Saturday, January 31, 2009

Brave New World Order

Unsettling implications on just how pervasive "uberveillance" might become. It brings to mind the chilling undertones of the song below, which arose just after the post 9/11 Big Brother antics in the United Kingdom.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ghostly Homes, Villages Throughout Cultures

In May 1987, while hiking Beinn Fhionnlaidh in the Highlands of Scotland, two members of the Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team, Donald Watt and George Bruce, happened upon a innocuous cottage. It was described as being a two-story granite structure nestled on the shore of the loch below. The dwelling wasn't marked on their maps and they found it curious that neither had known of its existence. The two decided to break from the trail and head down for a closer look. Briefly, during the journey down, the two men lost sight of the cottage behind a small knoll. However, when they surmounted the obstruction, both were shocked to find the cottage gone. The two scoured the area to no avail. Puzzled and running behind schedule, the men returned to their initial heading. Later, they learned that a small lodge once sat at the edge of the lake, but had been inundated by a dam project in the 1950's.

For a similar tale involving several cadets and a small English village, click here.

It's curious that this report comes from Scotland, a stronghold of Celtic culture. In Irish Celtic mythology, an island to the west, known as Hy Breasal, only appeared at sunset, shrouded in mists. And Scotland was largely settled by Irish emigrants many centuries ago. Could this have given rise to a cultural motif of ghostly villages, etc. arising from the ether? Maybe. It would be easy to cite literary works such as "Brigadoon," but sadly, that story is based on a work by German writer Friedrich Gerst├Ącker, who in turn, based his work upon an old German legend.

I imagine if we dug deeper, we would find other tales of homes and villages that seem to come out of nowhere and vanish as easily. Is there some Jungian explanation to a cross-cultural motif such as this? Or does the explanation rest in the realm of the supernatural?

As a final thought, I present this to ponder: In the April 1901 issue of the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society it was written that four years earlier, the Duke of Abruzzi ventured to Mount St. Elias along the icy Alaskan coast to seek out the "Silent City of Alaska". It was a mirage locals had reported seeing hovering over a glacial region. One witness, C. W. Thornton, wrote: "It required no effort of the imagination to liken it to a city." Another said: "We could plainly see houses, well-defined streets, and trees." Others mentioned seeing church spires. It was said to have been seen between June 21 and July 10, for some number of years. It was believed, by some, to be a sort of looming mirage, refracting an image of Brisol, England, some 2,500 miles across the pole.

If you know of a similar legend, from another culture. I would love to hear more about these ephemeral dwellings and towns.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A 2009 Paranormal Conference - In March??

That's right, eschewing the typical Hallowe'en centered events of prior years, the Oklahoma City Paranormal Conference is scheduled for March this time around. To see a promotional video, click below.

for more information, go to

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Oklahoman Speaks Out About Bigfoot, Her People

In giving a voice to Native Americans, the We Shall Remain miniseries (airing on many PBS stations in April 2009) has provided a forum for native legends - including Bigfoot.

20-year-old Clarissa Archilta from Apache, OK recounts in one episode an encounter she had a year ago. Archilta and her sister were returning home after the funeral of an aunt when they spotted the creature as it dashed across the road ahead of them.

The experience was profound, and at the urging of her sister, she spoke about it on film via projects like ReelNative. Now, with the help of PBS' American Experience, Archilta is brining her story to a broader audience. In the process, she - and others - hope to eradicate stereotypes and educate others on who Native Americans truly are: everyday people with everyday stories. Even when they're about Bigfoot.

Read more about Archilta and the project here and and coalitions

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Weekly Newsletter Surfaces To Serve Crypto Community.

Only Weekly Newsletter Focusing on Cryptozoology

ARLINGTON, VA, Jan. 5 -- Bigfoot. Sea serpents. Lake monsters. Black panthers and mysterious big cats. Chupacabra. Strange reptiles.

Chances are you won't find in-depth articles on these and other crypto-creatures in your local newspaper or in academic journals. Blogs do a great job of keeping enthusiasts up-to-date on the latest sightings, but what's been missing from the crypto field is a regular weekly publication that brings readers more analytical, in-depth articles on cryptid-related phenomena -- a newsletter that goes beyond hyperlinks and daily headlines to bring readers information they simply can't find anywhere else.

Enter The Cryptid Chronicles, the new weekly newsletter written by David Acord, a veteran Washington D.C. reporter and editor who brings more than a dozen years of experience to his true passion -- cryptozoology. Each week subscribers receive 12 pages' worth of investigative reporting and analysis on the hottest crypto topics from ancient times to the present delivered straight to their e-mail inboxes in PDF format.

"The best thing about The Cryptid Chronicles is that it also brings you stories on cryptozoological phenomena that you've never heard of, broadening your knowledge of the field," Acord said. "We delve deep into the archives to discover long-lost stories of strange critters roaming America and the world. Anyone who’s interested can log on to our Web site and download a free sample issue. You’ll find stories about the whistling snakes of the eastern United States, the ‘whatsit’ from North Dakota and anomalous lizard sightings going all the way back to 1900. "The free issue is a great example of what The Cryptid Chronicles is all about," Acord added. "There’s so much more to learn about cryptozoology. Our newsletter is the missing link for anyone interested in strange creatures."

