Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mayan Death Beam or One Of A Million Hoaxes Coming This Year?

At first, I thought a digital artifact but now I'm thinking just a blatant hoax. An easy one to do also.

Here's a shot I took in Xunantunich on the Belize/Guatemala border. I didn't see the mysterious ray of light until just now...

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Missouri's Mysterious Buried City

Jason Offutt (From The Shadows blog) digs up an 1885 article in the New York Times that tantalized Gothamites with a tale of "Missouri's buried city: A strange discovery in a coal mine near Moberly [MO]".

According to the report, miners working near the small town broke through to a large cavern comprised of "lava arches" and containing a buried city.

Among those items found within were tools, stone benches, statues made of a bronze-like substance, and the skeletal remains of a giant man.

Given the timeframe of this account, it's likely Offutt stumbled upon one of the many instances of fantastically fabricated tales that posed as news at the height of Yellow Journalism. Oklahoma itself has seen plenty of these stories that were proffered as truth in order to sell more copies in a highly competitive environment.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

UFO Hoax Causes Buzz

The interwebs have been all abuzz with a badly produced video of a UFO landing in "Roswell, NM". However, the video clearly shows an overly-designed CGI craft landing in an industrial complex somewhere that is soooooooo not Roswell, NM. Comments following this post tell us that some of the signs are in Swedish and that one of the buildings bears the name of the production company at which the video's author works. Furthermore, I lived just a couple hours away from Roswell for several years. I know the area well and this in no way looks like southeastern New Mexico.

Destination Truth Producers Murdered In Uganda

A producer and two other staff members who worked on shows such as Amazing Race and Destination Truth were found poisoned by criminals in Uganda's capital. Read more about this recent tragedy here.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

New Book Dusts Off Ancient Olympians

New book out by a good friend of mine. He's a great writer with a keen imagination and has proved himself quite adept at spinning a thriller such as this.

Book Description
February 2, 2012
During the age of Olympos, when a vengeful goddess shatters the Sacred Scales, both immortals and humans alike suffer. Apollo, the god of truth, goes from a glorious existence as The Shining One to a victim of Zeus’ wrath, and his journey makes him question his godhood, his role in the cosmos, and his views on humanity. Prophecy and the Fates direct his course, and he must make difficult, yet vital, choices. Millennia pass, and Dan, Aleta, Brandon, and Sarah—four reluctant modern-day heroes gifted by ancient civilizations born of the gods—bound by prophecy, have to choose whether or not to save their world when it could mean they never existed. They must master their new powers while battling against incomprehensible forces from the Underworld and repairing the Sacred Scales, destroyed long ago. With the equilibrium between Order and Chaos unhinged, and the Olympian gods struggling to exist, these four must ally themselves with the United Nations to protect an endangered world, becoming the only group who can fight against metaphysical threats to the Earth, forging Task Force: Gaea. Can mortals succeed where gods cannot go?

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Berger, born in Boston and having grown up on Long Island, NY, has been a teacher since 1993, currently teaching 12th grade AP English Literature and International Baccalaureate English as well as college courses at St. Leo University. A love of mythology of all types from an early age eventually sparked an interest in comic books and, ultimately, to the fantasy genre. Task Force: Gaea began as a short story 25 years ago and evolved into its current incarnation with dedication and a desire to write the story he wanted to tell. He lives with his partner in Tampa Bay and is currently working on a sequel to Task Force: Gaea

Friday, February 17, 2012

Champ Video So REAL It Was Pulled??

According to the anonymous writer of a comment on Cryptomundo, the recent video from Lake Champlain that purports to show its famed Loch Ness-style monster was removed from YouTube because it reveals the truth. To wit, the creature is REAL!  But it's curious that the commenter also notes that the auteur of the video now wants 4,000 dollars each for first generation copies. The intimation seems to be that some sort of conspiracy is afoot, but considering the ABC video originally aired in 2006, it may simply be that the video has aged out in favor of others. I've often been disappointed to find that a link to a story or video no longer exists because that space was needed for something newer or more popular. But if it were a video so compelling in its veracity and authenticity, then it would be scrutinized countlessly, much like the P/G bigfoot film. It's likely that ABC had limited rights to the video in their deal with the guy who shot it and those have now aged off or if the YouTube account wasn't ABC's, the video was pulled because it infringed upon the copyrights of either the network or the video's owner. In short, there exist myriad explanations far more mundane than conspiracy.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mysterious Southern Waters

Sepia SwampBeware the depths of Southern waters for they hold mystery and misfortune.

In 1962, Miami man Edward McCleary and his companions were diving in the crystalline waters off Florida when a strange fog rolled in.  Within its occluded embrace slithered a long, dark form that devoured one of the men before there was even time to react. The strange beast quickly dragged the other two men to the deep.  McCleary barely had time to climb back into the boat where he watched the creature with fear as it circled him, peering at its quarry with green eyes from within a turtle-like head. 

Those who denounce the incident, claim the men had haplessly stumbled into the feeding frenzy of large sharks, perhaps hammerheads.  But McCleary insists to this day that he and his friends had been attacked by some type of sea monster.

