Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The New Year Has Always Rung In New Mysteries

The historic and haunted Huber hotel that once sat at the heart of Apache, OK, was consumed by fire in January 2003.

In January 1956, Arthur Lee Jenkins claimed that an elderly man, whom he had just helped across the street, blew "voodoo" powder into his face, causing him to pass out. Both the reasons for and veracity of his claim were never investigated.

In January 1992, mysterious black helicopters and strange lights were witnessed in the sky northeast of Shawnee late one night.

Residents of Oakwood reported spotting a gorilla-like creature roaming their environs in January 1969.
January 1908 saw the birth of the "Dog Creek Panther" legend when Mary Tiger made her report of this mysterious preadator to the Foyil Statesman.

What is considered by many to be the very first UFO sighting in Oklahoma took place in January 1924 when a white, oval-shaped ovject was seen illuminating the ground before lifting off and disappearing into the distance.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Rephaim Are Coming!

"Hold that light still!" Peter growled, as he nursed his bruised knee. Whatever happened earlier had knocked out the lights and now he and Carrie were banging around in the dark basement looking for the fuse box.

Carrie adjusted the flashlight so that its beam was directly ahead of Peter while he tried to locate the breaker. She eyed Peter warily, as he muttered yet another curse moments later. He was definitely acting strange – stranger than usual anyway. His typically keyed-up nerves had been slowly taken over by an irascible twitch. Always lacking in the social skills department, he had become just plain short-tempered and nasty over the last half-hour.

"Can’t you hold a single damn light?"

"I’m holding it fine," Carrie snapped back defensively. "You’re the one that can’t seem to walk straight!"

"You, stupid bit-" Carrie’s look quickly stopped him. Turning away, he continued to mutter under his breath and shoot vicious looks her way.

Carrie took a step back and then caught herself in surprise. This was Peter. They had worked together for over a year now. What’s wrong with him, she thought. She had no doubt that there was something different tonight with Peter. She had been willing to accept that the experience upstairs had knocked him for a loop. That experience had shaken everyone’s nerves. But never in all these months had she ever felt threatened by him.

The Peter she knew would never hurt a fly, he was far too timid. Still, as much as she tried to rationalize the situation, she maintained a good distance from Peter.

The light in her hand coughed twice, dimmed and then vanished. Damn! Carrie thought as the service hall went dark. She slapped at it in desperate hope the light would come back on.

"No good to me…you are absolutely no good to me!" Peter screamed to her from out of the black. There was a rush of air as Peter’s hot breath was suddenly in her face, his two claw-like hands choking her throat in a crushing grip.

"Peter!" She croaked, pulling frantically at the hands.

"They’re never any damn good to me!" The voice came out harshly as he shoved her into the wall. It was Peter’s voice, yet it wasn’t. It seemed as if something was merely occupying his voice, using it. At least that is what she prayed. She also prayed that Peter would snap out of it.

Suddenly the dark was palpable, thick and alive, probing at her as she struggled in Peter’s grasp. A low sound, like the buzzing of a thousand flies, seemed to spill over her. The blackness stirred, and she sensed tentacles twisting themselves around her: lifting her hair, brushing her check, touching her legs. Carrie gasped for breath as she felt this living darkness begin to envelope her.

"No!" she gasped as a sudden spasm of terror gave her the strength to ram her knee into Peter’s crotch. As she felt his grip on her throat weaken, she flung herself free. Carrie rushed off into the dark corridor, fumbling blindly. Her head pounded and her lungs burned, but she continued, heedless of the obstacles in her path. Behind her, she could hear Peter screaming strident curses.

"Come back here, bitch!"

"Peter!" she sobbed. "Please, stop doing this!"

"They always talk back!"

She suddenly felt a sharp pain slam into her leg, sending her stumbling to her knees.

"Aaargh! Oh, God! My leg!" Carrie forced herself up and staggered toward the stairs, which led back up to the kitchen. "Oh, God," she whimpered, pulling herself up the wooden stairs, "somebody help me!"

"Noooo caaannnn dooo," a sinister voice sang out from down the hall.

"Help!" she screamed as she reached the stairs. Then she felt Peter pawing at her blouse as he tried to snatch her away from the exit.

Suddenly, the door burst open to reveal the silhouette of Jason Williams.

"What the hell?" Jason reached down and dragged Carrie bodily up the last few steps where she slid across the floor.

"Call for help!" he commanded her. "Peter, what the –"

With a wordless growl, Evans dove at Jason and both men lurched back down the stairs into the abyss. Hitting the stairs hard, the two tumbled down and hit the floor with a shudder. Before he had time to react, Jason felt a fist slam across his face. He automatically swung into the dark where he sensed the other man was and felt his fist land upon a solid mass of flesh. Peter launched himself at Jason and the two fell heavily into the brick wall. Getting a grip of Peter’s wrists, he struggled to hold him off.

"Damn it, Peter! It’s me, Jason!" he called. "Snap out of it!"

"Die, stupid bitch!" Peter cried out in a voice suddenly so alien. "The Rephaim are coming!"