The Cryptid Chronicles is a weekly electronic newsletter. Each issue is sent to your e-mail address in PDF format, so you can print it out (if you want) or read it straight from your computer screen. And the best part is the price -- you get an entire year (52 weekly 12-page issues) for the low price of just $29.95. That works out to just 57 cents an issue -- less than the price of a candy bar or pack of gum. We guarantee it's the best cryptozoological value you'll find in today's economy!

To download a free sample issue or subscribe, log on to
Contact Editor David Acord with any questions at
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.

The preceding should in no way be construed as an endorsement by Strange State. All links, subscriptions, and contact should be taken upon at your own risk.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Wazzit Lights In Alto, TX

In a refreshing change of pace, this couple is actually stating that they DON'T believe the lights to be extraterrestrial in origin. While they can't explain them easily, they aren't looking to the Paranormal right off the bat. This, however, won't stop those from all camps from grabbing the footage as evidence: Ghost Hunters will see the disembodied strand of pearls from a woman once strangled nearby - you know, like Louisiana; the UFO Hunters will see it as vindication that the those same pearl necklaces are finally making it to QVC's Intergalactic channel; and those Cryptozoologists will undoubtedly believe it has SOMETHING to do with the Mothman and his prophecies...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Historic Accounts Reveal More About History Than UFO's

I found these two related articles transcribed on the Internet. They concern strange aerial phenomena, but are more fascinating for their historic aspects. We are never certain where to place stories from these earlier times, a time where Yellow Journalism ran amok. But if we can just enjoy a good story now and then, we can take them at face value and simply read them for fun, much as the readers of the late 19th Century most likely did.

Nebraska State Journal, June 7-9, 1887.

A CELESTIAL VISITOR. A Startling and Curious Story from the ranges of Dundy County. It is Evidently a Machine of Human Manufacture. All Particulars that are Yet Learned. Special to The State Journal.

BENKELMAN, June 7. -- A most remarkable phenomenon occurred about 1 o'clock yesterday afternoon at a point thirty-five miles northwest of this place. John W. Ellis, a well known ranchman, was going out to his herd in company with three of his herders and several other cowboys engaged in the annual roundup. While riding along a draw they heard a terrific rushing, roaring sound overhead, and looking up, saw what appeared to be a blazing meteor of immense size falling at an angle to the earth. A moment later it struck the ground out of sight over the bank. Scrambling up the steep hill they saw the object bounding along half a mile away and disappear in another draw.

Galloping towards it with all their speed, they were astounded to see several fragments of cog-wheels and other pieces of machinery lying on the ground, scattered in the path made by the aerial visitor, glowing with heat so intense as to scorch the grass for a long distance around each fragment and make it impossible for one to approach it. Coming to the edge of the deep ravine into which the strange object had fallen, they undertook to see what it was. But the heat was so great that the air about it was fairly ablaze and it emitted a light so dazzling that the eye could not rest on it for more than a moment.

An idea of the heat may be gained from the fact that one of the party, a cowboy named Alf Williamson, stood with his head incautiously exposed over the bank, and in less than half a minute he fell senseless. His face was desperately blistered and his hair singed to a crisp. His condition is said to be dangerous. The distance to the aerolite, or whatever it is, was nearly 200 feet. The burned man was taken to Mr. Ellis' house, cared for as well as circumstances would allow and a doctor sent for. His brother, who lives in Denver has just been telegraphed for.

Finding it impossible to approach the mysterious visitor, the party turned back on its trail. Where it first touched the earth the ground was sandy and bare of grass. The sand was fused to an unknown depth over a space about twenty feet wide by eighty feet long, and the melted stuff was still bubbling and hissing. Between this and the final resting place there were several like spots where it had come in contact with the ground, but none so well marked.

Finding it impossible to do any investigating, Mr. Ellis returned to his house and sent out messengers to neighboring ranches. When night came the light from the wonderful object beamed almost like the sun, and the visitors who went out to see it were entirely powerless to bear the glow.

This morning another visit was made to the spot. In the party was E.W. Rawlins, brand inspector for this district, who came into Benkleman tonight, and from whom a full verification of particulars is obtained. The smaller portions of the scattered machinery had cooled so that they could be approached, but not handled. One piece that looked like the blade of a propeller screw of a metal of an appearance like brass, about sixteen inches wide, three inches thick and three and a half feet long, was picked up by a spade. It would not weigh more than five pounds, but appeared as strong and compact as any known metal. A fragment of a wheel with a milled rim, apparently having had a diameter of seven or eight feet, was also picked up. It seemed to be of the same material and had the same remarkable lightness.

The aerolite, or whatever it is, seems to be about fifty or sixty feet long, cylindrical, and about ten or twelve feet in diameter. Great excitement exists in the vicinity and the round-up is suspended while the cowboys wait for the wonderful find to cool off so they can examine it.
Mr. Ellis is here and will take the first train to the land office with the intention of securing the land on which the strange thing lies, so that his claim to it cannot be disputed.

A party left here for the scene an hour ago and will travel all night. The country in the vicinity is rather wild and rough, and the roads hardly more than trails. Will telegraph all particulars as fast as obtained.

Nebraska State Journal, June 10, 1884

THE MAGICAL METEOR. It Dissolves Like a Drop of Dew Before the Morning Sun. The Most Mysterious Element of the Strange Phenomenon. Special to The State Journal.

