Sneaky Chinese security ministry hatches scheme to infiltrate U.S. with costumed spies.
We resisted this for a few days, but in the end we caved because we had a late night, which oh so often leads to an early morning, which in turn means we have a little more time than usual before our work days begin. Therefore: an image went viral over the weekend of a sun bear in a zoo in Hangzhou, China that many online commenters seem convinced was a human in costume. The image was a frame from a video. Chinese authorities dealt with the wave of outrage far too logically, we think. They could have simply said, “What would be the fucking point of that?” Instead they noted that, as the daytime high temperature was near 100 Fahrenheit when the video was made, a human in a thick fur costume, “would not last more than a few minutes before collapsing.” Uh huh.
But what if the costume were refrigerated? What if, in fact, the fake bear was a field test by the Ministry of State Security for a new scheme in which U.S. national parks would be infiltrated by spies in refrigerated sun bear costumes, who would gather crucial intel from Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and other wilderness areas where the most important Americans are well known to congregate? Obviously, sun bears are not native to North America, but the type of fur needed to make grizzly costumes is scarce due to global supply chain issues. Anyway, the bears are merely a precursor to more advanced costumes in the form of pot-bellied pigs. Once those pig costumes are perfected, they'll be used to infiltrate Congress, and they'll fit right in. Some will probably even get committee assignments.
On the other hand, in this, the year of our impatience 2023, one could watch the posted videos to their conclusions and see that the phony sun bear is actually a real bear (named Angela). But we do have to give the online virus vectors credit. Breaking down a video to single frames is the most efficient way to fool people. It's how the cops who attacked Rodney King avoided jail (well, that and racism): “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, in motion Mr. King indeed seems to be helpless, but look! This freeze frame shows his raised arm, clearly an attempt to attack the police!” For those of you who have better things to do with your time than watch a sun bear video, below you see a few frames from seconds later in the same sequence. That's all bear is, folks.
Yeah, gimme a Carlsberg. And when you get a chance can you put out more peanuts?
The above photo, another one of those shots that could only have been made during the 1950s, shows the interior of the Santa Monica watering hole Chez Jay, which owner Jay Fiondella opened 4th of July weekend 1959 with showgirls and a rented elephant in attendance. The elephant, according to stories, dented the bartop when one of the models annoyed it. Chez Jay exists today and the bar supposedly still has the dent. Later clients who were less disruptive—and only slightly less, we imagine—included Frank Sinatra and Steve McQueen, who along with other celebs visited the bar partly due to a no paparazzi rule. You know what's most amazing about Chez Jay? We lived in L.A. for four years and never went there. And for those of you who don't know us, we do bars. Well, next trip maybe. By the way, elephants prefer Carlsberg because one of its logos features an elephant (and a swastika, but we'll set that aside for now). Drink up!
Aliens seem inordinately attracted to the United States. Maybe it's the free drink refills
Talk of UFOs—sorry UAPs—is ramping up in the U.S. again, which means it's time for one of our periodic buckets of ice water over the debate. There are no alien craft in the skies. There, we did it. We've already gone through the reasons why. Condensed version: aliens could learn everything they wanted to know about Earth without coming here. They could hang out undetected behind Uranus—heh heh—and intercept endless radio and television transmissions. Or they could send undetectable drones the size of gnats here. If they came to Earth physically they would have stealth technology. The list goes on. But today we're interested in a slightly different question. Why does the U.S generate 92% of global UFO sightings?
You ever notice, also, that it's the U.S. that has all the secret data, hidden wreckage, and refrigerated bodies? The unlikelihood of aliens visiting the U.S. to the near exclusion of the rest of the planet, and the hubris that drives that belief, is worth note. If you're an alien, why not land in Tanzania? There's some pretty interesting shit there. Why not India? There are 1.5 billion people there worthy of study. It seems to us that the fantasy of government held UFO secrets needs to be intertwined with the U.S. or else it doesn't really work. Why? Well, we've travelled around a bit, and not all governments are the same. Some are far less interested in keeping secrets. We feel pretty confident that if the government of, say, Iceland, or Finland, or New Zealand learned something about UFOs they'd simply say so.
