Elon Musk Weighs in on the Encryption Wars Between Telegram and Signal

The encryption wars brewing between the messaging apps Telegram and Signal have attracted the commentary of a high-profile critic: Elon Musk.

Musk, who previously championed Signal for its user privacy protections, now appears to have changed his tune, amplifying criticisms of the app and its leadership and saying there are unspecified “known vulnerabilities” within Signal that have gone unaddressed by the company’s leadership.

Given his influence in the tech sphere, Musk’s remarkable reversal on Signal has become central to the current conversation on encryption — and, according to one cryptography expert, is pushing users toward less secure alternatives.

Source: Elon Musk Weighs in on the Encryption Wars Between Telegram and Signal

Top senators believe the US secretly recovered UFOs | The Hill

Has the U.S. government secretly retrieved exotic craft of “non-human” origin? Newly declassified documents, along with extraordinary legislation, illustrate how two successive Democratic Senate majority leaders appear to have believed so.

Notably, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and the late Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) were not alone in their focus on UFOs. The Democratic heavyweights received critical support and encouragement from a bipartisan group of high-profile senators over the years, including former fighter pilot and famed astronaut John Glenn (D-Ohio); Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), who observed a UFO as a World War II pilot; Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), then-chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense; 2008 GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.); Senate Intelligence Vice Chairman Marco Rubio (R-Fla.); Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.).

In late 2011, for example, the top scientist at the Department of Homeland Security met with Lieberman, then chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Reid to discuss the establishment of an ultra-secret UFO program.

Source: Top senators believe the US secretly recovered UFOs | The Hill

Congress hears testimony on Russia’s sonic attacks on US officials in Havana | US news | The Guardian

Russia has “targeted and neutralized” dozens of US intelligence agents in recent years in a covert worldwide operation using sonic weapons, a House committee heard on Wednesday as it looked into the mystery phenomenon known as Havana syndrome.

The panel heard from expert witnesses that Russia had “the motive, the means and the opportunity” to enact the attacks on US diplomats and other government employees at embassies and other government outposts that left many with debilitating or career-ending brain injuries and hearing loss.

Source: Congress hears testimony on Russia’s sonic attacks on US officials in Havana | US news | The Guardian

EncounterQuest 2024


I spent part of my weekend attending the second annual EncounterQuest 2024 in Rockingham, NC this weekend. It is a one-day festival focusing on Bigfoot/Sasquatch, Mothman, and other cryptids. This year it even had a UFO aspect, with the speaker addition of LCDR Alex Dietrich, one of the F/A-18 pilots who witnessed the “TicTac UFO” in November 2004. I don’t know what to make of Bigfoot but having seen Dietrich on TV, advocating for less stigma in reporting UFOs, I wanted to hear what she had to say.

The weekend began Friday afternoon with a plaster casting class (as mentioned in the last post), where participants learned how to properly pour plaster of Paris into any Bigfoot footprints they might find out in the woods. Of course, the plaster could be used to cast prints of other cool and interesting critters so one does not have to wait for the once-in-a-lifetime Bigfoot encounter to have fun with the plaster. We practiced by stepping into plastic bins filled with soil and sand, and then followed this with a layer of plaster, learning the importance of pouring slowly and very close to the print itself. The local journalists got some photos of me making my print, which was a nice surprise.

Just as the print-making was wrapping up a thunderstorm blew in. We moved ourselves and our still-setting prints under the porch roof. Dietrich, who cheerfully introduced herself as Alex, was interviewing participants as part of a new effort she’s involved in to talk to people who go to these types of events. I said hello and before I knew it I was recounting my UFO and ET stories into her microphone.
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PHOTOS: EncounterQuest holds Bigfoot track casting workshop at Rockingham’s Hinson Lake – The Richmond Observer

I had some fun playing with plaster of Paris this weekend at the EncounterQuest convention in Rockingham, NC. We were learning how to cast prints using the plaster so that – should ever come across Bigfoot tracks – we can properly capture them. I don’t know much about Bigfoot but I have always wanted to work more with plaster so why not?

ROCKINGHAM — Several attendees of EncounterQuest had the opportunity to learn how to cast footprints and meet the speakers on Friday evening prior to Saturday’s conference.

Jay Wolber, co-host of the “Cryptids of the Corn” podcast led the plaster casting workshop at the Hinson Lake Rotary Lodge. Wolber was joined by researcher Jake Dressel, of Dayton, Ohio, who was filling in for podcast partner Justin England.