BENKELMAN, June 9, 1884. Your correspondent has just returned from the spot where the aerial visitor fell last Friday. It is gone, dissolved into the air. A tremendous rain storm fell yesterday afternoon beginning around 2 o'clock. As it approached, in regular blizzard style, most of those assembled to watch the mysterious visitor fled to shelter. a dozen or more, among them your correspondent, waited to see the effect of rain upon the glowing mass of metal. The storm came down from the north, on it's crest a sheet of flying spray and a torrent of rain. It was impossible to see more than a rod through the driving, blinding mass. It lasted for half and hour, and when it slackened so that the aerolite should have been visible it was no longer there. The draw was running three feet deep in water and supposing it had floated off the strange vessel the party crossed over at the risk of their lives.

They were astounded to see that the queer object had melted, dissolved by the water like a spoonful of salt. Scarcely a vestige of it remained. Small, jelly-like pools stood here and there on the ground, but under the eyes of the observers these grew thinner and thinner till they were but muddy water joining the rills that led to the current a few feet away. The air was filled with a faint, sweetish smell.

The whole affair is bewildering to the highest degree, and will no doubt forever be a mystery. Alf Williamson, the injured cowboy, left yesterday for Denver, accompanied by his brother. It is feared he will never recover his eyesight, but otherwise he does not appear to be seriously injured.

A few things about these articles struck me: the sensationalism used to describe just how hot the remnants were, the lighter-than-any-known-material aspect (a go-to in the annals of most all out-of-this-world technology), and the convenient melting and subsequent dissolution of all traces of the craft mere days after it was discovered. To me, it smacks of the tabloid journalism so rampant in the late 1800's, a time of fierce competition for readers' money. Anything could and would be written by unscrupulous papers (of which there were many) to gain the advantage.

One only has to remember this was an era that reportedly bore witness to publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst's statement (regarding the Spanish-American war): "You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war." Then, a week after the war began, dangled the question: "How do you like the Journal's war?" All of which speaks enormously to both the power of the press and the intellectual laziness of the readers.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Loss of Desire

I find myself more and more these days fatigued at reading the latest accounts of the supposedly strange and paranormal. It all leaves me cold - or wanting to throw a brick at someone's head. I keep waiting for that "something" that will ignite a fire beneath me and I'll feel like writing about the topic with passion. But it's not there. Instead, in reading articles and blogs, I'm simply left with a lot people who are stupidly and quite easily impressed by blurred images, blobs of color, unsubstatiated hearsay, and the endless quest for para-celebrity. And frankly, there is very little of paranormal interest going on in the world right now. Sure, people are posting (often about events in the past), but if you ever had doubts that it's all a sociological phenomenon, this might be it. It's the start of the new year, everyone's getting back on track, refocusing. There's a recession, credit cards to pay off, and taxes to file soon. There's simply no time for the paranormal. Does this mean it's still going on but we're too busy to notice? Or could it mean that we're too busy to conjure it up?

Fortunately, I've been focusing on my fiction more and more these days. It's a realm where I can fully explore the themes, motives, and textures of the paranormal and those who follow it. I hope to have some work out in the next couple of months, which will be available from this site. In the meantime, I wait for something to shake me up and get me excited again - get me out of these doldrums.

When Birds Collide

Hot on the heels of the recent Hudson River crash in New York City, cryptozoologist Loren Coleman posits other remote possiblities for midair collisions with birds over at Cryptomundo.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

"It's the end of the world as we know it..."

What, may I ask, is humankind's obsession with its own demise? Whereas the reasons for our obsession with predicting it are obvious (ameliorate feelings of helplessness, manipulate the actions of others through fear), the reasons so many of us are looking to the end aren't always clear. For many, it's religious; they are promised a better life in the world beyond the fall of ours. For others, however, the reasons can be head-scratching to say the least. Whatever the rationale, there is no denying that as long as man has existed, he has pondered his demise.

In examining the varied attempts at prognosticating the end-of-the-world, we quickly see a pattern - of failure. Here is a not so short list of the many failed apocalyptic prophecies that have rolled out over the past 2,000 years. Perhaps reading these might place the upcoming 2012 into perspective. Of course, I'm not fool; come 2013, there will be another slew of dates with which we will contend.

About 30 CE: The Christian Scriptures (New Testament), when interpreted literally, appear to record many predictions by Jeshua of Nazareth (Jesus Christ) that God's Kingdom would arrive within a very short period, or was actually in the process of arriving. For example, Jesus is recorded as saying in Matthew 16:28: "...there shall be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom." In Matthew 24:34, Yeshua is recorded as saying: "...This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." Since the life expectancy in those days was little over 30 years, Jesus appears to have predicted his second coming sometime during the 1st century CE. It didn't happen. More details.

About 60 CE: Interpreting the Epistles of Paul of Tarsus literally, his writings seem to imply that Jesus would return and usher in a rapture during the lifetime of persons who were living in the middle of the 1st century. More details.

About 90 CE: Saint Clement 1 predicted that the world end would occur at any moment.
2nd Century CE: Prophets and Prophetesses of the Montanist movement predicted that Jesus would return sometime during their lifetime and establish the New Jerusalem in the city of Pepuza in Asia Minor.

365 CE: A man by the name of Hilary of Poitiers, announced that the end would happen that year. It didn't.

375 to 400 CE: Saint Martin of Tours, a student of Hilary, was convinced that the end would happen sometime before 400 CE.