Friday, December 26, 2008

Murder Most Young - The "Good Ol' Days" Rarely Were

In receiving recent tragic news such as the boy in Arizona who shot his father, we are tempted to purse our lips, shake our heads, and wonder... Where did the good ol' days go?

Well, before we get ourselves too mired in nostalgia, I will dredge up some unseemly business from January 1903.

Herman Borchers, a young man from Columbus, Nebraska, was brought to trial on charges of murder. Borchers was believed to have shot his father in the back of the head while the family ate supper. His half-brother, Johnnie, testified that Herman rolled the body onto a pile of straw and set it on fire. The younger brother also stated that if he told of the crime, he too would be shot.

Neighbors, however, later found the body and notified authorities. It was the child's uncle, August Johnson, who filed the initial complaint.

Surprisingly, after a trial that lasted four days and included five hours of jury deliberation, the young lad was found not guilty. Given the evidence against him, many were surprised by this outcome, but it seemed the jury sympathized with the boy. Although not overtly stated, it appeared as if the father was someone to make even Huck Finn's dad look good.

Judge A. M. Ratterman sentenced the boy to the Kearney reform school until the age of 21. His brother requested to go as well, although no charges were presented against him. I guess once a tag-along, always a tag-along.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Psychic Ceremony

It was reported in July 1908 that a Spokane, Washington couple, Mathilda Schlichting and Herbert H. Busby, were the first to be married in a "spiritualist" wedding.

The ceremony was officiated by Cora Kincannon Smith, a minister of the Washington Union Spiritualist Association. Many of the attendees were self-styled mediums and clairvoyants.

Eschewing such standard verbiage as promising to "love, honor, and obey," the couple was asked such questions as: "Do you promise to tenderly care for her in sickness or in trouble and to endeavor to make her pathway pleasant and full of the sunshine of love?" Talk about purple prose!

Following the nuptials, two psychics in attendance fell into trances where they augered that many blessings would befall the newlyweds. According to their vision, groups of spirit children were witnessed entering the sanctuary and showering the couple with flowers while binding them with a golden chain.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Hoodoo Cat

If you can forgive the language of the time, here's an interesting report on a cat with an air of death to it.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Setting Sail.

I'm on vacation for the next week. I'll try to load up some posts that will automatically trickle out while I'm away.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Destination: Proof

Over at Cryptomundo, Loren wonders what exciting things the folks at Destination Truth will do come Season 3.

I wonder, too.

Will we get more screaming reaction-shots of the "What the bleep was that?" variety? You know the type: close-up shots of those team members (whose purpose still eludes), heads frenetically turning every which way in reaction to the snap of a twig. It's all edited to such a rapid cadence, you'd think they frequently put in workman's comp claims for whiplash. Of course, the purpose is to adroitly up the tension with a subtlety previously reserved for horror flicks found in the $1.99 VHS bin at the Dollar Store.

Josh Gates - the show's sardonic host - maintains enough levity during these globe-trotting cryptid hunts to keep you guessing just how risible he thinks the whole thing is. Some might find him "clever," but it smacks of trying too hard to be cool. At the very least, it calls into question just how earnest the Destination Truth team is about discovering these creatures. Let's face it, they fly from L.A. to the Congo for (what seems) a couple of days to kick around the jungle, get some startled shots of the girls, make some wisecracks, and then pack it up with a "perhaps it is still out there, somewhere" denouement that leaves us empty-handed, as usual.

So, what will they explore next? Since they've hit so many of the big ones already, we can only assume that, like Monster Quest, there will be a lot of rehashing old material and throw-away episodes on things like giant catfish that swallow lake divers.

You may be saying to yourself, "well, they aren't going to get something EVERY time, and budget constraints prevent them from spending more time on location..." Yes, yes. This is all true. But does it negate the qualms I (and others) have with shows like these? If it can't be done right, should it be done at all? Have shows like Monster Quest, Destination Truth, Ghost Hunters, etc... trivialized the very fields they seek to glorify, doing more harm in the process than any wink-wink 10 o'clock news report ever could?

Food for thought.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

December Mysteries

As I had done earlier, in October, I now present to you some of Oklahoma's historic strangeness associated with December:

In December 1903, newly paroled Cole Younger (one-time James Gang member) returned to the Wichita Mountains in southwestern Oklahoma to search for the various treasures secreted there by his compatriots, Frank and Jesse James.

December 1999, the Weekly World News reported that the body of alien was found inside the belly of a fossilized Sauroposeidon proteles, a 110 million-year-old behemoth that many scientists consider to be the tallest animal to have ever walked. OU paleontologist in charge of the dig, Richard Cifelli, just laughed. In fact, he posted the article in his office.

An enigmatic "runestone" found in Tulsa Co. on a hillock known as "Bull Dog Hill," has been transcribed as reading "December 2, 1022". It is one of the tenous - and controversial - pieces of evidence that lead some to believe the Norse ventured far inland during their pre-Columbian excursions to the New World.

In December 1921, shadowy forms flitted about the Smith Farm in Hennessey on a nightly basis. Lights could be seen inside the barn, but whenever approached, the strange figures would vanish into the night. Phantom forms or a sinister cabal?