Thursday, June 21, 2012

GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: Imminent Worldwide Financial Collapse - Dow Jones Plunge 251 Points, the Second- Biggest Drop This Year as Moody’s Downgrade of 15 Global Banks is Expected and Spain May Need 62 Billion Euro to Rescue Banks!

Investors yanked money out of stocks Thursday after new reports from the U.S. and China pointed to a sharp slowdown in manufacturing.  The Dow Jones industrial plunged 251 points, the second-biggest drop this year. 

Losses in energy and materials companies led a widespread rout on the stock market. The Dow started sinking after 10 a.m., when the Philadelphia branch of the Federal Reserve reported a sharp contraction in manufacturing in the Northeast. The losses accelerated throughout the day.  "The news has been horrible out there," said Uri Landesman, president of Platinum Partners. "The U.S. economy is slowing down. And China's growth is definitely under question."  The bad news kept piling up as the day went on. Mining and other companies that made basic materials fell hard after prices for commodities such as copper and oil dropped. Goldman Sachs analysts advised their clients to bet that stocks would fall, and speculation swirled that Moody's would cut the credit ratings of 17 banks.  The Dow lost 250.82 points to close at 12,573.57, a drop of 2 percent. Alcoa lost 37 cents to $8.55. A new report that manufacturing slowed in China was troubling since that country's economy has helped drive global economic growth over the past four years. China is a major importer of copper and other basic materials.  The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 30.18 points to 1,325.51, a decline of 2.2 percent. The Nasdaq composite fell 71.36 points, 2.4 percent, to 2,859.09. All three indexes lost their gains for the week. - Canadian Business.
Meanwhile, credit ratings agency Moody’s could downgrade the debt ratings of as many as 15 global investment banks after the closing bell today, a move that would cost the banks billions of dollars in extra collateral.
In February, Moody’s announced it would review the ratings of 17 global investment banks and has already downgraded Macquarie and Nomura. In the U.S., the companies that are most likely to be affected by today’s action: Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley. Royal Bank of Canada and nine European banks, including Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas and Credit Suisse  are also on the list. The current credit actions are part of a comprehensive review of the overall global banking system by Moody’s. In the middle of last month Moody’s downgraded Italian, Spanish, German and Austrian bank credit ratings. The U.S. banks with global capital markets capabilities have had an open dialogue with the ratings company, in an effort to soften the severity of the downgrades. This afternoon’s anticipated announcement could affect the long-term debt ratings of the bank-holding companies of five of the biggest U.S. banks — only Wells Fargo is not on the list. Moody’s is also looking at the short-term debt of the five bank-holding companies and the main bank operating subsidiaries of all except JPMorgan. The company that has the most to lose: Morgan Stanley. Moody’s is contemplating cutting Morgan Stanley’s senior long term debt rating three notches to Baa2, or just two notches above “junk”. That could put its credit rating on a level with Bank of America’s and Citigroup’s — if its debt is downgraded as expected. - CNBC.
Spain's banks would need 51-62 billion euros ($64-78 billion) in extra capital to weather a serious downturn in the economy, less than a 100-billion-euro aid package offered by the euro zone, independent audits showed on Thursday. 
The Spanish government will use the reports by consultancies Roland Berger and Oliver Wyman to determine how much aid it will take to recapitalize its ailing lenders.  Spain said it will make a formal request in the next few days but details on how much each bank will need won't be known until September, leaving analysts with mixed feelings about the capacity of the audit to restore confidence in a sector shut out of international markets.  Doubts about the economy and the banks have moved Spain to the center of a long-running euro zone debt crisis, forcing the Treasury to pay its highest yield since 1997 to sell less than a billion euros of 5-year debt on Thursday. - Reuters.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report - New Activities and Unrest From June 13th - 19th; For Fuego, Galeras, Manam, Nevado del Ruiz and Sirung!

The following constitutes the new activity and unrest report from the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, a cooperative project between the Smithsonian's Global Volcanism Program and the US Geological Survey's Volcano Hazards Program.