While going over the casting procedure, Dr. Jeff Meldrum — professor of Anatomy and Anthropology at Idaho State University, who has a collection of more than 300 suspected sasquatch prints — noted that his book, “Sasquatch Field Guide,” has illustrated step-by-step instructions for casting.

Following the instructional portion of the workshop, the crowd moved outside to practice casting their own footprints in soil or sand.

Source: PHOTOS: EncounterQuest holds Bigfoot track casting workshop at Rockingham’s Hinson Lake – The Richmond Observer


Sylmar cash burglars slipped into vault, left little evidence – NBC Los Angeles

The chief of the Los Angeles Police Department said that the burglars, who stole tens of millions of dollars from an armored truck depot in Sylmar during an Easter Sunday break-in, accessed the interior of the building through the roof before they entered the vault.

“It’s unclear how they accessed the vault itself inside the building. There were no obvious signs of entry into the vault,” said LAPD Chief Dominic Choi, raising questions about whether the vault was unlocked or someone involved with the break-in knew how to open it.

Source: Sylmar cash burglars slipped into vault, left little evidence – NBC Los Angeles

Why The $30 Million Cash Heist Could Only Happen In LA | Los Angeles, CA Patch

A burglary crew that successfully carried out one of the largest cash heists in Los Angeles history on Easter continues to evade law enforcement as investigators search to recover $30 million.

And tracking down the loot might prove to be the real challenge, Scott Selby, co-author of “Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History” told Patch. Everything about the expertly executed heist uniquely ties into the nature of LA with its sprawling freeways and constant flow of cash.

In many ways, it was the perfect crime. The thieves entered the Gardaworld building in Sylmar without alerting security and left with $30 million in cash that is nearly untraceable. There are very few places in the country where that amount of unmarked, nonsequential currency is stored.

Source: Why The $30 Million Cash Heist Could Only Happen In LA | Los Angeles, CA Patch

Burglars steal $30 million on Easter in one of L.A.’s biggest heists – Los Angeles Times

In one of the largest cash heists in Los Angeles history, thieves made off with as much as $30 million in an Easter Sunday burglary at a San Fernando Valley money storage facility, an L.A. police official said.

The burglary occurred Sunday night at a facility in Sylmar where cash from businesses across the region is handled and stored, said L.A. Police Department Cmdr. Elaine Morales.

The thieves were able to breach the building as well as the safe where the money was stored, Morales said. Law enforcement sources said the burglary was among the largest in city history when it comes to cash, and the total also surpassed any armored-car heist in the city.

Source: Burglars steal $30 million on Easter in one of L.A.’s biggest heists – Los Angeles Times

Who is paying to coddle the racists?

Facebook’s algorithms seem to have pegged me as a conservative, which I find amusing but also useful. I get to view ads that have absolutely no relevance to me yet prove to be an insightful look at what kind of red meat right-wing organizations are feeding their gullible followers. Yesterday I saw a provocative Facebook ad that was made to rile up the fearful. The group “Color Us United” is holding a talk next week entitled “How Wake County Is Turning Into Woke County.”

This got me looking into the organization, Color Us United. Color Us United appears to be a Morrisville-based non-profit run by Kenneth Xu, a 24-year-old who it seems makes a living stirring up racial animosity under the guise of condemning it. He’s been profiled in a few of North Carolina right-wing blogs as well as Hill.TV, and his narrative seems to be that racists should not be called out on their racism.
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Practicing my OSINT skills

Yesterday, a story went viral of a North Carolina man and woman who fought off an attack by a rabid bobcat. This story made news all over the world (it was a slow news Friday, I suppose) but I became annoyed that none of the stories mentioned who the victims were. I thought this might make a good opportunity to use my Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) skills to try to identify them based on what was known so far. And what do you know, I managed to do it!

Since I hadn’t seen that the couple had granted any interviews anywhere, I figured they were not interested in publicity and I opted not to mention their names publicly. I now see that Wilmington station WECT has interviewed them so I can reveal my work. The folks involved are good people and I don’t want my post to be used to harass them so I will focus on my techniques rather than their identity.

So, at the start of this journey all I had was the video. You see them leaving their house in the morning and getting attacked by the bobcat as they attempt to get into their car. The man pulls the animal off of his wife and flings it into the yard before they escape. It’s quite wild.


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