Alibi V.27 No.27 • July 5-11, 2018 

Odds & Ends

Odds and Ends

Dateline: Austria

A Russian billionaire declared himself the leader of the “space nation” Asgardia at a ceremony held in an Austrian castle and attended by hundreds of dignitaries. According to ABC News in Australia, the event was held at the Hofburg palace in Vienna—where an international audience of diplomats, scientists, engineers and law experts witnessed the performance of an official oath confirming the appointment of Russian rocket scientist Dr. Igor Ashurbeyli as official Head of Nation of Asgardia for the office's first five-year term. Ashurbeyli says he wants Asgardia to be the first independent nation in space. It will have its own government, currency, justice system and calendar. He gathered a group of engineers, scientists and lawyers in 2016 to reveal plans for building a colony on the moon and developing a series of “Space Arks”—platforms in space where people can live permanently. Over 200,000 people have reportedly signed up to become citizens of the nation, according to Asgardia's website. Last week's ceremony was part of an effort to have the country accepted into the United Nations, which requires a state to have a functioning government. Ashurbeyli told attendees that the next steps for the nation are to set up a ministry of foreign affairs—which he says will be completed in the next three months—and establish a national bank. He predicts Asgardia will be an independent state within 25 years.

Dateline: Louisiana

A televangelist says that Jesus wants him to buy a fourth private jet, but says he is not asking his fans to donate anything other than faith. Last month, Evangelical Charismatic Christian minister and television personality Jesse Duplantis posted a video to his website telling viewers that Jesus asked him, “Jesse, you want to come up where I'm at?” According to the video, he answered, “What do you mean?” Duplantis claims Jesus said, “I want you to believe in me for a Falcon 7X.” This refers to a Dassault Falcon 7X, costing around $54 million, according to CNN. Duplantis told viewers that the jet would allow him to reach more people around the world with his ministry. He also said that if Jesus were alive today “he wouldn't be riding a donkey,” he'd be in an airplane. After facing criticism for the video, Duplantis uploaded a second video, explaining that he wasn't asking for donations from his followers, just for their belief. “The Lord said, 'I didn't ask you to pay for it; I asked you to believe for it,' ” the minister said during the video. Donations have reportedly been made, however.

Dateline: Wisconsin

A man's plan to shoot “upskirt” footage of women was halted when the camera exploded and injured his foot. According to a blog post published by the Wisconsin city of Madison's chief of police, officers were contacted last week by a man who wished to turn himself in for attempting to take “upskirt” videos or photos of unsuspecting women. Police reports say the suspect purchased a shoe camera, but was unable to capture any footage before its battery exploded. The explosion happened while the suspect was wearing the mounted camera, and he was reportedly injured. Since no illicit video had actually been taken, police released the suspect. The post says the man was “counseled on his actions” and that the situation is still being investigated. Newsweek reports that taking photos or videos under a person's skirt without their permission is a felony offense in Wisconsin, punishable by up to 3 and a half years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Dateline: Japan

A man who lived naked and alone on an island for almost 30 years was forced by Japanese authorities to rejoin civilization. News.com.au reports Masafumi Nagasaki—an 82-year-old man who has been living a life of solitude on an island in southwest Japan since 1989—was picked up by law enforcement officers in April and brought back to the mainland, despite his wishes to the contrary. Nagasaki refuses to speak much about his past and why he ended up on the island, but it is known that he was married, fathered two children and worked as a photographer in the past. He reportedly stopped wearing clothes soon after he arrived on the island and would only don them once a week to visit a nearby settlement for supplies. Authorities acted after a group of people told them Nagasaki appeared ill and weak. Docastaway's Alvaro Cerezo, who spent five days on the island with Nagasaki in 2014 to document his life, told reporters that the man is currently living in government-provided housing in the nearest city to the island, Ishigaki. Cerezo says Nagasaki is in good health and was probably just sick with the flu when authorities forced him to return to society. He said Nagasaki has been barred from returning to his island.

Compiled by Joshua Lee. Email your weird news to josh@alibi.com.