FUEGO Guatemala 14.473°N, 90.880°W; summit elev. 3763 m
INSIVUMEH reported that during 14-15 and 17-18 June explosions from Fuego produced ash plumes that rose 300-800 m above the crater and drifted WSW, E, and NE. Explosions generated rumbling sounds and shock waves detected in areas as far as 6 km away. Tephra avalanches descended the SW flank, into the Ceniza drainage, and lava flowed 200 m SW, into the Taniluya drainage. Pulses of incandescence rose 50-75 m above the crater. During 18-19 June lava flows advanced 50 m and block avalanches reached vegetated areas. Map

GALERAS Colombia 1.22°N, 77.37°W; summit elev. 4276 m
INGEOMINAS reported that during 5-19 June seismicity at Galeras had increased in both magnitude and frequency since the previous week-long period, and indicated continuing ash and gas emissions. On 5, 6, and 12-19 June cameras recorded gas-and-ash emissions; an ash plume rose 1.4 and 2.4 km above the crater on 14 and 17 June, respectively. Ashfall was reported in Sandona (13 km NW), Samaniego (32 km NW), Mapachico (8 km NW), and Genoy (5 km NE). Sulfur dioxide emissions were moderate to high. The Alert Level remained at III (Yellow; "changes in the behavior of volcanic activity"). Map

MANAM Northeast of New Guinea (SW Pacific) 4.080°S, 145.037°E; summit elev. 1807 m
RVO reported low-to-moderate activity from Manam's Southern Crater during 1-15 June. Emissions consisted of gray and sometimes black ash clouds that rose from the crater on most days. Plumes drifted SE on 2 June and NW during 6-15 June. Ash fell in areas downwind between Yassa (WSW) and Baliau (NNW), and Warisi (ESE). Incandescent material was ejected from the crater, and roaring and rumbling noises were noted. Pyroclastic flows on 16 June (at 0700, 0720, 0722, and 0729) channeled into the SE valley. The last pyroclastic flow was perhaps the largest as it reached the lowest elevation, 300-400 m above sea level, but was far from populated areas. Ash plumes from the pyroclastic flows drifted WSW and WNW; ash fell in Bogia (22 km SSW, on the mainland). Emissions from Main Crater were milder and mostly characterized by white and bluish plumes. Light gray plumes were noted during 2 and 8-9 June. Fluctuating incandescence was intermittently observed and ash fell in the NW part of the island. Map

NEVADO DEL RUIZ Colombia 4.895°N, 75.322°W; summit elev. 5321 m
According to INGEOMINAS, the Observatorio Vulcanológico and Sismológico de Manizales reported on 15 June that satellite image analyses and field observers of Nevado del Ruiz indicated significant sulfur dioxide emissions. Seismic signals on 15 and 18 June indicated continuing ash emissions. Based on analysis of satellite imagery and web camera views, the Washington VAAC reported that on 17 June a 5.5-km-wide gas plume, possibly containing ash, drifted more than 90 km NW. The VAAC noted on 18 June that INGEOMINAS reported a gas-and-ash plume drifting N and NW at an altitude of 6.1 km (20,000 ft) a.s.l. The plume was later detected in satellite imagery drifting more than 90 km NW. The Alert Level remained at II (Orange; "eruption likely within days or weeks") on 19 June. Map

SIRUNG Pantar Island (Indonesia) 8.508°S, 124.13°E; summit elev. 862 m
CVGHM reported that during 1-13 June diffuse white plumes from Sirung rose 30-70 m above the crater. A sulfur odor was occasionally noted at the Sirung observation post. Based on seismic activity and visual observations, on 15 June CVGHM reiterated that the Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4).Visitors and tourists were not permitted to go within a 1.5 km radius of Sirung. Map

For the complete list of ongoing volcanic activity and additional geological summary, click HERE or select the specific volcano name below for additional details:

ONGOING ACTIVITY:  Batu Tara, Komba Island (Indonesia) | Cleveland, Chuginadak Island | Dukono, Halmahera | Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) | Kilauea, Hawaii (USA) | Popocatépetl, México | Sakura-jima, Kyushu | Shiveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Tungurahua, Ecuador

MYSTERY: The Symbols of an Alien Sky, Man-Made or Natural Phenomena - The Latest UFO Sightings And Aerial Anomalies Around the World?!

Here are several of the latest unidentified flying objects (UFOs) seen recently across the globe.


Moscow, Russia - 20th of June, 2012.


Redford, Michigan, United States - 9th of June, 2012.


Bawsey Kings Lynn, England - 19th of June, 2012.


British Columbia, Canada - 6th of June, 2012.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Tracking the Kilauea Volcano - Active Lava Flow Persists and Approaches Ocean; Booming Sounds Coming From Lava Lake Within Halema 'Uma' U!

Lava flows typical of the past 2 weeks, on June 12, 2012.
Over the past week and a half, lava flows on Kīlauea's coastal plain have persisted first through a low-pressure phase and now during a high-pressure phase, with the entire active flow-front advancing noticeably to with about 1km/0.5mi of the ocean. Compare today's image capture to our previous post to see this difference!

Meanwhile the lava lake within Halema‘uma‘u remains at a high level, causing loud cracking and booming sounds sometimes audible from the Jaggar Overlook! At night, glow from this newest crater on the volcano is brighter than ever before in this eruption phase! This is due to continued high pressure on the volcano, also manifesting with an increased rate of extension visible in the summit GPS line over the past 3 weeks. All in all, a great time to visit Kīlauea!
- Volcano Discovery.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Oman Records Back-to-Back Earthquake Tremors!

