionist Derren Brown might pull off for a TV special, having previously convinced an audience member at one of his show to spray paint in to Derren's and her own face.
Finland Isn't A Real Country
Have you ever been to Finland? If you have, then think again because this year it was claimed that Finland may not actually exist.
According to "The Finland Conspiracy," the capital of Finland, Helsinki, is actually in Eastern Sweden, and world maps have been altered as part of a United Nations conspiracy to keep people believing in Finland. Those who support the theory claim that the idea that an entire country is made up is so bizarre that nobody would ever believe it is, making it easy to do.
The basis of the whole conspiracy is fishing rights. It's claimed that the Japanese created a fictional landmass called Finland where the Japanese could fish as much as they wanted, and that's why it's call 'Finland' because of the fish, FIN-land." Get it?
Mermaid Picked Up By Police In California
In May, police in the Californian city of Fresno were called to assist a woman who claimed that she was a mermaid. The call came in after she was spotted by a motorist who stopped to help. She was found half-naked and with wet hair, walking along a street near a lake in the city.
At first the officers were sceptical but after taking her to a nearby medical centre, they discovered that she has webbed toes on both feet and apart from telling police her name was Joanna, she was unable to answer any other questions about her identity.
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Psychic Killed Himself While Trying To Prove He's Immortal
A psychic medium in Thailand failed to prove his immortality this year in the most unfortunate way while performing an ancient folk ritual.
Theprit Palee was performing the traditional spirit dance for a crowd in Chiang Mai, the dance is said to honour the ghosts of ancestors and usually proves that the medium can beat death, the blade always snaps before being plunged into the performer's chest.
However, on this occasion the mystic didn't have the spirits on his side and ended up accidentally stabbing himself in the chest with the weapon. He was later pronounced dead in hospital.
Sea Monster Washed Up in Indonesia
Videos posted online appear to show the dead body of a huge, unidentified sea creature which has washed on the island Seram Island.
Local press describe the carcass, which measures 15 meters in length, as a giant squid-like beast. The body has been shown in videos rotting in a pool of water, the animals blood can be seen turning the water red.
The creature certainly looks like an undiscovered sea monster from the deep but a marine experts talking to Huffington Post, said "my guess is it's a baleen whale."
Unexplained "Nottingham Noise" Keeps Residents Awake
The people of Nottingham in the UK spent several nights in the spring looking up at the sky for answers after repeatedly hearing a strange, unidentified rumbling sound from above.
The sounds occurred frequently across Nottingham and the surrounding areas with reports starting from around 10pm and lasting until around 5am the next morning. Many took to Facebook and Twitter to share their experience and to ask if others had heard the mysterious noise, worried that they might have been imagining it.
Almost everyone who witnessed the unexplained noise, which some are hearing as often as every two minutes, have described it as sounding like a hot air balloon using its burner, it lasts for about ten seconds and then gradually fades out.
Creepy Footage Of A Door Repeatedly Slamming In A Haunted Morgue
A creepy video has been posted online which claims to show violent poltergeist activity in an abandoned mortuary where a red cabinet door is repeatedly slammed closed in a corridor as two security guards investigate flickering lights.
The spooky footage is supposedly filmed in a disused morgue in Brazil and was shot on a smartphone by two security guards on their rounds. The paranormal activity takes places in a sinister, dark part of the building where the overhead lights can be seen to flicker.
Classified British UFO Documents Released
At the start of the summer, the UK government released formerly top secret documents on the Rendlesham Forest Incident, one of the UK's most famous UFO incidents. The alleged extraterrestrial event which took place in Suffolk in 1980 and involved three military personnel who reported see unexplained flashing lights and a triangular shaped object near RAF Woodbridge.
One of the interesting pieces of information which came out of the cache of papers, was reports of a UFO which was spotted on military radar in October 1996, over the Wash near Skegness. The object was tracked by RAF Coningsby for seven hours but when they asked for permission to scramble aircraft they were "overruled at the highest level."
