Bottles Tree: The Mystery of Tree Worship at Tanjong Pager

A so-called sacred tree man-made or by supernatural power?

Written by SPI team, edited by John Kwok, PhD candidate, History researcher

“Sacred” Trees in Singapore

In 2007, a road accident involving a roadside African Mahogany tree at Jurong in Singapore was published in the local press. The focus however, was not the tragedy of the accident, but the tree after its bark was stripped off as a result of the accident and revealed what looked like the head of two monkeys. Local Singaporeans interpreted it to mean a deity living in the tree. Dubbed the Monkey Tree, it inspired local cults to worship at the tree for good fortune, especially praying for winning lottery numbers. Devotees left offerings at the tree and the crowds of people to gather to make them often resulted in human and traffic congestion, much to the displeasure of the residents neighbourhood.

The Monkey Tree was popular in Singapore, but it was by no means a unique phenomena. SPI has discovered that another tree in Singapore, while not as popular as the Monkey Tree, featured evidence of tree worship. This tree was located in the heart of Singapore’s CBD at the junction of Kepple Road and Anson. It was not difficult to spot this tree for it stands at a busy junction. Of the many trees that line the Tanjong Pagar Complex, this one in particularly, near some office buildings and a hawker centre, was donned with dozens of water bottles hung from its branches. SPI agents made some enquiry from passers-by and office workers nearby. Surprisingly, most did not pay much attention to it or failed to notice the strangely decorated tree entirely. Indeed, it begs the question, why was this tree decorated in such a manner?

Observations

Each water bottle was connected to another by a long strip of orange coloured string. Each pair of bottles was hung from branches on the tree and was neatly spaced out; they were not clustered in one bunch. Each bottle was also filled and capped with a clear liquid, believed to be water. There were 32 bottles altogether – strung into 16 pairs. The conditions of the bottles suggest that they were all put up at the same time; there were uniform levels of corrosion on them. Furthermore, from physical examinations of the bottles, it appeared that they were recently strung up and hung on the tree. Further indications came from the contents of the bottles; the liquid was clear and showed only minute traces of contamination by pollution and weathering. This indicates that the bottles were all hung at one effort, possibly even by the same person or organisation. However, when empty bottles and string were found tucked and hidden away behind the tree, it suggests that more bottles would be progressively added to it, possibly in stages.

In addition to the hanging bottles were several decorated bottles placed near the tree. One in particularly featured detailed flower patterns and made to resemble a lantern. Another, in contrast, also resembled a lantern but was crudely made with plastic rings cut from mineral water bottles and joined together. At the foot of the tree was a strange object made from metal wire. The wire was skilfully woven into a circular object with the ends left sticking up, resembling a pair of pointed horns. A red make-shift tassel was attached to each end of the horns. In front of this strange object were burnt joss sticks stuck on the ground. There were also traces of joss papers and evidence that a large scale type of offering ritual had been performed at the tree. It reminds one of the offerings made to spirits during the Hungry Ghost festival. It is likely that the wire-framed object was representative of a tree deity or powerful spirit. But while tree worshipping or the making of offerings to spirits at nature objects is commonly performed in Singapore, the main feature of the tree, the practice of hanging filled bottles on a tree is not.

The Investigation

The bottles, filled liquid and hanging from the branches of the tree, reminds some SPI agents of the famous Wishing Tree in Hong Kong. Kenny recalled during a previous case that took him to visit the Wishing Tree in Hong Kong years ago:

The minute we alighted from our vehicle, crowds of aunties rushed up to me asking to buy their joss-sticks. They thought that we wanted to see the Wishing Tree and to toss on it a pair of oranges, tied together by a long red string, for good luck. We quickly and successfully avoided them and instead made our way directly to a make-shift counter set up near a large joss-stick urn.

A devotee at the counter quoted me several categories of prices for their iconic wish-making oranges that come with a stack of joss papers for burning as offerings. The prices reflected the types of wishes one would like to make i.e. individual blessings, family blessings or blessings for success in business. Each type of blessing commands a different price. And they did not come cheap. Blessings start at HKD88 and could climb to HKD1388. I was astonished that a pair of oranges and a small stack of joss papers could command such prices and wondered if I could bring my own offerings. After all, it’s the same kind of offering we are making to the same tree.  

It is unfortunate that making a wish or requests for blessings have been turned into well-oiled money making scheme at the Wishing Tree. Elsewhere, making wishes were accompanied by a simple gesture of tossing a coin into a well or fountain. Fortunately, however, recently I have heard that the Hong Kong Wishing Tree is now better regulated with the emphasis on preserving it as a unique local cultural tradition.   

When Kenny saw the filled bottles hanging from the tree in Singapore, he immediately drew parallels with the Wishing Tree in Hong Kong.

1. Evidence of burnt offerings at the foot of the tree reinforces the notion that this tree is recognised as auspicious or special like the Wishing Tree or the Monkey Tree mentioned earlier.

2. Oranges are regarded as symbolic representations of wealth, prosperity and good fortune. These are also popular wishes made by believers at the Wishing Tree. There is also a popular belief at the Wishing Tree that the higher the throw and the higher the orange is caught on the tree branches, one’s wishes would be better heard by spirits and the greater possibility that that one’s wishes would be fulfilled.

Singaporeans may have also adopted the tradition of tossing auspicious items on an auspicious tree. Instead of tossing a pair of oranges strung by a long red string up the tree for good luck, local Singaporeans toss instead bottles of water. A former SPI Cultural specialist believes that these bottles were a symbolic representation of a vessel that hold the dreams and wishes of one making the offering. However, there is a more plausible explanation that stem from the symbol of the oranges in Hong Kong; water in local Chinese culture represents wealth and fortune.

The person or organisation who hung the bottles on the tree in Singapore was very likely mimicking practices from the popular and famous Wishing Tree in Hong Kong. The Money Tree in Hong Kong proved very popular in terms of tourism dollars and the bottle tree in Singapore could be an attempt to reproduce similar results in Singapore.

The Consequence

However, the creators of the bottle tree in Singapore may not be aware that their activities have broken the law on littering in Singapore. According to the Environmental Public Health Act, it is an offense to litter at any public place or public street. The items left on and around the tree can be interpreted as litter. Littering as an offence in Singapore carries a maximum fine of S$1,000 for the first offence and S$2,000 for a subsequent offence. The offence may be compounded for S$150 if it is a first offense – the offender must attend a 15 minute briefing on how littering can harm the environment. In 1992, the EPH (Corrective Work Order) (CWO) Regulations was passed, under which litterers may be required to clean up a public place. As from Feb. 2, 1996, the power to arrest those who litter was extended to operators of public vehicles. In 1999, the number of hours which a person may be required to work under a CWO was increased from 3 hours to a maximum of 12 hours, but not exceeding 3 hours per day.

Will the creators of the bottle tree in Singapore return and continue what they started? Or have they realised the gravity of their activities in terms of breaking the law? SPI will keep you updated with these strange hanging bottles. 

Tree worship is a cultural belief that worshippers will receive blessings from spirits. Such spirits may directly reside in trees or through the tree they can be communicated in other realms. The spirits can reward worshippers of material requests such as winning lotteries or other wealth. Sometimes the tree spirits can give protection, for example healing illness or safety in transportation.

Tree worship is a matter of worshipping physical objects that is deemed nothing but superstition in skeptics’ eyes. Chinese religious folk beliefs are full of such magical stuffs. In ancient times, when indigenous people did not understand science, plus the fear from the natural environments around them, they placed huge respects on things that are larger than life or relate to their daily survival, such as thunder, rain, moon, sun, mountains, trees etc. Such respects became the primitive elements of shamanism and animism for hoping of some supernatural power would protect them against threats and dangers, that later evolved into a cultural practice. They worshiped most if not all natural substances from stone idols to biological plants and animals (ox, tiger, monkey, snake gods), often in admiration of their physical strengths.

Such physical strengths that appear greater than that of human which might be not understood (or explained) scientifically, were imagined to carry supernatural powers by our ancestors in the old days.

The Mystery of Bukit Timah Tomb and Hungry Ghost Howls

What are the secrets of the caves in Bukit Timah Hill?


1. First cave; 2. Second cave; 3. Third cave; 4. SPI discovered a mysterious tomb in Bukit Timah

Written by John Kwok, PhD candidate, History researcher

The Mystery

A thick mystery has canopied SPI for some years. It all started from a posting made at SPI forum in year 2004. Further speculations related to hungry ghost haunting, by other postings added on to the thickness of the mystery. It goes by the original post that tells a personal experience of a forum user that he supposes in Bukit Timah Nature Park there are two caves (actually there are three) which were used as torture chambers by the Japanese, hence spooky and haunted.

First cave, second cave, third cave, they are about 50 meters apart

Here is the original post:

UserHK
Posted: Wed May 26, 2004 3:36 pm
I went to Bt Timah hill at last Saturday with some small primary school boys. (I had to accompany them and lead the way) During their rest time, I went to explore the cave path with a teacher and i found two caves. The teacher said that it was one of the torture chambers used by the Japanese during the world war II. I tried to look inside and i saw water dripping there. It was quite spooky inside there too

Based on the gruesome concept of “torture chambers” which implies horrendous death took place, the caves became reputably haunted. Following up this idea of killing place, some vivid details of haunting were toted up in our forum and public writing into SPI mailbox.


1 & 2. Torture cave in Baigonguan, China. The cave was used to be air-raid shelter.
Later it was converted to a prison that used to torture political prisoners. More info here.
3 & 4. Artist impressions of people being tortured during the war

To sum up, hearsay has it that during hungry ghost month every year, one can surely encounter paranormal at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve (BTNR). The descriptions of haunting go like this: “when walk near the caves, you can hear ghost howling. They are the cries from the souls of the victims wronged to die during the Japanese cruel torture. Not only you can hear the howl, you can see their faint apparitions flashing around when you peep deep enough into the dark cave like an endless pitch.”

Scary as it sounds. There is more of it. The rumour says near the caves, there is a mass burial grave that belongs to the victims killed in the tortures. Many dead bodies were conveniently dumped into such a big hole, and covered with thin soil at each round of killing. This is said to be a military secret during the WW2 which not many people know. No offering was given because it wasn’t known by many. So the poor souls howl and cry, most fiercely especially during Lunar Seventh Month. That is the only period of time hell gates open and they can come out to mourn for their return of justice.