Two back-to-back earthquakes were recorded closer to Oman by the Earthquake Monitoring Centre at Sultan Qaboos University in the last 24 hours but there were no reports of damage to property or loss of life.  While an earthquake measuring 4.8-magnitude was reported in the Arabian Gulf around midnight, the other was reported from southern Iran with 4.2-magnitude on Tuesday evening. 

Speaking to Times of Oman, Dr Issa Al Hussain, director, Earthquake Monitoring Centre, Sultan Qaboos University (SQU), said that they record around 150 earthquakes from all over the globe every month.  "Locally we record around four to five quakes every month but most of them are weak and its epicenter is far away from Oman,- he said. But given Oman's close vicinity to where the Arabian plates meet the Eurasian plates, how much risk does it pose to the Sultanate? Dr Hussain said places like Khasab and Musandam in northern Oman have earthquake potential as the Arabian plates meet the Eurasian plates. "But we have to remember that Oman lies in the low risk zone so there is little chance of earthquake,- he added.

Though having a little chance, tsunami did hit the Sultanate on November 27, 1945, following an earthquake situated offshore Pakistan. "That time the epicentre of the earthquake was Makran region where we recorded 8.1-magnititude,- he said. Another expert said that the southern part of Oman is also at risk from tsunamis generated offshore in Indonesia. "However, the wave height there is not likely to be very high as demonstrated following the earthquake in 2004, when the tsunami reached only 3m in Oman,- another expert said. The social media has been abuzz since last night with many concerned residents taking to Twitter and Facebook to confirm if indeed there was an earthquake that had things rattling in their wake. However, Hussain denied reports about mild tremors that residents of Oman reportedly said they had felt. "While one of them was 542km away from Muscat, the other was 671km away from Muscat so it is not possible that it affected the Oman residents,- he added. Through a network of 21 seismic stations at various locations across the Sultanate, the Earthquake Monitoring Centre is capable of registering and measuring shock-waves of all sizes. - Times of Oman.

EXTREME WEATHER: State of Emergency Declared in Siberia, Russia - Hundreds of Wildfires Engulf the Region; Greenpeace Says the Situation is Worse Than 2010!

A state of emergency has been declared in several eastern regions, where hundreds of wildfires are now raging.  ­The wildfires cover an 8,331-hectare area in total, according to the Siberian Federal District Forestry Department.

Around 1,600 people and 42 planes are now fighting the fires.  According to Greenpeace, the situation is worse now than at the same time in the summer of 2010, when Russia was devastated by forest fires.  Local authorities, however, claim there is currently no threat to local populated areas or businesses. The fires have decreased by one-third over the weekend.  There are several factors that could lead to the repetition of summer 2010, Anton Beneslavsky, from the Greenpeace Russia forest department, told RT.  

“First of all, no one was punished for the fire crisis of 2010, when even Moscow suffered. Those people are still there and are still not doing anything,” Beneslavsky said.  “Secondly, there is a new law which obliges fire brigades to get licenses to be able to put out fires. There was a case in Astrakhan Region last spring when the fires were already raging but the teams were waiting for their licenses to be approved,” he added.  The final reason, Beneslavsky said, is the 2006 forest code, which ruined the whole forest watch system.  "What we've got is a lack of personnel and a lack of system. Ordinary firefighting officers are decent people and are often ready to risk their lives. But we've seen that heroism in Tuva recently, when eight people were killed. It's an unprecedented tragedy.” - RT.
WATCH: Hundreds of wildfires rage across Russia.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Increased Geothermal Activity - Heightened Activity at the Mýrdalsjökull Glacier, 26 Minor Earthquakes Registered!

Increased seismic activity was detected in Mýrdalsjökull glacier in south Iceland, under which the volcano Katla lies, last night.

Mýrdalsjökull Glacier. Image: © Páll Stefánsson.
Twenty-six minor earthquakes were picked up by sensors, all of which had their epicenter within the Katla crater.

A seismic activity expert on watch at the Icelandic Meteorological Office informed ruv.is that the earthquake swarm had started at 1 am and continued through 5 am.

However, there is no reason to be concerned about an imminent volcanic eruption or glacial outburst in Katla. The earthquakes were all shallow and originated in seismic activity in the geothermal system
. - Iceland Review.
Click HERE to read about another recent earthquake swarm in Katla.

WEATHER ANOMALIES: "Freak Phenomenon" - Giant Tsunami-Like Waves Flood Shore Temple in Mamallapuram in India!

