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Mysteries

10 unexplained mysteries from Arkansas

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Don’t let the serenity of the Arkansas landscape fool you. The Natural State has more than enough of its dark secrets and skeletons in the closet to ruin the serenity. Read on to find out the 10 creepiest.

10. Old Mike

In the early 1900s, down in Nevada County, the man who would come to be known as “Old Mike” was a familiar face in and around the city of Prescott. A traveling salesman, he would swing by each month to sell stationery to homes and local businesses. He occasionally stayed overnight, but he always left the following day on the afternoon train.

One day, residents found Mike lying motionless under a tree. He had apparently passed away the night before. Knowing him only by his first name – and after a postmortem search failed to turn up any identification – the townspeople did the only sensible thing they could think of. They embalmed him and put his corpse on display outside of the local funeral home.

That’s where Mike sat for the next six decades. He was originally placed there in hopes that someone would identify him or claim the body, but no one ever came forward. Eventually, in 1975, the state attorney general’s office requested that he be buried, and Mike was finally laid to rest later that May. His true identity will likely forever remain a mystery.

9. Ghost Lights

Ghost lights – or “will-o’-the-wisps,” as they’re known in Europe – are staples of paranormal folklore. Like a handful of other states in the South, Arkansas has two ghostly orbs of its own, one in Gurdon and another in Crossett. Both are similar in appearance, with witnesses describing them asglowing white lights that occasionally move throughout the woods. What’s more, both lights share equally murky origins.

The Gurdon Light was first spotted in the early 1930s, following the murder of a railroad foreman. Local researchers point to the gruesome slaying of William McClain for the legend’s authenticity. Meanwhile, the Crossett Light also originated from a fatal railroad incident, this time with the unlucky worker being beheaded by the train. The legend’s telling varies, though, with one version claiming that the light is the ghost of the decapitated rail worker looking for his head. Another attributes the light to his wife’s lantern, as she eternally searches for her husband’s body.

8. The Fouke Monster

When traveling through southwest Arkansas, we advise sticking to the main roads. Those brave enough to wander into the woods risk running into the nefarious Fouke Monster. Also called “the Southern Sasquatch,” sightings of the Fouke Monster date back to the 1940s, but arguably the most famous accounts occurred in the early ’70s.

In 1971, Bobby Ford told police that he was attacked by a man-like creature standing over 2 meters (7 ft) tall with red eyes. Ford claimed that he’d spotted the beast only days before on a hunting trip, and decided to shoot at it with his buddies. It was on his porch and presumably seeking revenge.

Before being treated at the hospital for minor injuries, Ford explained to the officers that he routinely spotted the monster on his property terrorizing his livestock, so they decided to investigate. The police failed to find any blood from a supposed wound inflicted by Ford, but they did find a strange set of tracks out in the woods, as well as scratches on Ford’s door. A reporter from the local paper thought enough of the incident to file a story, earning the attention of low-budget filmmakers, who turned the encounter into a clumsy horror movie that propelled the creature to national stardom. The movie spawned four sequels. The History Channel even got in on the action, sending its MonsterQuest team to investigate in 2009.

In recent years, sightings have been sporadic. While the ’70s saw interest in the Fouke Monster peak – a local radio station even put out a bounty for its capture – the late ’90s was the last time the mysterious beast ever saw a resurgence in popularity. To further muddy the legend, independent researchers have argued that the tracks found by Ford and others were forgeries. Dr. Frank Schambagh, a professor at Southern Arkansas University, said that the tracks were man-made and that the anatomy of the Fouke Monster didn’t fit with the known species of primates. Either way, we’ll take our chances with the well-lit, paved areas of Fouke when passing through.

7. Crop Circles

Crop circles first popped up in Arkansas in summer 2003. They appeared as a series of 10 circles as large as 9 meters (30 ft) in diameter. Two more appeared in the following years – one in 2004 in Peach Orchard and another in Delaplaine three years later, two towns less than five miles apart. In recent years, more designs have been popping up in southern areas of the state as well.

There’s not much evidence to support ET being behind the crop circles, and farmers are similarly skeptical that it’s the work of pranksters. As of this writing, though, no one has come forward claiming responsibility.

6. The Crawford Disappearance

Arkansas was a hotbed for mob activity in the first half of the 20th century. Al Capone was a frequent visitor to the state in the 1920s, spending ample time in Hot Springs to bet on horse races at Oaklawn and relax in some of the many bathhouses that lined Central Avenue. Naturally, a state this friendly to mobsters was bound to have a fair amount of shady business deals. That’s where Maud Crawford came in.

