Wednesday, April 30, 2008

From the Minds of Men Spring...

The bizarre morphology of Native American pictographs could have less to do with cultural stylization - or even UFO's - than distorted imagery rendered by hallucinogenic visions. In short, the answer might be pharmacology and not cosmology.

Peoples such as the Ancestral Puebloan were familiar with substances like psilocybin mushrooms, peyote, and datura. Tribal leaders and shamans would induce visions by ingesting these toxic plants. From their bizarre imaginings sprang forth fantastic images of strange worlds and the creatures dwelling there. Believing these visions held portent, what they saw was then recorded into stone glyphs and pottery for posterity.

Of course, without being able to penetrate the thoughts of someone a thousand years removed, it is difficult to say for certain that it wasn't inspired by extraterrestrial visions. Still, it is a unique counterpoint to ponder when one desires a balanced examination of the UFO/EBE enigma.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Going Down River?

After watching a repeat of UFO Hunters yesterday, I noticed that the Stephensville Flap in Texas this winter, which they pointed out moved south to Houston over the course of two months, was following the Brazos River. There isn't really much to make out of that at this point. But it is an intriguing piece of the puzzle.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


In a recent article by's senior editor, Tariq Malik, we learn that noted astrophysicist Stephen Hawking believes alien lifeforms may exist elsewhere in the galaxy - if only primitively.

However, Hawking doesn't believe advanced, intelligent forms of life are out there. He cites lack of success on the part of the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) project to detect artificial signals from distant stars as prime evidence.

But Hawking, like so many other nuts-and-bolts astrophysicists seems to lack imagination. They can never seem to conceive of anything beyond their own frame of reference. This egoism has bitten Big Science on the rear before.

It seems beyond their grasp to envision an alien civilization with a mode of communication beyond that of various electromagnetic wavelengths. So, they theorize, if they aren't communicating in the way we would, then they must not be out there. How vain. Perhaps SETI is simply going about it all wrong. The old adage stands true: absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence.

Hawking does concede that IF an alien race were advanced enough to communicate, they would have developed weapons of mass destruction. Sadly, the thought ends there. Malik doesn't question further whether Hawking meant they would have long-ago destroyed themselves or they would be bent on dominating other planets. Either way, the argument is specious and likely born of too many movies. In my opinion, it is beneath speculation by such a "great" mind. While possible as a stand-alone hypothesis, it is puerile, anthrocentric, and, frankly, too obvious a conclusion from one who grew up in the Cold War generation.

Hawking also discounts sightings of UFO's. Although his rationale isn't given, one can assume it is that of all astrophysicists: space is too vast to be crossed effectively. This is an ironic statement from a leading scientist who should know better the quirky nature of space-time and is a proponent of the multiverse theory.

In this day and age, it should be obvious that the whole "traveling" across space in a rocketship model is wholly antiquated. It is more likely that any spacefaring civilization with ambitions to traverse the universe might have looked toward somehow manipulating space-time in some fashion, perhaps by utilizing abutting dimensions. Who knows? And that's the point. We cannot think conventionally about the unconventional. To do so is to merely bolster our own preconceptions to avoid anything we find distasteful.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The UFO Iconoclast(s)

I like this site. The author seems on the verge of a UFO burnout (I feel that way too sometimes) but I think this gives him a clear, level head. He wants to believe, but the facts don't always add up - and the quacks and hoaxers aren't helping. He often finds the humor in UFO's and Aliens and seems to deem his research and investigations as a "hobby" instead of a crusade. I think that's healthy. Anyway, you might enjoy reading this one as much as I have. I will add it to the links below.

Monday, April 21, 2008


After posting the recent reminder concerning the upcoming Roswell UFO Festival, I have to wonder why isn't there a comprehensive paranormal conference in Oklahoma. Sure, we have some great paracons put on by various local teams that primarily specialize in ghosts and hauntings but it is a rare thing to find panel-discussions, speakers, presenters, and booths dedicated to UFO's, cryptzoology, or other popular anomalist disciplines.