By the same token, some governments have so little in the way of a national security apparatus we doubt they have the capability to keep extraordinarily large secrets. If a UFO crashed in Belize or Nepal we bet everybody in and out of government would know within days. All it takesis for aliens to do one of their periodic oopsy-daisys somewhere other than the U.S.—or the other highly secretive nuclear powers—and the beans would probably be spilled. This is why UFO sightings are concentrated in the U.S., with its incredibly opaque government. The idea of UFOs elsewhere spoils the fun, because the point isn't so much aliens as it is conspiracies.
It's easy to imagine the leader of a smaller nation seeing good reason to share definitive proof of alien life. Geopolitics works on two tiers, with nuclear armed nations existing outside international law. We bet dozens of leaders would be interested in throwing sand in the gears of those nations' global domination machinery by offering proof that Earth is being observed by infinitely more powerful (and wise?) entities. And you know what? When we think of it that way, maybe we should believe after all. Could proof of alien life stop warfare? There are certainly worse things to believe in. So come on, bobble-headed intergalactic saviors. All of a sudden, we've found the faith.
Hollywood actresses went to the Max to solve their beauty problems.
We've been seeing this photo online of late labeled as an ice cube mask meant to cure hangovers circa 1947. That seemed unlikely to us, because why would ice cubes on your chin help with a hangover? The only thing that helps a hangover is a sustained interval of unconsciousness. So we dug around and discovered that this is in reality a beauty aid. It was created by Polish inventor and beautician Macksymillian Faktorowizc, who would later become globally famous as Max Factor, and it was specifically made for use by actresses to cool and refresh their faces after being under the hot lights of Hollywood movie sets. Back then (and even today for all we know) actresses constantly washed their faces with cold water, but this required fresh applications of make-up after every rinse. So Factor's mask theoretically was both a time and labor saver. Believe it or not, it wasn't the craziest contraption he invented. In any case—not a hangover cure, but another small internet mystery solved.
Mystical powers of mummy are no match for mystical powers of scientists.
It may look like a monkey's head sewn onto a fish's body, but the freakish horror you see in the image above is actually a revered mummy that has been worshipped by some people in Japan since the 1700s. Its normal residence is a box in a temple in Okayama Prefecture, where it ended up after allegedly being found in the Pacific Ocean, off Shikoku Island, between 1736 and 1741. It quickly became known for bestowing mystical health cures and increased longevity, and acquired that reputation, we're sure, without any suggestion from the temple priests. Then it caught the attention of paleontologists at the Kurashiki University of Science and the Arts, and—who'd have thought it?—this week they pronounced the mummy a fake.
Leave it to scientists to drain the magic and wonder from irrational belief systems by actually figuring things out. It's almost like they enjoy triggering existential crises. Amazingly, they worked for an entire year on ruining this particular mystery. We know because stories like the one at this link began popping up in early 2022. Scientists, in addition to being killjoys, are slow. The scientific community is fine with that, and we can all only wish the same were true of the communities at our jobs.But moving at the speed of molasses is a positive of science, not a negative, because science takes its sweet time to get things right. They've done that here, using computerized tomography scans and other tests, and discovered the mummy is exactly what any set of rational eyes would assume it to be—animal parts embellished with papier-mâché. But here's what interests us about the story. The object actually is quite old. Scientists carbon dated it back to at least the 1800s, which in our opinion makes it something more than just a fake—it's an antique. And if it isn't one of the oldest cryptids ever put into physical form, we'd be surprised. We bet if the priests in Okayama sold it they'd profit handsomely. Hell, we'd happily buy it and hang it in Pulp HQ to enthrall and enchant our girlfriends. But assuming the temple priests wanted more than a hundred bucks for it, they could auction it. Some internet billionaire might want it. With the yen acquired the priests could perform a few good works—minor miracles themselves. And if disappointed masses in the prefecture need a replacement mummy to worship, we suggest Mother God. She never healed anyone, but at least she didn't live in a box.
