Sunday, May 31, 2009

Summer Road Trip Into The Kooky

In a little over a month (July 4th weekend), the denizens of Roswell, NM will once again celebrate the now-infamous crash of '47 through parades, fairs, and plenty of great New Mexican food (red, green, or "Christmas"?). If you're nearby, take a drive to this fun and wacky little town in southeast New Mexico and brush up on one of the most controversial UFO cases in history. And there's plenty else to keep you busy in the region, too. Just south of Roswell is Carlsbad Caverns and the Guadalupe Mountains; to the immediate west you can find the Capitan Mountains rising up from the Llano Estacado into the cool pine forests of towns like Ruidoso (home to Smokey the Bear), Cloudcroft (home to the haunted Lodge at Cloudcroft), and Ski Apache. You're also only a short drive from the famed Trinity Site (location of the first atomic bomb experiments), the famous White Sands and the Valley of Fires, an ancient lava flow that - over a 1,000 years ago - left the land for many square miles covered in a surreal moonscape of black lava rock.

So, if you're looking for a great vacation this summer, New Mexico is definitely a fascinating, exciting option. Brimming with natural wonders, ancient Native American mysteries, Spanish Colonial charm, and maybe a UFO or two, 'The Land of Enchantment' has a lot to offer.

And if you find yourself visiting the Roswell UFO Festival this July 4th weekend [clears throat, inserts gratuitous self-promotion], might I suggest you check out the great designs over at Roswellian? All of these affordable, quality, and (more importantly) ORIGINAL designs are available for fast, convenient ordering through, the leading print-on-demand website. Ranging from serious to silly and just plain cool, Roswellian is home to my own designs that not only highlight the Roswell incident but UFO lore in general. Check it out, get geared up, and hit the open road this summer.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Mysteries and Legends of Utah

This coming week, I will be away on vacation. While I will attempt to keep my posting up to some extent (probably more so on facebook page), I will certainly be reposting some "Best Of" Strange State entries from the past few years. Since I will be in Utah for part of my trip, I thought taking a look back at this great book would be a great place to start.

"As far back as the lanterns cast their dusty glow, he could see more skeletons, some wearing ancient Spanish armor, their leather pouches and knife sheaths still perfectly intact. There were two large, golden disks, taller than a man, each one engraved with words of a language Caleb had never seen. He couldn't fathom their value. Skeletons were adorned with elaborate feathers, jewels and gold artifacts he did not recognize. He had a thousand questions. Could these golden disks, strange masks, anklets and breastplates belong to the ancient Lamanite people written about in the Book of Mormon? Young Caleb only hoped he lived long enough to find out the answers."

So goes a particularly thrilling section of Utah author Michael O'Reilly's book "Mysteries and Legends of Utah: True Stories of the Unsolved and Unexplained (Globe Pequot Press). In commenting on this section (his favorite, by the way), O'Reilley adds, "The most interesting thing is the quest for the gold and how it ties in with the Church [of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] and their need for gold."

Also included in this work, which retails for $14.95 are accounts of UFOs and Aliens, Bigfoot, Historic Legends, and all the rest. Check it out here . It looks like a fun book for Utah lovers or just fans of such mysteries. However, I will add that I was disappointed in the cover art Globe Pequot Press supplied O'Reilley's work. It's as if they don't want this book to be found among thousands of others lining the bookstore shelves.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Starring Will and Grace's Eric McCormack and Helmed by X-Files alum R. W. Goodwin, Alien Trespass is a retro 1950's pastiche film shot in homage to all those great low-budget sci-fi flicks from that era.

Set in 1957, Alien Trespass chronicles a fiery object from outer space that crashes into a mountaintop in the California desert, bringing the threat of disaster to Earth. Out of the flying saucer escapes a murderous creature - the Ghota, which is bent on destroying all life forms on the planet. A benevolent alien from the spaceship, Urp, inhabits the body of Ted Lewis (McCormack) - a local astronomer - and with the help of Tammy (Jenni Baird, "The 4400"), a waitress from the local diner, sets out to save mankind. [read more here]

Trespass also features former X-files actor Robert Patrick, as well as Dan Lauria from "The Wonder Years".

While currently making the rounds at limited theaters nationwide, Alien Trespass will most certainly end up on DVD before too long. It looks to be a fun homage to all those bad sci-fi films we love.

Roswell Mystery Metal Revealed?