Giant waves, more than 12 feet high, hit the northern side of the famous shore temple at Mamallapuram, 60 km from Chennai, on Tuesday evening, leaving the heritage monument three feet deep in water. Sea water gushed inland for about 75 metres, leaving behind a pool of water. 

File Photo.
The temple town was virtually empty with more than 3,000 shops downing shutters to protest an Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) proposal to take over an ancient Perumal temple in the town. While there were no casualties, the waves triggered memories of the 2004 tsunami when the temple town was badly hit. "Tuesday's waves were a reminder of the tsunami. We were scared when we saw the tall waves. Fortunately, all shops were closed," said V Balan, a member of the Mamallapuram Traders' Association.  The high waves, ASI sources said, started on Monday evening and continued all through Tuesday before resulting in a deluge in the evening.

As a result the ASI is contemplating banning entry of visitors on Wednesday to the shore temple. However, oceanographic experts have been quick to reassure that the big wave is not the result of a tsunami.  "This is just a local phenomenon and possibly a freak phenomenon caused by low pressure," said Dr M A Aatmanand, director of National Institute of Ocean Technology.  S Ramachandran, former vice-chancellor the University of Madras and an oceanographic expert, said such a phenomenon is common during the monsoon. - Times of India.

EXTREME WEATHER: Record-Breaking Temperatures - Severe Heat Wave Expected to Fry U.S. Mid-Atlantic States!

A heat wave is expected to form over the mid-Atlantic region this week as forecasters warn heat indices could reach the triple digits.  Eight states are under heat advisories beginning Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service. Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, southeast Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey are expecting the heat index to reach from 100 to 105 degrees on Wednesday and Thursday, said National Weather Service meteorologist Rick Watling.

Heat indices combine humidity and temperature to estimate how hot the weather feels to the body. New York, Vermont and Massachusetts might also see near record-breaking temperatures in the triple digits. According to the National Weather Service, the current record high temperature for June in Manhattan's Central Park is 101 degrees, which was reached on June 27, 1966, and June 29, 1934. The National Weather Service expects the heat wave to begin Wednesday and continue into Friday morning. A cold front expected late Friday, however, will leave the mid-Atlantic region with cooler weather into the weekend, Watling said.  "Heat, of course, is a cumulative effect," Watling said. "One hot day people can tolerate, but a couple, that's when you start seeing people getting sick because they can't cool off, they can't get a break." 

The National Weather Service advises residents to take extra precautions in the excessive heat. They're urged to drink plenty of water, reschedule strenuous activities, stay in air-conditioned rooms, stay out of the sun and check in on relatives and neighbors.  Cities across the mid-Atlantic have prepared for the anticipated heat wave by designating cooling centers and advising residents on how to remain safe.  Residents in Boston can cool off in parks with water spray features or in air-conditioned community centers across the city. In New York, there will be 450 designated cooling centers open across the five boroughs for residents looking to cool off, said Office of Emergency Management spokeswoman Judith Kane.  New York residents are also advised to call 311 or to go to their city's website online to find cooling centers and get information on how to mitigate the heat. - CNN.
WATCH: Severe heat wave across the Mid-Atlantic states.


MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Apocalyptic Scenes in Duluth, Minnesota - State of Emergency Remains in Effect; Torrential Rains Results in Massive Floods and Road Collapse; Sinkholes Swallow Cars!

The damage is breathtaking. "The roads are just a disaster around here," Greg Vogt, with Expert Tire in Duluth said.  In and around Duluth, roads collapsed and sinkholes swallowed cars. On East Skyline Drive a car sits 10 feet below the surface of the road, in a massive sinkhole.  Deep water left some vehicles totaled, like a Volvo behind Expert Tire, and a Chevy Tahoe near the interstate. 