Hi, Mother God here. I've departed my physical form, but I still heart all of you.
Just a D.O.G. going about his J.O.B.
Those of us in fat, modern societies tend to forget that hunger is probably the number one behavioral driver inscribed in our genes. It need not be said that this especially goes for animals. To a domesticated dog humans are a good provider of meals, but to a wild dog that's hungry, a human—once he stops moving around, throwing rocks at you, and yelling weird mouth noises at you—becomes the meal. That's sometimes the case even with domesticated dogs, under specific circumstances. Pet dogs trapped with dead owners in houses, apartments, or even sometimes in the woods, start chewing on master's face when they eventually get hungry.
This week in Zacatecas, Mexico a cartel related gang killing led to the grisly sight of a dog trotting down a local street with a severed human head in its mouth. A bystander filmed the animal as it was busily taking care of job one: discreetly get the head somewhere quiet and safe to enjoy in peace. A dog carrying a head presents an awkward mental image, so we thoughtfully provided the camera phone screen grab above. It's low-rez, but as you can see (and never unsee) the dog carried its intended meal upside down by a chunk of handy neck flesh, easy as pie. Dogs are MacGyverish when they need to be. Years ago we were at a barbecue when one jumped on a picnic table, grabbed a pot of pork and beans by the handle, and fled into the nearby trees.
This decapitated head story caught our eye not just because it's unusual, but because PSGP has a history with wild dogs. There was a pack that terrorized the somewhat isolated barrio where he lived in Guatemala, and their aggressive behavior was a problem. They surrounded him more than once. But he was sympathetic to their difficult lives, so he gave them a massive pig's head to eat. He cooked it especially for them, though he admits he didn't season it. Bland or not, he and the dogs subsequently reached good terms, and remained that way. The point is, since he's seen a dog carry a head, this Zacatecas story resonated.
It's important to note at this point that while dogs will eat humans—in part, or given the chance, in whole—that doesn't mean it's a preferred or easy decision. The Zacatecas dog was surely wondering, “Am I still a good boy?” And the answer he probably came up with was, “Let me eat first, have a good scrotal lick and a nap, and I'll get back to that perplexing conundrum later, assuming I remember to do that.” Unfortunately, he never got the chance, as he was relieved of the head by some human killjoys. He'll get another opportunity, though. The cartel wars always provide.
Anger is a dish best served twice.
Remember the men's magazine covers of elephant attacks we posted not long ago? Late last week a woman named Maya Murmu in the Indian state of Odisha was drawing water from a well when she was attacked by an elephant. The animal apparently charged her, knocked her down, trampled her, and left her smashed into the dust. An ambulance was called but Murmu succumbed to her injuries. This is where the story gets weird. Murmu's family arranged for a funeral the next day via the traditional method of outdoor burning, but during the ceremony the same elephant appeared, grabbed the corpse from the pyre, flung it into the air, trampled it, and fled.
This is a really angry elephant we're talking about, because that's seriously gangsta behavior—like Gotti level, like something from a rap song. Stomp you once, shame on you, stomp you twice, you deserved that too. Not that Murmu did anything to deserve it. But elephants are supposed to have good memories, so that's where our minds immediately went, and yours too, we bet. Reports from Odisha say the attack was unprovoked, but something set off the animal. Business deal gone wrong, personal betrayal, something. Currently it's still at large. Authorities think it escaped from the Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary in the adjacent state of Jharkhand, but for now its whereabouts are unknown, and really, we wouldn't recommend searching for it.