A well-known public figure in Camden and a pioneer for women in Arkansas, Crawford worked as a court stenographer before she decided to take the bar exam. Having had no formal legal classes, she aced the exam and eventually became an expert in abstract and title law. At the time of her disappearance, she was even assisting Sen. John McClellan with a congressional investigation into supposed mob ties with organized labor. Crawford’s last known whereabouts place her at home.

Her husband, Clyde, returned to their house to find her car still in the driveway, the TV on, and money in her purse. Their supposed guard dog wasn’t even fazed. The police began searching for her the next morning, but found few clues as to what could have caused her disappearance. Her body was never recovered.

In the mid-1980s, a series of articles in The Arkansas Gazette alleged that her disappearance involved Arkansas State Police Commissioner Mike Berg. Crawford was looking into a potentially illegal transfer of assets between Berg and some of his family members. Only days before disappearing, she had confronted him face-to-face about the issue. According to the articles, Odis A. Henley, the officer originally assigned to the case, reported to his superiors that all the evidence he uncovered implicated Berg as her killer. This contradicted official statements from the Ouachita Sheriff’s department that they had yet to turn up any clues in her disappearance.

His findings did little to sway the rest of the force, Henry recounted, and he was reportedly told by his superiors that “there’s too much money involved” before being reassigned. Adding to the intrigue, all of his files on Crawford disappeared after a short trip away from the office. Legally declared dead by Ouachita County in 1969, Crawford’s death was found to be the result of “foul play perpetrated by person or persons unknown.”

5. The Guy Earthquake Swarms

A small community just north of Little Rock, Guy wasn’t accustomed to drawing national attention. That all changed in 2010, when a series of relatively minor earthquakes shook the town. The first swarm struck in fall 2010, with most quakes registering under 2.0 on the Richter scale, meaning not everyone in town may have felt or even noticed the shaking. However, the swarms continued over the next two years and increased in magnitude, with one reaching as high as 4.7 in February 2011.

With the trembling becoming more noticeable, residents began to wonder if the quakes were a result of hydraulic fracturing techniques being used to drill for oil and gas in the area. The Arkansas Geological Survey was called out to investigate, and while the group noted that there is some evidence that fracking can cause minor earthquakes, they found no link between the drilling and these particular swarms.

Earthquake swarms aren’t entirely unusual in Arkansas. The state’s had a handful of them before, but none have reached the magnitude of those in Guy. Through 2013, over 500 quakes have rocked the town. As northeast corner of Arkansas was home to one of the country’s most violent swarms – the 1811-12 New Madrid earthquakes – the seemingly endless quakes have left some residents particularly on edge.

4. The Moonlight Murders

The sleepy town of Texarkana was shaken by a series of vicious slayings in the spring of 1946. The white-hooded “Phantom Killer” preyed on young couples who escaped to secluded areas late at night. He was only active for a three-week period between April and May, but in that span, he attacked eight people, killing five. In an effort to halt the violence and capture the suspect, police put the city under lockdown each day at dusk, patrolling the streets in heavily armed patrols.

Just as mysteriously as the killings started, however, they subsided. Police quickly orchestrated an intense investigation. Key witnesses were examined, leads were hunted down, evidence was poured over – but nothing concrete ever came from it. All investigators could confirm was that the killer was a man who wore a white hood, preferred to attack young people late at night in isolated areas, and often used a gun to kill his victims.

Relatively little new information ever surfaced in subsequent years. Adding to the creepiness of the case, some self-proclaimed web-sleuths have tenuously linked the Phantom with San Francisco’s notorious Zodiac Killer. They cite both killers’ specific victims, method of operation, preferred murder weapon, and the similar – albeit stretched – time period as evidence of a connection.

Nearly three decades after the investigation hit a dead end, Texarkana’s Charles B. Pierce made a movie loosely based off of the events, titled The Town That Dreaded Sundown. A remake is tentatively scheduled to start production later this year.

3. The Edwards Murder

In the 1970s, Arkansas wasn’t the most hospitable place for an unwed mother of three. When Linda Edwards got a job as dispatcher for the Garland County Sheriff’s Office, she considered it a godsend – but just six months after joining the force, she vanished. Rumors began to circulate that the man she had been having an affair with, Sgt. Thurman Abernathy, had gotten her pregnant. She wanted to keep the baby, he didn’t. When a fight broke out between the two, he allegedly killed her. Along with their stormy relationship, further implicating Abernathy in her murder was testimony from Edwards’ friend, Mary Patterson, who told police that Edwards was going to meet Abernathy the night she disappeared.