 A car fell into a huge sinkhole in Duluth, Minn. on Wednesday, June 20, 2012. 
© The Associated Press/The Duluth News-Tribune/Bob King
"Water was all the way up to the retaining wall," Matt Kebhart said, talking about a three-foot wall in front of the interstate.  Kebhart works at an auto body shop on London Road. Behind it, a dumpster sat in a deep pool of standing water. "That dumpster, I don't even know where it came from," he said.  On St. Marie Street, Eyewitness News got footage of the flooding from a kayak and found a car almost completely submerged. Also underwater, the front steps of homes.  All the water came from torrential rains. Early Wednesday morning, the prompted normally calm, tame rivers to erupt.  Duluth streets turned into rivers themselves. The water brought chunks of roadway with it.  "Water was blowing up through the roads--completely washed out--boulders were rolling down the road," Vogt said.  Across from where he works on the East Hillside, an abandoned car sits with its front end in a sinkhole, and the back up in the air. The roadway above it is shredded from the water--an example of the condition of roads all across the city.  On Piedmont Ave, heavy rains cased a mud slide. It blocked the entire road, but no one was hurt. Joe Perfetti, of Duluth, was trying to get home.  "I can't believe this devastation. It's unbelievable," he said. "I've seen them in California but I've never seen them here."  Of the dozens Eyewitness Spoke to Wednesday, the storm damage is like nothing they've ever seen.  "Thinking about what the whole city structure looks like now, this is definitely a case for FEMA to walk in on. We're in bad shape," Vogt said. - WDIO.
Major flooding struck in and around Duluth on Wednesday after up to 10 inches of rain fell overnight across northeastern Minnesota, leaving neighborhoods isolated, zoo animals drowned and state parks closed.  Steady, torrential rain kept up into Wednesday morning, June 20, closing Interstate 35 and a tunnel into downtown Duluth. Police said sinkholes and washouts made travel dangerous.  Residents of the far west Duluth neighborhood of Fond du Lac, near the rising St. Louis River, were asked to leave their homes. Seventy people arrived at shelters opened by the Red Cross, officials said.  State emergency management officials set up an operations center in response to the flooding across Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Lake and St. Louis counties, including the Duluth area.  Gov. Mark Dayton declared a state of emergency and directed the Minnesota National Guard to help the region cope with the disaster.  Dayton planned to travel to Duluth on Thursday morning.  There were no immediate reports of deaths or serious injuries, though an 8-year-old boy was swept about six blocks through a culvert near Duluth. The boy suffered scrapes and bruises but was fine, St. Louis County Undersheriff Dave Phillips said, calling it a "miracle out of this whole disaster."  Minnesota Department of Public Safety officials cited Duluth police reports that half of the Fond du Lac neighborhood was under evacuation and the town of Thomson was partially evacuated.

20 miles south of Duluth were evacuating residents because of road damage and rising water. Carlton County Sheriff Kelly Lake said up to 170 people had been evacuated. Lake said the evacuations were not mandatory.  The Red Cross opened two evacuation sites in the area: First United Methodist Church in Duluth and the Carlton High School, though that site was later relocated to outside of Cloquet.  Duluth city offices, shut down early Wednesday, were scheduled to reopen by Thursday morning.  Employees and the public can monitor bereadymn.com for updates.  Firefighters and police officers helped the Lake Superior Zoo staff track down animals lost when their enclosures flooded.  At the zoo, which is bisected by the Kingsbury Creek, flooding killed about a dozen animals in a barnyard exhibit and allowed the escape of two harbor seals and a polar bear.  The seals made it outside the zoo before they were recovered. The bear never left the zoo grounds and was tranquilized on site.  A spokeswoman for the zoo, which remained closed, said the flooding was unprecedented.  "In the 90 years we've been here, we've never had an incident like this," Holly Henry said. - Pioneer Press.
WATCH: "Apocalyptic" scenes from Duluth.




EXTRATERRESTRIAL & UFO MEMES: The Baltic "UFO" Anomaly - Swedish Scientists Reveal Findings of Deep-Sea "Alien" Hunt; 60-Meter "Spaceship" at the End of a 300-Meter "Runaway"?! UPDATE: "Strange Phenomenon" - Baltic "UFO" Anomaly Emits Mysterious EMP Shield?!

A “UFO-shaped” object, found at the bottom of the Baltic Sea last year, has puzzled many. And a Swedish expedition that plunged into the deep eventually surfaced with more questions than answers.  ­Covered in soot, with little “fireplace”-like structures and lying at the end of a 300-meter “runway” – this is not something you would expect to find sitting on the sea floor. And whatever you think about extraterrestrial life, “the thing” is still there and there has to be an explanation. So what could it be? 

