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...

03 October 2009

Weird & Strange "Guidebooks"

I just finished reading "Alabama Curiosities: Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities, and Other Offbeat Stuff" and I'm currently reading "Strange Georgia".
Alabama Curiosities contians a few ghost stories (which were covered much better in the classic "Thirteen Alabama Ghosts" by Katherine Tucker Wyndham) but it's also full of information and trivia.
I knew that AL is the home to the only meteorite in the world known to have actually hit a person, but I have never heard of the Wetumptka meteor crater. The meteor crater in Arizona is less than a mile across, the crater left by the explosion of Krakatoa was 2 miles across. The meteor crater in Wetumpka is 4 miles across! It was estimated to have been created 80 million years ago, by an object at least a thousand feet wide (appoximately the size of a college football stadium). "Stars Fell On Alabama", indeed!
I didn't know that the Alabama Blues Brothers (headqurtered about 10 miles from me in the town of Town Creek) hold the distinction of being the only Blues Brothers tribute band in the world who are actually...brothers!
I didn't know that Edgar Cayce spent ten years in Alabama "laying low" and running a photography studio in Selma. He was forced to "blow his cover" when his own son burned his eyes playing with some flash powder in the studio. Unsatisfied with the doctor's diagnosis, Cayce went into a trance and dictated the treatment which ultimately restored his son's sight.
And if you're a history or geology buff, you're probably familiar with the New Madrid Earthquake of 1811, the largest North American earthquake in recorded history, which caused the Mississippi River to run backward and permanently altered the geography of a few states. Did you know that was Alabama's fault? (no pun intended). It seems that a few months earlier, the great Shawnee warrior Tecumseh was in Alabama at the Creek Nation town of Tukabachi, trying to recruit the Creek Indians in his uprising against the white man, but the Creeks declined. According to legend, the disqusted Tecumseh told the cheif that when he returned home to Detroit, he would stomp his foot on the ground and "Shake down every house in Tukabachi."
Two months later, during the great quake, Tukabachi was indeed shaken to the ground.
And I wasn't surprised to learn of numerous shrines to Hank Williams and Bear Bryant, but I never knew that Rick Nelson's final song before his death was performed in Guntersville. Eerily, it was a cover of "Rave On", by Buddy Holly.
I'll be posting some more stuff from both these books later on, including alien and UFO sightings, a few monsters, and more bizarre coincidences.


Autumnforest said...

Awesome! I love those books! I do recall when I was doing research on places with UFOs and creatures...I think there was a mountain park area in upper Alabama that was known for UFOs and strange creature sightings, but I can't recall what the story was exactly. I think it was a state park area or a small town...My photographic memory lets me see it on a map in my head, but I never "photographed" the name. I think I found it when I was looking for UFO hotspots in rural areas. Can't wait to hear more on the weirdness--I'm the queen of freaky and weird.

Above the Norm said...

Looking forward to more on the subject. I have been the meteor crater in AZ. It was so massive and fascinting to see the huge barren hole in the ground. I can't imagine one bigger!