While the missing person’s case dragged on for close to a year, things took a frightening turn when a hunter stumbled upon Edwards’ partially buried remains in the woods. Medical examiners reported that she died from blunt-force trauma to her skull. A few months later, Abernathy was formally charged with her murder.

Knowing that most of the evidence against him was hearsay, Abernathy decided to appeal his case. While the appeal wound its way through the courts, the case was passed along to newly appointed prosecutor Dan Harmon. Harmon dropped all charges against Abernathy, who had recently been promoted to lieutenant. A grand jury agreed with him, citing insufficient evidence. Despite an intense statewide investigation, no tangible evidence has ever surfaced linking Abernathy to Edwards’ murder, and the case remains unsolved.

2. John Glasgow Vanishes

The idea that someone could completely disappear in the digital age seems rather implausible, but that’s exactly what John Glasgow did in 2008. Whether it was by choice, though, we’ll never know. A prominent figure in the Little Rock construction industry, Glasgow was raking in a seven-figure salary as CEO of CDI Contractors when he – allegedly – backed out of his driveway at 5:15 a.m. on January 28 to leave for work. That’s the last time anyone ever saw him.

It’s never been confirmed that the person reversing his black SUV was him, but when his office called his wife later that day asking where he was, she knew something was terribly wrong. It was unusual for husband not to keep in touch. Within hours, she had organized a search party. They traveled to Petit Jean Mountain, the location of his last cell phone signal, and found his SUV parked outside the Mather Lodge. Inside the vehicle they recovered his phone, two credit cards, and his laptop. The only items missing were his keys and wallet. The trail went cold from there.

In the days following his disappearance, rumors started circulating. Some said that it was a result of his “strained” relationship with Dillard’s, the parent company of CDI, as he was being audited at the time. Friends said he was anxious over it. Others countered that he was in “good spirits” before he vanished. Eventually, Glasgow and his company were cleared of anything illegal by the audit. However, investigators noted that Glasgow received a hefty bonus before he vanished. They thought maybe that was evidence of a possible ransom or extortion, but the money in his bank accounts hasn’t been touched.

The case took a strange turn in 2012, when Jonathan Brawner, a convicted felon and prison barber at the Faulkner County jail, made local headlines after claiming that he and a few accomplices had buried Glasgow four years prior. An exhaustive search of the area returned no corroborating evidence, however, and new evidence of his whereabouts has yet to surface.

1. The Train Deaths

Arguably the state’s most notorious cold case, the mysterious deaths of Don Henry and Kevin Ives still haunt Central Arkansas. In the early morning hours of August 23, 1987, the mangled bodies of Henry and Ives were discovered on a set of railroad tracks in Bryant, a suburb just south of Little Rock. The train’s engineer didn’t see the boys in time to stop. He told police that they were laying motionless on the tracks, parallel to one another with their arms straight down at their sides, their bodies partially covered by a green tarp.

The initial investigation was swift. Police ruled their deaths accidental, with the state medical examiner declaring that they were under the influence of marijuana and had passed out on the tracks. However, the boys’ parents didn’t agree with that conclusion – they were certain their sons died of foul play. After fighting to get the case reopened, they finally succeed in early 1988 when a new prosecutor was assigned to the case. One of Richard Garrett’s first directives was to have the bodies exhumed for further examination.

His findings where chilling, to say the least. Medical examiners reported that both boys had suffered injuries prior to the train accident. Henry’s shirt was in tatters, with lacerations all over his body indicative of stabbing. Ives, meanwhile, had blunt force trauma to his skull. Examiners concluded that both were dead before being run over by the train. The reported green tarp was never seen again.

Then things got weirder. Witnesses came forward with testimony that they’d seen police officers beating the boys “senseless” before tossing them in the back of a truck and speeding off. Others reported seeing a man in military fatigues loitering near the section of tracks where the boys’ bodies were discovered. Speculation began to rise, with many residents wondering if the boys had simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Maybe they had seen a “drug drop” that was connected to alleged cocaine smuggling via the Mena Airport. Others insisted that they saw a Bryant official – that Dan Harmon fellow we mentioned earlier, to be exact – partaking in a drug deal, and the boys were simply victims of being potential witnesses that could jeopardize a political career. Harmon was later arrested on charges for running a drug ring, selling primarily cocaine, from his office.

