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Bizzare & Odd

Alien Abduction Insurance: Are You at Risk?

If you live in a high UFO area, you may want to consider insurance for abduction, impregnation, and death by aliens.

Alien abduction
Do you need alien abduction coverage?

Hale-Bopp, the Great Comet of 1997, passed by Earth on March 22 of that year. Concealed in it’s tail, according to a religious group known as Heaven’s Gate, was a spacecraft waiting to take their souls to another “level of existence” or an “evolutionary kingdom above human.”

The group was lead by a man named Marshall Applewhite, or “Do,” as his followers called him, who believed his bodily “vehicle” was inhabited by the same alien spirit which belonged to Jesus. All Do and his followers had to do was shed their physical shell and ascend to the comet as it passed.

In October 1996, just months before the 39 members of the “Heaven’s Gate Away Team” donned their matching Nike Decades and consumed lethal amounts of phenobarbital with applesauce and vodka to facilitate their transformation, the group reportedly purchased alien abduction insurance from London firm Goodfellow, Rebecca, Ingrams and Pearson Ltd. (GRIP). The policy would pay out $1 million for up to 50 members of the group in the event of abduction, impregnation, or death by aliens.

Heaven's Gate cult UFO recruitment flier
Heaven’s Gate recruitment flier

Heaven’s Gate was preparing to exit Earth aboard a passing UFO. It was probably a good idea to have some security in place in case that didn’t go as planned. But what about the average Earthbound human? Are we at risk?

Apparently so.

On Christmas Eve of 1996, GRIP reported, an Enfield man was “kidnapped” by aliens with triangular heads. That may seem difficult to prove, but the transparent alien claw left behind was enough for GRIP. The company announced they paid their first alien abduction claim.

Suspicions soon began to mount, however, forcing GRIP to admit the claim was little more than a publicity stunt.

But that didn’t matter. By 2000 the firm had sold 37,000 alien abduction policies, The Telegraph reported.

“I’ve never been afraid of parsing the feeble-minded from their cash,” managing partner Simon Burgess was quoted in a 1998 SF Gate article.

Heaven's Gate Away Team patch
A member of Heaven’s Gate shows off their Away Team patch

Insurance companies will write policies for some odd things, like the vocal cords of a professional singer, the nose of a winemaker, or the penis of a porn star. But what if you’re maimed by a ghost? Or unexpectedly become a werewolf? Or, God forbid, you experience a virgin birth? Immaculate conception, it seems, is a big concern among women named Mary.

Don’t worry, GRIP has you covered.

“The Royal Falcon Hotel in Lowestoft, England, for example, insured its staff and customers against death and disability caused by ghosts, poltergeists and other abnormal phenomena,” a newsletter article from Geico (which does not cover ghosts) stated.

UFO Abduction Insurance Company
Beam me up, I’m covered.

Florida-based UFO Abduction Insurance Co. was the first to offer alien abduction insurance, covering abductees as early as 1987. Owner Mike St. Lawrence said he first heard about the phenomenon when the book Communion by Whitley Streiber was published.

“I checked my homeowner’s policy to find out if I was covered for a risk like this, and I wasn’t,” St. Lawrence said in a 1999 interview with Tampa Fox news.

So he decided to fill that gap in the insurance market, and you can still get covered today.

For a single lifetime premium of $19.95 you get a $10 million policy providing psychiatric care and sarcasm coverage (limited to immediate family members, who provide at least 70% of the heckling), as well as a double indemnity clause in the event the alien insists on conjugal visits or regards you as a food source.

But what happens in the event you are actually abducted?

A successful claimant (with a properly completed form) would be entitled to $1 per year for 10 million years, paid out annually on April 1st. The form asks questions about the aliens, where they’re from, what type of spacecraft they’re driving, and a description of the abduction. The signature of an authorized alien who was on board the UFO during the incident is required.

Abductees are limited to one occurrence per policy, however, so if you are a “frequent flyer” you will need to purchase multiple policies.

