Nessie purists taking aim at webcam sightings, a feast served to ghosts in Thailand, and NASA's mission to redirect an asteroid were among the weird and wondrous stories to cross our desk this past week.
Curious controversies surrounding a pair of classic paranormal topics made headlines this past week. First, Loch Ness Monster purists launched an online petition which called for suspected webcam sightings of the famed cryptid to be expunged from the official tally of reports as, they contend, these incidents are of such poor quality that they actually hinder the search for the legendary creature. Later in the week, a study on crop circles in England found that the phenomenon was responsible for a staggering $32,000 in lost profits for British farmers over the last five years and that just the unharvested wheat and barely destroyed by these formations could have produced a jaw-dropping 300,000 loaves of bread.
This past week NASA completed the first-ever test of a planetary defense system wherein a craft smashed into an asteroid in the hopes of changing its trajectory. Known as the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), the mission saw a probe barrel into the asteroid Dimorphos at a speed of 14,760 miles-per-hour, causing an enormous impact and destroying the spacecraft in the process. While hitting the target was a remarkable achievement, since it measures only 560 feet in diameter, it will take some time before astronomers know for sure if DART successfully shifted the asteroid's direction and, thus, proved that the concept often seen in the world of science fiction could actually be used to save humanity from suffering a fate similar to the dinosaurs.
By far the weirdest story of the week came by way of Thailand, where a pair of lottery winners credited ghosts for their good fortune and rewarded them with a lavish feast served at a graveyard. The couple's remarkable run of luck began shortly when they visited the cemetery in July and subsequently won the Thai lottery. Suspecting that the spirits somehow had a hand in them hitting the jackpot, they held a barbecue in their honor and then, amazingly, found that they had the winning numbers for a second time, bringing their total haul to a whopping $263,000. Understandably all the more thankful, the pair returned to the graveyard and presided over a $8,000 feast that was 'served' to the ghosts that reside there.
For more strange and unusual stories from the past week, check out the Coast to Coast AM website.