Photos of the first cave, taken at three different angles


When zoomed into the very end of the cave, a ghostly face appeared in the pitch darkness.
Is the face just a manifestation of random rock patterns or a supernatural sign? You’d be the judge
If you look carefully, you’d see the left eye is weeping, and the expression is bearing in grief
The four photos are again taken at different angles.

Another related paranormal incident to the caves and mass burial is at the Bukit Timah quarry. In the 70’s and earlier, the quarry was still filled with water collected from the hill, ideal for swimming. It was known as a popular public swimming place as some elders might still remember.

It served as a swimming pool until several drowning cases happened. Lately the quarry was sealed off from entry for safety reasons, let alone swimming in it. The deaths were attributed to the water ghosts in the water who so-called “looking for substitutes of their death” for their chance of reincarnation.

During Hungry Ghost month, it was such an Old Wives’ Tales that swimming is tabooed especially in the Bukit Timah Quarry. Well, the ghosts were also rumoured to be those victims murdered during WW2 at BTNR. The ghosts would pull the legs of the swimmers and made them drown at the water quarry.

So in summary, the haunting by the hearsay is listed as below:

  • Caves were used as torture chambers by the Japanese soldiers
  • Many killings occurred but the dead were not given a proper burial
  • A mass burial grave was made somewhere near the cave, but was forgotten
  • Ghosts did not receive proper offerings; the unrest souls are out to haunt the living
  • One haunting is at the cave proximity, where vengeful ghost crying can be heard and dark apparitions can be seen
  • The other haunting is connected to the Bukit Timah Quarry that is a stone throw away; the forgotten ghosts since cannot receive proper care of religious rituals they pulled the legs of the swimmers, each man killed the ghosts receive a chance to reincarnation.
  • The ghost of the drown swimmer in turn, would have to kill another swimmer to reincarnate. Such is a vicious cycle.

In order to solve this thick mystery, we untangle it by breaking down the research tasks:

What are those caves? What were they used for? Was it really being used as torture chambers? Are ghosts really in there? What actually caused the swimmers to die? What are those crying moans and what are those flashing dark apparitions in the cave? (Assume that the cries and sightings were really perceived by the story tellers, and they were not exaggerating).

The investigation

SPI team recently checked out the caves, as well as interviewed a passerby at BTNR. Starting from the Cave path, follows a winding forest path Tiup Tiup Hut trail, one of the longer and less popular routes to the summit. We found three caves, at about 50 meters apart. The caves run very deep, man-built, about 2 meters wide and 2 meters tall.


SPI set out to investigate Bukit Timah Hill


After trekking for half an hour, we found the caves but locked up with heavy metal gates


Close up views of the metal gates


Graffiti on the wall. What are these words? (Close up here) Vendalism or clues to the reasons of the metal gates?


He said here is haunted by many spirits?

On that day when we investigated the caves, we crossed path with a roughly 50’s years man who was wearing a plain vest and shorts. This man told us that the place is very haunted, full of spirits. But to him, the spirits are pitiful entities by his Buddhist religion. He told us he frequently went there for the purpose of reciting prayers to them. We tried to ask further about what spirits and where the spirits are. He gave us a short reply “they are everywhere here” and left swiftly.


A religious man was chanting mantras aloud in the midst of the forest, to the so-called wandering souls around the area


SPI agent had a short conversion with him


SPI bumped into a religious man who believes many spirits are in the forest. At the same time, he also mentioned that this place is called “” which literately means a small bridge over moving water. It is said to be a sacred place with strong and ubiquitous energies. The running water that forms a little stream is claimed to have healing power. We saw a couple came moments ago with water pals to carry away the water. They immersed their bodies under the stream, getting wet head over heels. Cooling as it surely is, how real might the healing power be?

To run an instant experiment, Kenny soaked his fresh wound on the arm that was accidently sratched during the forest exploration just now. Besides it washed the dirts away from the wound, no miraculous healing effect was observed yet. In order to have a more objective assessment, we collected a bottle of water sample to be sent for laboratory water quality tests. Is it really a supernatural elixir of life or just plain H2O with may be some extra mineral contents? SPI rationally verifies.


A holy place in the forest as perceived by some people, filled with spiritual energy.
It is however just a part of the old water catchment facility;
In the first photo, did you notice there is an orb some distance off from the bridge?
A scary face can be seen when it is enlarged.


Collected a bottle of water sample for analysis

Ghost pull your legs at Bukit Timah Quarry

On another occasion, we investigated the Bukit Timah quarry. The water level was about waist deep; but the rock formation on the sea bed filled with many pits. In other words, the bottom of the water quarry was not flat. One may accidentally step on the deep pits, either sink straight in or trapped in the soft mud. The mud is like a big suction to the swimmer’s foot. With panic and acute fear set in, the more the swimmer struggled the more he sank with the quick-sand effect.


Bukit Timah Water Quarry – rumours said ghost will pull legs of swimmers


View of the quarry from atop

Anyway, this is not verified as we can never take a risk of putting a human experiment at the water quarry. But from the photo records of Bukit Timah quarry in the early days, we got to know that the rock formation on the bottom is full of very ragged granites.

SPI discovered a strange solitary tomb


SPI team is climbing up a slope just before they discovered the tomb.
Along the way, in three consecutive photos, an orb is observed.
It is not known whether it is the same orb all the way. Close up shots are here: orb 1, orb 2, orb 3


A solitary Chinese tomb is discovered by surprise. It is facing East direction.


1. This is the Empresses stone tablet behind the main tomb, kind of coarsely built;
2. Some plastic bag debris remained there – possibly somebody came before long time ago;
3 & 4. Is this tomb the landmark to the treasure cave? We continued the search around the proximity


SPI found several other stone markers nearby too, with red paint on



There is an incredible discovery when we were investigating the caves. From the direction where the wind howls into the cave, we observed a steep slope. A strange impulse motivated us to risk climbing down the slope.

After a challenging climb, we were stunned of what we saw – a Chinese tomb was standing at the alcove of the slope. It was never known in any written document that BTNP ever was used to be a cemetery. It is an enigma why there was such a tomb.

The analysis and the debunks

Pertaining to the mysteries listed below, we analysed our findings by rationally reasoning:

Debunking Mystery 1: Ghosts haunting at the caves and the quarry?

As for the haunting of the quarry, SPI by an on-site investigation, found that the bottom of quarry was not made flat, but full of ditches and lose sands. Quarries are so dangerous to swim in because there are different layers in the bottom. There could be boulders in places, or drop off sharply in other places. The pitfalls plus the fear by the hungry ghosts are the culprits responsible for many deaths.


The bottom of a quarry which is full of dangerous ragged rocks before water filled in

The ghostly cry and apparition sightings at the caves could be due to the echo of the wind blowing into the cave and the appearance of the wild animals in the nature reserve respectively.

Quoting from Npark, BTNR indeed has a variety of wild animals not very commonly known to the public:

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve has been untouched for almost the past 180 years. The 163-hectare reserve retains one of the largest tracts of primary rainforest left in Singapore.

“The forest is also home to more than 500 species of animals, including butterflies. Keen observers may spot the Common Treeshrew (Tupaia glis), the Flying Lemur (Cynocephalus variegatus) and with just a bit of luck, the nocturnal Pangolin or Ant-eater Manis javanica).”

Other animals that are common there includes:
– Long-tailed Macaque (Macaca fascicularis)
– Plantain Squirrel (Callosciurus notatus)
– mildly venomous Oriental Whip Snake (Ahaetulla prasina)
– Greater Racket-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus)
– Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga sipahaja)
– etc…


Yes, they like to howl


Their squeaking screams can be very scary when they are out of sight


For example, as an experiment here, can you see what the dark apparition is in the photo?
If you click on the thumb image above you will see a dark shadow;
But if the photo is brightened up, clearly the apparition is not a spook.
So lighting condition plays a large part in those so-called ghost sightings.

Furthermore the section of path along the Path Trail and the Tiup Tiup Trail is densely forested. The canopy of tall trees shades off most of the sunlight making the area eerily dark even during daytime. So it is very likely that those dark apparitions being spotted are merely birds and wild animals in the jungle. Bats could have lived inside the caves too.

Debunking Mystery 2: What are the caves used for, torture chambers?

No record ever found in Singapore, caves were used as torture chambers. It was just rumoured from hearsay at SPI forum. Common sense can tell that it is not justifiable to built three caves with deep tunnels, just for torturing people. The sizes of the tunnel that measures no larger than 2 x 2 meters wouldn�t make a good space for torturing. Also, why not just conveniently tied up the victims on a tree for tortures in an open space? Many places in a jungle can be used for torturing, such as those jungles at Burma when many POWs were tortured in the Death of Railway.

The effort for digging into solid granite for three cave tunnels seems to serve a better purpose. A brief search on the internet yields some preliminary results of mentioning that the caves were used for storing supplies and ammunitions during the Japanese occupation by the Japanese army. The same was told to SPI by making inquiries to the information help desk at BTNR too.


Lets examine the structure of the cave, especially the flooring.
There seem to be some broken fragements of slates on the ground.
Does this imply it used to have a solid ground over which heavy items (on wheels) can easily be transported?


1. The cave is somehow shaped like a funnel with a wide space at the front;
You can see that the side walls are almost vertically flat;
2. In one of the cave, there is a strange light somewhere in the middle; See enlarged;
Does it mean there may be an opening somewhere over the top of the cave tunnel?
3 & 4. To verify this, SPI climbed up over the cave and did some carpet search.


This makes sense because an underground shelter provided by the cave tunnel is an ideal shock-resistant storage place for ammunition. The usage of these cave tunnels were generally believed in this way, although a bunker would a preferred choice. However, upon consultation of Dr John Kwok, a lecturer from an Australian University, as well as our SPI Advisor, John found some records of oral interview (accession number 002849) at Singapore National Archive that indicate otherwise. The caves were not likely built for storing supply and ammunition, but TREASURES by referencing to the records. And the tomb discovered by SPI is the “key” to the secret treasures!

According to a Japanese WW2 veteran, whose name was HIGASHIURA Yoshifumi, there were 3 caves that were dug by the Japanese soldiers in the forest of Singapore, believed to safe-keep Singapore’s artifacts and treasures. The interviewee was one of them who dug the caves.

He also said that near the caves would be “a stone marker with red words” when being asked on how to find the caves. We suppose there was no prominent landmark or special feature that can identify the location of the caves, so that the Chinese “tomb” that has a front stone slab with red words was taken as the key position marker.

