Is there room in the Para/Crypto/Fortean world for a gun-toting, paranoid, bipolar, opinionated bastard? A lonely romantic in search of his lost soul? A knight, Samurai, gunslinger, born in the wrong century? A self-destructive, doom-driven survivor seeking redemption? A heavy drinking gonzo outlaw cryptozoologist whose ego is exceeded only by his libido?
No, there isn't. That's why I'm here...

24 August 2009

Gummerfan: Fearless Vampire Hunter?

Interesting message I got today from one of my "connections":

I heard from a guy who's putting together a TV show--kind of like ghost hunters, but with vampires as the target instead of ghosts.  He's looking for people who might be interested.  I thought of you and wondered if I could pass on your contact info to him.  Let me know.

Don't know if anything will come of it or not, but it's kind of exciting nonetheless!

17 August 2009

A Little Gun Fun!

I recently traded off my Carbon-15 pistol for a Golani Sporter. This is basically a semi-auto version of the Israeli Galil assault rife, (which in turn is an Israeli version of the Soviet AK47 assault rifle, hmmm...)

I also got a couple of these neat-o magazine extensions for my Glock 20 10mm auto.

These add 5 extra rounds to the stock mag capacity for a total of 20 rounds of magnum-level power in a packable semi-auto pistol. Does it get any sweeter than that?

Bennington Triangle

If you follow Autumnforest's Ghost Hunting Theories, you've no doubt seen some of the posts and comments about Portals, or Window Areas. Today I got an email announcement regarding this very phenomenon. Check this out:
C4C radio, Tuesday, 7pm CST.

Jim's Site.

Jim and his fellow researchers will be deep in the woods on expedition. Should
be exciting to hear from him and what they have found. We will also update
everyone on what's going on out here. The family I mentioned is still getting
nightly visits.
I'll be on site there today. Wes and Darin got more tracks, and huge bedding
areas on the property yesterday. The family confirmed a sighting again the night
before. They put "him" around 10 feet tall(a baby).........Tune in for and
exciting show,,,,,


The term "Bennington Triangle" was coined by New England author Joseph A. Citro
during a public radio broadcast in 1992 to denote an area of southwestern
Vermont within which a number of persons went missing between 1920 and 1950.

This was further popularized in two books, in which he devoted chapters to
discussion of these disappearances and various items of folklore surrounding the
area. The area shares characteristics with the Bridgewater Triangle in
neighboring Massachusetts.

Precisely what area is encompassed in this hypothetical "mystery triangle" is
not clear, but it centers around Glastenbury Mountain.

Glastenbury and its neighboring township Somerset were both once moderately
thriving logging and industrial towns, but began declining toward the late 19th
century and are now essentially ghost towns, unincorporated by an act of the
state legislature in 1937.

According to Citro's books, stories of strange happenings had beentold about
Glastenbury and the surrounding area for many years prior to the disappearances
in the 1940s, and other sources do seem to corroborate that such folklore does
appear to date back as far as the late 19th century and perhaps even earlier.
This includes the local folk belief that Native Americans regarded Glastenbury
as "cursed" and avoided it, as well as tales of hairy "wild men" and other
strange beasts in the woods.

Looks like another one for the books!

14 August 2009

Monster Hunter Salute: Captain Kronos, Vampire Hunter

Quick! Name a half-vamp, sword-slinging, daywalking vampire hunter! Hint: he's assisted by an intelligent sidekick who's an expert on vampires and counter-vampire measures and weapons. Another hint? Okay, he's got a rather unique, flashy wardrobe and a slightly arrogant personality.
If you're thinking "Blade", then you must have missed the 1974 Hammer Film "Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter."
CK easily gains a place in my Hall of Fame because the character and the movie are both true originals.
The "bio" of Kronos isn't really detailed in the movie, you sort of gather bits and pieces. CK returned from "the war" (which war is unknown, since the movie"s atmosphere is set sometime in the 19th century, and you're never really sure exactly what the location is) to find his family has been turned. He is forced to kill them all, but not before his sister gives him a bite (but doesn't kill or completely turn him). That CK possesses superspeed is sort of hinted at through a few camera tricks, but not graphically demonstrated. No "Matrix" like slo-motion or CGI, after all, it was filmed in 1974. So, Kronos makes it his life's mission to seek out and destroy vampires wherever he may find them. Kind of like Mad Max or The Punisher, except with vampires.
Kronos gets "Style" points for the following reasons: He neatly sidesteps the eternal "rapier vs katana" debate by using both. (STYLE!) He can dispatch a whole tavern full of scumbags without mussing his hair (or even leaving his spot at the bar!) (STYLE!)
He gets to make it with Caroline Munro (STYLE!) and he's got some clever lines.

