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 February 2010

More On The Georgia Werewolf

I posted a while back about a sighting of some weird beastie in Georgia. The witness has now started a blog detailing his story and investigations. Check it out!
The Beast Of Kellogg Creek
I just got the 460 Rowland upper installed on the MPA Mac. I might just need to head over there!

Speaking Of Noises In The Night...

On the subject of noises in the night and sleep phenomena, I just ran across an article about, get this, "Exploding Head Syndrome". But before you fill your head with images from the "Scanners" movies, here's an excerpt:

Marie Raymond sometimes wakes up in the middle of the night, heart pounding, freaked out by the sound of her name being shouted loud and clear. Other times she’ll be awakened by the sound of a huge crash, as if someone has broken a window or knocked over a set of dishes.

“The sound is terrifying — super loud, like someone has broken in,” says Raymond, a 38-year-old arts administrator from Seattle. “But when I get up to look around, nothing’s amiss and everything’s quiet.” After dealing with it off and on for the last several months, Raymond believes she may have exploding head syndrome. She hasn’t seen a doctor about it, but has done some research online.

As strange as the name sounds, exploding head syndrome is actually a rare and relatively undocumented sleep phenomenon. While sleeping or dozing, a person with the condition hears a terrifically loud sound in their head, such as a bomb exploding, a clash of cymbals or a gun going off.

“It’s usually described as a loud bang or pop that occurs in the first third of the night,” says Dr. Neil Kline, sleep physician and representative of the American Sleep Association in Wilmington, Del. “It’s a sensory phenomenon. The individual senses that some type of explosion has occurred nearby, but ultimately realizes it’s in their head. It’s not associated with pain or with any disorder that we know of and there are no physiological medical consequences that are associated with it.”

The rest of the story can be found here:

Belief, Banes, and Bumps In The Night

I've mentioned before that I have quite a history of sleep paralysis or night terrors, or "The Old Hag" if you prefer. Long ago I learned to recognize such events for what they are, however, that doesn't make them any more comfortable. In addition to learning how to recognize them when they are occurring, I've also learned to determine when I'm liable to be prone to an event. A disruption of my normal sleep cycle (such as it is), stress, certain other factors. I've read about some of the folkloric "remedies" for haggings. Supposedly, a knife under the pillow will ward them off. Folklore is full of accounts of sharp, pointy, metal objects being the bane of many a supernatural or magical entity, from fairies to vampires to ghosts and spirits. During most of my SP episodes, the "thing" typically stands at my bedroom door. Maybe my rack of swords and knives keeps it out of the room?
I have found that, not surprisingly to some, garlic works. If I feel I'm "prime" for an episode, I'll put some garlic on my bedside table and sleep peacefully. Does the garlic "keep the Hag away"? Or, does the ritualistic act of placing it beside my bed put me in a different psychological state, one in which my normal sleep pattern is undisturbed? All I know is that thus far, it's worked for me. Makes no difference why, all that matters to me is that I get to sleep.
And just what are those things that go bump in the night? The occasional knock or bang? Those noises the source of which can't be identified? After checking the house by the light of the tac-light mounted to my G3 assault rifle a few times, I've given up on identifying it. Today, thanks to the popularity of Ghost Hunting shows, they would be explained as poltergeist activity. The remedy can be as simple as "taking back the house" or may involve a ritual cleansing ceremony. Regardless, such measures reportedly enjoy a pretty good success rate.
A century or so ago, especially in Serbic or Slavic countries, bumps and bangs would be a sure sign of a vampire. While today's cinematic and literary vampire lore doesn't mention it, the folkloric vampire was more akin to what we would label poltergeist phenomena today. Again, garlic was supposed to work, as well as placing a bowl of vinegar in the house and allowing it to evaporate.
But, one must be careful when employing natural banes to ward off a perceived supernatural being. The Scots, Irish, and a few other Europeans would attribute those same noises to a house fay. Little fairies who share the dwelling with the humans. To keep house fays in line, one must placate them and win their favor. The recommendation was to sit them out some food, a bowl of milk, or some other useful offering at night. I doubt a clove of garlic or a bowl of vinegar would be apprpriate. That would probably just tick them off and make matters worse. It's important to know just what you're dealing with in these matters. Remember the words of Burt Gummer from "Tremors 2":
"I feel I was denied critical, need-to-know information!"

Specialist or Generalist?