Here is the synopsis of the oral interview record by Higashiura Yoshifumi at National Archive:

Interviewee ordered to dig three caves in forest of Singapore. Believed caves were meant to safe-keep Singapore’s artifacts and treasures. Described the structure of the tunnels. Interviewee believed that treasures were kept within. Described the location of the tunnels.

This is John’s observation. The National Archive interviewer was asking him where the caves are. He replied vaguely… like “100 meters further deeper in the jungle and go around the hill. Go to your right, when you find the marker with red words, the caves are there.”

Each cave was described to be at least seven to eight meters deep. They were dug sometime in 1944. The tone of the interviewer was like pressing him for information. On one hand it sounds like the ramblings of an old man. On the other hand, he sounded very sure about those tunnels.

So quite clearly, if the Japanese veteran was telling the truth – the caves are built by the Japanese to hide the treasures and artifacts of Singapore. Those treasures probably were looted during the Japanese occupation time. How true and believable this account can be? By referring to the legend of Yamashita Gold in Philippines, many similar caves were dug for storing loots of treasures.


Illustrative photos that resemble how treasure caves look like

Why then the Japanese needed those cave tunnels to store the treasures? Wouldn’t it be better if can get them transported directly back to Japan during the occupation? Well, by 1943 the Japanese were no longer in control of the seas… It doesn’t make sense to bring in something that valuable here when you know it’s going to be lost to the Americans anyway. It however could be a good contingency plan that they temporarily hide the treasure in a very secret place (like the three caves with relative unnoticeable entrances in a thick jungle) with only the tomb being the marker “key”.

And coincidentally, the caves were dug in year 1944 that was about a year later when the Japanese realized that they no longer can take the sea route safely to send home the treasure. Hence the contingency plan of burring the treasures in a secret location took place, in the hope of recovering them when the war was over in the future.

Chronologically it goes like this:
End of 1941, the Chinese tomb was erected
1942, Japan invaded Singapore, probably looted certain amount of treasures
1943, Japan started to lose power in sea to the Americans, sea transportation of treasure may not be feasible anymore
1944, Japanese army dug the caves for hiding the treasures

Subsequently, by the old Japanese soldier’s account, the tomb was the “key” to the caves.

Debunking Mystery 3: Why a Chinese tomb was found at BTNR?

It seems like the tomb fits the description of a marker with red words in the account of oral interview at National Archive. In this case, the tomb may be established with a significant reason – as a marker to the treasure cave, if it is not a coincidence that it happened to be there.

Observing around, there are no other tombs around implying that the area was not meant to be a cemetery. Compared to the famous “Water Tomb” at McRitchie Reservoir which was believed to be built because of the Feng Shui environment facing the water, the tomb at BTNR is just a simple tomb without any Feng Shui resemblance.

Furthermore, the tomb at BTNR looks quite “make-shift” as if it was built in a hurry. You can see the inscription of the BTNR tomb tablet was quite sketchy too, but the words are in red-paint.

Perhaps this solitary tomb was deliberately erected there as a marker telling the position of the secret caves. If so, this must be a clever idea as tombs are common objects which people would not pay much attention about (except may be SPI : ) and to the traditional Chinese concept, people would leave tombs alone out of respect.

This is just a speculation anyway. However, the year when the tomb was established might give some clue: 30th year of Taiwan national calendar, 29 December. Converting to western calendar, that was the end of year 1941. That was the year even before the Japanese aggression army set foot in Singapore.

Therefore, the tomb shouldn’t be erected by the Japanese as a disguise of a position marker. It is nevertheless possible that the Japanese might have discovered this tomb in 1944, and conveniently used it as a position marker to dig the caves. The tomb, as well as the caves, are facing direct East as found by SPI.

So why the tomb was located there which later made use by the Japanese army to dig caves and hid treasures?

It is still a mystery.

Perhaps you can help us to unlock the mystery…


Inscription that dictates the details

Close-up of the words which are clearly shown on the tomb – Do you know who this Madam Hsu is? Please send us an email. We would like to hear from you to complete this mystery.

Bukit Timah is known to be very haunted, as it was famous for its battle-fields. Some facts about Bukit Timah hill had many killings is as below:

http://warstudy.com/history/world_war/jp_singapore/006.xml#a10

Also during Hungry Ghost Month, the dead in the forest (the caves) and the quarry seek out to haunt us because they were ignored and had not received sufficient offerings.

As the historical records indicate, the caves were dug by the Japanese for storing treasures. There is no known record of killings at the cave. The quarry was simply dangerous and some careless swimmers met some mishaps there. The fear created in the swimmers� minds made the drowning as a vicious viral cycle.

The tomb however may simply be a tomb so happened to be chosen there. In other countries, it is common to have graves scattered over mountains and hills. It has nothing paranormal about that.

Unidentified Flying Objects Observed in Singapore Skies

Strange sightings at Woodlands, Sengkang and others
Written by Portageek and Chlorophfil

Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) stories have always been associated with Alienvisitation to Earth. Whenever a UFO is mentioned, the conversation tends to lead to a discussion of ‘Do they exist?’

Media itself portraysthis concept, as seen from the many movies, such as CloseEncounters of the Third Kind, The Abyss, The Brother fromAnother Planet, Alien, and lately, The Fourth Kind. The UFOsmovies always depict that the visit is for a reason: conveyinga message for the inhabitants of �this backward planet� tochange behaviour (e.g. reduce wars and wastage of naturalresources) or be exterminated.

Hence, it is notuncommon for people who see UFOs to want an investigation intothe matter.  Background Asearly as January 2010, there have been forum postings and muchdiscussion of eye witness accounts of bright lights in the sky

By RaveAngel  http://spi.com.sg/forum/viewtopic.php?t=13817  (Feb 6)

By Rosieelah http://spi.com.sg/forum/viewtopic.php?t=13772  (Jan 18)

By Angel-X http://spi.com.sg/forum/viewtopic.php?t=13741  (Jan 8)

Not only have forum members been seeinglights in the sky, members of the public have similarlyreported sightings. The hype of seeing lights in the sky haseven prompted a call in to STOMP with enlarged posting ofphotographs of the UFO sighting (See STOMP report)

SPI received email from two members of the public sharingtheir accounts of their experiences. Both have video clips tosubstantiate their sightings. One sighting occurred inWoodlands and the other in Sengkang. SPI agents went down tolocation and met up with the witnesses, to try to solve thecase of �strange lights in the sky�.  UFOReport on Stomp STOMPer James has a hard timefiguring out what these strange unidentified objects he sawhovering above a multi-storey carpark in Woodlands.

Said the STOMPer:

“I’m having problems identifying these flying objects whichI spotted on Friday night while collecting my vehicle at amulti- storey carpark in woodlands.

 

“There are three of them with colourful lights around them.

“One of them was much bigger than the other two.

“During the 20 minutes of obversation, they didn’t movemuch.

“At some point, they were even covered by clouds.

“The bigger one was like a 5 cent coin at such a distance.

“The actual size may be bigger than a truck.

“I don’t believe in UFOs, so it may just be kites or airballoons. “But for a kites to be able to covered byclouds, it must have reached great heights.”

 

Disclaimer: The information in this article is compiled as it is, just for a reference.
SPI do not support their authenticity and their opinions.



1 & 3. Photo of SARS virus under microscope; 2. Artist impression of a SAR sufferer

Click here to view interactively how SARS spreads
Click here to view a valuable document by Ministry of Health on ‘Living with Sars’

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) – Prophecy Discussion
(source of informatio: T. Chase, Revelation13)

In mid-March 2003, it was announced to the world that there was a new Pneumonia-like disease causing a spreading epidemic in the world. A new disease epidemic of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), started in Guangdong Province in China in November 2002, and then spread to other countries in Asia: Hong Kong, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Singapore. It has also spread to Canada and the U.S.. Many cases have been linked to a Hotel in Hong Kong. It is a Pneumonia-like illness with an incubation period of 2 to 7 days. There is a great danger of it spreading worldwide. Apparently it is related to Saturn being at its brightest at the start of 2003 (Saturn is equivalent to Satan, and Satan on earth would also be the dragon, Red China).

About the deadly diseases, from the point of view of Astrology, Biblical prophecy including the Book of Revelation, and numerical analysis were considered. Note that 1999 has 666 upside down, and 1998=666×3, so the Antichrist may have appeared in year 2000, and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse may ride, including the Fourth Horseman Death by disease, which could be AIDS, Ebola, Influenza, and other diseases.

Let us consider here three diseases that are a threat to mankind: AIDS, Ebola, and Influenza. The virus that causes AIDS, HIV, was discovered in the year 1983, so therefore associate AIDS with the number 83. The galaxy M83 is in the constellation Hydra, which was a multi-headed serpent in mythology that kept growing a new head, each time a head was cut off. This sounds like AIDS, which keeps mutating to allow it to get around any treatment or vaccine. The Hydra was defeated by Hercules, by his nephew Iolaus burning each of the mortal heads as Hercules cut them off, and burying the immortal head under a stone.

Note that the AIDS virus has 9213=111×83 bits of genetic information, so again the number 83.

Ebola, a lethal disease of Africa that kills in two weeks of infection, had its virus discovered in 1976, so if we associate galaxy M76 with it, we are near the constellation Andromeda. Remember the movie “Andromeda Strain” about a lethal disease that threatened humanity? That could be Ebola if it mutates to an airborne form.

Influenza or “Flu” was discovered in 1933. Galaxy M33 is in the constellation Triangulum. That may imply we should look for a triangle. The numbers 33, 76, and 83 do form a right (90 degree) triangle with an angle of 66 degrees.

Since 666 is the number of the antichrist of the Book of Revelation chapter 13, this may imply that these three diseases will threaten humanity when he appears. In fact, ebola virus frequently twists itself into a shape that looks like a “6”.

These diseases may also relate to three animals used to describe the Antichrist in Revelation 13:2: he is like a leopard, has the mouth of a lion, and the feet of a bear. Maybe Ebola corresponds to the leopard, with its great speed; Ebola kills in two weeks of infection. Influenza could be the lion; it causes coughing like a lion’s roar. And AIDS could be the bear; bears hibernate, like AIDS can do in people, until it wakes up and kills them.