A fascinating post over at UFOiconoclasts on what the mysterious "memory" metal found among the Roswell debris might have been - or how it shaped our own technology.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Baseball Team Fears All That Goes Bump In The Night

Team members of the Marlins baseball team staying at Milwaukee's famously haunted Pfister Hotel began bunking up in rooms to avoid sleeping alone.

Apparently the 116 year-old hotel was too much for these macho men of the mound. While staying at the Pfister for their upcoming games against the local Brewers, several of the players began to share rooms in fear of the ghosts said to haunt the old hotel.

Chief among these spirits is that of Charles Pfister, who first opened the hotel in 1893. He has been spotted on numerous occasions and described as a well-dressed, heavy-set older man seen strolling the minstrel's gallery. Visitors puzzled by his anachronistic appearance are soon startled to learn from seeing Pfister's portrait that he was the man they had witnessed.

Other sports figures have had experiences in the hotel too, including Dodger Adrian Beltre. He reportedly slept with his baseball bat. Minnesota's Carlos Gomez had strange encounters involving his iPod only last summer. The device kept turning on by itself.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Southeast Oklahoma Memorial Day Weekend Bigfoot Expedition

Bigfoot hunters headed into the densely wooded Kiamichi Mountains this weekend searching for Oklahoma's own elusive variant of Sasquatch. Comprised primarily of Mid-America Bigfoot Research Center members, the team, headed by D. W. Lee, chose this region for its long-history of activity. Events last year in Honobia and a prior encounter in Chelsea (where Lee claims to have seen three Bigfoot troops crossing a field) left a lasting impression - literally. Photographs and plaster casts of various 15 inch tracks have been collected from all over the region. In prior expeditions, the team - armed with night-vision, audio recorders, and video cameras - have had rocks thrown at them as the sat around the campfire. When they come that close, Lee says, the team members could see the creatures' eyes glint in the flickering firelight - about eight feet off the ground.

Colorado UFO Sightings

UFO's lately have been seen hovering over the skies of Vail, Colorado, according to MUFON representatives. My suspicion is that this struggling economy has reached the outer limits of space, forcing even our extraterrestrial friends to visit vacation hotspots in the off season. Read more about the sightings here: CLICK.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Muquis: Cultural Contamination, Cognitive Kinship, or Common Truth?

These are the questions we ask ourselves when facing such widespread mysteries of strikingly similar composition. A case in point would be the various "little people" of folklore and myth. To wit, I find the following - with its theme of dwarf tricksters who mine in the mountains - to be very intriguing. I am left wondering if this isn't contamination into Native South American mythology by old European legends. If not, it is a fascinating coincidence.

And you can read more at this translated wikipedia page.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


A 47 million-year-old fossil primate - dubbed Ida - has scientists crying "missing link".

Although discovered in 1983 near Darmstadt, Germany, the fossil didn't come to scientific attention for another 20 years when it was sold to fossil dealer Thomas Perner who, in turn, contacted paleontologist Dr Jørn Hurum from Oslo University. A team of international scientists has been studying Ida secretly for over two years now, and they believe it represents a "missing link" between hominids and other branches of the animal kingdom. In effect, Ida represents the earliest tangent to humanity.

Ida is believe to come from a period when primates diverged into apes, monkeys, and humans, while others evolved toward lemurs and such. But Ida doesn't seem to have moved toward lemurs. Scientists point to the lack of features shared by all lemurs and similar species, such as grooming claws and tooth combs. Ida's talus (a bone in her ankle) is more like that of primates.

In honor of the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's (grandfather of evolution) birthday, Ida's species has been formally declared Darwinius masillae.

Moreover, Ida is the most complete (over 95%) fossil primate ever discovered. And it's in remarkable shape: scientists have been able to discern the hair that once covered its body and even the contents of its stomach. As well, they have learned that the specimen was probably around 6 to 9 months old, had a fractured wrist, and that Ida was a she - the specimen lacks a penis bone.

Ida was unveiled to the people of New York City today and the shock wave is moving outward at startling speed. Most scientists agree: textbooks will be rewritten.

The Pirates Hid Out At Skull Rock

No, not really. But you could imagine such a tale being affixed to this large boulder. I spotted it while on the nearby island of Virgin Gorda, BVI. It resembles greatly a skull emerging from the ground, as if awaiting a password that would open its mouth and reveal a hoard of pirate booty. One can dream.

Monday, May 4, 2009


After a exhausting flight across the Atlantic (which was, of course, delayed), I made a mad dash through Kennedy only to be stopped for a random inspection, making my second flight only just barely. But I am home once more and ready to post again.