500 CE: This was the first year-with-a-nice-round-number-panic. The antipope Hippolytus and an earlier Christian academic Sextus Julius Africanus had predicted Armageddon at about this year.

968 CE: An eclipse was interpreted as a prelude to the end of the world by the army of the German emperor Otto III.

992: Good Friday coincided with the Feast of the Annunciation; this had long been believed to be the event that would bring forth the Antichrist, and thus the end-times events foretold in the book of Revelation. Records from Germany report that a new sun rose in the north and that as many as 3 suns and 3 moons were fighting. There does not appear to be independent verification of this remarkable event.

1000-JAN-1: Many Christians in Europe had predicted the end of the world on this date. As the date approached, Christian armies waged war against some of the Pagan countries in Northern Europe. The motivation was to convert them all to Christianity, by force if necessary, before Christ returned in the year 1000. Meanwhile, some Christians had given their possessions to the Church in anticipation of the end. Fortunately, the level of education was so low that many citizens were unaware of the year. They did not know enough to be afraid. Otherwise, the panic might have been far worse than it was. Unfortunately, when Jesus did not appear, the church did not return the gifts. Serious criticism of the Church followed. The Church reacted by exterminating some heretics. Agitation settled down quickly.

1000-MAY: The body of Charlemagne was disinterred on Pentecost. A legend had arisen that an emperor would rise from his sleep to fight the Antichrist.

1005-1006: A terrible famine throughout Europe was seen as a sign of the nearness of the end.

1033: Some believed this to be the 1000th anniversary of the death and resurrection of Jesus. His second coming was anticipated. Jesus' actual date of execution is unknown, but is believed to be in the range of 27 to 33 CE.

1147: Gerard of Poehlde decided that the millennium had actually started in 306 CE during Constantine's reign. Thus, the world end was expected in 1306 CE.

1179: John of Toledo predicted the end of the world during 1186. This estimate was based on the alignment of many planets.

1205: Joachim of Fiore predicted in 1190 that the Antichrist was already in the world, and that King Richard of England would defeat him. The Millennium would then begin, sometime before 1205.

1284: Pope Innocent III computed this date by adding 666 years onto the date the Islam was founded.

1346 and later: The black plague spread across Europe, killing one third of the population. This was seen as the prelude to an immediate end of the world. Unfortunately, the Christians had previously killed a many of the cats, fearing that they might be familiars of Witches. The fewer the cats, the more the rats. It was the rat fleas that spread the black plague.

1496: This was approximately 1500 years after the birth of Jesus. Some mystics in the 15th century predicted that the millennium would begin during this year.

1524: Many astrologers predicted the imminent end of the world due to a world wide flood. They obviously had not read the Genesis story of the rainbow.

1533: Melchior Hoffman predicted that Jesus' return would happen a millennium and a half after the nominal date of his execution, in 1533. The New Jerusalem was expected to be established in Strasbourg, Germany. He was arrested and died in a Strasbourg jail.

1669: The Old Believers in Russia believed that the end of the world would occur in this year. 20 thousand burned themselves to death between 1669 and 1690 to protect themselves from the Antichrist. 1689: Benjamin Keach, a 17th century Baptist, predicted the end of the world for this year.

1736: British theologian and mathematician William Whitson predicted a great flood similar to Noah's for OCT-13 of this year.

1792: This was the date of the end of the world calculated by some believers in the Shaker movement. 1794: Charles Wesley, one of the founders of Methodism, thought Doomsday would be in this year.

1830: Margaret McDonald, a Christian prophetess, predicted that Robert Owen would be the Antichrist. Owen helped found New Harmony, IN.

1832?: Joseph Smith (1805-1844) was the founder of the Church of Christ, which became the Restorationist movement after many schisms. It now includes The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- a.k.a. the Mormons, and about a hundred other denominations and sects. He heard a voice while praying. He wrote, in Doctrines and Covenants section 130:

14: "I was once praying very earnestly to know the time of the coming of the Son of Man, when I heard a voice repeat the following:"
15: "Joseph, my son, if thou livest until thou art eighty-five years old, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man; therefore let this suffice, and trouble me no more on this matter."
16: "I was left thus, without being able to decide whether this coming referred to the beginning of the millennium or to some previous appearing, or whether I should die and thus see his face."
17: "I believe the coming of the Son of Man will not be any sooner than that time."

The year in which this event occurred is not recorded. However, one commentator suggested 1832 or earlier. Smith is later recorded as having said:

"I prophesy in the name of the Lord God, and let it be written--the Son of Man will not come in the clouds of heaven till I am eighty-five years old."

Smith would have reached the age of 85 during 1890. Unfortunately, by that year, Smith had been dead for almost a half century, having been assassinated by a mob. Note that his prophecy is ambiguous. It can be interpreted that: Jesus would return during 1890 (which did not materialize) or that 1890 would pass without Jesus' return (which did come to pass).

Some anti-Mormon sources quote only verses 14 and 15, and draw the former conclusion -- that Smith's prophecy failed.

1843-MAR-21: William Miller, founder of the Millerite movement, predicted that Jesus would come on this date. A very large number of Christians accepted his prophecy.

1844-OCT-22: When Jesus did not return, Miller predicted this new date. In an event which is now called "The Great Disappointment," many Christians sold their property and possessions, quit their jobs and prepared themselves for the second coming. Nothing happened; the day came and went without incident.