I do know that cryptozoologists tend to distance themselves from the term "paranormal." And the Texas Bigfoot Research Conservancy does hold annual conferences with many attendees and speakers from Oklahoma. Of course, Honobia holds its annual Bigfoot Days. Ten years ago, you could find several active Oklahoma Bigfoot groups. Not so much these days.

I don't, frankly, know much about what the UFO people do - or don't do. They're more reserved, insular. There was a time when UFOlogy was BIG. Oklahoma had several large groups and a couple of prominent investigators. That all seemed to die out, perhaps with a shift in attitude from "keep watching the skies" to "start watching your back." Paranoia really began to rule as conspiracy theories outweighed observations in magazines and on the Internet.

It seems like all of these groups, which still report regular sightings, could benefit from the "buzz" such a collaborative event could instill. Many, like myself, could sell those books they've toiled endless, thankless hours to bring to fruition. Others, the latest ghost hunting technology or digital game cameras and scent traps for the Bigfoot crowd. Even if it meant having to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with those "paranormal" people, it would be a big boon to Oklahoma tourism and the economy. Local businesses and the media could help sponsor it to defray costs and keep admissions and fees low and profits high for those who have booths.

Anyway, this is my idea. Of course, I've been sitting on it for several years now and haven't done a thing about it. Perhaps someone reading will be inspired and take up the torch. Or, like me, you might just be wondering at this point if Such-And-Such has yet replied to that e-mail you sent earlier ...

Sunday, April 20, 2008


So Long Squadrons?

Peter Brookesmith, in his book UFO: The Complete Sightings, notes the absence in later decades of reported saucer squadrons, which were more prevalent in the early days of UFO's. Recent exceptions might include the famed Phoenix Lights. However, some claim these are simply lights flanking one large vessel, obscured by the darkness of night.

Where Did "Saucers" Come From?

Some have pointed out that the classic disk-shaped UFO is entirely a product of popular culture and imagination. This, they claim, is based upon the fact that the term did not exist prior to its corrupted use in the wake of Kenneth Arnold's famous 1947 sighting, which arguably started the whole UFO phenomenon in popular culture. In point of fact, Arnold did not describe disk-shaped objects but, rather, likened their movements through the air to disks skipping on the surface of a lake. Before anyone could stop it, this inaccurate physical description spread like wildfire in the media and a leitmotif of the 20th century was born.
But is this argument accurate? Were there, in fact, NO sightings of disk-shaped objects prior to the Arnold sighting?

In examining old reports, we find that on the same day Arnold reported his encounter, Fred M. Johnson claimed to see six "disks" near Mt. Rainier. We also discover that only days before this, an Oklahoma man claimed spotting craft he described as "wash tubs," which could be interpreted as a truncated cone - a very disk-like structure indeed. Another sighting that month by Richard Rankin in Bakersfield, California involved the description of 10 saucers.

Going back a few months, we find an April 1947 report from France wherein the object was described as a disk. That same month, meteorologists at the Weather Bureau in Virginia see a "disk" crossing the skies from east to west in less than 15 seconds.

And we find still older accounts, like this one from 1883. 400 cigar and disk-shaped objects were witnessed in Zacatecas, Mexico traveling across the sky, blocking the sun. In 1878, the Denison Daily News (TX) ran a story about John Martin's UFO experience. Martin described to the reporter that the mysterious object he witnessed was the size (shape?) of a large saucer. One has to believe he was describing something vaguely disk-like. Otherwise, a 10" square photo album could also be described as the size of a large saucer. In choosing this imagery, I believe Martin is describing both size and general appearance.
But it doesn't end there. We are almost compelled to reconsider the accounts previously ascribed the term "cigar-shaped". If one were to witness on end, a double-convex, saucer-shaped craft, would it not appear much like a cigar? This, I theorize, explains at least some of the "rockets" and "cigars" witnessed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
But the question remains: Are we describing what we see or seeing what we describe? It's a chicken-or-the-egg scenario that will not likely be answered within anyone's lifetime. It is the controversy and doubt surrounding enigmas such as UFO's that both compels our imaginations and drives our curiosity.