We dug around for a photo of the events mentioned, and did in fact find a shot that seems to show Murmu's family gathered around her body but even we aren't morbid enough to use it. We already get more than enough nightmare fuel doing this website. One of the reports we found also had a blurry elephant photo we took to be the angry pachyderm, but without a caption we couldn't be sure. That being the case, at top you get a shot of an unrelated animal not involved in the Odisha attack. We may update this strange saga if anything new and interesting comes across, but even with the scant information available it's a story so bizarre—and so pulp—that we had to mention it. If you want to see fifty amazing magazine covers of elephant attacks, just click here.
Climate change dredges up grim evidence of crimes thought long forgotten.
Earlier this week in Nevada, someone ambling along the shoreline of Lake Mead found a corroded oil drum that had a nasty surprise inside. Police determined that the contents were human remains, and that the poor individual died of a gunshot wound sometime in the mid-1970s to early 1980s. Whoever killed the person dumped the body deep into the lake—actually a huge reservoir formed by Hoover Dam—but because of an ongoing drought in the western states, the water has in recent years dropped more than a hundred feet below its maximum, revealing tracts of previously submerged land. Authorities believe that as the water level continues dropping they'll find more bodies. And why is that? Well, Las Vegas is nearby.
In a related story, somewhere in Sin City an elderly mobster awoke from an afternoon nap in a sweaty panic, put his hands to his painfully throbbing head, and said: “I felt a great disturbance in the Force. It's as if a voice I thought was silenced decades ago suddenly cried out in terror.” Silence doesn't always last. For sure that'll be the interesting part of this—seeing if modern forensics can identify the body, a good possibility considering the advances of recent decades. And of course identification might lead to suspicions about who dumped it.
The elderly mobster later phoned a slightly less elderly hitman and ranted, “You told me it'd never be found!” To which the hitman said, “Who am I? Nostra-fuckin'-damus? I'm supposed to know the goddamned lake's gonna dry up? You still getting chauffeured around in that old Cadillac? I got a hybrid, so don't blame me!” To the list of problemscaused by global warming, add grisly corpses reappearing, and former hitmen virtue signaling about their carbon footprints. Which the mobster was too old to understand anyway. “Hybrid? You know I never worked with them! I never liked them, and I never trusted them!”
Plenty of mob-connected people have disappeared from Las Vegas over the decades. As pulp aficionados we have to hope they're all in the lake. Seriously, wouldn't it be fantastic if like seventy bodies turned up? Meanwhile, we bet there's an uptick in local bottled water sales. While it's true the reservoir's output is purified before it gushes through city faucets, and the nuclear testing grounds and chemical plants scattered around Vegas have probably left worse than corpse pathogens in the lake, images of human remains tend to give people a special kind of willies. You can purify the water, but you can't purify people's natural fear of death and decay. Since nothing serious is actually being done about global warming, we at least recommend a more sustainable form of victim disposal. When trouble looms, hide the evidence better. It's time to innovate, Gen Z—older generations have failed.
Edit: As of 7 August a total of four bodies have been found. More to come?
People really otter learn to be more careful.
The scene on the cover of this famous issue of Men magazine always struck us as absurd. In fact, animal attack covers from vintage mens magazines tend to be more funny than frightening. But it seems as though reality has strong sense of irony.
In Singapore a couple of days ago, Graham George Spencer, a British resident of that tropical island-state, was attacked by otters at the Gardens by the Bay botanical park, where several colonies of the animals live. Spencer was swarmed by a bevy of otters that managed to knock him off his feet and bite him twenty-six times. He summed up the ordeal with: “I actually thought I was going to die.”
That's no hysterical claim. Wild otters can grow to be five-and-a-half feet in length, which, frighteningly, is longer than both of the Pulp Intl. girlfriends. Spencer was saved thanks to the intervention of a friendwhose yelling startled the otters, giving Spencer the chance to get to his feet. Those crazy animals then chased the pair all the way to the visitors center, where they barked otter epithets, heaved rocks though a window, and spray painted the walls with the phrase, “Immigrant go home!” Spencer received medical treatment for injuries to his ankles, legs, rear end, and pride, and also got bitten by more than $1,000 in medical costs. All because he wanted to have a healthy walk in the park. Next time maybe he'll spend his day drinking pints at the pub like a normal Brit. Next up: weasels rip somebody's flesh.
