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Thu, 21 Sep 2017
The World for People who Think

High Strangeness


Researcher: D*** you, Carl Sagan!

I know I'm not supposed to speak ill of the dead, but I've just reread one of the juicy passages that I had to edit out of my book for space, and I am once again royally pissed off at the late Carl Sagan! That man hated -- HATED -- UFOs, UFO witnesses and UFO researchers, and he didn't care who knew it.

And he REALLY hated star maps...

Many of you know the Marjorie Fish story, so I'll just give you the basics to recap (or you can go to page 213 in your heavily dog-eared copy of my J. Allen Hynek biography The Close Encounters Man and read about it there):

When Betty Hill and her husband Barney were allegedly abducted by aliens and taken aboard a UFO in 1961, Betty asked one of her alien captors from where he and his crew had come. The alien "Leader" showed Betty a star map of his race's trading and exploration routes (a map that the podcasters on Oh No Ross and Carrie hilariously think looks suspiciously like a sex organ), but the alien did not point out to Betty which was his home star.


Review: "Werewolves and Dogmen"

© unknown
Werewolves and Dogmen is the new book from Rosemary Ellen Guiley - and it's an excellent new addition to subjects that are as fascinating as they are undeniably controversial. There are a couple of reasons why I like this book: (A) it's actually a collection of Rosemary's favorite articles on werewolves; and (B) a lot of them were written not just years ago, but decades ago. On this latter point, many of these older features would, otherwise, be near-impossible to find. In that sense, Rosemary has done us all a great service by presenting these same articles to what is in all likelihood a new audience. So, what do you get in the pages of Werewolves and Dogmen? Let's take a look.

In the last decade or so, a great deal of attention has been given to the strange saga of what has become known as "The Beast of Gevaudan." It's a story that began in 1764 and tells of a monstrous creature that roamed Gevaudan, in southeastern France. Men, women and children became the victims of a deadly and violent predator. Was it a wolf of enormous size? Might it have been a hyena? A serial-killer using werewolf-themed legends to hide his tracks? Or, could it have been a real werewolf? Or, something else entirely? The controversy has gone on for centuries - and there is still no 100 percent consensus. In 2001, an excellent movie on the subject, Brotherhood of the Wolf (Le Pacte Des Loups in its original French title) was released. In 2009 monster-hunter Ken Gerhard starred in a History Channel show on the beast. Its title: The Real Wolfman. And, in 2016, Beast: Werewolves, Serial Killers, and Man-Eaters hit the bookshelves. Its authors: Gustavo Sanchez Romero and S.R. Schwalb.

© Rosemary Ellen Guiley
In Werewolves and Dogmen, Rosemary shares with us two excellent articles on the monster of Gevaudan. One is from cryptozoologist Loren Coleman. Penned in 1998, Loren's paper makes an intriguing observation. Loren and cryptozoologist Michel Raynal have suggested that the culprit may have been one Antoine Chastel, who Loren describes as "a hermit on Mount Mouchet (still untouched forest today), with a menagerie of beasts, including a hyena." Legend suggests that Chastel's father - Jean Chastel - killed the beast with nothing less than silver-bullets. Andrew E. Rothovius' article, originally published in 1961, is titled Who or What Was The Beast Of Le Gevaudan? It's an important paper, as it contains some intriguing nuggets of data that will be of interest to those fascinated by this enduring saga.

For more, go here.


Mysterious sounds and spectral visits

The following is a standard ghostly-goings-on-scare-a-family-from-their-home story that, for most of the newspapers that covered it, required only a couple of paragraphs to tell. Over at The Derry Journal, however, one journalist saw it as a chance to shine.


From time to time the Derry constabulary have had rather knotty problems submitted to them for solution, but it is open to doubt if they ever had placed before them a "case" so queer and uncanny as that which is presently having the attention of the acutest members of the Bishop Street Station force.

It is often difficult enough, in all conscience, to get at the real root of disturbances happening in the open, during wide daylight, and usually traceable to a sudden ebullition of temper among a group of persons whom controversy causes to adopt dangerous methods.

However, when the peace of a household is repeatedly disturbed and a certain measure of alarm is raised only in the gloom of night and only through manifestations of an occult nature, the difficulty of satisfactory investigation is ten-fold increased.

An extensive section of a thickly populated district in Derry city has been thrown into a state of consternation by a series of extraordinary and mysterious nocturnal occurrences.