 Baltic "UFO" anomaly resembles the Millennium Falcon ship from the Star Wars movie.
Image from vaghauk.deviantart.com.
On June 19, 2011, a team of Swedish treasure hunters was exploring the bottom of the Baltic Sea with their sonars when they noticed a bizarre, disc-like structure at a depth of 90 meters. Back then, international experts failed to explain the sonar images. In 2012, after months of preparation, the Ocean X Team, as they call themselves, went back in order to unveil the mystery.  “We've heard lots of different kinds of explanations, from George Lucas's spaceship – the Millennium Falcon – to ‘It's some kind of plug to the inner world,’ like it should be hell down there or something,” The Daily Mail quoted one of the founders of the Ocean X Team, Peter Lindberg, as saying. The massive object rises three to four meters above the seabed and is about 60 meters in diameter. Members of the expedition describe it as something round, with rugged edges and concave sides – resembling a “huge mushroom” or, if you will, the Millennium Falcon spaceship from Star Wars. 
The diving team noted a 300-meter “runway” leading up to the object, implying that it skidded
along the path before stopping.
The central part of the object has an “egg-shaped hole” leading inside. Surrounding the hole, they found odd-looking circular rock formations which looked almost “like small fireplaces” with stones covered in “something resembling soot.”  “Since no volcanic activity has ever been reported in the Baltic Sea, the find becomes even stranger,” said Lindberg in a press release at OceanExplorer.se. “As laymen, we can only speculate how this [could be] made by nature, but this is the strangest thing I have ever experienced as a professional diver.”  Another observation that the crew made in person was the 300-meter-long “trail” that they described as a “runway or a downhill path that is flattened at the seabed with the object at the end of it.” The diving team noted a 300-meter “runway” leading up to the object, implying that it skidded along the path before stopping.  The group says that they passed samples from the object to scientists for further examination. Other experts are studying the sonar images and processing the rest of the data from the ship. It is worth mentioning though, that sonar-based imagery has been known to become a source of confusion, when natural rock formations have been taken for foreign objects.  Being the scene of numerous battles in the past and remaining a busy maritime route, the Baltic Sea is a renowned treasure trove for shipwreck hunters. An estimated 100,000 objects are thought to rest on its floor. - RT.
WATCH: Swedish scientists reveal findings of deep-sea "alien" hunt.


UPDATE: "Strange Phenomenon" - Baltic "UFO" anomaly emits mysterious EMP shield.
Ocean X team returns from their first expedition investigating the mysterious object they discovered in the Baltic Sea.  The expedition was supposed to provide answers, but instead yielded yet more questions.  "We looked at our dive computer, the deep sea diver computer, and it said minus one degree that's pretty cold for a diver it should really be impossible to have that cold water it actually turns into ice at zero degrees but that could be explained by the movement of the water."  Also, some strange phenomenon occurred...  A main objective of the dive was to film the object, and yet the camera stopped working when they approached the object.  "Why isn't anything working, anything electric out there and the satellite phone as well stopped working when we were above the object and then we got away about 200 meters and it turned on again and when we got back over the object it didn't work so that's kind of strange as well."  Mr Hogerborn says he has never experienced anything like this during his 20 years as a professional diver.  Dennis Åsberg of the Ocean X team is one hundred percent sure after the first expedition that they have found something quite unusual. - NTDTV.
WATCH: Ocean X team reveals strange and unusual signal from the Baltic "UFO" anomaly.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Land Subsidence Continues in Florida - Massive Sinkhole Swallows the Back Half of Hudson Home!

Susan Minutillo, 79, climbed out of her dark gray Mercury and saw the emergency trucks outside her house in Beacon Woods East. She'd left about half an hour before to run an errand for a friend, leaving a crew to do a survey of her home, checking for sinkholes.

A sinkhole swallows the back half of Susan Minutillo’s home.
© Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times.
The survey was routine. Just like her day was supposed to be.  "I never thought this would happen to me," she said Wednesday afternoon, sitting at the kitchen table in her neighbor's home, voice thick with unshed tears. "I don't know where I'll go now."  At about 3 p.m., a sinkhole under the back half of her home began to collapse. Forty-five minutes later, half the house was gone, and county officials plastered a dark orange sign with black block letters spelling "condemned" on the garage door.  Emergency vehicles from the Sheriff's Office, Pasco County Ground Inspections, the Fire Department and others circled the property, surrounding the house with yellow tape and shutting off the electricity and water still pumping into the broken home.  Minutillo fled to her neighbor's home. It's probable she'll never be able to walk inside her own house at 14003 Shoal Drive.  Men from the Fire Department ventured inside her house - too dangerous for anyone else to enter - and brought out her cellphone charger and prescription medications. 

She sat at the table in a corner of the kitchen while fire officials told her neighbors, Howard and Shirley Taylor, that their home was unsafe as well. They had until 4:30 p.m. to evacuate. They rushed around their home, collecting medications and private documents, while Minutillo sat at the table, making phone calls.  Jim Johnston, operations coordinator for Pasco County emergency management, said more than 50 percent of Minutillo's home had been destroyed by 4 p.m. Wednesday. He said the next step is to determine what else in the area could be affected by the sinkhole, at which point they will be able to determine whether anyone else needs to be evacuated.  Minutillo said her insurance company promised to cover the damage. Annette Doying, director of Pasco County emergency management, said a geotechnical engineering company surveyed the damage at the behest of the property insurance company. Due to the afternoon rain, however, the company could not use ground-penetrating radar to assess the sinkhole properly, so it could take several days to determine the damage.  Doying said a number of other homes in the neighborhood have had prior sinkhole activity that has been stabilized.  Minutillo called her sister in Port Richey, where she hopes to stay for the time being. She said she supposes she will have to rent an apartment, once she finds one. It's hard to say how long that could take, but she doesn't want to be a burden. - Tampa Bay Times.
WATCH: Another massive sinkhole in Florida.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: "Carp Pox" - Hundreds, Possibly Thousands of Dead Carp Found Washed up on the North Shores of the Sutherland Reservoir, Nebraska?!