An investigation into the incident was carried out after several members of the public reported seeing a rotating UFO in the sky over the Skegness coast. The documents question the handling of the enquiry and asks why video taken by police had "disappeared into the bowels" of your MOD's main building.
Weird Yellow Balls Of Fluff Wash Up On French Beach
In the summer scientists were left scratching their heads after hundreds of yellow blobs washed up on a beach in northern France in the past week. The fluffy balls are described as being yellow clumps of an unknown substance and has been likened to earwax.
Although samples were taken away to be tested, there was no definitive answer to what these fluffy balls were. The best theory is that it's paraffin wax, which is used as insulation, and in the production of cosmetics and candles.
Magical Pink Rainbow Spotted In South West Of England
In August, residents of Bristol and surrounding areas were treated to a very rare phenomenon in the skies above their homes. One mid-summer's evening there was a beautiful pinkish-orange sunset and across the sky was an arching pink rainbow.
This magical display of light was seen across the whole area and Twitter and Instagram was flooded with photos of the optical illusion. It's not unusual to see a pinkish sky at sunset, in fact the sky can turn countless different shades of oranges and reds due to the way sunlight is refracted through the atmosphere.
On this occasion, the phenomenon was combined with a normal rainbow, but as all the light shining through water droplets in the air was reddish, instead of breaking up into the full spectrum the rainbow was just formed of hues of reds, pinks and oranges. Find out more about the science behind the phenomenon here.
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Mysterious Black Alien Rings On The Rise
In 2017 there seems to have been a rise in the number of reports from the public of creepy rings of black smoke in the sky. These unexplained floating rings have been caught in photographs and videos all around the world, including here in the UK.
The eerie black alien rings have been spotted all over the world in recent years. Photos of the unexplained phenomenon have been shared on social media from locations such as Missouri USA, the Russian city of Novosibirsk, and even Disneyland in California.
Of course the strange floating shapes have caught the attention of UFO hunters who believe the sky formations might be proof of extraterrestrial visitations, UFO exhaust vapour, or portals to other dimensions.
However, UFO expert Nick Pope told the Daily Mail, "one other possibility is that the shape is made up of millions of bees or other insects, but I've never heard of insects behaving in this way before, so if this is the explanation, it's a real-life X-File."
Earth Avoided Destruction From A Collision With A Rogue Planet
Every few years some crazy person comes forward with claims of an impending doomsday and it seems that this weekend, another potential end of the world is upon us. This year, it was predicted that the pending armageddon was due to wipe out life on Earth on Saturday 23rd September 2017.
The threat was supposed to come from a "hidden planet" which NASA, scientists, and every amateur astronomer on the planet has failed to spot. The theory known as the "Nibiru cataclysm", is nothing new, the same biblical doomsday scenario was last expected by believers in 2012.
"I consider this an experiment. If we're still here on 24th, we can conclude that all doomsday prophesy is bollocks."
Professor Brian Cox
Half-Man Half-Cat Creature Spotted In Malaysia
Early in October a creepy creature which looked like a very ugly cat with a human face was spotted in Pahang, Malaysia, it was said to have sent locals in a frenzy.
The original post online claimed that the cat-like creature had been captured and examined at a nearby lab. However, the local police have come forward and cleared things up, labelling the rumours as "untrue". According to the state's chief of police, there were no sightings of the beast at all, nothing had been captured, and the whole story started online.
With a little fact checking, it would have been easy to stop this monster story in its tracks. A quick reverse image search of the photo posted takes you to an Etsy page where you'll see that the beast is nothing more than a silicone baby werewolf toy.
Drunk Time Traveller Arrested In Wyoming
In the month when a senior astronomer at the SETI Institute told us that we are just "decades away from confirming the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life," a man was arrested in the US state of in Wyoming after reports of drunk and disorderly behaviour. But when the man was questioned by police, he claimed to have an out-of-this-world alibi for his inebriated state.