Another recent disease is BSE, Mad Cow Disease. On April 3, 1996, Comet Hyakutake was visible during a lunar eclipse, which interestingly occurs between Palm Sunday and Good Friday. When this comet passed near the constellation Virgo (the actual constellation, rather than the astrology sign), Mad Cow Disease appearing in people was announced to the world. The Egyptian version of Virgo, Isis, depicted with cow’s horns. And Europa, the symbol of Europe, could also be considered a version of Virgo the Virgin. Europa rides a Bull– this image is similar to the 17th chapter of the Bible’s Book of Revelation, where a woman named Babylon rides a beast. The woman is holding a cup in her hand, full of filthiness. The analogy would be Europa riding the Bull, with the cup of filthiness being the Mad Cow Disease spread through infected beef. Also, according to Revelation, the woman sits on a city with seven hills, which is Rome– again implying she is Europe. And note that BSE was discovered in 1986, so if we assign a galaxy to it by this number 86(Galaxy M86), Galaxy M86 is in the constellation Virgo the Virgin, representing the woman Babylon and Isis. And note that if we assign a Book of Revelation passage to this number 86, we have Revelation 18:6, which refers to the woman Babylon and her cup.

Another disease, Tuberculosis (TB) is becoming an increasingly bad worldwide epidemic, with drug resistant TB common. TB also is common in cattle. The bacteria Mycobacterium was identified by Robert Koch as the cause of TB in 1882, so we will associate the number 82 and the Galaxy M82 with it, and Revelation 18:2 (King James Version):

“18:2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.”  Note that TB is spread by poor sanitation and hygiene, that we can relate to the “unclean” in the passage above; and Babylon was in Iraq.

Concerning SARS, it could be related to influenza, and therefore the Influenza part of the three diseases attacking humanity as the Fourth Horseman, Death. Note that in early 2003, with Saturn/Satan at its brightest as I explain on the calendar page, there is an Ebola epidemic in Africa, AIDS is out of control in Africa and elsewhere, so SARS could be the 3rd part of the Fourth Horseman, Flu. Note that SARS has been found to be caused by a new virus, which could be a type of Paramyxovirus (the virus family of measles and mumps), or a coronavirus (a type of virus that usually just causes colds), or it may belong to a new family of virus.

Note: the first letters of SARS, Ebola, AIDS spells “sea”, and the Antichrist (the beast) rises out of the sea (of world politics) in Revelation 13. Also: the first letters of: Influenza, BSE, Ebola, AIDS, SARS, TB:

This suggests that these diseases will cause worldwide epidemics as the Beast rises to power, and the Fourth Horseman Death rides.

Also, SARS began in Guangdong Province, China, which is at geographic coordinates of 23 degrees North 112-115 East. Corresponding to 23 North would be the Bible’s Psalm 23: (23:4, King James Version): “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me”

So this relates to this disease being the shadow of death. Also note that Hong Kong is near Guangdong Province in China, and Hong Kong is a former English colony: this may relate to the “mouth of a lion” of the Red Dragon Red China, the lion I related above to Influenza. Also note that I relate the lion of the Antichrist to Iraq, the lion being a symbol of Babylon, the ancient empire that was located in Iraq. So war in Iraq in March 2003 may relate holographically to this “lion” disease SARS appearing then. This disease of SARS may be symbolic of the disease of Saddam Hussein that has existed in Iraq. Also, since SARS had its virus discovered in March 2003, then we can relate it to Galaxy M23, which is in the Constellation Sagittarius, Sagittarius being the half-man half-horse archer. This again would relate it to the Antichrist, since in Revelation 6:2 the Antichrist is a man on horseback with a bow and arrow. So SARS may indicate the rise of the Antichrist, the Satanic imitation of Christ, to world prominence soon. And SARS coming out of China: the Antichrist gets his power from the dragon. Also, corresponding to 23 for SARS (since SARS was discovered in 2003, and started near 23 North in China) would be Revelation 12:3 where the red dragon is seen in heaven, the dragon being Red China, and also the Terrorist dragon. Also, the Hong Kong airline Dragonair in March 2003 on Flight KA901 from Beijing to Hong Kong had a SARS infected person on board, so health people are trying to contact the 222 passengers who were on that flight to try to see if they were infected, to stop more spread of SARS. The interesting thing with that flight is that again we have the dragon and China, and 901 in the flight number KA901 could be associated with Revelation 9:1 where a star falls from heaven into the bottomless pit; this is about the Antichrist. And “KA” in KA901 sounds like “key” as in “key to the bottomless pit” in Revelation 9:1, which would be the key to the Gates of Hell. Revelation 9:1,2:, King James version:

“9:1 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.

2 And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.”

A general pattern:

Ebola: 76 (virus discovered in 1976)
Rev. 17:6, the bloodthirsty woman (Ebola makes people bleed to death)
Also in 1976: Chairman Mao dies in Red China, he was noted for being bloodthirsty, like this disease
Galaxy M76 near Andromeda (“The Andromeda Strain”)

AIDS: 83 (virus discovered in 1983)
Rev. 18:3, the corrupt woman Babylon (Babylon being Iraq today)
Also in 1983: religious radicalism in the Arab World is increasing, after the assassination of Anwar Sadat in 1981; Osama was in Afghanistan in 1983
Square root of 83 is 9.11, as in 9-11 (September 11)
Galaxy M83 in Constellation Hydra (the Hydra being like the Radical Terrorists, El Qaida, it keeps growing a new head each time you cut one off, as AIDS keeps evading a vaccine)

BSE (Mad Cow Disease): 86 (discovered in 1986)
Rev. 18:6, the woman with the cup of filthiness
Galaxy M86 in Virgo the Virgin, here representing the woman, who is also Isis (who had cow horns)

Tuberculosis (TB): 82 (bacteria discovered in 1882)
Rev. 18:2, the unclean city Babylon (Babylon was ancient Iraq)
Galaxy M82 in the Great Bear; the Antichrist has the feet of a great bear.  But then who is the great bear?

Influenza: 33 (virus discovered in 1933)
Rev. 13:3, the beast (the Antichrist) rises out of the sea
Galaxy M33 in Triangulum

SARS: 23 (virus discovered in 2003)
Began near 23 degrees North in China
Rev. 12:3, the Red Dragon seen in heaven: Red China
Galaxy M23 in Sagittarius, the Archer horse/man, corresponding to the man on horseback with a bow in Revelation 6:2, the Antichrist

So: there is a real danger of SARS spreading worldwide in 2003, lets hope it is stopped soon. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta are investigating it now and attempting to stop its spread. The SARS disease has for symptoms high fever, coughing, difficulty breathing, and may include muscle stiffness and pain, sore throat, headache, loss of appetite, stomach symptoms, and rash. Its incubation period being only a few days it could spread very rapidly around the world. It appears it is airborne, and spreads from person to person, either by air or by contact. Also, the number 23 mentioned above may somehow be a clue to a cure or treatment for SARS (but I have no idea of how). And in Revelation 12 Michael battles the Red Dragon, defeating him in Revelation 20 by chaining him: so again that may be a clue of how to stop SARS, but again I don’t know how. The Angel Michael is able to chain up the Red Dragon, Satan, in Revelation 20 and send him back to the bottomless pit (Revelation 20, King James Version):

“20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.”


1. A SARS patient under treatment in Guangzhou; 2 & 3. Infested apartment in Hong Kong; 4. Residents needed to be isolated


1 & 2. Lousy treatment in China – only used screens to separate patients;
3. Infested hotel in Hong Kong – the ultimate place of horror
4. People in Hong Kong are queuing up to buy masks though their prices increased tenfold


Click here to view a rumor email (in Chinese) that has been circulating around about a SARS policy in China.  But we think it is a hoax.

China under fire from WHO as experts intensify probe into SARS
(Source of information: Asia Pacific AFP News)

GUANGZHOU, China (AFP) – China was publicly criticised for its foot-dragging by the director of the World Health Organisation as WHO experts dug deeper into the cause of the deadly SARS outbreak in the south of the country.

In WHO’s first public criticism of China, the global health agency’s director general Gro Harlem Brundtland said China should have reported its first cases of the atypical pneumonia, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), more quickly.

“Next time something strange and new comes … let us come in as quickly as possible,” she told the BBC.

“It would have been definitely helpful if the international expertise and WHO had been able to help at an earlier stage.”

The criticism came as the mysterious disease claimed more victims in Canada and Hong Kong, as well as in Beijing, where an International Labour Organisation official died after arriving in mid-March for a conference.

He was the highest profile casualty of the outbreak since WHO expert Carlo Urbani — who first identified the disease — died in Bangkok last month.

In southern China’s Guangdong province — where the disease has affected more people than anywhere in the world — a team of WHO experts stepped up efforts to find the cause.

The four-member team of epidemiologists and disease specialists broke up into small groups Monday to expedite their investigation.

Two experts met with Chinese animal disease and health officials while two others headed to hospitals.

Team leader Robert Breiman declined to comment on the new deaths, saying the team’s focus was to first identify the source of the disease to help come up with effective treatment and prevent it from spreading further.

“We’re still in the investigative phase here and so there’s no point in me commenting about that,” Breiman told reporters.

The disease, which first broke out in Guangdong, has now spread to as many as 32 countries, and is suspected or confirmed to have infected more than 2,700 people, with the death toll rapidly approaching 100.

WHO experts said they were still awaiting specimen samples from China to study the virus’ make-up in international laboratories, as China lacks the new technology to do so properly.

China, which insists it is “fully capable” of controlling the spread of SARS, has verbally agreed, but WHO officials are still waiting for the samples.

“It is very important because we think we will get the answer from here if from anywhere,” WHO expert Wolfgang Preiser said.

Chinese scientists have found the coronavirus, paramyxovirus and the bacteria chlamydia in the Chinese cases, a deputy director of the Guangzhou No. 8 People’s Hospital said Sunday.

But he said the presence of the coronavirus has not been confirmed. Breiman said it would not be pinpointed until the Chinese specimen samples are tested overseas.

Experts are focusing on the coronavirus because they suspect a strain of the coronavirus previously known to affect animals may be at work.

Influenzas have traditionally originated in southern China and experts now suspect the virus may be connected to local residents’ close proximity and frequent contact with animals.

Breiman, who met with Chinese animal disease experts Monday, said after the meeting that there were no conclusive findings but discussions were “helpful.”

“We discussed all kinds of animals … livestock and domesticated animals and also wildlife. … We asked about rodents and bats and birds and pigs and ducks and chickens,” Breiman said, adding that pangolins were also discussed.

Chinese officials Sunday announced four more deaths and 57 more cases, bringing the total number of deaths in China to 51 and cases to 1,247.

In Beijing, diplomatic compounds were being disinfected Monday while jittery foreign companies began to issue face masks to employees and cancel business trips.