Of all the myths and legends of the deep south, mermaids stand out in peculiar contrast to gothic tales of haunted plantations, shadowy swamp apes, and the countless instances where the Devil ‘went down to’ some town or another.  If we aren’t thinking of Disney references or childhood stories, most of us equate mermaids with legends from ancient Greece and, later, northern Europe.  Yet, if a diver from Australia is to believed, his encounter with one in the Atlantic waters off south Florida in 1988 suggests these famous half fish-half woman beings might have a southern twang.

Furthermore, there is the legend of the mysterious disappearance of an entire tribe of Native Americans from the Gulf.

The Biloxi (or Pascagoula) lived along the banks of the present-day Pascagoula River, which lies between Biloxi, MS and New Orleans.  According to legend, they worshipped the effigy of a mer-woman and would hold elaborate ceremonies on the banks of the river, listening for her otherworldly music. 

Around 1539, a Catholic priest converted many in the tribe to Christianity. They tore down the temple that housed the mer-god’s various effigies and tossed this into the Pascagoula River.

Legend claims that the enraged goddess erupted from the water and demanded her minions join her in the other realm.  Powerless to refuse, the entire tribe leaped into the river and vanished from existence.

It is said that even today, locals occasionally claim to hear a susurrus emanating from the river, as if a chorus of voices chanted from deep below the surface.

Archaelogical evidence points to an abandonment stemming from conflict, perhaps with the neighboring Choctaws.

Still, one can’t help recall the two men who claimed to have a close encounter with an extraterrestrial life form while fishing on the Pascagoula River in the late 1960s. Perhaps their story wasn’t quite as ridiculous as we feel so comfortable making it…

One last thought on the sudden and wholesale demise of settlements.  Such things have occurred before.  One can easily think of the famous Roanoke vanishing, but there is also the disappearance of an entire group of Ibo tribesmen from Africa on Georgia's St. Simons Island when they vanished into the waters of Dunbar Creek rather than face lives as slaves.  Some say the area (now home to industry and condos) is still haunted by the ghostly clanking of their shackles as they hobble forth to an endless death.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Historical Account: Dr. Bell's Psychic Science

In 1854, Dr. Luther V. Bell, director of the McLean Asylum for the Insane in Boston, scientifically tested the capabilities and veracity of several psychic mediums.

During his studies, he claimed to have seen both the realization of extraordinary mental gifts as well as the manifestation of measurable physical phenomena as well. For instance, during one test, a table was witnessed to have moved twice from one room to another. Another medium was able to contact Bell's brother who had died 25 years before.

While the communication was startling detailed, eschewing most all doubts, Bell was still troubled by something. Through further experimentation, Bell came to believe that the medium wasn't in contact with the spirit of any dead brother. Rather, the medium only knew what Bell himself knew; if he were ignorant of the answer to any question posed, the medium (or the "spirit" of Bell's brother) would be equally ignorant--even when he should have known the response.

This all led Bell to conclude that while the psychic gift was real, it didn't extend to the spirit realm. Still, this was a remarkable confirmation in and of itself.

Oldest Town In The Americas?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Skyquakes: Real or Internet Hoax

Those mysterious moans from the sky that have cropped up in reports from across the globe are fast making the rounds. Is it all real or, like some believe, a hoax?

Some believe it has to do with the switching of the earth's magnetic field; others see it as a sign the planet's core is "slipping"; while still others believe the sound to be heaven's trumpets heralding the apocalypse. 

Skeptics point to two facts: the noise sounds (oddly) too much alike in each homemade video to be genuine and that many who live in the cities where the video were claimed to have been shot heard nothing at all.

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Dark Eye Of Sir Simon Marsden

Sir Simon Marsden is a photographer known across the world for his evocative and romantic images of forlorn castles and ruined gothic structures--especially if they happen to be haunted. Marsden has published several folios of his work as well as books about the haunted locations themselves. See more of what his dark eye has captured at

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Woeful Ouija

A recent Facebook post prompted me to write about the notorious Ouija board today. The question posed was whether anyone would like a table made to look like an Ouija board, since the poster had made one with the intent to sell it. I, for one, thought it was a clever idea and the attendant images of the finished work showed it to be of a subtle and sophisticated design. However, some of the visitors commented that they would NEVER have a Ouija in their homes and cited bad experiences (hear tell or otherwise) associated with its use, namely the oft-dreaded invocation of demonic forces.

This seems to be a commonly held belief these days, but it wasn’t always the case. This innocuous board, which derives its name from the French and German words for “yes” (oui and ja, respectively), was a game invented in 1892 by Elija J. Bond. Its release coincided with a booming interest in Spiritualism at the time and the Ouija fast entered into the culture.

Since the mid-1960s, the Parker Brothers Company has mass produced the Ouija board “for entertainment purposes”.

Still, there are those who adamantly refuse to associate themselves with the board and its insidious little planchette. Paranormal writer and authority Rosemary Ellen Guiley blames this on the slew of horror films and novels that have used the board as a convenient (and some would argue lazy) device for the introduction of some evil force.