The drunk told police that he had been sent back from the year 2048 by a group of aliens to warn us about an impending alien invasion. He claimed the ETs filled his body with alcohol as part of the time travel process. By the sounds of it, the aliens may have had a few sips themselves as the "time traveller" claimed he wasn't supposed to have be sent back to this year and was expecting to appear in 2018, the year of the invasion.
According to police, the man was desperate to warn resident of Casper, Wyoming to evacuate the town before the alien invasion fleet arrive next year, he also asked to speak to the town's president in order to get this important message to him.
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Mystery Of "Alien Megastructure" Orbiting A Star Solved
Since 2015, Tabby's star has had scientists stumped after they observed a series of changes in the brightness levels of the star which were inconsistent with the dips you'd expect to see from orbiting planets passing in front of the star.
It lead some to believe that the anomaly could be a huge alien megastructure known as a Dyson Swarm, an orbiting array constructed to gather energy from the star.
The mystery might have finally been solved, in October NASA announced that the most likely explanation for this distant star's behaviour is that an "uneven ring of dust" orbits the star.
Orange Skies & A Blood-Red Sun In British Skies
Towards the end of October, people across Britain woke up to an unusual ghostly deep red sun, and many reported an orange sky which lingered all day. The eerie phenomenon was the result of Hurricane Ophelia.
The storm had picked up dust as it swept across the Sahara Desert, giving the sun the strange reddish glow. Some parts of the country were forced to turn on street lights in the middle of the day due to the sun being partially blocked out by the dust.
The result was strange orange skies, which many described as looking like the skies of Mars, or like an apocalypse was coming.
A Time Traveller From 2021 Made Predictions About The Future
A video was posted online which supposedly show the video testimonial of a time traveller calling himself Noah, who says he's from the year 2021.
In the video, which was uploaded to the YouTube channel Paranormal Elite, Noah says he has travelled back to November 13th, 2017. Speaking with his face blurred to hide his identity, he says, "I am not attempting to deceive anyone, my sole objective is to prove to you that time travel exists and that I, myself, am a time traveller."
He then goes on to try to convince us that he is genuine with some facts which he says will come true over the next few years. He predicts that electric cars and self-driving cars will be dramatically improved, by 2021, that virtual reality and artificial intelligence will be a much bigger deal, and most worryingly, that Donald Trump will be re-elected in 2020.
We Found Out 'Stranger Things' Is Based On A Real Story
In November the Netflix series, 'Stranger Things' took over the world and we found out the strange fact that the series is based on a real life secret US government project, codenamed "Montauk". Conspiracy theorists believe scientists working on the project conducted mind control experiments, similar to those Eleven is put through in the show.
The secret government project was conducted between 1971-1983, deep beneath the surface in Montauk, New York. It has striking similarities to Hawkins National Laboratory from the web series. In the show, the lab operates under the guise of the Department Of Energy and conducts experiments on children with psychic abilities.
The real life version of the lab was at Camp Hero State Park and was formerly known by the name Montauk Air Force Station. Now derelict, its located on the eastern end of the South Shore of Long Island.
Just like in 'Stranger Things', it's said that children played an important role in Montauk's experiments. They were often mistreated, pumped full of hallucinogenic drugs, and their personalities were removed, making them a blank canvas ready to accept mental programming.
Flying Reindeers Spotted By Children Around The World
The strangest thing that happened in December is a weird event which occurs annually and has been happening for hundreds of years. On the night of Christmas Eve, Santa Claus visits millions of homes around the world on his sleigh which is pulled by flying reindeers.
It's said that Rudolf and the other reindeers' magical ability is rooted in a shamanic tradition which involved gathering magic mushrooms, these commonly grew in the parts of the world where reindeer were naturally found.
Some say that these red and white mushroom lent their colour to Santa's outfit, and the fact that these trippy treats were found underneath trees could be the origins of Christmas presents. It's also said that if you eat too many of them, reindeers might fly. Supporters of the theory also claim that these red bulbous mushrooms are the reason Rudolf is depicted as having a red nose.
However, most historians dispute these claims and attribute flying reindeers to the classic festive story 'The Night Before Christmas'. You can read about more Christmas myths here.
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