1850: Ellen White, founder of the Seven Day Adventists movement, made many predictions of the timing of the end of the world. All failed. On 1850-JUN-27 she prophesized that only a few months remained before the end. She wrote: "My accompanying angel said, 'Time is almost finished. Get ready, get ready, get ready.' time is almost finished...and what we have been years learning, they will have to learn in a few months." 10
1856 or later: At Ellen White's last prediction, she said that she was shown in a vision the fate of believers who attended the 1856 SDA conference. She wrote "I was shown the company present at the Conference. Said the angel: 'Some food for worms, some subjects of the seven last plagues, some will be alive and remain upon the earth to be translated at the coming of Jesus." 11 That is, some of the attendees would die of normal diseases; some would die from plagues at the last days, others would still be alive when Jesus came. "By the early 1900s all those who attended the conference had passed away, leaving the Church with the dilemma of trying to figure out how to explain away such a prominent prophetic failure."

1891: Mother Shipton, a 16th century mystic predicted the end of the world: "...The world to an end shall come; in eighteen hundred and eighty-one."

1891 or before: On 1835-FEB-14, Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon church, attended a meeting of church leaders. He said that the meeting had been called because God had commanded it. He announced that Jesus would return within 56 years -- i.e. before 1891-FEB-15. (History of the Church 2:182)

1914 was one of the more important estimates of the start of the war of Armageddon by the Jehovah's Witnesses (Watchtower Bible and Tract Society). They based their prophecy of 1914 from prophecy in the book of Daniel, Chapter 4. The writings referred to "seven times". The WTS interpreted each "time" as equal to 360 days, giving a total of 2520 days. This was further interpreted as representing 2520 years, measured from the starting date of 607 BCE. This gave 1914 as the target date. When 1914 passed, they changed their prediction; 1914 became the year that Jesus invisibly began his rule.

1914, 1915, 1918, 1920, 1925, 1941, 1975 and 1994, etc. were other dates that the Watchtower Society (WTS) or its members predicted. Since late in the 19th century, they had taught that the "battle of the Great Day of God Almighty" (Armageddon) would happen in 1914 CE. It didn't.

The next major estimate was 1925. Watchtower magazine predicted: "The year 1925 is a date definitely and clearly marked in the Scriptures, even more clearly than that of 1914; but it would be presumptuous on the part of any faithful follower of the Lord to assume just what the Lord is going to do during that year." 6
The Watchtower Society selected 1975 as its next main prediction. This was based on the estimate "according to reliable Bible chronology Adam was created in the year 4026 BCE, likely in the autumn of the year, at the end of the sixth day of creation." 8 They believed that the year 1975 a promising date for the end of the world, as it was the 6,000th anniversary of Adam's creation. Exactly 1,000 years was to pass for each day of the creation week. This prophecy also failed. The current estimate is that the end of the world as we know it will happen precisely 6000 years after the creation of Eve. There is no way of knowing when this happened.

1919: Meteorologist Albert Porta predicted that the conjunction of 6 planets would generate a magnetic current that would cause the sun to explode and engulf the earth on DEC-17.

1936: Herbert W Armstrong, founder of the Worldwide Church of God, predicted that the Day of the Lord would happen sometime in 1936. Nothing much happened that year, except for the birth of the compiler of this list -- who has been referred to as an Anti-Christ. When the prediction failed, he made a new estimate: 1975.

1940 or 1941: A Bible teacher from Australia, Leonard Sale-Harrison, held a series of prophesy conferences across North America in the 1930's. He predicted that the end of the world would happen in 1940 or 1941. 7
1948: During this year, the state of Israel was founded. Some Christians believed that this event was the final prerequisite for the second coming of Jesus. Various end of the world predictions were made in the range 1888 to 2048.

1953-AUG: David Davidson wrote a book titled "The Great Pyramid, Its Divine Message". In it, he predicted that the world would end in 1953-AUG.

1957-APR: The Watchtower magazine quoted 6 a pastor from California, Mihran Ask, as saying in 1957-JAN that "Sometime between April 16 and 23, 1957, Armageddon will sweep the world! Millions of persons will perish in its flames and the land will be scorched.'

1959: Florence Houteff's, who was the leader of the Branch Davidians faith group, prophesied that the 1260 days mentioned in Revelation 11:3 would end and the Kingdom of David would be established on 1959-APR-22. Followers expected to die, be resurrected, and transferred to Heaven. Many sold their possessions and moved to Mt. Carmel in anticipation of the "end time". It didn't happen. The group almost did not survive; only a few dozen members remained. Most Branch Davidians did die on 1993-APR-29 as a result of arson apparently ordered by their leader, David Koresh. They were not bodily resurrected -- on earth at least.

1960: Piazzi Smyth, a past astronomer royal of Scotland, wrote a book circa 1860 titled "Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid." It was responsible for spreading the belief in pyramidology throughout the world. This is the belief that secrets are hidden in the dimensions of the great pyramids. He concluded from his research that the millennium would start before the end of 1960 CE.

1967: During the six day war, the Israeli army captured all of Jerusalem. Many conservative Christians believed that the rapture would occur quickly. However, the final Biblical prerequisite for the second coming is that the Jews resume ritual animal sacrifices in the temple at Jerusalem. That never happened.