(Kronos is recieving a leeching)
"You'd better remove our little friends before they turn blue."
"I come from very aristocratic stock."

(Speaking of his valued assisstant)
"What he doesn't know about vampirism wouldn't fill a flea's codpiece."

(Caroline Munro asks to travel with him)
"If you'll have me..."
"Oh, I'll have you!"

The plot involves CK's efforts to rid a village of a mysterious figure who is draining the "youth" from local...youths, leaving their wrinkled dead bodies in it's wake. This is much more in line with the older Vampire lore, before the "youth", "energy" or "life force" was literalized into the blood. In fact, Kronos's (as well as Blade's) half-vamp status is a carryover of the traditional folkloric vampire hunter. (for a complete explanation, see Bruce McClelland's excellent book "Slayers and Their Vampires, A Cultural History of Killing The Dead" Warning: it's not exactly a "light" read!)

CK has some really original takes on the Vampire legends, and IMO succeeds in it's attempt to combine horror and swashbuckling.
Check it out!

Chance Meeting at the Store

Yesterday I was at the local quick-mart. I had parked the Big Weird Jeep close to the door because I was getting some 12-packs of Mt. Dew. I was almost at the register and I looked out the window and saw a cop giving my vehicle the once-over. He saw that I noticed him and he came inside. Now, understand that the Big Weird Jeep has a license plate frame that says "Support Your Local Monster Hunter", as well as a few decals with this blogs url.
The cop came inside and asked "Is that your Jeep?" "Yeah", I answered with a grin. "What kind of monsters do you hunt?" I told him I'm into just about everything, Bigfoot, Big Black Cats, Aliens. The officer said "Man, I could tell you some stories! I'm in the woods all the time (he's an avid hunter) and I've seen some crap out there!" I could tell you about stuff that's happened to me!"
Since we were both in a hurry, I was paying my tab, he was getting ready to start his shift, we didn't really have a chance to talk further, but I'm sure we will.

09 August 2009

Back From A Weekend Away...

Went outta town this weekend for a little R&R. This was my state's "tax-free" weekend, so I did a little shopping (got a new pair of Magnum boots I've been wanting) and just kicked back and had a little fun. Now, I have to recover from said fun! I awoke this morning from a dream about zombies and discovered that the hotel (and entire downtown area) had lost power. But the elevators still worked, so I didn't have to schlep the luggage downstairs!
But of course, since I'm ever on the job, I DID manage to get a little research done!
(and Nick, if you see this, rest assured that it wasn't your book that put me to sleep!)

05 August 2009

Wanna Go To Heaven?

I was a-trembling because I'd got to decide forever betwixt two things, and I know'd it. I studied for a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then I says to myself, "All right, then, I'll go to hell."- Mark Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn-

Sometimes I look back on my Southern Bible Belt upbringing. Life was a lot simpler back in the old days. You "done right", you went to Heaven. You "done wrong", well, you went to Hell. (or to Detroit, depending on your denomination and interpretation).
I heard a comedian quip that "There will be no comedy in Heaven. Comedy comes from pain, and since there will be no pain in Heaven, there can't be any comedy." All jokes have a victim, whether it's a joke about a person,("How dumb IS he?") or even a self-deprecating remark. ("I tell ya, I don't get no respect!") Comedy helps us deal with life's little problems, the human condition, even major tragedies. No pain, no comedy.
I suppose the same can be said for The Blues. The Blues comes from pain and sadness. Blues music depicts carnal desires, drinkin', cheatin', gamblin', sadness and pain. To really understand The Blues, you must "live in The Blues" for a time. The Blues celebrates everything from from the joy of sex, to the pain of havin' a woman who done done you wrong. Blues music is filled with references to hoodoo, voodoo, loose women and mannish boys, venereal diseeeeses...face it, Da Blues is just Evil. Evil like a woman who done gone and got herself another man. Evil like a man who got hisself a Mojo Hand so his king snake can keep on crawlin'. In fact, the use of the word "Lawd" or "Law" (frequently repeated, as in "My woman up and left me, Lawd, Lawd!") isn't the result of a Southern or N'yawlins accent. The Church explicitly forbade the use of "Lord" in Blues lyrics (since it was the "Devil's music"), so the singers began using the words "Lawd" and "Law".
Okay, so in Heaven, there will be no comedy and no Blues.
Add to that a little bomb that Jesus dropped in Matthew 22:30, "For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in Heaven."
Know what that means? No sex. No males or females. Lust is a sin, so there won't be any fine-lookin' women (or hot-bodded guys, I suppose, not that that bothers me) up there. No nice racks to admire, no booty's you could sit a drink on, no babes who look like they could suck a Miata through a chainlink fence...
So, let me get this straight...if I live a life of self-sacrifice, denial, and humility, if I deny myself the many pleasures humans crave, I'll be rewarded by spending eternity in a place with no Rodney Dangerfield or Groucho Marx, no Johnny Winter or Howlin' Wolf, and no...well, you see where I'm going.
Maybe old Huck had a point.