Mystery attackers of U.S. embassy workers in Havana might not be Cuban—or human.
A couple of nights ago PSGP and PI-1 were in deep slumber in their seaside apartment when a high pitched noise sprang up in the wee hours. It took only moments to identify the sound as a cricket, which somehow had gained entry to their bedroom though it's on the top floor three stories up, and the exterior doors were shut. What followed was a comedy of errors, as PSGP tried in vain to pinpoint the noise and eject the interloper, while PI-1 cursed all of creation because insects were now conspiring to disturb her sleep. They ended up moving out of the bedroom. The next day PSGP had another look around, and after a more careful examination located the cricket—outside on the balcony. It had never gained entry to the flat in the first place. It was just that loud and disorienting. This is an absolutely true story, and even the timeline is factual. It really did happen night before last. So imagine our surprise when an item came across the wires this morning about the infamous Havana Syndrome. You know the one. U.S. embassy personnel stationed in Cuba, beginning in 2016, reported mysterious sounds in the building, which brought on headaches, dizziness, tinnitus, balance problems, and other weird effects. The State Department and the American press immediately ran a political football the entire length of the unverified news field and claimed Cuban or Russian sonic or energy weapons were probably the cause. Nobody explained what Cuba or Russia had to gain from quasi-effectual sonic attacks, and it didn't matter, because you never let implausibility get in the way of rekindling the Cold War. But there are these people called scientists, and they have a way of studying things until they find answers, and yesterday the most likely cause of the dastardly Havana Syndrome was revealed to be crickets.
The JASON Group, an independent organization of scientists that works with the U.S. government, analyzed recordings made by embassy personnel and found only one phenomenon to be a sonic match—the Indies short-tailed cricket. There the sneaky bugger is just below. This mystery was actually unravelled back in 2019, but the report was classified—probably to milk a few more years from a patently ridiculous story of being targeted by commies. Let's face it—when you have top level Cuban figures defensively trying to explain that they have nosonic or energy weapons, and the American press is pretty much dismissing those claims, you keep the pressure on. Some experts note that sonic weapon frequencies wouldn't be recordable, and the enemy attack theory is thus unaffected. In other words, the recordings given to JASON scientists weren't of the actual phenomenon in question. Well, okay, but we prefer crickets. Please let it be crickets. Or maybe the answer is twofold. Maybe Havana Syndrome is caused by crickets trained by Cuba or Russia. Bet those egghead scientists didn't even think of that.
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
1964—Mass Student Arrests in U.S.
In California, Police arrest over 800 students at the University of California, Berkeley, following their takeover and sit-in at the administration building in protest at the UC Regents' decision to forbid protests on university property.
1968—U.S. Unemployment Hits Low
Unemployment figures are released revealing that the U.S. unemployment rate has fallen to 3.3 percent, the lowest rate for almost fifteen years. Going forward all the way to the current day, the figure never reaches this low level again.
1954—Joseph McCarthy Disciplined by Senate
In the United States, after standing idly by during years of communist witch hunts in Hollywood and beyond, the U.S. Senate votes 65 to 22 to condemn Joseph McCarthy for conduct bringing the Senate into dishonor and disrepute. The vote ruined McCarthy's career.
1955—Rosa Parks Sparks Bus Boycott
In the U.S., in Montgomery, Alabama, seamstress Rosa Parks refuses to give her bus seat to a white man and is arrested for violating the city's racial segregation laws, an incident which leads to the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The boycott resulted in a crippling financial deficit for the Montgomery public transit system, because the city's African-American population were the bulk of the system's ridership.
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