1970's: The late Moses David (formerly David Berg) was the founder of the Christian religious group, The Children of God. He predicted that a comet would hit the earth, probably in the mid 1970's and destroy all life in the United States. One source indicated that he believed it would happen in 1973.

1972: According to an article in the Atlantic magazine, "Herbert W. Armstrong's empire suffered a serious blow when the end failed to begin in January of 1972, as Armstrong had predicted, thus bringing hardship to many people who had given most of their assets to the church in the expectation of going to Petra, where such worldly possessions would be useless." According to an article in Wikipedia: "The failure of this prophetic scenario to take place according to this Co-Worker letter scenario, which was often repeated over the years in print by Armstrong, may have been one of the initial reasons why the church organization began to decline as unfulfilled expectations led to great disappointment. As events unfolded, it became obvious 1972 did not have the biblical significance that the church had anticipated for nearly two decades."

1974: Charles Meade, a pastor in Daleville, IN, predicted that the end of the world will happen during his lifetime. He was born circa 1927, so the end will probably come early in the 21st century. 1975: Many Jehovah's Witness predicted this date. However, it was not officially recognized by the leadership.

1978: Chuck Smith, Pastor of Calvary Chapel in Cost Mesa, CA, predicted the rapture in 1981. 1980: Leland Jensen leader of a Baha'i Faith group, predicted that a nuclear disaster would happen in 1980. This would be followed by two decades of conflict, ending in the establishment of God's Kingdom on earth.
1981: Arnold Murray of the Shepherd's Chapel taught an anti-Trinitarian belief about God, and Christian Identity. Back in the 1970's, he predicted that the Antichrist would appear before 1981. Rev. Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification Church predicted that the Kingdom of Heaven would be established this year.

1982: Pat Robertson predicted a few years in advance that the world would end in the fall of 1982. The failure of this prophecy did not seem to adversely affect his reputation.

1982: Astronomers John Gribben & Setphen Plagemann predicted the "Jupiter Effect" in 1974. They wrote that when various planets were aligned on the same side of the sun, tidal forces would create solar flares, radio interruptions, rainfall and temperature disturbances and massive earthquakes. The planets did align as seen from earth, as they do regularly. Nothing unusual happened.

1984 to 1999: In 1983, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, later called Osho, teacher of what has been called the Rajneesh movement, is said to have predicted massive destruction on earth, including natural disasters and man-made catastrophes. Floods larger than any since Noah, extreme earthquakes, very destructive volcano eruptions, nuclear wars etc. were to happen. Tokyo, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Bombay will all disappear. Actually, the predictions were read out by his secretary; their legitimacy is doubtful.

1985: Arnold Murray of the Shepherd's Chapel predicted that the war of Armageddon will start on 1985-JUN 8-9 in "a valley of the Alaskan peninsula."

1986: Moses David of The Children of God faith group predicted that the Battle of Armageddon would take place in 1986. Russia would defeat Israel and the United States. A worldwide Communist dictatorship would be established. In 1993, Christ would return to earth.

1987 to 2000: Lester Sumrall, in his 1987 book "I Predict 2000 AD" predicted that Jerusalem would be the richest city on Earth, that the Common Market would rule Europe, and that there would be a nuclear war involving Russia and perhaps the U.S. Also, he prophesized that the greatest Christian revival in the history of the church would happen: all during the last 13 years of the 20th century. All of the predictions failed.

1988: Hal Lindsey had predicted in his book "The Late, Great Planet Earth" that the Rapture was coming in 1988 - one generation or 40 years after the creation of the state of Israel. This failed prophecy did not appear to damage his reputation. He continues to write books of prophecy which sell very well indeed.

Alfred Schmielewsky, a psychic whose stage name was "super-psychic A.S. Narayana," predicted in 1986 that the world's greatest natural disaster would hit Montreal in 1988. Sadly, his psychic abilities failed him on

1999-APR-11 when he answered the door of his home only to be shot dead by a gunman.

1988-MAY: A 1981 movie titled "The man who saw tomorrow" described some of Nostradamus predictions. Massive earthquakes were predicted for San Francisco and Los Angeles.

1988-OCT-11: Edgar Whisenaut, a NASA scientist, had published the book "88 Reasons why the Rapture will Occur in 1988." It sold over 4 million copies.

About 1990: Peter Ruckman concluded from his analysis of the Bible that the rapture would come within a few years of 1990.

Sep 28, 1992: "Rockin" Rollen Stewart, an eccentric evangelist who started the craze for holding up signs representing bible verses at public events [John 3:16 was the most popular of these] was certain that The Rapture would occur on this day. He went on to instigate a campaign of stink-bombing churches and other religiously inspired acts of madness, which culminated with his imprisonment for kidnapping.

March – May 1997: The year of the comet Hale-Bopp gave rise to a welter of "end of the world" theories all based on a mistaken observation by amateur astronomer Chuck Shramek. When his assertion that the comet was being trailed by a companion object found its way onto Usenet message boards, it was magnified by the full power of the then-young internet into a worldwide hullabaloo. Another contributory factor was the suggestion that the Solar System was about to pass through a mysterious and entirely imaginary region of space called the Photon Belt. The Heaven’s Gate cult seized on these combined rumours as their signal to commit mass suicide in March of this year. It was also the 6,000th anniversary of the Creation, as calculated by Bishop Ussher, leading to another wave of "Last Days" panic.