The Dark Watchers

While reading through "MONSTER! The A-Z Of Zooform Phenomena" by Neil Arnold (HIGHLY recommended, btw!) I found the following entry:

"WATCHERS- spectral figures in hats and cloaks said to haunt the Santa Lucia Mountains. Every time these weird, eerie beings are seen, it is said they always look to the sky."

I've never heard of these beings before, so I tried to find out what I could learn about them. A web search for "watchers" turned up a loong trail of dead ends. I got results pertaining to "The Watchers", having to do with the Nephilim (the race of superbeings and "giants" mentioned in the Book of Genesis and expounded on further in the Book of Enoch, when the "sons of God" mated with human females). Interesting, yes, but not what I was looking for.
Since the Santa Lucia Mountains are in California, a search for "watchers California" revealed a number of results about a California family known as "The Watchers". Apparently, there is a house in California and for whatever reason, there is ALWAYS a male member of the family standing at the front window with a camcorder videotaping the front of the house and the street. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Why? Nobody knows. The housedwellers are reclusive and eccentric, the males (I believe there are two or three) are usually wearing overalls, and there is an elderly female in a wheelchair. There are quite a few Youtube vids depicting locals driving by the house and videoing themselves being videod. It's become sort of a local pastime to drive past the "Watcher House" just to see them. Again, it's interesting, alright. But again, those aren't the Watchers I'm looking for.
But finally after seeing a reference to "DARK Watchers", I found a few hits using that search term.
Here's some pertanent information (at last!) from the Weird California site:
From about Avila Beach, through San Luis Obispo, and all the way up to Monterey, runs the Santa Lucia Mountains. Lurking within these mountains are the strange and mystifying Dark Watchers. The Dark Watchers, as they have come to be known, are apparently giant human like phantoms that are only seen at twilight, standing silhouetted against the night sky along the ridges and peaks of the mountain range. When spotted, the beings are usually seen staring off into the open air of the mountains seemingly at nothing in particular before vanishing into thin air occasionally right before the spectators eyes.

Who or what the Watchers are, no one knows. Where they came from or why they are there, again lost in speculation. And what they are looking for or watching is beyond anyone's current comprehension.

The Chumash Indians first spoke of them in legends and their cave painters drew them in their colorful wall drawings. Later legendary author John Steinbeck described them in his short story, "Flight":

"Pepe looked up to the top of the next dry withered ridge. He saw a dark form against the sky, a man's figure standing on top of a rock, and he glanced away quickly not to appear curious. When a moment later he looked up again, the figure was gone."

The poet Robinson Jeffers mentioned them in his poem "Such Counsels You Gave to Me" as "forms that look human . . but certainly are not human". If Jeffers or Steinbeck ever actually saw one of the Watchers is unknown, but the local legend has been around since long before they wrote about it.

In the mid sixties, a Monterery Peninsula local who was the past principal of a local high school saw them while hiking in the mountains. He had enough time to study the dark figure, to see its clothing and notice how the figure was strangely studying the mountains. When the principal called out to his fellow hikers, the figure disappeared.

Other, more recent sightings have included a dark hat and cape in the description of the mountain residing phantoms.

I still haven't been able to find anything on the original legend, just a few references to John Steinbeck's and Jeffers's mentions of them in their works. Supposedly, John Steinbeck's mother actually saw one of them, and Robert Steinbeck (John's son) also wrote a short story (allegedly based on a local tale) in which a DW plays a major role.

And here's a link to an excerpt from the book "Big Sur Country" with a little more info on these mysterious beings.