Alien abduction insurance
Alien abduction insurance certificate

But what about, say, reincarnation? Yes, you could buy coverage for that, as well.

“While it’s still true you can’t take it with you,” the company notes, “now you can leave it here and come back and get it.”

But what if you were to come back as an animal? Or an insect? Don’t worry, the $10 million payout doubles “if you return as a lower life form.”

How’s that for peace of mind?

For every fear, rational or otherwise, it seems there’s an insurance policy to exploit it.

“Some academics have concluded that early insurance companies got rich by exploiting fear of ‘body snatchers’ among the urban poor of Victorian England’s disease-ridden cities,” The Telegraph wrote. “An explosion in the sale of penny life policies coincided with the 1832 Anatomy Act giving hospitals the right to claim for medical experimentation the bodies of anyone whose family could not afford a proper burial.”

The Alien Abduction Insurance Co. isn’t out to scam anyone, though. “You can’t get what we do,” St. Lawrence says about the tongue-in-cheek nature of his company’s policies, “unless you get what we do.

The members of Heaven’s Gate, having departed for TELAH (The Next Level Above Human) were found dead on March 26, 1997. GRIP suspended sales of alien abduction insurance for fear that they may actually have to pay the claim.

But it didn’t last long.

“Greed got the better of us and we resumed them,” Burgess said.

GRIP had never paid an alien abduction claim. While it’s unclear how many claims they may actually receive, I think it’s safe to say no one has ever been able to provide sufficient proof to get their payout.

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Bizzare & Odd

Vienna Cemetery Introduces Funeral LEGO Sets

Kids will have a blast assembling a LEGO crematorium, hearse, grave and more now available from the Vienna Funeral Museum.

Lego crematorium

Lego crematorium oven set available from the Vienna Funeral Museum

Build your own funeral piece by piece with these LEGO kits from Bestattungsmuseum, the Vienna Funeral Museum in Vienna’s Central Cemetery. The museum’s gift shop and online store recently unveiled custom Lego sets designed to help kids answer the big questions like “What happens to grandpa in a crematorium?”

“Taboos create fears and uncertainties,” the Vienna Psychotherapy Association said. “The child feels that something is wrong, and then he is left alone with that.”

So to teach kids about death, the museum partnered with a company to produce some gloriously morbid Legos.

“For the small and large undertaker of tomorrow,” the description from the Historical Hearse set reads.

Other sets currently available include a WWI-era funeral tram, Lego graveyard with tombstone and excavator, a fourgon used to transport the deceased, a crematorium oven with a casket and urn, a horse-drawn “corpse carriage,” a bereaved family with the skeleton of the deceased, and minifigures in mourning.

Lego bereaved family

Lego bereaved family minifigures with the deceased

Lego graveyard

Lego cemetery with casket, gravestone, and excavator for digging your own graves

Lego horse-drawn funeral carriage

Lego horse-drawn corpse carriage with coffin

Historic Vienna funeral tram

WWI-era Vienna funeral tram with 2 coffins and Lego undertaker

Lego hearse

Lego hearse

These morbid LEGO sets are available now right here.

Thanks to Dead Sled Brand for putting this on my radar.

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Bizzare & Odd

THE ROCKWOOD FILES: Read all about a world of weird news

It’s not easy to closely follow the national news these days. It can be frustrating and depressing at times. But recently I’ve found a refreshing option that gives news junkies like me a good dose of information, minus the political circus. It’s called strange news.

If you do an Internet search for weird or strange news, you’ll find a few different sources. NBC has a collection of it, as does the Huffington Post. But my favorite stash of strange news is compiled by the National Public Radio’s website. It’s the kind of place where you can read about a rare sighting of the world’s largest bee — an insect described as a “flying bulldog” with a tongue that measures more than an inch long. Or you can read about how a group of nearly 3,000 people dressed up like Smurfs and gathered in a town in Germany. They came in hopes of setting a record of the largest gathering of Smurfs. In order to be counted, participants could not show even a sliver of “non-blue skin.”