Black Magic

Colombia and the startling discovery of mysterious mummies

A San Bernardo mummy on display
When one thinks of mummies, one most likely envisions ancient Egypt and the complicated processes of mummification that implies. Yet, there are many other places in the world which have produced mummies of their own, often without any artificial preservation means necessary. One such place lies in the South American country on Columbia, where for decades there have been reports of corpses that simply refuse to bow down to the inexorable passage of time, due to mysterious, misunderstood processes that remain free from the ravaged of entry, rotting, and passage of time.

Nestled in the Andes mountains and located about a 3-hour drive from Bogota, Columbia lies a rural town called San Bernardo. Although surrounded by magnificent sprawling natural vistas and numerous unique species of flora and fauna, the town itself is rather unremarkable, looking very much like many of the other small towns and villages scattered throughout the region, and one could drive by it completely without giving it much thought. Yet it is here where a strange mystery has played out over decades, in the form of a collection of corpses that do not seem to rot, rather mummifying and preserving themselves naturally to remain remarkably intact and resistant to time through unknown means that have stumped scientists.


Indian man claims to eat electricity instead of food

Naresh Kumar says he has the ability to draw energy directly from an electrical socket
If you thought looking at the eclipse was bad, this is worse. Kids of any and all ages and guys drinking beer with friends in need of entertainment - DON'T try this at home. A man in northern India (where else, other than Florida?) claims he has the ability to draw energy directly from an electrical socket and thus needs no food to survive. If the opening warning wasn't enough, even Frankenstein's monster thought this was too risky.
"Whenever I feel hungry and there's no food in the house I hold naked wires and within half an hour I'm satisfied. I eat electricity like it's food. In fact, it helps my energy levels."
Naresh Kumar, a 42-year-old resident of Muzzafarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, has been calling himself the Human Light Bulb (what else?) ever since he discovered by accident that he could touch a live electrical wire without killing himself or getting burned. This was a relief to his employer since he made this discovery at work.

Let's stop here for a moment and talk about electrocution. Death by electricity occurs when an electric current of a certain voltage or higher flows through the body on a path that includes a vital organ, like the heart. Currents as low as 30 mA (milliamps) over a sustained period can stop the heart. Currents over 1 A also cause permanent burns and cellular damage. Wall sockets in the US (the 120 volt variety) are either 15 or 20 amps. You do the math.


Did California weather forecaster Aaron Perlman see a sasquatch?

© Aaron Perlman
What is this that Aaron Perlman spotted on his hike? A rock formation? Something else?
What is this that Aaron Perlman spotted on his hike? A rock formation? Something else? (Photo: Aaron Perlman)

Morning anchor and forecaster Aaron Perlman annually hikes on the John Muir Trail with his wife Mindy. This year, they chose to hike on the High Sierra Trail.

On Day 10 of their 11-day hike, Aaron took this video of the Great Western Divide near Mount Kaweah.

Watch the video closely as Aaron scans over the mountain range of the Great Western Divide, looking at a specific mountain face. He didn't catch the image in the eye of the rock until the next day. If you look close enough, you can see what appears to be a man ... or something ... in the eye of the rock.

Cow Skull

Chasing Chupacabras in Puerto Rico and the story that wasn't

In August 2014, I trekked around Puerto Rico (on what was the ninth occasion) with a crew from Galafilm Productions to investigate the latest spate of Chupacabra encounters. It turned out not to be my only exposure to the chupacabra phenomenon in that month. Not long after I got back from the island, the blood-sucker and I crossed paths yet again. In a way, at least. And, also again, it was all thanks to the world of television. The researcher who called me said they were planning to make a series - for one of the "big channels" is how it was described to me - that would focus on a search for ancient treasures, hidden cities, lost lands, and priceless, missing artifacts. It was, then, to be a kind of real-life Indiana Jones-type series. So, what did that have to do with my work in the field of the chupacabra? Well, it went like this...


Ghostly airman haunts Loch Ness?

© Wikimedia Commons
In 1976, the long-sunken remains of a World War II-vintage aircraft were found in Loch Ness, Scotland. It was a Vickers Wellington Bomber. The aircraft was the brainchild of Barnes Wallis, a man who created a revolutionary "bouncing bomb" during the hostilities with the Nazis, and which was designed to destroy German dams. The Dam-Busters, was the nickname of the team that dropped the bombs. An enormous amount of interest was exhibited by military historians and aviation enthusiasts when the aircraft was found. The race for its recovery was well and truly on.

