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...

28 September 2009

"Where The 'White Things' Are"

It was pretty hard to come up with a title for this post that didn't sound racist. ("Do The 'White Thing'", "That's Mighty White Of You", I had settled on "White Things, You Make My Heart Sing" when I saw the trailer for the new movie "Where The Wild Things Are"...)
A few months back, I read Kurt McCoy's book "White Things, West Virginia's Weird White Monsters", a collection of accounts of encounters with mysterious "WTs" in West Virginia. The creatures range in description from smaller animals resembling badgers to Bigfoot-type hairy hominids. One story that stuck in my mind was an encounter which took place in a secluded cemetary, where a teenaged boy had taken his "Goth" girlfriend in hopes of doing what teenaged boys hope to do with their girlfriends in secluded spots, if you know what I mean, and I think you do. (Hmm... a remote secluded spot, sexual energy, and a monster, does this scenario sound familiar?)
I have since discovered that I wouldn't have to travel to the land of Mothman and the Flatwoods Monster to find WTs.
Here's a post from Cryptomundo about sightings of a WT near Birmingham, AL. What's odd about this story is that there's no good description of the creature, other than big, white, and shaggy. It's mentioned that it stands on two legs, but it seems that it moves on four most of the time. It also moves extremely fast, matching some of the WV reports. A look at Google Earth shows that the area isn't exactly remote wilderness. That spells paranormal to me, since the area doesn't appear capable of supporting and concealing a population of large white flesh-n-blood creatures.
And even closer to home, I've heard WT reports from a wildlife refuge in Decatur, AL, and then there's the Chickenfoot Monster.
The Chickenfoot Monster has no resemblence to a chicken. "Chickenfoot" is a local name for the area because the dirt road splits into three different roads at one point. (ya' know,like a chicken's foot!). This road is just a few miles from me, at the base of a mountain in a heavily-wooded and swampy area.
I haven't been able to find too much about this one, other than it has a head like a goat (shades of the Texas Goatman?) and, like the previously mentioned WTs, it sounds "like a woman screaming". (another interesting commonality among certain crypto-beasts).
Are these creatures some kind of paranormal interloper? Are they misidentifications of an albino, yet known creature? Are they nothing more than campfire stories, urban (or rural) legends, or just tall tales?
I'll be doing some drive-through "expeditions" to these local areas to see what I can see.
On a side note, Loren Coleman has noted a pattern with creature sightings and general weirdness and place names. Cities named "Decatur" around the US seem to have a "high strangeness quotient", and places named "Lafayette" (or variations thereof, from the French for "place of the fairies") also rank high.
The wildlife refuge is across the river from Decatur AL, and part of it is also directly across from Lafayette Street.
Weird, huh?


Autumnforest said...

Really neat post--gave me the chills. I have heard of the white things in WV. My family is all located there and I've been visiting there all my life. It's like a second home. I remember hearing two people discussing it one time and I interrupted them. I was just a kid, but I was curious whenever I heard about weird things in the woods-especially since the only thing to do there was hike around the woods or listen to religious radio stations and watch Hee Haw. I remember the men saying that they had a cotton bear or something like that that kept creeping into their fields and getting closer and closer to their cattle. I asked them what cotton bears were because I was scared to death of bears. They laughed and said they weren't bears, but they were some kind of white creature that doesn't happen often. I didn't know what that meant, but I kept an eye open for anything white in the woods. That was probably back in the early 70s, so the stories have been around a while. Good luck on your expedition. How fun! I love that Loren is looking for patterns. That's my favorite thing in the world to do. Makes me wonder if they named their cities for features they'd already noted there...Can't wait to hear your post when you get back. I'm curious what you think the woods feel like. You might want to take a compass, see if it goes on the fritz. If it does, keep your eyes peeled.

Gummerfan said...

Cotton bears, huh? Neat! Haven't run across that one, but there is a reputed creature called "Sheepsquatch" mentioned in the book!
I for get which one of his books it's in, but Coleman puts a lot of stock in the "name game".
The various "Decatur"s are named for Commodore Stephen Decatur. He allegedly shot (or shot at) the Jersey Devil while testing cannonballs. In some accounts, he hit it in the wing, but it managed to fly away.
And there are quite a few variations on "fay": Fayette, Fayetteville, Lafayette... While these cities, towns, counties, or streets are named after General Lafayette, the origin of the name still pertains to fairies.
Then there's all the variations on "Devil's this" or "Devil's that" or the Spanish "Diablo". Some of these names are translations of Native American names for places, or were given by the early settlers.

Courtney Mroch said...

Ah! Some more very interesting info. Esp. the thing about the names of certain cities having higher than average activity. VERY interesting!

But I do have to say one thing...I've lived in the South now for a little while. (About 10 years.) With hunting being as big a sport as it is, I'm surprised not more of these beasts have been captured. I know some hunters have claimed to see or encounter weird things, but I truly am stunned nothing's been caught yet. However, I am confident it will only be a matter of time if there really are beasties out there...

Either way, it's fun to follow all this!