A dangerous wild creature commonly regarded to be the deadliest bird in the world was in fact one of the first to be raised by humans 18,000 years ago, new evidence shows.
In a new report, Kristina Douglass, an assistant professor at Penn State University in the United States, said that tell-tale signs in fossils from the cassowary bird suggest that humans had collected them at birth and then raised them to hatch.
This was possibly to harvest them for their meat or feathers.
The researcher said in a statement: “This behaviour that we are seeing is coming thousands of years before domestication of the chicken”
“And this is not some small fowl, it is a huge… flightless bird that can eviscerate you”
Taking newly hatched eggs from the cassowary, native to Australia and Papa New Guinea, would not have been easy —its thick, sharp dagger-like toe makes it a powerful bird capable of killing much larger animals, including humans.
In 2019, an owner of exotic pets in Florida was killed by his cassowary after he fell over in his back garden.
The curious creature also likes to change where they nest every year.
But the way the cassowary often seems to become attached to the first thing it sees when it hatches as a chick, a phenomenon called ‘imprinting’ by biologists, would mean that once early humans had the young birds it could have been quite easy to raise them to full adulthood.
Talking to CNN, Ms Douglass offered that they probably caught the cassowaries at a time when they were particularly vulnerable, saying: “People may have hunted the male and then collected the eggs. Because males don’t leave the nest unattended they also don’t feed much during the incubation period, making them more vulnerable to predators.”
Abductions by strange unearthly beings have been reported throughout history. But it was the 1961 experience of Barney and Betty Hill that first connected the experience with invaders from another world.
The couple had been driving along a country road in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.
They seemed to have the road to themselves, they said, except for a strange light that appeared to be following them down the winding road.
At first, they didn’t know what had happened to them – they reported a chunk of “missing time”. Their clothes were inexplicably dirty and torn and both of their watches had stopped working.
Later, memories recovered by hypnosis revealed a strange tale of being taken up into a disc-shaped craft as wide, Betty said, “as her house was long” where aliens examined them before erasing their memories.
Sceptics have have identified numerous flaws in the Hills’ stories, and noted that their story shares some telling details with the 1953 film Invaders from Mars and an episode of the Outer limits broadcast after the abduction, but before the hypnotic regression that uncovered many of its most sensational details.
But under hypnosis, Betty and Barney told remarkably similar stories, suggesting that something strange happened – whether an abduction or something else – to them on that fateful September night 60 years ago this year.
The visitors, recalled Betty, were baffled by her husband’s dentures and didn’t appear to be familiar with the idea.
Since then thousands have claimed that while sleeping – or sometimes while driving in a remote area – they have been taken up into spacecraft and experimented on. Some say they have been given important messages about the future of mankind.
Barney’s description of the aliens; short and grey-skinned with large eyes, has over time become the most popular conception of extraterrestrial visitors – although other abductees have reported “robot-like beings” or “hairy dwarves” and in one memorable case beautiful humanoid women with “cherry-red pubic hair”.
Betty claimed to have been shown a star map revealing that the visitors had come from a distant binary star system known as Zeta Reticuli.
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As yet no planets have been definitively observed orbiting the two Sun-like stars in the Zeta Reticuli system, although a disc of material, possibly an asteroid belt, appears to have formed around one of them.
It was only in March 1963, nearly two years after the incident, that the Hills first publicly discussed their encounter with travellers from that twin star system just over 39 light-years from Earth .
Boston-based hypnotist Benjamin Simon first interviewed the couple in early 1964.
Under hypnosis, Barney recalled the aliens communicating with him by some form of telepathy.
“Oh, those eyes. They’re there in my brain,” he said.
He later told Simon: “I was told to close my eyes because I saw two eyes coming close to mine, and I felt like the eyes had pushed into my eyes.
“All I see are these eyes…. I’m not even afraid that they’re not connected to a body. They’re just there. They’re just up close to me, pressing against my eyes.”
He described having a “cup” placed over his genitals and a sperm sample being taken. He also recalled an anal probe and said the aliens scraped his skin in a procedure that might now be described as a DNA sample.
The aliens inserted a long needle into Betty’s navel, telling her it was a pregnancy test.
The couple’s experiences set the tone for thousands of similar reports.
In 1975, US TV network NBC broadcast a TV movie based on Betty and Barneys experience called The UFO Incident. In the following two years reports of alien abductions soared by some 2,500%.
The Hills avoided publicity, for the most part, after their experience became public knowledge.
Barney Hill died of a cerebral haemorrhage on February 25, 1969, aged just 46. Betty Hill lived on until the ripe old age of 85, becoming quite a celebrity among the UFO community.
Explanations for the phenomenon range from flashbacks to childhood tonsil surgery to lucid dreaming.
Michael Raduga, a researcher with the Phase Research Centre in Moscow, says “abductions are real”>
He believes that the people that experience them, “they just don’t know how to explain it.”
“The shape of it was like an angel and it was bright white.
“As soon as I got home I checked what it could have been and realised it was the NASA Landsat-9 satellite which had launched in California.
“It was a pretty great feeling to see it from the other side of the world.”
Elsewhere in the UK, stargazers have claimed a massive cone-shaped ” UFO ” was spotted hovering in the sky above a Brit city.
Residents in Hull and East Yorkshire claimed to have witnessed the same aerial phenomenon on Monday night (September 27), which happened to be the launch night of Atlas V rocket at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.
The Atlas V rocket carried NASA’s most powerful Earth-imaging satellite, Landsat 9, to a sun-synchronous orbit to allow scientists to accurately compare two images at different times and track changes over time.
From what the stunned locals recorded, the footage shows a clear bright object with a conical shape.
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The UFO hangs above the sky for a short while and begins to move in a linear projectile.
Baffled locals told Hull Live : “It was a huge white triangle in the sky no noise at all, no planes showing up on the flight tracker.
A curious Golden Retriever has been branded a nosey neighbour after taking advantage of a fence peep hole to keep an eye on proceedings.
The beautiful dog, called Phoenix, or PhiPhi for short, has gone viral after footage captured the dog snooping on the Samoyed next door.
The busybody pooch can’t stop staring through a tiny hole in the wooden fence to check what the other dog, called Bentley, is up to.
In a video posted to the TikTok account @phiphi_goldenretriever, PhiPhi, from Melbourne, Australia, smiles at her owner before returning to look through her fence hole, with the overlaying caption that reads: “I love spying on my bestie next door.”
“When I first saw this on my cell phone when it popped up, I thought it was an immediate fake – almost like someone had just placed a still image of the moon in a video editor, made it to slowly move from right to left across the screen and added in these flashing lights,” he said.
“Because I was, like, ‘Where’s the movement? Where is the atmosphere distortion that you always get when recording the moon from a telescope?’
“But then when I played it on full screen there is indeed what appears to be some atmospheric wobble there, so that definitely piqued my interest.”
Tyler added: “This is very clear and crisp footage of the moon. I’m not totally sold. What would sell [it to] me is if we had some corroborating footage of the exact same thing. There’s got to be another moon-watcher out there who caught this.
“If this is indeed authentic, just Wow! If it’s not, it’s just another one we can rule out, but we know there have been thousands of legitimate sightings and captures of strange things happening on the moon and above it.”
Comments made underneath Ruben’s original video included: “Looks like a whole damn civilisation.” Another said: “There’s ships or structures in those craters by the looks of it”.
But another commentator – perhaps more realistically – said: “You know, those lights are awfully close to the Apollo 11 landing position. It’s possible that it’s just some debris reflecting light from the sun.”
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