Friday, April 18, 2008


Recent activity in the comments sections has forced me to alter how comments are handled. They will now have to be "approved" prior to posting. This will result in some delay and I do apologize for this. However, Blogger's inability to control spammers with dangerous links has forced me to do so. I apologize for any inconvenience this may pose readers but I trust you will appreciate this effort to eliminate potentially harmful links posted by near-anonymous individuals.

More Hazards Facing Hunters

As mentioned in an earlier post, the business of ghost hunting can be deadly. The following futher attests to the dangers that may arise amid fear and phantoms...

Early in January 1946, two young men in Tulsa, James R. White and Charles Sculler, decided they would investigate a local "haunted" house. Unfortunately, when they pounded upon its door (to see if anyone - or thing - was home?) their raps were met with the blast of a shotgun. The two young men suffered minor injuries.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I'm Henry The Eighth, I Am!

In 2003, a security camera captured what some claim is an apparition at Hampton Court, the 16th century palace in London, which was once home to King Henry VIII.

The video was discovered when security guards were reviewing tapes to understand why a fire alarm had gone off by itself near an exhibition hall. What they discovered, however, was far creepier.

The video shows a set of double doors swinging open by themselves, followed seconds later by a figure wearing a cloak. The figure wrestles the doors before closing them. According to reports, the doors were filmed opening by themselves the days prior and following the recording of the cloaked figure.

Some Australian tourists claimed to have seen a figure much like the one on video in that same section of Hampton Court. However, management has assured visitors that those who work in Hampton Court do not wear costumes like those of the figure caught on tape.

Hampton Court, like many old, historic buildings has a paranormal history. Claimants have come forward over the years with tales of seeing the ghosts of Henry VIII, Catherine Howard, Jane Seymour, Sibell Penn, and others.

Debate wages on both sides, as skeptics and believers continue to analyze the footage.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Rise and Fall of Spiritualism

In post World War I America and Europe, a movement gained momentum that would shape much of what we believe about ghosts, hauntings, and the afterlife. Spiritualism was the perfect answer for the aggrieved who no longer had faith in the old religions, and yet, for whom science could offer no comfort either.

The Reverend Phil C. Baird, noted in 1920 that "Great companies of spirits have arisen from the bloody fields of war! Sorrow has driven her sword deep into the soul of the civilized world." As a consequence, he believed the nation's grieving psyche was primed to hear what Spiritualism had to say after their sons and fathers and brothers had been slain in World War I.

In a new century, increasingly defined by science and industry, the hollow comforts of the old religions felt quaint. Yet, for all its advances and dehumanizing autonomy, science had not managed to eradicate the spectre of death nor explain its dark mysteries. So, the grieving turned to even older superstitions: clairvoyance, occultism, spiritualism...

In the first two decades of the 20th century, dozens of newspaper articles and advertisements in The Oklahoman alone spell out the wonders of one medium or another. Many of these spiritualists boasted outlandish, almost silly names such as Alababa or Signor Raphael. Some adopted prefixes of respected professions (undoubtedly to bolster their own legitimacy) such as the Doctors Whyte and Schlesinger or the Professors Lamont and Edwards. Snake oil salesman using well-worn techniques, these men and women still managed to dupe the bereaved and bilk them of their hard earned money.

The spiritualism movement abated after the exposure of many hoaxes and frauds. Some would say science won out - even over religion. But from the ashes, arose the era of modern paranormal investigation, which sought through science to explore the realms of the unknown and to answer timeless questions of life, death, and beyond.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Film Class Produces Haunted Documentary: Eskridge Hotel

This is a cut above your usual ghost group cum YouTube stars, this short documentary, produced as a film class assignment is very well made. It follows the history and hauntings of the Eskridge Hotel in Wynnewood, OK.

Solid editing, first-rate audio, and some evocative cinematography and production design, consort to make this stand out among the many now viewable on the Internet. If you are interested in producing your own documentary on favorite haunted hot spots, a Ghost Hunters type pilot, or promotional video for your investigation team, I recommend taking a look at this film. It sets the bar high and is on parallel with those documentaries aired on the History and Travel Channels.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

X Marks The Spot - So Mark Your Calendars!