For years afterwards, however, the aircraft remained where it had already sat for more than thirty years - that's to say, approximately 230 feet down. Heriot-Watt University's Underwater Technology Unit got involved in the investigation. The results of the investigations, along with help provided by the British Royal Navy, conclusively identified the aircraft as a Wellington. They even managed, in 1979, to identify its serial number: N2980. There was nothing particularly mysterious about N2980: as far back as late 1939, it had taken part in no less than fourteen bombing missions over Germany, before being transferred to Lossiemouth, where it was then used to train newly drafted aircrews. Official records on the crash were quickly accessed and told an unforgettable story.

Military records showed that the aircraft ditched into Loch Ness on December 31, 1940 - New Year's Eve - after experiencing problems with one of the engines during a turbulent snow storm, high above the domain of monsters. It was when the crew was over the Monadhliath Mountains that problems began. They were problems which led Squadron-Leader Nigel Marwood-Elton to give a hasty order to jump ship, so to speak: four crew-members quickly parachuted out of the plane. Tragically, one of them, the rear-gunner, a 20-year-old, Sergeant John Stanley Fensome, was killed when his parachute catastrophically wrapped itself around one of the wings of the doomed plane.

Comment: Loch Ness apparently has more secrets than we thought!


1950s flying saucer filmed above crop circle

© Getty/Jon Austin
Pierre Beake claims to have snapped bizarre craft over crop circles.
A crop circle "expert" claims the mysterious corn field formations could be caused by aliens or other paranormal forces after allegedly filming a series of UFOs over the baffling creations. Pierre Beake insists he captured these pictures of UFOs hovering over or near crop circles. Mr Beake, who travels from France to the south west of England each year to study the phenomena, also claims to have photographed strange lights and orbs within west country crop formations.
© Pierre Beake
Avebury UFO and closeup • Silbury Hill UFO and closeup

Comment: Like giant puzzles, the crop circle phenomenon has not abated, nor has the fascination for their creation and potential messages.


Dallas' graveyard synchronicity: M.I.B.s, Bonnie and Clyde

© Texas Hideout
Western Heights Cemetery, Barrow gravesite located near the center tree in the background.
On the night of November 8, 2016, a good friend of mine, Denise Rector, flew into Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport to spend seven days with me. It was a week dominated by a fun road-trip that took us from my Arlington, Texas home to Austin's Museum of the Weird, from Austin to San Antonio, and then back to Arlington. One of the things I did while Denise was in town was to take her to see what I call "The M.I.B. Grave." You may well wonder what it is! No, it's not the final resting place of a pale-faced, fedora-wearing Man in Black. You might, however, be forgiven for thinking that that is exactly what it is.

Western Heights Cemetery is located at 1617 Fort Worth Avenue, Dallas, Texas. It's a tiny, blink and you'll miss it type of place that is sandwiched between two small, old roads. Not particularly well looked after, the cemetery has most definitely seen better days. It has, however, a notable claim to fame. Or, rather, a claim to infamy! It just happens to be the final resting place of Clyde Barrow - as in Bonnie and Clyde, the infamous gangsters who lived and died by the bullet on May 23, 1934. Actually, by a hell of a lot of bullets. As for Bonnie, she is buried in Dallas' Crow Hill Memorial Park Cemetery, which is just a short drive from Clyde's grave. It so happens that buried next to Clyde are the remains of his brother. His name was Marvin, and he too came to a bloody end. To his friends, Marvin was known as Buck.

As we drove to the cemetery, I told Denise why I call Marvin's final resting place "The M.I.B Grave." The answer is very simple: Marvin's full name was Marvin Ivan Barrow. In other words, his initials are M. I. and B. And, there is a small headstone at the grave which reads, in capital letters, "M.I.B.," and nothing else. We were soon at Marvin's grave, which, like that of his brother, Clyde, now pretty much languishes in obscurity - unless, that is, you have a yearning to find it and see it.
© Pinterest
As we stood around the graves and looked around, I told Denise how, on several occasions, odd synchronicities had occurred in relation to Marvin's grave and the real MIB.

For the conclusion of this article, including video, go here.