1. Since March 27, Tan Tock Seng Hospital has replaced the Communicable Disease Centre as Singapore’s headquarters for the outbreak.
We salute to the doctors, nurses and all the staff who work at TTSH.  They are the heroes with great professionalism.
2. Temporary tents are erected in the parking lot facing TTSH’s Accident and Emergency ward.
They form a screening centre to cope with the increasing numbers of suspected Sars cases.
3. Staff of the Casket Company use protective clothing while handling Mr Low’s coffin.
Cremations of Sars victims must be carried out within 24 hours in accordance with the Ministry of Health’s guidelines
GHOST BUS: This bus was meant to take students on an excursion but was cancelled due to a 10-day closure of schools, affecting about 600,000 students

Frequently Asked Questions on Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
(Source of information: Who Health Organization)

Q : What are the symptoms of SARS ?

A : The main symptoms of SARS are high fever (> 38° Celsius), dry cough, shortness of breath or breathing difficulties. Changes in chest X-rays indicative of pneumonia also occur. SARS may be associated with other symptoms, including headache, muscular stiffness, loss of appetite, malaise, confusion, rash and diarrhoea.

Q : How contagious is SARS ?

A : Based on currently available evidence, close contact with an infected person is needed for the infective agent to spread from one person to another. Contact with aerosolized (exhaled) droplets and bodily secretions from an infected person appears to be important. To date, the majority of cases have occurred in hospital workers who have cared for SARS patients and the close family members of these patients. However, the amount of the infective agent needed to cause an infection has not yet been determined.

Q : How should SARS patients be managed?

A : Patients should be placed in an isolation unit. Strict respiratory and mucusol barrier nursing is recommended. It is very important that suspected cases are separated from other patients and placed in their own hospital room. Health care workers and visitors should wear efficient filter masks, goggles, aprons, head covers, and gloves when in close contact with the patient. Hospital Infection Control Guidance

Q : What is the treatment for SARS ?

A : While some medicines have been tried, no drug can, at this time, be recommended for prophylaxis or treatment. Antibiotics do not appear to be effective. Symptoms should be treated by adequately protected health professionals. As a result of good supportive care, some patients in Hanoi have been transferred from critical care wards to regular wards.

Q : When will this disease be identified ?

A : An international multicenter research project to expedite identification of the causative agent was established on Monday 17 March. Eleven top labs in ten countries are consulting daily and are working together to identify the causative agent. Various specimens have been collected from cases and post-mortem examinations. Laboratory tests are ongoing and a candidate causative infectious agent is under investigation.

Q : How fast does SARS spread ?

A : SARS appears to be less infectious than influenza. The incubation period is short, estimated to range from 2-7 days, with 3-5 days being more common. However, the speed of international travel creates a risk that cases can rapidly spread around the world.

Q : Where and when was the first case of SARS reported ?

A : On 26 February, a man was admitted to hospital in Hanoi with high fever, dry cough, myalgia (muscle soreness) and mild sore throat. Over the next four days he developed increasing breathing difficulties, severe thrombocytopenia (low platelet count) and signs of adult respiratory distress syndrome requiring ventilator support.

Q : How many cases of SARS have been reported to date ?

A : From 1 February to 24 March, 456 cases including seventeen deaths have been reported. In the early stages the symptoms are similar to those of many diseases including influenza. Heightened awareness about the disease, and the vigilance of health authorities around the world, have resulted in a close watch for suspected cases and rapid and thorough reporting. Not all of these suspected cases may prove to be SARS. There are many reports and rumours coming in from around the world, but quite a few of these will turn out to be normal wintertime activity of diseases like influenza whose early symptoms are similar. The cumulative number of cases and deaths is continuously updated on the WHO web site .

Q : How many countries report cases of SARS ?

A . As of 24 March, cases had been reported from thirteen countries. Of these, four countries have only imported cases with no documented local transmission, indicating that the disease is not spreading in these countries and residents are not at risk.

Q : Is the outbreak in Guangdong Province, China linked ?

A : Extensive investigation is under way to better understand the outbreak of atypical (unusual) pneumonia that began in Guangdong province in November 2002. Findings from this investigation should help clarify possible links with cases of SARS.

Q : Could this result from bioterrorism ?

A : There is no indication that SARS is linked to bioterrorism.

Q : Should we be worried ?

A : This illness can be severe and, due to global travel, has spread to several countries in a relatively short period of time. However, SARS is not highly contagious when protective measures are used, and the percentage of cases that have been fatal is low. Since the WHO global alert issued on 15 March , only isolated cases have been identified and no secondary outbreaks have occurred.

Q : Is it safe to travel ?

A : WHO has not recommended restricting travel to any destination in the world. However, all travellers should be aware of the main symptoms and signs of SARS, as given above. People who have these symptoms and have been in close contact with a person who has been diagnosed with SARS, or have a recent history of travel to areas where cases of SARS have been spreading, should seek medical attention and inform health care staff of recent travel. Travellers who develop these symptoms are advised not to undertake further travel until fully recovered.

Q : What is the purpose of a global travel advisory ?

A : The purpose of the advisory WHO issued on 15 March is to tell people what SARS looks like and what they need to report to a physician. The WHO alert does not recommend cancellation of, or change in, travel plans. Trade and tourism should not be restricted. The purpose of the alert is to heighten the awareness of travellers, health authorities, and physicians, not to restrict travel.

Q : Could this be the next flu pandemic ?

A : Tests have not yet conclusively identified the causative agent of SARS. The possible involvement of an influenza virus was an initial concern.

Q What does WHO recommend ?

A : WHO recommends that global surveillance continue and that suspected cases are reported to national health authorities. WHO urges national health authorities to remain on the alert for suspected cases and followed recommended protective measures. SARS patients should be isolated and cared for using barrier nursing techniques and provided with symptomatic treatment.

Q : How can the public keep apprised of the situation ?

A : The public is advised to consult the home page of the WHO website : for daily updates on the outbreak and relevant press releases. More information is available on the WHO SARS web page which is easily accessed through the WHO home page or through: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) Many national authorities have also established web sites with excellent information for both the general public and the medical profession.

Q :Are there any positive developments ?

A : A significant number of cases in Viet Nam, as a result of good supportive care, have improved. In addition, the global surveillance system has proven to be a very sensitive and rapid means of reporting of suspected cases. Health authorities around the world are now alert to the risk of SARS. Information on cases compiled over the last three weeks is expected to shed new light on the behaviour of this disease. Secondary outbreaks have to date been avoided since global surveillance was put in place and rapid isolation of cases undertaken.

Cause Of SARS

What is the cause of SARS?

Scientists at CDC and other laboratories have detected a previously unrecognized coronavirus in patients with SARS. While the new coronavirus is still the leading hypothesis for the cause of SARS, other viruses are still under investigation as potential causes.

What are coronaviruses?

Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that have a halo or crown-like (corona) appearance when viewed under a microscope. These viruses are a common cause of mild to moderate upper-respiratory illness in humans and are associated with respiratory, gastrointestinal, liver and neurologic disease in animals. Coronaviruses can survive in the environment for as long as three hours.

What evidence is there to suggest that coronaviruses may be linked with SARS?

CDC scientists were able to isolate a virus from the tissues of two patients who had SARS and then used several laboratory methods to characterize the agent. Examination by electron microscopy revealed that the virus had the distinctive shape and appearance of coronaviruses. Tests of serum specimens from patients with SARS showed that the patients appeared to have recently been infected with this coronavirus. Other tests demonstrated that coronavirus was present in a variety of clinical specimens from patients, including nose and throat swabs. In addition, genetic analysis suggests that this new virus belongs to the family of coronaviruses but differs from previously identified coronaviruses. These laboratory results do not provide conclusive evidence that the new coronavirus is the cause of SARS. Additional specimens are being tested to learn more about this coronavirus and its link with SARS.

If coronaviruses usually cause mild illness in humans, how could this new coronavirus be responsible for a potentially life-threatening disease such as SARS?

There is not enough information about the new virus to determine the full range of illness that it might cause. Coronaviruses have occasionally been linked to pneumonia in humans, especially people with weakened immune systems. The viruses can also cause severe disease in animals, including cats, dogs, pigs, mice, and birds.

Has new information about coronavirus changed the recommendations for medical treatment for patients with SARS?

The possibility that coronavirus is the cause of SARS has not changed treatment recommendations. The new coronavirus is being tested against various antiviral drugs to see if an effective treatment can be found.

Is there a test for SARS?

No “test” is available yet for SARS; however, the CDC, in collaboration with WHO and other laboratories, has developed two research tests that appear to be very promising in detecting antibodies to the new coronavirus. CDC is working to refine and share this testing capability as soon as possible with laboratories across the United States and internationally.

What about reports from other laboratories suggesting that the cause of SARS may be a paramyxovirus?

Researchers from several laboratories participating in the WHO network have reported the identification of a paramyxovirus in clinical specimens from SARS patients. These laboratories are still investigating the possibility that a paramyxovirus is a cause of SARS.

Is there any reason to think SARS is or is not related to terrorism?

Information currently available about SARS indicates that people who appear to be most at risk are either health care workers taking care of sick people or family members or household contacts of those who are infected with SARS. That pattern of transmission is what would typically be expected in a contagious respiratory or flulike illness.

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) – Prophecy Discussion

Disclaimer: The information in this article is compiled as it is, just for a reference.
SPI do not support their authenticity and their opinions.



1 & 3. Photo of SARS virus under microscope; 2. Artist impression of a SAR sufferer

Click here to view interactively how SARS spreads
Click here to view a valuable document by Ministry of Health on ‘Living with Sars’

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) – Prophecy Discussion
(source of informatio: T. Chase, Revelation13)

In mid-March 2003, it was announced to the world that there was a new Pneumonia-like disease causing a spreading epidemic in the world. A new disease epidemic of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), started in Guangdong Province in China in November 2002, and then spread to other countries in Asia: Hong Kong, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Singapore. It has also spread to Canada and the U.S.. Many cases have been linked to a Hotel in Hong Kong. It is a Pneumonia-like illness with an incubation period of 2 to 7 days. There is a great danger of it spreading worldwide. Apparently it is related to Saturn being at its brightest at the start of 2003 (Saturn is equivalent to Satan, and Satan on earth would also be the dragon, Red China).

About the deadly diseases, from the point of view of Astrology, Biblical prophecy including the Book of Revelation, and numerical analysis were considered. Note that 1999 has 666 upside down, and 1998=666×3, so the Antichrist may have appeared in year 2000, and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse may ride, including the Fourth Horseman Death by disease, which could be AIDS, Ebola, Influenza, and other diseases.