Hundreds, possibly thousands, of dead carp were washing up on the north shores of Sutherland Reservoir, a caller said. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission said they were aware of the problem and biologists were in the process of collecting dead fish for analysis.

 Dying carp drift in the shallows Monday at Sutherland Reservior.  Photo by Rick Windham.
Their initial thoughts were that it was not an environmental factor like heat, lack of dissolved oxygen or a chemical spill that caused the problem. When I got to the reservoir, I noticed that the die-off was very species specific. The vast majority of the fish I saw dead were carp. This intrigued me because carp can usually survive the worst water conditions. The fact that I saw only a few other species, really no more than I would expect, to see on any given day around the reservoir, makes me think the die-off is due to some sort of disease that affects carp.

Another common name is 'carp pox'. The virus causes the gills of the fish to be unable to extract oxygen from the water. The fish basically suffocates. It will be a few days before the official findings will be back and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission can make a definitive statement of the cause of this fish kill.
- North Platte Bulletin.

FIRE IN THE SKY: Major Solar System Disturbance - Fiery Meteor Across Colorado Wows Witnesses and Grounded Planes and Fire Tankers!

A possible meteor grounded planes fighting the Springer fire near Lake George in the Pike National Forest this afternoon, according to spokespeople for the fire-fighting team.  A Pueblo air-dispatch center began receiving reports of "balls of fire or something in the air" this afternoon, and officials grounded flights to make sure no aircraft were hit , fire team spokesman Ron Roth said. 
File Photo.
Planes were allowed to resume flights about 90 minutes later.  "We don't have to determine what it is, just that it's safe to fly at this point," he said.  The North American Aerospace Defense Command based at Peterson Air Force Base in El Paso County doesn't think whatever fell was man-made.  "We have no indication anything manmade entered that area." said NORAD spokesman John Cornelia, adding, "We have no information as to what this might have been."  The incident near the fire was first reported near Badger Mountain, a 11,294-foot peak in Park County along U.S. 24, about 40 miles west of Colorado Springs.  Ron Davis, who lives part-time in Lake City, said by e-mail that he was hiking on Redcloud Peak in Hinsdale County when he saw what he thought was silvery "space junk" burning across the eastern sky, traveling from north to south with a white tail. He had just turned off his iPhone and few minutes before and couldn't snap a picture or video, he said. 

"It was an amazing sight," he said of the spectacle that last two to three seconds before it disappeared close to Earth.  Chris Peterson, a research associate at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, said today was not a "shower" but a single meteor.  "It was unusual because meteors are seldom bright enough to be noticed during the day, although they occur as often in the day as at night," he said in an e-mail.  The museum operates meteor cameras across the state, but they are turned off during the day.  "All the information we currently have is from witness reports," he said. He said he had received more than a dozen reports, from as far northeast as Limon.  If any meteorites were produced, they would have fallen in northeast Colorado, Peterson said.  While a meteor in a wildfire zone is unusual, meteors visible from the high plain over Colorado are common, though they are usually best viewed at night.  Because of the fire, officials have not investigated where the meteors landed.  Almost 400 firefighters are battling the Springer fire, currently at, 1,145 acres and 23 percent contained. The fire started Sunday. The cause is under investigation.  According to the most recent update on the fire from the U.S. Forest Service, the fire is being fought by five helicopters, with two heavy air tankers and three single-engine air tankers "available as needed."  - The Denver Post.
WATCH: Television news report on the meteor.

EXTREME WEATHER: High Park Wildfire is the Most Destructive on Record For Colorado - Surpasses 100-Square-Mile Mark; Consumed 189 Homes; 55% Contained!

A deadly, stubborn wildfire that ranks as the most destructive on record for Colorado has scorched more than 100 square miles (259 square km) of rugged mountain terrain northwest of Denver, but a cool snap on Wednesday gave fire crews a chance to take the offensive.  The so-called High Park Fire already is blamed for one death and has consumed 189 homes in the 12 days since it was ignited by lightning at the edge of the Roosevelt National Forest, and authorities say they expect property losses to climb once more damage assessments are made. 