12:01am, Mar 31, 1998. One of the more precise predictions of the Second Coming. Hon-Ming Chen, leader of the Taiwanese cult "The True Way" - claimed that God would announce his imminent return on every television in the USA at this moment, prior to an actual landing in his spacecraft. Chen had the good grace to admit his mistake and offer to be crucified when the deity failed to materialise, but no-one seemed enthusiastic.

1999: Throughout 1998 and 1999 the predictions of Apocalypse came so thick and fast as to dwarf any previous doomsday craze. For Nostradamus, arguably the best-known seer of all time, July was the chosen date of Armageddon. No sooner was the July panic over when the rumour began to spread that the Cassini space probe would crash to Earth, spilling its radioactive fuel and fulfilling the prediction in Revelation 8:11 “And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.”

2000: No less a luminary than Sir Isaac Newton believed that the year 2000 would see the events foretold in the Book of Revelation as detailed in his book Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel, and the Apocalypse of St. John.

Feb 12, 2006: Clinton Ortiz claimed on his website that Prince William, whom he suggests is the Antichrist of Revelation, would come to power on this day. He also quotes William’s mother – Diana, Princess of Wales – as having said: "I believe Wills can rebuild Camelot and I will be his Merlin. Together we will return to the chivalry, pageantry, and the glory that was King Arthur's Court. William will remake the Monarchy by showing love, leadership, and compassion."

Friday 13th April 2007: An un-named punter placed a £10 bet at 10,000/1 with Ladbrokes, the bookmakers, that the world would end on that day. It is unclear how he expected to collect.
Mar 21, 2008. A minor Christian sect The Lords' Witnesses announced this date for the end of days on their website, which is still online.


Monday, January 12, 2009

See What Prompted This Hilarious Conversation

Jay Jordan said...

I am sure that when the History Channel covers this their experts will discover that this contains hidden messages predicting the end of the world in 2012

Jajuroshi said...

The history channel needs to pay bills, too.

It's hilarious - to me, anyway - because, as I have been flipping through the channels lately, everytime I land on the History Channel, they're discussing Apocalyptic doom and mortal sin.

But read the fascinating article about sunken ships and a possible 'Stonehenge' beneath Lake Michigan.

In Search Of The Unicorn

The Natural History of Unicorns by Chris Lavers - review
Helen Brown enjoys a study of our 2,000-year fascination with the creature

By Helen Brown Last Updated: 11:12AM GMT 08 Jan 2009

At a conference of cryptozoologists (they study “hidden creatures”) in Devon a couple of years ago, a proud man showed me a sort of terrapin in a small, plastic tub. The awed crowd behind me were barely breathing. “You see?” said the revelator of the bewildered reptile. “It’s of no species known to science! New creatures are being discovered all the time. So there’s no reason why we might not discover some zoological truths behind camp-fire stories of the Mongolian death worms, Bigfoot, dragons or unicorns!” This 21st-century cryptozoologist isn’t the first to be gripped by the romantic desire to track down the creatures of long-enjoyed myth. Chris Lavers traces our fascination with the idea of a one-horned horse back 2,000 years in this scholarly history of unicorns.

The written history of the Western legend begins in 398 BC with an account from a rather credulous Greek physician called Ctesias of Cnidus, who spent two decades in Persia ministering to the king and his court. Like his famous predecessor, Herodotus, Ctesias had a characteristically Greek curiosity about exotic peoples and places and wrote down all the tales he heard to ship home. One was of a wild, Indian ass with a white body, dark-red head, blue eyes and one horn of white, red and black. “Those who drink out of these horns,” he wrote, “are not subject, they say, to convulsions or to the holy disease [epilepsy]. Indeed they are immune to poisons if, either before or after swallowing such, they drink wine, water, or anything else from these beakers.”

Delving into the possible origins of this tale, Lavers takes us on a tour of some Indian animals that share some of the characteristics of Ctesias’s miracle beast. We meet the Indian rhino, a fearsome ass called the kiang, a Tibetan antelope and a wild yak. Lavers is good at fitting the properties attributed to the mythical creature to the characteristics of the real animals, although readers may sometimes find themselves wondering why. People have always just made things up, and that probably says more about our species of ape than it does about the Himalayan yak.
I found Lavers’s chapters on unicorn lore more revealing, particularly the way in which Ctesias’s ass made it into the Bible. Lavers reveals that the numerous references to unicorns in the King James Bible are a consequence of mistranslation from the Hebrew to the Greek. Most probably the Bible’s authors were talking about an ox.

Things get interesting when the pagan myth of how to catch a unicorn (send a pretty young virgin into the forest, wait for her to attract and pacify the beast, then spring out from behind the bushes to kill it) fuses with Christian tradition. So the unicorn becomes a symbol of Christ, brought among men by a virgin and killed by mankind. Lavers doesn’t pry too deeply into the Freudian aspects of the story, but he does quote the Thirties unicorn scholar Odell Shepard who noted that in some tellings the virgin doesn’t behave with convincing modesty.

Money, as well as religion, comes into the unicorn’s history. Lavers describes the fabulous sums paid for whole horns, or their ground-up varieties, until the “alicorn bubble” burst in the 1630s. These artefacts treasured by churches and royal families, from China to Europe, were probably narwhal tooths, walrus tusks, gazelle antlers and the like, although the fabulously coloured and patterned substance of “khutu” may well have derived from mammoth tusks.