Let us consider here three diseases that are a threat to mankind: AIDS, Ebola, and Influenza. The virus that causes AIDS, HIV, was discovered in the year 1983, so therefore associate AIDS with the number 83. The galaxy M83 is in the constellation Hydra, which was a multi-headed serpent in mythology that kept growing a new head, each time a head was cut off. This sounds like AIDS, which keeps mutating to allow it to get around any treatment or vaccine. The Hydra was defeated by Hercules, by his nephew Iolaus burning each of the mortal heads as Hercules cut them off, and burying the immortal head under a stone.

Note that the AIDS virus has 9213=111×83 bits of genetic information, so again the number 83.

Ebola, a lethal disease of Africa that kills in two weeks of infection, had its virus discovered in 1976, so if we associate galaxy M76 with it, we are near the constellation Andromeda. Remember the movie “Andromeda Strain” about a lethal disease that threatened humanity? That could be Ebola if it mutates to an airborne form.

Influenza or “Flu” was discovered in 1933. Galaxy M33 is in the constellation Triangulum. That may imply we should look for a triangle. The numbers 33, 76, and 83 do form a right (90 degree) triangle with an angle of 66 degrees.

Since 666 is the number of the antichrist of the Book of Revelation chapter 13, this may imply that these three diseases will threaten humanity when he appears. In fact, ebola virus frequently twists itself into a shape that looks like a “6”.

These diseases may also relate to three animals used to describe the Antichrist in Revelation 13:2: he is like a leopard, has the mouth of a lion, and the feet of a bear. Maybe Ebola corresponds to the leopard, with its great speed; Ebola kills in two weeks of infection. Influenza could be the lion; it causes coughing like a lion’s roar. And AIDS could be the bear; bears hibernate, like AIDS can do in people, until it wakes up and kills them.

Another recent disease is BSE, Mad Cow Disease. On April 3, 1996, Comet Hyakutake was visible during a lunar eclipse, which interestingly occurs between Palm Sunday and Good Friday. When this comet passed near the constellation Virgo (the actual constellation, rather than the astrology sign), Mad Cow Disease appearing in people was announced to the world. The Egyptian version of Virgo, Isis, depicted with cow’s horns. And Europa, the symbol of Europe, could also be considered a version of Virgo the Virgin. Europa rides a Bull– this image is similar to the 17th chapter of the Bible’s Book of Revelation, where a woman named Babylon rides a beast. The woman is holding a cup in her hand, full of filthiness. The analogy would be Europa riding the Bull, with the cup of filthiness being the Mad Cow Disease spread through infected beef. Also, according to Revelation, the woman sits on a city with seven hills, which is Rome– again implying she is Europe. And note that BSE was discovered in 1986, so if we assign a galaxy to it by this number 86(Galaxy M86), Galaxy M86 is in the constellation Virgo the Virgin, representing the woman Babylon and Isis. And note that if we assign a Book of Revelation passage to this number 86, we have Revelation 18:6, which refers to the woman Babylon and her cup.

Another disease, Tuberculosis (TB) is becoming an increasingly bad worldwide epidemic, with drug resistant TB common. TB also is common in cattle. The bacteria Mycobacterium was identified by Robert Koch as the cause of TB in 1882, so we will associate the number 82 and the Galaxy M82 with it, and Revelation 18:2 (King James Version):

“18:2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.”  Note that TB is spread by poor sanitation and hygiene, that we can relate to the “unclean” in the passage above; and Babylon was in Iraq.

Concerning SARS, it could be related to influenza, and therefore the Influenza part of the three diseases attacking humanity as the Fourth Horseman, Death. Note that in early 2003, with Saturn/Satan at its brightest as I explain on the calendar page, there is an Ebola epidemic in Africa, AIDS is out of control in Africa and elsewhere, so SARS could be the 3rd part of the Fourth Horseman, Flu. Note that SARS has been found to be caused by a new virus, which could be a type of Paramyxovirus (the virus family of measles and mumps), or a coronavirus (a type of virus that usually just causes colds), or it may belong to a new family of virus.

Note: the first letters of SARS, Ebola, AIDS spells “sea”, and the Antichrist (the beast) rises out of the sea (of world politics) in Revelation 13. Also: the first letters of: Influenza, BSE, Ebola, AIDS, SARS, TB:

This suggests that these diseases will cause worldwide epidemics as the Beast rises to power, and the Fourth Horseman Death rides.

Also, SARS began in Guangdong Province, China, which is at geographic coordinates of 23 degrees North 112-115 East. Corresponding to 23 North would be the Bible’s Psalm 23: (23:4, King James Version): “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me”

So this relates to this disease being the shadow of death. Also note that Hong Kong is near Guangdong Province in China, and Hong Kong is a former English colony: this may relate to the “mouth of a lion” of the Red Dragon Red China, the lion I related above to Influenza. Also note that I relate the lion of the Antichrist to Iraq, the lion being a symbol of Babylon, the ancient empire that was located in Iraq. So war in Iraq in March 2003 may relate holographically to this “lion” disease SARS appearing then. This disease of SARS may be symbolic of the disease of Saddam Hussein that has existed in Iraq. Also, since SARS had its virus discovered in March 2003, then we can relate it to Galaxy M23, which is in the Constellation Sagittarius, Sagittarius being the half-man half-horse archer. This again would relate it to the Antichrist, since in Revelation 6:2 the Antichrist is a man on horseback with a bow and arrow. So SARS may indicate the rise of the Antichrist, the Satanic imitation of Christ, to world prominence soon. And SARS coming out of China: the Antichrist gets his power from the dragon. Also, corresponding to 23 for SARS (since SARS was discovered in 2003, and started near 23 North in China) would be Revelation 12:3 where the red dragon is seen in heaven, the dragon being Red China, and also the Terrorist dragon. Also, the Hong Kong airline Dragonair in March 2003 on Flight KA901 from Beijing to Hong Kong had a SARS infected person on board, so health people are trying to contact the 222 passengers who were on that flight to try to see if they were infected, to stop more spread of SARS. The interesting thing with that flight is that again we have the dragon and China, and 901 in the flight number KA901 could be associated with Revelation 9:1 where a star falls from heaven into the bottomless pit; this is about the Antichrist. And “KA” in KA901 sounds like “key” as in “key to the bottomless pit” in Revelation 9:1, which would be the key to the Gates of Hell. Revelation 9:1,2:, King James version:

“9:1 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.

2 And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.”

A general pattern:

Ebola: 76 (virus discovered in 1976)
Rev. 17:6, the bloodthirsty woman (Ebola makes people bleed to death)
Also in 1976: Chairman Mao dies in Red China, he was noted for being bloodthirsty, like this disease
Galaxy M76 near Andromeda (“The Andromeda Strain”)

AIDS: 83 (virus discovered in 1983)
Rev. 18:3, the corrupt woman Babylon (Babylon being Iraq today)
Also in 1983: religious radicalism in the Arab World is increasing, after the assassination of Anwar Sadat in 1981; Osama was in Afghanistan in 1983
Square root of 83 is 9.11, as in 9-11 (September 11)
Galaxy M83 in Constellation Hydra (the Hydra being like the Radical Terrorists, El Qaida, it keeps growing a new head each time you cut one off, as AIDS keeps evading a vaccine)

BSE (Mad Cow Disease): 86 (discovered in 1986)
Rev. 18:6, the woman with the cup of filthiness
Galaxy M86 in Virgo the Virgin, here representing the woman, who is also Isis (who had cow horns)

Tuberculosis (TB): 82 (bacteria discovered in 1882)
Rev. 18:2, the unclean city Babylon (Babylon was ancient Iraq)
Galaxy M82 in the Great Bear; the Antichrist has the feet of a great bear.  But then who is the great bear?

Influenza: 33 (virus discovered in 1933)
Rev. 13:3, the beast (the Antichrist) rises out of the sea
Galaxy M33 in Triangulum

SARS: 23 (virus discovered in 2003)
Began near 23 degrees North in China
Rev. 12:3, the Red Dragon seen in heaven: Red China
Galaxy M23 in Sagittarius, the Archer horse/man, corresponding to the man on horseback with a bow in Revelation 6:2, the Antichrist

So: there is a real danger of SARS spreading worldwide in 2003, lets hope it is stopped soon. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta are investigating it now and attempting to stop its spread. The SARS disease has for symptoms high fever, coughing, difficulty breathing, and may include muscle stiffness and pain, sore throat, headache, loss of appetite, stomach symptoms, and rash. Its incubation period being only a few days it could spread very rapidly around the world. It appears it is airborne, and spreads from person to person, either by air or by contact. Also, the number 23 mentioned above may somehow be a clue to a cure or treatment for SARS (but I have no idea of how). And in Revelation 12 Michael battles the Red Dragon, defeating him in Revelation 20 by chaining him: so again that may be a clue of how to stop SARS, but again I don’t know how. The Angel Michael is able to chain up the Red Dragon, Satan, in Revelation 20 and send him back to the bottomless pit (Revelation 20, King James Version):

“20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.”


1. A SARS patient under treatment in Guangzhou; 2 & 3. Infested apartment in Hong Kong; 4. Residents needed to be isolated


1 & 2. Lousy treatment in China – only used screens to separate patients;
3. Infested hotel in Hong Kong – the ultimate place of horror
4. People in Hong Kong are queuing up to buy masks though their prices increased tenfold


Click here to view a rumor email (in Chinese) that has been circulating around about a SARS policy in China.  But we think it is a hoax.

China under fire from WHO as experts intensify probe into SARS
(Source of information: Asia Pacific AFP News)

GUANGZHOU, China (AFP) – China was publicly criticised for its foot-dragging by the director of the World Health Organisation as WHO experts dug deeper into the cause of the deadly SARS outbreak in the south of the country.

In WHO’s first public criticism of China, the global health agency’s director general Gro Harlem Brundtland said China should have reported its first cases of the atypical pneumonia, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), more quickly.

“Next time something strange and new comes … let us come in as quickly as possible,” she told the BBC.

“It would have been definitely helpful if the international expertise and WHO had been able to help at an earlier stage.”

The criticism came as the mysterious disease claimed more victims in Canada and Hong Kong, as well as in Beijing, where an International Labour Organisation official died after arriving in mid-March for a conference.

He was the highest profile casualty of the outbreak since WHO expert Carlo Urbani — who first identified the disease — died in Bangkok last month.