Image: © Reuters/Rick Wilking
As of Wednesday, an estimated 1,000 homes remained evacuated on the western outskirts of Fort Collins, a city of more 140,000 people that lies adjacent to the national forest about 55 miles north of Denver, according to Larimer County Sheriff's spokesman John Schulz.  The only casualty reported from the fire so far was a 62-year-old grandmother whose body was found last week in the ashes of a cabin where she lived alone. She was the fourth person to die in a Colorado wildfire this year.  The High Park blaze grew in size by several thousand acres overnight and early Wednesday, extending to almost 66,000 acres, or nearly 103 square miles (266 square km).  But with air temperatures falling and expected to remain relatively cool for the next two days, fire managers plan to go on the attack.  "Today we're going to be aggressive," incident commander Bill Hahnenberg said. So far, a contingent of several hundred firefighters had managed to carve containment lines around 55 percent of the fire's perimeter. 

The blaze was one of the biggest - and most threatening - of 16 large wildfires being fought across the country on Wednesday. Most were in seven Western states - Colorado, Wyoming, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, California and Utah, the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, reported.  Although federal authorities say the fire season has gotten off to an early start this summer in parts of the Northern Rockies, the number of fires and acreage burned nationwide is still well below the 10-year average for this time of year, according to fire agency records.  In a reminder that even relatively small fires can cause significant upheaval, a 450-acre (182-hectare) blaze burning near the town of Lake Isabella, nestled within the Sequoia National Forest in California, prompted the evacuation of about 160 homes and cabins, as well as the Hungry Gulch campground near Sequoia National Park.  But Forest Service officials say that blaze is more than 35 percent contained and no structures have been damaged.  An even smaller was reported on Tuesday to have destroyed six houses and five outbuildings near Mountain Home, Idaho, some 40 miles southeast of Boise. - Reuters.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: Hundreds of Fish Mysteriously Found Dead in Red Hill Creek, Ontario, Canada?!

Hundreds of dead fish have been found in the Red Hill Creek.  The fish – some floating and others stuck in the sludgy weeds on the bottom of the creek bed – were noticed by a nearby resident walking her dog this morning.  “There’s usually live fish all over,” said Dianne Stuart, who made the discovery near King Street East. “There’ll always be the odd dead thing – and that’s life. But nothing like that.” 

Stuart, who lives nearby on Glennie Avenue, said she walks her German Shepherd cross, Molly, in the Red Hill Valley several times a week. They were at the creek Sunday, and didn’t notice any dead fish at that time.  This afternoon, live fish were few and far between, while dead ones littered the water flowing from Queenston Road to King Street East. There were no strange substances visible in the water, and no unusual smells.  It’s still unclear what’s behind the incident.
- The Spec.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Orange Alert - Scientists Raise Aviation Alert Level for Cleveland Volcano After Small Eruption; Third Most Serious Level in Alaska!

Scientists have raised an aviation alert level around a remote Alaskan volcano after a small eruption produced an ash cloud several miles high.  Cleveland Volcano, on the Aleutian Islands southwest of mainland Alaska, erupted briefly Tuesday afternoon, creating an ash cloud at an estimated height of 23,000 feet above sea level, said Steve McNutt, a volcano seismologist at the Alaska Volcano Observatory and the University of Alaska Fairbanks. 

An ash cloud rises above Alaska's Cleveland Volcano on Tuesday. The image was taken 45 miles from the volcano.
The observatory on Tuesday raised its color-coded alert for aviators to orange, the third most serious of four levels, and warned on its website that "additional sudden explosions of blocks and ash are possible with little or no warning."  No activity was detected Wednesday, but the alert remained at orange, the observatory said.  A more serious eruption, especially one that spews ash above 30,000 feet, could affect air travel. McNutt said the vast majority of air freight between Asia and North America and between Asia and Europe flies over Alaskan airspace. Also, passenger flights take about 20,000 passengers over Alaskan airspace daily, he said.  Tuesday's cloud appeared to dissipate after about two hours, McNutt said, citing satellite images. 

The volcano makes up the western half of uninhabited Chuginadak Island, part of the Aleutian Island chain in the Bering Sea. It is about 45 miles west of Nikolski and 940 miles southwest of Anchorage.  The alert level has bounced between orange and the lower step, yellow, several times in the past year. The observatory last issued an orange alert in late March, when satellite images showed a lava dome had formed in the summit crater.  The volcano's most recent significant eruption happened in February 2001, with three explosions that led to ash clouds as high as 7.5 miles above sea level, according to the observatory. The volcano's elevation is 5,676 feet.  Last year, volcanic ash from Iceland's Grimsvotn Volcano forced the cancellation of hundreds of flights across Europe.  The Grimsvotn eruption came about 13 months after Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull Volcano put ash and smoke into the sky, forcing the cancellation of thousands of flights per day during the peak of the problem. - CNN.