The parents did see some justice from all these developments. A grand jury reversed its original verdict of “probable homicide” to “definite homicide” and Arkansans haven’t forgotten the boys on the tracks. Residents honored their memory with a memorial last spring. After 25 years, though, it appears as if the case will forever remain unsolved.

Mysteries

Water on the Moon: NASA cannot understand where it came from in temperate latitudes and what keeps it there

It is unknown where the frozen puddles appeared for the first time in the temperate latitudes of our natural satellite.

Water on the moon – in the form of ice, of course, was first found 10 years ago. Found in deep, dark and cold craters located at the poles. They were also delighted with this, deciding that in other – warmer and sunlit places – there could be no water. It would have disappeared long ago, even if it had come from somewhere.

However, either the scientists were mistaken, or they misunderstood something then, but the “new” water on the Moon was found exactly where it was not expected at all. The stratospheric observatory SOFIA (NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy) found characteristic traces of “real” water not bound in minerals. 

Her telescope, equipped with an infrared camera (Faint Object infraRed CAmera), is installed on board a Boeing 747SP aircraft. Flying at an altitude of 15 kilometers, he observes our natural satellite – catches radiation – as part of a joint project of NASA and the German Aerospace Center.

Water on the surface of the Moon - in its temperate latitudes - was discovered by NASA's flying observatory.

Water on the surface of the Moon – in its temperate latitudes – was discovered by NASA’s flying observatory.

Water, as shown by recent observations, “splashed” the crater Clavius ​​(Clavius ​​Crater), located in the southern hemisphere of the moon on its visible side. The water in it is distributed over areas of about 40 thousand square kilometers. It is about 412 ppm. Not much – in the Sahara Desert about 100 times more. But there is water on the moon. The researchers reported this on the US Space Agency website and in the journal Nature Astronomy.

How the water ended up in temperate latitudes, scientists do not yet know.

Water comes from somewhere and something keeps it there, – Casey Honniball, who led the research from NASA, is perplexed. But he suspects that water can be distributed over the entire surface of the moon, and not just in its individual nooks and crannies.

The search for lunar water will continue – in other places. In parallel, scientists will try to more accurately estimate its reserves.

Up to the waist, and somewhere up to the neck

The fact that the moon is by no means dry became known many years ago. Analyzes of the lunar soil, which were brought to Earth by Soviet automatic stations and American astronauts, demonstrated that water in a bound form is part of local minerals. It’s there – from 64 parts per billion to 5 parts per million. Not so little.

Scientists who have conducted a second analysis not so long ago, testify: if you “squeeze out” all the water trapped inside the rocks of the moon, and pour it over the surface, a layer 1 meter thick is formed. Almost up to the waist.

Scientists were experimentally convinced of the fact that there is not bound, but real – frozen – water on the Moon in 2009 by sending a stage of the Centaurus rocket, previously docked with the LCROSS probe and the probe itself to the Cabeus crater . The analysis of the exploding cloud of the explosion made it possible to find the cherished H2O molecules.In 2009, vapor from lunar water kicked up an explosion from a rocket stage hitting a crater.

In 2009, vapor from lunar water kicked up an explosion from a rocket stage hitting a crater.

In the same 2009, NASA specialists processed the data obtained using the radars of the Chandrayaan-1 probe of the Indian Space Research Organization. And they understood: there is more real water, hidden, however, under a layer of soil, on the Moon than one could imagine. Much more. In a relatively small area near the North Pole of our natural satellite, they found as many as 40 craters filled with ice. The crater diameters range from 2 to 15 kilometers. They contain at least 600 million tons of water. It’s almost a cubic kilometer – a huge lake in total. Deep in places.

In 2018, Chandrayan-1 came in handy again. Thanks to a device called the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (MMM), installed on board, astronomers from the University of Hawaii and Brown University, along with colleagues from NASA (Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley), saw for the first time naked lunar ice – a kind of “skating rinks”, filled in the polar and subpolar regions. Where there is always a terrible frost.The location of frozen bodies of water at the South (left) and North Poles of the Moon.

The location of frozen bodies of water at the South (left) and North Poles of the Moon.

And here is a new discovery: water on the entire lunar surface. It inspires optimism for future conquerors of extraterrestrial spaces – there is no need to import water from Earth. Its own, obtained right on the moon, is enough to get drunk, and wash, and produce rocket fuel.