While I don’t personally believe the board does anything, I could agree that it might be a tool for focusing ones mediumistic talents. However, it is more likely that like the modern computer, we only get out of an Ouija board what we put into it. If we see demons lurking within every shadow, we’re likely to find them.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Compare and Contrast: Weird Happenings In Texas

My, the stars sure ARE big and bright deep in the heart of Texas! Was it a UFO or a Meteor spotted streaking across the Texas sky?

But then there were also the reports of a strange noises emanating from the sky over Amarillo. HERE, which have been reportedly heard elsewhere around the globe as well. Other videos are on YouTube.

By the way, the comments below are good for a chuckle. The depth and breadth of American ignorance never ceases to amaze me. Without knowing more about the context of this video or any confirmation as to whether this was actually heard over Amarillo, I have to say I smell something of a publicity stunt at work. The DJs don't seem...authentic, as if they're acting a bit. I don't know. I'll research this one some more.

An English Haunting

A friend of mine in England sent me an e-mail yesterday. Now, he's a rational Englishman and quite unlike the erratic bunch you would find in any given episode of Most Haunted. In fact, his interests don't seem to lie in the vein of the paranormal much at all. He's more the let's-hike-every-mountain-in-Scotland-this-weekend type rather than the ooh-wonder-if-that-place-is-haunted type. So, it came as quite a surprise that he would send me the following.

"I thought I must write and tell you about a friend of mine that I visited earlier in the week. He's recently moved into a barn conversion and he thinks it's haunted. It's near 2 old graveyards and he's heard footsteps overhead upstairs when there's been no-one else in the kitchen. On one occasion he said that all the cushions in the sofa were thrown on the floor! I just went over for a meal but my friend said that next time I should stay the night. I'm not sure that I'd want to if there were going to be spectral goings-on!"

I, of course, encouraged him to TOTALLY stay the night.  After all, spectral goings-on are the best kinds of goings-on. :-D

Thursday, February 2, 2012

And In Blue Ball Updates...

Could something like this Alaskan mystery provide answers (or greater depth) to the enigmatic Blue Ball Fall?

And this post was discovered on a bulletin board:

Labyrinth_13 responds: July 16th, 2009 at 9:23 am Does anyone remember the case of a mysterious rain of gelatinous goo that occurred in the town of Oakville in Washington State? Since Washington State is near Alaska, it crossed my mind that there may be some correlation between these two.
Here is a brief blurb about it from Unsolved Mysteries:

 “In August of 1994, a bizarre sequence of events began to occur in the small town of Oakville, Washington. Gelatinous blobs of biological material began to rain down over an area of over 20 square miles during a storm. It would happen six times in 1994, and continue periodically thereafter. The latest was during the third week of June 1997.

The fact that this was going on would not generally be known outside of Oakville until an episode of Unsolved Mysteries on Thursday, May 8, 1997, hosted by Robert Stack.

It came from the skies to wreck havoc on the earth. It sounds like a bad science fiction movie, but for the little town in Washington there was nothing entertaining about the scourge that befell them in 1994. Six times it rained down from above, leaving dozens of local residents ill, and several pets and small animals dead.”

It all happened in Oakville, Washington, population 665. Here in Oakville, clouds fill the skies daily, bringing rain some 275 days a year. So, when it began pouring on the morning of August 7, 1994, no one was particularly concerned - until they realized it wasn’t raining rain. It was raining tiny blobs of gelatinous goo. It came down in torrents, blanketing 20 square miles, and brought with it something of a plague.

Maurice Gobeil (local resident): ‘I got sick, my wife got sick, my daughter got sick and everybody that lived here got sick.’

Beverly Roberts (local resident): ” Everybody in the whole town came down with something like the flu, only it was a really hard flu that lasted from seven weeks to two or three months.”

Paranormal Conversation Recorded?

Mark L. Cowden is the audio-visual technician who recorded what is believed to be the first ever documented case of a live, two-way conversation with the spirit world.
In early 2010, at an apparently haunted hotel in Northern Ireland, Mark was part of a small team of people who were filming a television documentary series about ghost stories when something incredible happened. While a medium and a psychic investigator sat on a bed in the next room and attempted to contact the spirit of a ghost in the hotel, Mark was able to record not only the medium's side of the conversation—and her report of the responses she was receiving from the spirit—but the spirit's replies directly as well!

With camera's rolling, an independent television crew documented the whole process. Not only is this believed to be the first time anybody has ever managed to record a whole conversation between this world and the next, it was also a first for television.
Spirit Voices documents Mark's work in the field of paranormal forensics and details the technology and methods he developed to achieve such ground-breaking results.
About the Author:
Mark L. Cowden is a native of Oklahoma and is of Cherokee and Scots Irish decent. He has been studying paranormal accounts in the UK and Ireland for the last ten years and has featured in various television shows, radio programmes, books, magazines, and newspapers dealing with this subject. He has worked as a paranormal forensics specialist for “Northern Ireland's Greatest Haunts” in all ten episodes, and he has appeared on "Mistero," aired nationwide in Italy. Cowden is now working on a new American television series, which is currently in development.
Mark L Cowden
Anomalist Books

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