Mark your calendars for July 25, 2008 - the much anticipated release date for the as-yet titled X-Files 2, starring David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. The film's plot is tightly under wraps, so little is known beyond rumors that this will be a stand-alone storyline, free of the alien colonization arc that some might claim plagued the series and first film. This popular "monster of the week" formula was the basis for many of the episodes and will serve well a sequel released ten years later, when all but die-hard fans will have forgotten much of the plot details. X2 will also star Amanda Peet, Billy Connolly, Xzibit, and Mitch Pileggi, reprising his role as Skinner.

While Bill Roe, an 84 episode veteran of the X-Files, ensures a consistant, familiar film, production designer Tony Wohlgemuth (Bionic Woman, Tru Calling, and Dark Angel) and costume designer, Lisa Tomczeszyn (X-Men), might bring an edgier, hipper look to the film's sets and costumes. Chris Carter, the series creator, directs.

Will fans like it? Only time will tell but too much tampering with a cult fave might prove problematic. It could be that this stand alone, monster-of-the-week format is a safe way to deliver a solid, super-sized X-Files episode. In my book, that is more than enough to justify marking July 25th as a red letter day.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Monday, April 7, 2008


The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS), the famed investigative team behind SciFi Channel's popular Ghost Hunters, has expanded its franchising arms to embrace PC games. Star Mountain Studio's Apparitions is your chance to ghost hunt from the safety and comfort of your own home. The game follows a role playing format, allowing the player to investigate the abandoned Red Reef Inn in the Florida Keys. Decked out with cameras, flashlight, and various detection equipment, the player uses his or her intellect to capture and sift through clues gathered on video, audio, and via other devices. The website will allow you to download a touring version of the game and purchase the full version for $19.95. I have not yet heard from anyone who has purchased and played the game so I can't offer you any feedback as to its performance or any glitches. However, if you are interested, give it a look. It seems like it might be fun.

New Resource For Oklahoma Writers

This blog was created at the behest of those who were unable to attend the Border Queen book festival and were looking for a way that the Oklahoma writers and publishers could showcase themselves on a more regular basis. The blog master is working in conjuction with various persons and entities of state government to achieve the goal of state-sponsored forums to promote the production of literature within Oklahoma. If you are a writer, publisher, speaker, etc... interested in promoting yourself and Oklahoma literature, we urge you to contact this blog. Many authors (inlcuding myself) have already been featured.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Have The Ghosts All Checked Out?

Some time has now passed since the grand old Skirvin hotel reopened and I'm wondering... What has happened to its ghosts - if there were any to begin with? With a massive rennovation into a 5 star Hilton hotel, has the Skirvin lost its paranormal appeal? It's tantamount to turning the light on a darkened room; suddenly, all the monsters are revealed as piles of dirty laundry. I would love to hear about anyone (guests, friends of guests, employees...) who has encountered something unexplained since this prairie palace reopened its doors...

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Get Your Hoax For As Little As $49.95 (plus s/h)

I hope some ambitious individual over at MUFON or other such organization is making a concerted effort to catalog all the known radio controlled "UFO's" available across the worldwide retail market. It seems that if their physical appearance and movements could be cataloged, we might be able to eliminate many of these UFO sightings cropping up across the globe in recent times. These RC craft have become extraordinarily affordable in recent years and it only stands to reason more than a few hoaxers are at work producing their magnum hoaxus for YouTube viewers to drink in like cheap champagne...

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Find Out More Here

Smoke and Mirrors

Going back to my previous post(s) regarding seeing in things what we wish to see, I present a prime example of why one should NEVER smoke during an investigation. While the following video is a brief scene from a film, it has been harvested and posted on YouTube as an example of a misty apparition of film. This might be interesting if the woman in the scene was not smoking...

Tantalizing Texas Tales

If your interest for the strange extends beyond this state (or perhaps you're one of those who view Oklahoma as Texas' northern most county... ) Then you will undoubtedly find this volume of supreme interest....

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Fooled Anytime of the Year

Is seeing all there is to believing? Or is it actually our beliefs that forge what we see? Take a look at this picture. I have burned in what I "saw" in the image as an example of how we often perceive things that aren't really there, especially when reduced to two dimensions... (Ironically, it was taken at a Hallowe'en party a few years back.)