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Mysteries

Murder Mysterious: What Happened at the Hinterkaife Farm?

This story, which took place on April 4, 1922, on the Hinterkaifike farm, located between Ingolstadt and Schrobenhausen in Bavaria, still excites the minds of lawyers and journalists. Then they found the bodies of the owner of the farm and his wife, their daughter and her two children, a maid who had recently come to them to work …

Everyone in the village knew about the Gruber. They were a wealthy family, but with a bad reputation. The father of the family, Andreas Gruber, was a cruel and rude man, so the workers on the farm did not stay long. Although everyone wanted money, few were willing to endure Andreas’ harsh temper. Cecilia Gruber, his wife, used to be the owner of Hinterkaifeke – she inherited the farm from her husband. From him, she left two children, Martin and Cecilia. Soon the couple had a daughter, Victoria. She was not the only child, but the only one survived to adulthood – the rest of the children died in the absence of proper care. 

Victoria grew up with Cecilia the younger as a sister. She was a quiet girl who sang in the church choir. Andreas did not deny himself the pleasure of making fun of both girls, and when Victoria turned 16, he forced her to enter into a relationship with him. Nobody knew about this, because the family lived as hermits, and the locals preferred not to pry into other people’s affairs. 

Cecilia the younger got married and left. At the age of 27, Victoria also found herself a husband, Karl Gabriel. According to rumors, he married solely for the sake of a share of the land, but upon learning of the incestuous relationship between his wife and father-in-law, he dropped everything and went to the front. A month later, Victoria gave birth to a daughter, Cecilia. 

In the end, Victoria broke down and told about incest in confession. Gruber was sentenced to a year of hard labor, and she herself was imprisoned for a month. However, when Andreas returned, everything was resumed. Once their neighbor Lorenz Schlittenbauer wooed Victoria – his wife died then, he had sex with Victoria several times in the barn and must have decided that his farm still needs a mistress, besides, he is a respected non-poor man. But Andreas refused to marry his daughter, claiming that he “fondled her himself.” When it turned out that Victoria was pregnant, she persuaded Lorenz to recognize the child as her own, but she never got married, and Gruber was named his guardian. So Lorenz was forced to pay child support until the child came of age, not even being sure that he was from him.

The baby was named Joseph. Unfortunately, he was unwell, grew poorly and was often ill. For the villagers, this served as a signal that Joseph was born as a result of an unnatural relationship between Victoria and her father.

Footprints and ghosts

Shortly before the murder, Victoria was seized with anxiety. She repeated that she felt that the farm was being watched. She saw the silhouette of a man, but could not find out who it was. Andreas also noticed oddities: footprints in the snow around the house, rustling in the attic (and when he got up, no one was there), flashing torches … Once he found a Munich newspaper that no one in the family subscribed to. He also lost his keys.

On March 31, a couple of days before the murder, the maid Maria arrived at the farm. The previous one asked for a calculation when she began to suspect that a ghost was in charge of the house.

Murder

For several days, nothing was heard about the Gruber, but life was in full swing on the farm: smoke poured from the chimney, sounds were heard, someone walked … But after several people with whom Andreas had appointments, they could not getting inside, their neighbor Lorenz became worried and called the police. 

The bodies of all six were found in a house that was in perfect order. Little Joseph was killed in his cradle, Maria – in her bed, the rest were piled up in a heap by the barn and obviously not the first day dead. All residents of the farm were killed in one way – hitting the head with a hoe. At the same time, nothing of the valuable things and money, which was abundant on the farm, was not lost. Cynologists with dogs were able to take the trail of the criminal, but lost him at the edge of the forest.

The police interviewed about a hundred suspects, chief among whom was a neighbor of the Lorenz farm, whom Victoria had deceived and, perhaps, her ex-husband, who allegedly died at the front, could in fact be alive. In 2007, the students of the police academy, as a practice, re-investigated the case, found a new suspect, but out of respect for their relatives, they did not disclose their name.

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Mysteries

A dead star in our galaxy has sent a new radio signal

Magnetar SGR 1935 + 2154, which emitted the first known rapid radio burst from inside the Milky Way in April, flared again, giving astronomers another chance to unravel the cosmic mystery.

The little dead star that sent the signal earlier this year did it again.

On October 8, 2020, the CHIME / FRB collaboration discovered SGR 1935 + 2154 emitting three millisecond radio bursts in three seconds. Following the CHIME / FRB detection, the FAST radio telescope detected something else – pulsed radio emission corresponding to the rotation period of the magnetar.

