News of the Weird

Lead Stories

According to a July announcement by police in York Haven, Pennsylvania, at least 17 kids aged seven to 16 created a club over the last two years to teach each other sex, and then practice on their own, with no adult participation. Three days after that, The Washington Post reported an unusually high incidence of oral sex by middle-school students in the Washington, D.C., area, more as the latest trendy thing to do rather than as intimacy by adolescent couples.

Crème de la Weird

In April Rene Joly, 34, filed a lawsuit in Toronto against several drugstore chains and the Canadian defense minister, charging that they conspired to kill him by poisons in his prescriptions and a military microchip in his brain. He told reporters in May, "Genetically speaking, I'm a Martian, yes," having been cloned from material recovered from NASA missions. The college-educated Joly apparently impressed some reporters with his eloquence and calm demeanor, but one defense lawyer said merely that Joly "has watched too

many episodes of The X Files."

On January 31, at the annual Hindu festival in Singapore honoring Lord Murugan, worshipers again proved their faith by sticking skewers through their skin, with the amount of pain endured taken as the measure of devotion. According to a Reuters wire service report, the apparently superpious Kalai Arivalagan let relatives push six-inch stakes through his cheek and tongue, pins into his forehead and hooks into his chest and back, attached to a frame containing religious symbols. Hundreds more Hindus marched almost three miles with hooks and pins attached. Believers say their prefestival rituals, including abstaining from sex, help them to create pain-ignoring trances.

In May a Jerusalem Post reporter interviewed an extraterrestrial by telephone through the services of Adrian Dvir, an engineer who develops computers for the Israeli military. The alien, "Fenix," said he was 200 years old and was calling from near Uranus, via electronics that translated his speech into Hebrew. Dvir was chosen for contact because he had enrolled in psychic-training courses that were being monitored by Fenix's Kliendcontlar race. Fenix called Dvir (from a number blocked by Caller ID) and spoke for 85 minutes, answering the reporter's questions as relayed by Dvir.

At his June pretrial hearing in Worcester, Massachusetts, on racketeering charges, Vincent Marino claimed the federal government implanted a tracking device in his buttocks when he was in the hospital in 1996 to have a bullet removed. A Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman denied the charge, even though Marino said it was a DEA agent who once asked him to sign a release form to let the feds remove the device.

Unclear on the Concept

In Ottawa, Ontario, in June, Richard Hamilton, 29, was sentenced to 30 months in prison for an April robbery of a Harvey's fast-food restaurant. Hamilton had no gun; he pulled a .32-caliber bullet from his pocket, waved it around, said he had more where that came from and demanded money from the cash drawer. He got about $200 but was apprehended a few minutes later.

By Chuck Shepherd


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