But my favorite strange news topic is about animals because they never fail to entertain. For example, a story about a pigeon named Olive made me realize that all types of parenting — even pigeon parenting — comes with its share of challenges.

According to the story by reporter Vanessa Romo, Olive the pet pigeon went on an outing with her human mother, Marlette, in Phoenix, Arizona. Although she had never done it before, Olive suddenly flew away from home upon returning from the outing. The family was devastated.

But four days later, in a town 10 miles away, a ruffled, hungry Olive was found by a woman who must have known instantly that she was not a run-of-the-mill pigeon. Why? Because Olive was wearing a rhinestone-studded flight suit. (No, really. She was.)

The kind stranger took the bedazzled bird to a nearby bird rescue shelter. The shelter’s owner, Jody, said she’d never seen a bird wearing bling before and knew she must be a pampered pet who didn’t know how to be a bird in the wild. She also assumed that Olive was most likely a teenage bird. “They kind of rebel at that age,” Jody said, “and that’s probably why she decided to go off on her big adventure.” (Apparently teenage pigeons are just as cocky as their human counterparts.)

With the help of a viral Facebook post, the shelter was able to locate Olive’s human family, and mother and pigeon were joyfully reunited. Hopefully, they both learned a valuable lesson. The human learned never to trust a teenage pigeon who thinks she knows it all. And perhaps Olive the rhinestone-studded pigeon learned that the only people putting out a food bowl for her live at home.

Olive’s mother replaced the missing rhinestones in Olive’s vest with new, even shinier crystals, and she and Olive have done a few television appearances since the bird’s homecoming.

Can you see the appeal now of strange news? No horrific natural disasters. No violent shootings. No poisonous politics. Just blingy birds, crazy-big bees and blue people trying to set records. It’s Smurf-tastic!

And if Olive the rhinestone-studded rebellious bird isn’t strange enough for you, this last one weighs in even weirder. According to a report by Sam Hoisington, a man in India flew to New York last year to have the fingernails on his left-hand cut. He started letting those fingernails grow when he was 14, and he didn’t cut them until he was 82.

It took a small circular saw to cut through the nails. The 82-year-old now holds the record for the longest nails on one hand, with a thumbnail that measured 6 ½ feet. The combined length of his nails measured nearly 30 feet (or roughly the length of a London bus, according to Guinness.)

Those fingernails, which are as gnarly and gross as you might imagine, are now on display at a Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum in New York City’s Times Square. Welcome to the bizarre (but oddly refreshing) world of strange news. Read all about it.

Gwen Rockwood is a syndicated freelance columnist. Her book is available on Amazon.

Read More On This At “strange news” – Google News

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Mashed potato mystery endures in Mississippi

Image Credit: Michaela Lin / WJTV 12 News

Who is responsible for leaving this here ? 

An unknown individual has taken to leaving bowls of mashed potatoes around a Jackson neighborhood.

The peculiar enigma has been reported by numerous residents of the city’s Belhaven district where Styrofoam bowls of the mashed up tubers have been found on top of mailboxes, on garden walls, balancing on top of cars and in other strange places outside of people’s homes.

“I walked outside yesterday morning at 7 a.m. and I got in my car and that’s when I noticed a white bowl on my windshield,” local resident Jordan Lewis told WLBT-TV.

“It was full of rainwater. I threw it away and I was grossed out by it.”

Some residents believe that the stunt may have some connection to Belhaven University.

“So far I have realized some of the ‘victims’ of the mashed potatoes are actually staff or Belhaven students or alumni,” said Michaela Lin. “I feel like there has to be a connection there!”

While the act of leaving mashed potatoes around the neighborhood may seem harmless enough, some locals have raised concerns over the potential for more sinister motives.

“Some people were thinking maybe the mashed potatoes were poisoned to kill animals,” local resident Sebastian Bjernegard told WJTV. “I didn’t taste it… but some people were worried.”

A local news report covering the phenomenon can be viewed below.

Source: Fox News

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