News Stories

On the Trail of a Weed Planted by Gypsies

As the gypsies traveled across the country, a plant followed them, since they dropped its seeds along the way. Biologists are using this plant to trace the tracks of US gypsies. It's not particularly beautiful: It's a foot-high plants with leaves that look like blades of grass. But it turned up in a Mississippi cemetery four years ago, botanist were puzzled, because it had never been seen in North America before.

In 2007, a graduate student named Lucas Majure came across an unknown type of sedge in Rose Hill Cemetery in the city of Meridian. He didn't recognize it and asked USDA botanist Charles Bryson to help him identify it. The plant turned out to be a widespread weed that is found in Asia, Australia and New Zealand. LiveScience.com, Wynne Parry quotes Bryson as saying,"He showed it to me, and I immediately knew it was something new to science or something I had never seen in the US. I have studied sedges for almost 40 years. I know them well enough to know if there is something different or unusual or new."

It has now been identified in eight sites. It turns out there was a funeral for a gypsy queen in the area in 2007. Parry quotes a columnist Anne McKee, writing in a 2007 edition of the local newspaper, the Meridian Star, as saying, "Members of the Mitchell Tribe, at the time one of the largest in the country, came to Meridian from all parts of the United States to pay tribute: a newsreel was made and exhibited throughout the country relating the mystery and homage paid to a woman of high esteem as she made her final journey to be laid to rest."

Stranger things have happened, and EVEN STRANGER things can be imagined by a creative novelist like Whitley Strieber. For instance: Can you imagine a painting made in (what seems like) a mental institution (but which is filled with ex-CIA type agents) as really being a time machine? This is the premise behind his wonderful novel "The Omega Point," which you can get (along with an autographed bookplate designed by Whitley) from the Whitley Strieber Collection. You can get another wonderful bookplate,

AND read more astounding facts about what Whitley has learned from his Visitor experiences, if you pre-order his new book "Solving the Communion Enigma." Once you have purchased the book, you'll need to either forward the e-receipt or send as a jpg, screenshot (etc.) to the publisher. You will then receive an autoresponse that will include a link to a page where you can input your address. Tarcher will send a special "Communion Enigma" bookplate out to the recipients shortly before publication date. To learn more, click here.

And what about a boy who lives INSIDE the walls of a building, who falls in love with a beautiful young singer who lives there? Anne Strieber thought of it and Whitley wrote it. You can 't read this one until December, but you can PRE-ORDER it NOW!



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