In southern China’s Guangdong province — where the disease has affected more people than anywhere in the world — a team of WHO experts stepped up efforts to find the cause.

The four-member team of epidemiologists and disease specialists broke up into small groups Monday to expedite their investigation.

Two experts met with Chinese animal disease and health officials while two others headed to hospitals.

Team leader Robert Breiman declined to comment on the new deaths, saying the team’s focus was to first identify the source of the disease to help come up with effective treatment and prevent it from spreading further.

“We’re still in the investigative phase here and so there’s no point in me commenting about that,” Breiman told reporters.

The disease, which first broke out in Guangdong, has now spread to as many as 32 countries, and is suspected or confirmed to have infected more than 2,700 people, with the death toll rapidly approaching 100.

WHO experts said they were still awaiting specimen samples from China to study the virus’ make-up in international laboratories, as China lacks the new technology to do so properly.

China, which insists it is “fully capable” of controlling the spread of SARS, has verbally agreed, but WHO officials are still waiting for the samples.

“It is very important because we think we will get the answer from here if from anywhere,” WHO expert Wolfgang Preiser said.

Chinese scientists have found the coronavirus, paramyxovirus and the bacteria chlamydia in the Chinese cases, a deputy director of the Guangzhou No. 8 People’s Hospital said Sunday.

But he said the presence of the coronavirus has not been confirmed. Breiman said it would not be pinpointed until the Chinese specimen samples are tested overseas.

Experts are focusing on the coronavirus because they suspect a strain of the coronavirus previously known to affect animals may be at work.

Influenzas have traditionally originated in southern China and experts now suspect the virus may be connected to local residents’ close proximity and frequent contact with animals.

Breiman, who met with Chinese animal disease experts Monday, said after the meeting that there were no conclusive findings but discussions were “helpful.”

“We discussed all kinds of animals … livestock and domesticated animals and also wildlife. … We asked about rodents and bats and birds and pigs and ducks and chickens,” Breiman said, adding that pangolins were also discussed.

Chinese officials Sunday announced four more deaths and 57 more cases, bringing the total number of deaths in China to 51 and cases to 1,247.

In Beijing, diplomatic compounds were being disinfected Monday while jittery foreign companies began to issue face masks to employees and cancel business trips.


1. Since March 27, Tan Tock Seng Hospital has replaced the Communicable Disease Centre as Singapore’s headquarters for the outbreak.
We salute to the doctors, nurses and all the staff who work at TTSH.  They are the heroes with great professionalism.
2. Temporary tents are erected in the parking lot facing TTSH’s Accident and Emergency ward.
They form a screening centre to cope with the increasing numbers of suspected Sars cases.
3. Staff of the Casket Company use protective clothing while handling Mr Low’s coffin.
Cremations of Sars victims must be carried out within 24 hours in accordance with the Ministry of Health’s guidelines
GHOST BUS: This bus was meant to take students on an excursion but was cancelled due to a 10-day closure of schools, affecting about 600,000 students

Frequently Asked Questions on Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
(Source of information: Who Health Organization)

Q : What are the symptoms of SARS ?

A : The main symptoms of SARS are high fever (> 38° Celsius), dry cough, shortness of breath or breathing difficulties. Changes in chest X-rays indicative of pneumonia also occur. SARS may be associated with other symptoms, including headache, muscular stiffness, loss of appetite, malaise, confusion, rash and diarrhoea.

Q : How contagious is SARS ?

A : Based on currently available evidence, close contact with an infected person is needed for the infective agent to spread from one person to another. Contact with aerosolized (exhaled) droplets and bodily secretions from an infected person appears to be important. To date, the majority of cases have occurred in hospital workers who have cared for SARS patients and the close family members of these patients. However, the amount of the infective agent needed to cause an infection has not yet been determined.

Q : How should SARS patients be managed?

A : Patients should be placed in an isolation unit. Strict respiratory and mucusol barrier nursing is recommended. It is very important that suspected cases are separated from other patients and placed in their own hospital room. Health care workers and visitors should wear efficient filter masks, goggles, aprons, head covers, and gloves when in close contact with the patient. Hospital Infection Control Guidance

Q : What is the treatment for SARS ?

A : While some medicines have been tried, no drug can, at this time, be recommended for prophylaxis or treatment. Antibiotics do not appear to be effective. Symptoms should be treated by adequately protected health professionals. As a result of good supportive care, some patients in Hanoi have been transferred from critical care wards to regular wards.

Q : When will this disease be identified ?

A : An international multicenter research project to expedite identification of the causative agent was established on Monday 17 March. Eleven top labs in ten countries are consulting daily and are working together to identify the causative agent. Various specimens have been collected from cases and post-mortem examinations. Laboratory tests are ongoing and a candidate causative infectious agent is under investigation.

Q : How fast does SARS spread ?

A : SARS appears to be less infectious than influenza. The incubation period is short, estimated to range from 2-7 days, with 3-5 days being more common. However, the speed of international travel creates a risk that cases can rapidly spread around the world.

Q : Where and when was the first case of SARS reported ?

A : On 26 February, a man was admitted to hospital in Hanoi with high fever, dry cough, myalgia (muscle soreness) and mild sore throat. Over the next four days he developed increasing breathing difficulties, severe thrombocytopenia (low platelet count) and signs of adult respiratory distress syndrome requiring ventilator support.

Q : How many cases of SARS have been reported to date ?

A : From 1 February to 24 March, 456 cases including seventeen deaths have been reported. In the early stages the symptoms are similar to those of many diseases including influenza. Heightened awareness about the disease, and the vigilance of health authorities around the world, have resulted in a close watch for suspected cases and rapid and thorough reporting. Not all of these suspected cases may prove to be SARS. There are many reports and rumours coming in from around the world, but quite a few of these will turn out to be normal wintertime activity of diseases like influenza whose early symptoms are similar. The cumulative number of cases and deaths is continuously updated on the WHO web site .

Q : How many countries report cases of SARS ?

A . As of 24 March, cases had been reported from thirteen countries. Of these, four countries have only imported cases with no documented local transmission, indicating that the disease is not spreading in these countries and residents are not at risk.

Q : Is the outbreak in Guangdong Province, China linked ?

A : Extensive investigation is under way to better understand the outbreak of atypical (unusual) pneumonia that began in Guangdong province in November 2002. Findings from this investigation should help clarify possible links with cases of SARS.

Q : Could this result from bioterrorism ?

A : There is no indication that SARS is linked to bioterrorism.

Q : Should we be worried ?

A : This illness can be severe and, due to global travel, has spread to several countries in a relatively short period of time. However, SARS is not highly contagious when protective measures are used, and the percentage of cases that have been fatal is low. Since the WHO global alert issued on 15 March , only isolated cases have been identified and no secondary outbreaks have occurred.

Q : Is it safe to travel ?

A : WHO has not recommended restricting travel to any destination in the world. However, all travellers should be aware of the main symptoms and signs of SARS, as given above. People who have these symptoms and have been in close contact with a person who has been diagnosed with SARS, or have a recent history of travel to areas where cases of SARS have been spreading, should seek medical attention and inform health care staff of recent travel. Travellers who develop these symptoms are advised not to undertake further travel until fully recovered.

Q : What is the purpose of a global travel advisory ?

A : The purpose of the advisory WHO issued on 15 March is to tell people what SARS looks like and what they need to report to a physician. The WHO alert does not recommend cancellation of, or change in, travel plans. Trade and tourism should not be restricted. The purpose of the alert is to heighten the awareness of travellers, health authorities, and physicians, not to restrict travel.

Q : Could this be the next flu pandemic ?

A : Tests have not yet conclusively identified the causative agent of SARS. The possible involvement of an influenza virus was an initial concern.

Q What does WHO recommend ?

A : WHO recommends that global surveillance continue and that suspected cases are reported to national health authorities. WHO urges national health authorities to remain on the alert for suspected cases and followed recommended protective measures. SARS patients should be isolated and cared for using barrier nursing techniques and provided with symptomatic treatment.

Q : How can the public keep apprised of the situation ?

A : The public is advised to consult the home page of the WHO website : for daily updates on the outbreak and relevant press releases. More information is available on the WHO SARS web page which is easily accessed through the WHO home page or through: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) Many national authorities have also established web sites with excellent information for both the general public and the medical profession.

Q :Are there any positive developments ?

A : A significant number of cases in Viet Nam, as a result of good supportive care, have improved. In addition, the global surveillance system has proven to be a very sensitive and rapid means of reporting of suspected cases. Health authorities around the world are now alert to the risk of SARS. Information on cases compiled over the last three weeks is expected to shed new light on the behaviour of this disease. Secondary outbreaks have to date been avoided since global surveillance was put in place and rapid isolation of cases undertaken.

Cause Of SARS

What is the cause of SARS?

Scientists at CDC and other laboratories have detected a previously unrecognized coronavirus in patients with SARS. While the new coronavirus is still the leading hypothesis for the cause of SARS, other viruses are still under investigation as potential causes.

What are coronaviruses?

Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that have a halo or crown-like (corona) appearance when viewed under a microscope. These viruses are a common cause of mild to moderate upper-respiratory illness in humans and are associated with respiratory, gastrointestinal, liver and neurologic disease in animals. Coronaviruses can survive in the environment for as long as three hours.

What evidence is there to suggest that coronaviruses may be linked with SARS?

CDC scientists were able to isolate a virus from the tissues of two patients who had SARS and then used several laboratory methods to characterize the agent. Examination by electron microscopy revealed that the virus had the distinctive shape and appearance of coronaviruses. Tests of serum specimens from patients with SARS showed that the patients appeared to have recently been infected with this coronavirus. Other tests demonstrated that coronavirus was present in a variety of clinical specimens from patients, including nose and throat swabs. In addition, genetic analysis suggests that this new virus belongs to the family of coronaviruses but differs from previously identified coronaviruses. These laboratory results do not provide conclusive evidence that the new coronavirus is the cause of SARS. Additional specimens are being tested to learn more about this coronavirus and its link with SARS.

If coronaviruses usually cause mild illness in humans, how could this new coronavirus be responsible for a potentially life-threatening disease such as SARS?

There is not enough information about the new virus to determine the full range of illness that it might cause. Coronaviruses have occasionally been linked to pneumonia in humans, especially people with weakened immune systems. The viruses can also cause severe disease in animals, including cats, dogs, pigs, mice, and birds.

Has new information about coronavirus changed the recommendations for medical treatment for patients with SARS?