The last expeditions launched in search of the unicorn went to Africa at the end of the 19th century, inspired by Stanley’s mention of a donkey called an “atti”. And while the final adventure didn’t find its quarry, it did reveal the okapi. Lavers’s meandering book ends with an account of an attempt in the Thirties to create a unicorn by grafting a day-old calf’s hornbuds onto the centre of its forehead. He reproduces a photograph of a creature that looks as confused as the poor terrapin I saw in Devon. It’s a horrible reminder of mankind’s desire to bend an already miraculous natural world to our will. The history of the unicorn shows human beings at our imaginative best and our manipulative worst.

Turbine Update

Dale Vine, managing director of Ecotricity which owns the turbine, said: "We've ruled out ice from other turbines or passing jets. We've examined the turbine, the fallen blade and the surrounding area. We have been crawling all over it. To make one of these blades fall off, or to bend it, takes a lot."

So, unlike earlier reports stated, they ARE in possesion of the previously missing blade.

Detail of untitled work by Cullan Hudson, c. 1993

Friday, January 9, 2009

Random Rant

Generally, I don't post off-topic much, but seeing how it is the new year, I would like certain things to forever go away. My wish list:

Reading articles with the "cutesy" phonetically abbreviated words: natch, sitch, def, etc... I'm sure these writers think it makes them look hip, urbane - "with it". Unfortunately, it makes them seem more like tools.

The nonstop media diarrhea that has given headline status to Page 6 gossip, especially if it involves conjoined names (Brangelina, for example) or the incessant fascination with hook-ups and break-ups. It reduces the "media" to a gaggle of emotionally immature and clueless adolescents. "Such-and-such was spotted shopping in Beverly Hills - alone! Does this mean it's finally over with This-and-that?" As if anyone - married, dating, single - can't go out and by a pair of jeans without the stalkarazzi questioning the motives behind every scratch of their butt.

And while we're on this topic, the coverage of faux celebrities (a la reality TV) should be banned as well. These contrivances serve only as egregious reminders of how plastic and banal American culture is becoming. In fact, I will take it one step further: my eyes should never, while flipping through channels, have to be affronted by the likes of The Hills, The City, or anything of that nature.

There are more, of course. So many more. Unfortunately, this is all I will harangue you with at the moment. The biggest problem with all of them is their recent ubiquity. Only a few years ago, you had to go to specific gossip shows, columns, and blogs to find these stories. They were (rightfully) beneath the concerns of legitimate journalists. Sadly, in an increasingly dumbed-down America suffering from an ever-lagging economy, major news networks have been forced to stoop to that level in an obvious play for this ever-growing market.

The Don Quixote of UFO Accounts: Chasing Windmills

Early in the morning of January 7, 2009, residents living near a wind farm northeast of Louth, England were awakened by a loud crash that resulted in damage to one of the large windmills that dot the landscape.

Hours prior, locals had witnessed strange glowing yellow-orange spheres flitting about. Dorothy Willows, who lives less than a mile from the scene, stated that she had seen the lights flying low near the turbines. Then, around 4 am, her husband was awakened by a loud crash and discovered that one of the 65-foot blades missing from a wrecked windmill.

Other witnesses describe a "massive ball of light with tentacles going right down to the ground... like an octopus." 71-year-old Lesley Whittingham claims to have snapped an image of the event; however, nothing has yet been printed.

Later, a search by officials turned up no sign of where the missing piece could have gone. As well, no reports came in of any aircraft collisions.

According to Russ Kellett, of Flying Saucer Review, scores of reports had come through that very evening; callers all swore to seeing "balls of light" in the night sky. The famed UFOlogist, Nick Pope, added that reported sightings in the area and military encounters with UFO's had been on the rise for the past few months.

Ecotricity, owners of the wind farm, have yet to reach a satisfactory explanation - and one may be some time in coming. The nations Ministry of Defence could offer little comfort: "Unless there is evidence of a potential threat, there is no attempt to identify the nature of each sighting." Even if it damages a gigantic windmill, I suppose.

Until suitable answers are forthcoming, the locals have already begun to refer to the strange orb(s) as "the Octopus UFO".

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Projects

My posts may be a bit sporadic for a time as I work on two new projects coming out this spring. Details as they solidify.

Monday, January 5, 2009


Saw this one posted over at Phantoms and Monsters and it was just weird enough to share with you.

Friday, January 2, 2009


Over the course of the next few months, you will see some subtle changes to the Strange State blog. Chief among these, will be a shift toward posting stories from all over. This is due partly to the fact that there are only so many stories from a single place. I will continue to post stories from around the world (especially any lesser-known ones) and to provide my two cents here and there, as warranted. Also, as my writings expand in new directions (namely into the realm of fiction), I will be including excerpts from forthcoming works. If you look closely, you will see that 101 posts have been removed from this blog. These post will be written up into a second collection of Oklahoma tales, tentatively entitled Stranger State. I am hoping that this and several short story collections will be available this spring. And as I near completion on the Mound, I will be posting more about that both here and the Mound blog. I sincerely hope you like the changes ahead, and for my Oklahoma readers, I will always include generous amounts of spookiness from the Sooner State whenever new reports become available. If you have any tales to pass on, feel free to let me know at s t r a n g e s t a t e o k @ y a h o o . c o m