It is very interesting to see SGR 1935 + 2154 again, and I am optimistic that if we study these bursts more closely, it will help us better understand the potential relationship between magnetars and fast radio bursts, “says astronomer Deborah Goode of the University of Britain Colombia in Canada and a member of CHIME / FRB.

Until April of this year, fast radio bursts (FRBs) were ever recorded only from outside the galaxy, usually from sources millions of light years away. The first was discovered in 2007, and since then astronomers have been trying to figure out what causes them.

As the name suggests, FRBs are bursts of extremely powerful radio waves found in the sky, some of which release more energy than hundreds of millions of suns. They only last a millisecond.

Since most sources of fast radio bursts seem to flare up once and no repetition is detected, they are highly unpredictable. In addition, the ones we detect usually come so far that our telescopes cannot distinguish individual stars. Both of these characteristics make it difficult to track the FRB to either the exact source galaxy or a known cause.

But SGR 1935 + 2154 is only 30,000 light-years away. On April 28, 2020, it spat out a massive millisecond pulse that has since been dubbed FRB 200428 under the fast radio transmission naming convention.

Once the signal strength was adjusted for distance, FRB 200428 was not as powerful as the extragalactic fast radio bursts, but everything else was in line with the profile.

“If the same signal came from a nearby galaxy, such as one of the closest typical FRB galaxies, it would look like an FRB to us,” said astronomer Srinivas Kulkarni of the California Institute of Technology. “We’ve never seen anything like it before.”

We don’t know much about the three new bursts yet. Since scientists are still working on the data, it is possible that some of the early findings could change, Goode said. But now we can say that they are both similar and not similar to FRB 200428.

They are a little less powerful again, but they are all still incredibly strong, and they all lasted only milliseconds.

“Although less bright than those detected earlier this year, they are still very bright flares that we would see if they were extragalactic,” Goode added.

“One of the more interesting aspects of this discovery is that our three bursts appear to have occurred during the same rotation period. The magnetar is known to rotate every ~ 3.24 seconds, but our first and second bursts were separated by 0.954 seconds, and the second and third were separated by 1.949 seconds. This is a bit unusual, and I think we will look at it later. “

This could reveal something new and useful about the behavior of magnetars, because – let’s face it – they’re pretty weird.

Magnetars, of which only 24 have been confirmed to date, are neutron stars; it is the collapsed core of a dead star, not massive enough to turn into a black hole. Neutron stars are small and dense, about 20 kilometers in diameter, with a maximum mass of about two Suns. But magnetars add something else to this: a stunningly powerful magnetic field.

These stunning fields are about a quadrillion times more powerful than Earth’s magnetic field and a thousand times more powerful than a normal neutron star. And we still do not fully understand how they came to this.

But we know that magnetars have periods of activity. As gravity tries to hold the star together – an internal force – the magnetic field pulling outward is so powerful that it distorts the star’s shape. This results in a constant voltage that sometimes causes giant starquakes and giant magnetic flares. SGR 1935 + 2154 is undergoing such activity, which suggests a link between magnetar attacks and at least some FRBs.

Obviously, astronomers have found that the source of the first intragalactic FRBs is of great interest. When CHIME / FRB reported their discovery, other astronomers decided to look at the star, including a team led by Zhu Weiwei of the National Astronomical Observatory of China, which had access to FAST, the largest single-aperture radio telescope in the world.

And they discovered something interesting, which was also reported on the astronomer’s Telegram – pulsed radio emission. These radio pulses were nowhere near as strong as the bursts, but they are extremely rare: if confirmed, SGR 1935 + 2154 will only be the sixth pulsed radio frequency magnetar. And the pulse period turned out to be equal to 3.24781 seconds – almost exactly the rotation period of the star.

This is curious, because until now astronomers have not been able to find a connection between magnetars and radio pulsars. Pulsars are another type of neutron star; they have a more normal magnetic field, but they pulsate with radio waves as they spin, and astronomers have long tried to figure out how the two types of stars are related.

Earlier this year, Australian astronomers identified a magnetar that behaved like a radio pulsar – a possible “missing link” between the two and evidence that at least some magnetars could evolve into pulsars. SGR 1935 + 2154 might be another piece of the puzzle.

“Based on these results and the increasing burst activity, we hypothesize that the magnetar may be in the process of transforming into an active radio pulsar,” Weiwei’s team wrote.

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