The possibility that coronavirus is the cause of SARS has not changed treatment recommendations. The new coronavirus is being tested against various antiviral drugs to see if an effective treatment can be found.

Is there a test for SARS?

No “test” is available yet for SARS; however, the CDC, in collaboration with WHO and other laboratories, has developed two research tests that appear to be very promising in detecting antibodies to the new coronavirus. CDC is working to refine and share this testing capability as soon as possible with laboratories across the United States and internationally.

What about reports from other laboratories suggesting that the cause of SARS may be a paramyxovirus?

Researchers from several laboratories participating in the WHO network have reported the identification of a paramyxovirus in clinical specimens from SARS patients. These laboratories are still investigating the possibility that a paramyxovirus is a cause of SARS.

Is there any reason to think SARS is or is not related to terrorism?

Information currently available about SARS indicates that people who appear to be most at risk are either health care workers taking care of sick people or family members or household contacts of those who are infected with SARS. That pattern of transmission is what would typically be expected in a contagious respiratory or flulike illness.

The Orbs Controversy

Author: SPI Mathwizard

Disclaimer: The opinion below belongs to the author and does not represent views of Singapore Paranormal Investigators (SPI)

What are orbs?

“What are orbs?” This is the question that most people who have little knowledge of paranormal research will likely to ask when others talking about taking orbs photos. Orb is the term coined by Dave Oester and Sharon Gill of the International Ghost Hunters Society in the 1990s. It refers to globule or ball-like anomaly that show up in both digital and film photographs. Although usually white and transparent, orbs can also be very solid, and come in different colours, like red, green, purple and even multi-coloured.

The leading theory in paranormal community is that orbs are in fact ghosts or other spirit entities in their simplest form. As energy life form, they naturally take up the shape of an orb, rather than always be in humanoid shape, which may cost them more energy to maintain. Another possibility is that orbs are energy that is associated with the presence of certain entities but are not the entities themselves. But what is the evidence to back up such an extraordinary claim?

In fact, many natural phenomena can be mistaken as orbs, and since it is virtually impossible to tell apart a real orb and a false positive with 100% accuracy, I do not consider orbs as valid evidence in favor of paranormal phenomena.

Digital Cameras Create Orbs?

One of the leading theories among the orb debunkers is that orbs are nothing but artificial artifacts created by digital cameras. Even paranormal investigators and ghost hunters are still debating among themselves as to whether the use of digital cameras should be encouraged. Troy Taylor of The American Ghost Society writes that “the negative points to digital cameras outweigh the good ones,” while Dave Oester of The International Ghost Hunters Society “fully recommends without reservation the use of digital cameras for field investigations.”

Digital cameras use either CCD or CMOS technology. Both CCD (charge coupled device) and CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) are an array of pixels combined together on a chip designed to react to light. When exposed to light, each block collects one pixel of information about the image which is sent through to the processor to be assembled into an image and saved. The quality and resolution of the image is determined by the amount of pixels on the chip combined with the internal processor of the camera. CMOS is similar to CCD but these chips are not as sensitive to light and may produce a lesser quality image in low lighting, therefore CMOS sensors are less costly to produce, and most cheaper cameras use them instead of CCD.

It is said that orbs are caused by pixel blow out or misfire. But that means many pixels would need to misfire in a circular pattern to create the orb effect. This is very unlikely to happen because the electrical charges are read from top to bottom. A pixel misfire may affect the pixel on the top or bottom of it, but is not likely to affect those on its left and right. Therefore it is more likely to have a straight line created by pixel misfire than to have an orb.
So it is safe to assume that most orbs are not camera artifacts. Therefore, we must look at the environment itself to understand the phenomenon of orbs.

The Annoying Dust Particles

Dust particles are everywhere. Shine a beam of light and you will see them dancing happily all over the place. A common misconception is that orbs are caused by dusts on or inside the camera lenses. This is NOT true. Most orbs are light reflection from air-born dust particles directly in front of the camera lenses when the flash is used. There is a distance known as the focal point of the camera, of which objects need to be past in order to be in focus. Hence dust particles that are beyond the focal points do not cause any trouble, but those nearer to the lenses will be out of focus and often show up as orbs when they reflect the camera flash. The same principle applies to night vision or night shot cameras, in which the Infrared light illuminated the dust particles and make them look like orbs. I have seen a lot of dust particles flying around, sometimes in very interesting patterns under IR night vision scope. And there is no doubt that some people may actually claim that these are all ghosts! Orbs under IR are white since IR does not enable use to see colours. However, under normal flashes, orbs can be of various colours depending on the reflecting angle and the wavelength of the light that is reflected back.

Dust orbs have certain characteristics, such as possessing some sort of nucleus, and elongation around the central axis towards the edges of the photos. The latter is caused by a lens curvature error known as “coma”. Cameras with very small lenses and short focal lengths (such as digital cameras) are more prone to coma than other cameras with longer focal length lenses, such as SLR cameras.

Usually there will be more than one dust orbs in the photos, and you get them most of the time at the location. Note that dust orbs are more likely to show up in a large number when you disturb the environment, such as when you just step into an empty house. This explains why the first few photos usually contain more orbs.

Also, digital cameras are more sensitive and therefore more likely to capture illuminated dust particles than a film camera.


1. An example of dust orbs at construction sites, taken by digital camera. Notice the “coma” effect at the edge of the photograph.
Photo credit: SPI Agent Abductboy
2. Amplification of one of the central orbs shows the nucleus structure, which is often a characteristic of dust orbs
3. Notice the faint large orb at the top center portion, a bright orb, and another faint orb partly visible at the top right corner.
These are how dust orbs look like to other type of digital cameras. They are usually flat. Photo credit: SPI Agent Mathwizard.

Other Contaminants

By contaminants, we mean things that may contaminate the data that we collect during paranormal investigations. Besides dust particles, the most common contaminants are pollen, air moisture, water droplets, and snow. Different cameras will create different kind of orbs when these contaminants are presented. Therefore, by taking control shots with your camera, you will know how these contaminants look like in your photos, and not confuse them with paranormal images. Also avoid taking photos when it is raining, snowing, or when the air is very moist for obvious reason.

One thing to notice is that rain or water droplets may cause what we term “comet orbs” where the orbs seem to be traveling upwards instead of downwards.


1. This is an example of a comet orb, created by rain droplets
2. Water droplets may also appear as orbs with holes in some type of digital cameras, as shown in this photo.
Photo credit: SPI Agent Mathwizard

Another source of false positive orbs is light reflection in the camera lenses. Many beginners in paranormal research are likely to mistaken light reflection as orbs. Light sources such as spot light creates internal reflection in the camera lenses which produce the orb effects. This is the reason why orbs photos in a concert hall or any well illuminated places should not be considered as paranormal in origin. Sun light causes similar phenomena often called a lens flare, but can easily avoided by not taking photos facing the sun or other light sources. In a concert hall or other artificially illuminated areas, however, there are multiple light sources and therefore it is more difficult to take precaution to avoid false positive results.

Spider web is also something to look out for while taking photos. A spider silk near the lens will reflect the flash and look like a streak of light that some people mistaken as orb in motion. Of course, even your own hair in front of the lens will create similar effect!

Facial Expression in Orbs: Real or Pareidolia?

Some orbs seem to have faces, but is this really paranormal? We shall look at a possible psychological explanation.


1. This is an example of orb with facial expression. Photo credit: SPI Agent Abductboy
2. Here is another example of orb that looks like a human face with wide opened mouth. Photo credit: SPI Agent Abductboy

Pareidolia is defined as “misperception of an ambiguous stimulus as something specific.” For example, we may be able to “recognize” faces in the clouds.

Astronomer Carl Sagan claimed that the human tendency to see faces in many things such as shadows, clouds, moss, and such, is an evolutionary trait. He writes:

“As soon as the infant can see, it recognizes faces, and we now know that this skill is hardwired in our brains. Those infants who a million years ago were unable to recognize a face smiled back less, were less likely to win the hearts of their parents, and less likely to prosper. These days, nearly every infant is quick to identify a human face, and to respond with a goony [sic] grin (Sagan, 45).”

While not everyone agrees that this ability is an evolutionary trait, it is well known that when we see something, the brain will try to identify the object by matching it with the information stored in our memory. When the information is close to a specific object in our existing memory but not entirely sufficient, the brain adds in more details so that we may recognize what the object could be.


This is a well known figure in psychology that demonstrates how human brains perceive patterns
We tend to see a dog here while in fact, there are only black patches.

The tendency for human mind to perceive patterns while there are none could explain many so-called paranormal photos, for example the famous devil faces of World Trade Center as shown below.


Photo credits: CNN

So it could well be that facial expressions of orbs are nothing more than optical illusions. They may be random patterns created by the lightning condition, and are not paranormal

Do Ghost Orbs Exist?


1. SPI photo that shows several orbs in motion in weird configuration. What exactly is this?
Could it be a real anomaly or just light reflection of some bugs near the lens?
2. A yellow ball of light that seems to be rather dense was photographed in a room that is reputed to be haunted.
This photo is taken with film camera with ISO 400 film speed, and the anomaly is clearly on the negative.
What could have caused this anomaly since there were no reflective surfaces and other light sources beside the camera flash?
Photo credit: SPI Agent Mathwizard


3 & 4. Here is a day time SPI investigation photo that shows a purplish orb. Is it lens flare or a real orb?

The dust theory does not explain some orbs photographs that were taken without using flash. Also it is unlikely to illuminate and photograph dust orbs in day time, and yet there are day time orbs photos (although they are relatively rare, more examples can be found at GhostGadgets.com: http://www.ghostgadgets.com/daytimeorbs.html) In fact many witnesses claim to have seen orbs with their naked eyes. My mother happened to be one of them. She claimed to have seen a red orb hovering over bushes at night when she was young. But there is no way to determine what these orbs are. We can make a lot of hypotheses, such as orbs are ghosts, orbs are extraterrestrial probes, or a form of electrical discharges that is normally not visible to human eyes etc, but none of them is as yet testable. To make matter worse, as we have seen above, many orbs are false positives, and our data could very well be contaminated without we knowing.

Based on the evidence so far, the existence of real orbs cannot be ruled out. It is logically invalid to conclude that orbs do not exist simply because there are many false positives. But unfortunately, there is also no conclusive evidence that orbs exist. If they do, then we must consider a wide range of possible physical explanations, not just associate them with ghosts.

By
SPI Agent Mathwizard
September 28, 2003