As someone who's interested in all phases of heavy weirdness, I read a lot of blogs, websites, and books. (for you young people out there, there used to be these things called "books"). Most of these sources specialize in one field or another and typically exclude anything outside what the authors consider their "area". One could devote years, decades, a lifetime pursuing one "fringe" field or another. Ufology, cryptozoology, parapsychology, ghost hunting (which has unfairly co-opted the term "paranormal research"), ininite branches of religion, philosophy, folklore, magic, magick, (when is someone gonna insist it's now "magycke" lol!), secret societies and conspiracy theories, the list goes on and on.
And even within these respective fields there are further areas of specialization. There are cryptozoologists who concentrate solely on Bigfoot and hairy hominids, or thunderbirds and airborne cryptids, or lake, river, and sea monsters, or just on Nessie, Ogopogo, or the local waterborne wonder. A ufologist may concentrate on the Roswell crash, Hangar 18, or Area 51, or may focus their efforts solely on abduction cases. Ghost Hunters may be content to capture the occasional EVP or anomalous video image, they may jump for joy at the image of an "orb" or dismiss them entirely in their pursuit of harder evidence. They may employ psychics, mediums or sensitives, or dismiss such approaches entirely in favor of a more "scientific" technique.
My point (I guess) is that while there are so many areas of specialization (which is great, mind you) I really prefer a more generalized approach to high strangeness.
A cryptozoologist may try to gather data, reports and evidence to determine just what kind of creature Mothman is, and not care less about the other phenomena reported during the Mothman flap. A ufologist may find it interesting that there was significant UFO activity during the same time time and in the same area, not to mention MIB encounters, but since Mothman doesn't fit any known model of "alien", ufologists leave him up to the cz's. There are numerous other accounts of multiple phenomena in the same area or region. The famous Skinwalker Ranch, the Bennington and Hockammock (sp?) Triangles, the Troup-Heard Corridor, The "Contact" Ranch, and so forth.
Perhaps the "specialists" should take a step back, look at the "big picture", and be more open to explanations, evidence, or theories which would otherwise fall outside their own particular realm?

10 February 2010

Analyze THIS...

Consider the following fictional scenario:
A wife wants her husband dead. Maybe he's abusive, maybe he's cheating on her, maybe she's just an evil wench who wants his insurance money.
Rather than "do the deed" herself, or hiring a goon or hitman, she decides to try a little "voodoo". She fashions a doll in the likeness of her hubby, nail clippings, locks of hair, whatever. Every day she concentrates on the doll, driving in needles and pins and thinking about how badly she wants him gone.(I know this isn't how voodoo really works, but it's close enough to sympathetic magic for illustration)
After a week or two, the husband is driving home from work and is hit by a train at the railroad crossing and killed.
How would YOU explain this?
A: The magic worked.

B: The ritual and visualization with the doll served to focus the wife's mental energy, which in turn led to the desired outcome.

C: The husband began to notice (consciously or subconsciously) changes in his wife's behaviour and attitude. He was so stressed and distracted that he wasn't concentrating on his driving.

D: All of the above are irrelevant, it was just his time to go.

E: Just a complete coincidence that had nothing to do with the wife's desires.

This has always been a problem when dealing with weirdness. There are so many possible explanations to certain phenomena, so many approaches to analyzing the same set of circumstances. Different researchers may have radically differing points of view on a topic, and (while many are open-minded and willing to admit a degree of uncertainty) some dogmatically cling to one particular approach, or investigative method, or theory, while excluding the possibility that another one may be correct.
And like the husband's death in the illustration, there's no way to determine which is "true".
As much as I hate to admit it, I realize that some of the mysteries to which I and others devote so much thought, reading, research, and even sleepless nights, may very well remain forever mysterious.

Werewolves Of...Georgia?

Here's a (rather longish) account that was posted on the Monsterquest board. The poster/witness goes by the username "Potninja" from Ackworth, GA. With his permission, I'll do a quick copy/paste job, with no edits or outside opinions.Just thought some of you may find it interesting:

Okay, so the first sighting was in October of 2008. I live in Kellogg Creek, in Acworth GA. You could look it up on Google earth to get a better idea of the events. Me and my friend Justin were in the woods messing with fireworks when it started to get dark. Justin thought he heard the leaves crunch and we both started feeling really uneasy. All of the sudden, I hear Justin run up from behind me screaming "RUN, RUN NOW!" I did just that and on the way out I heard something following behind us. We made it back up to my house with no other problems. However, when we went inside, my dog started going psychotic at something in the back yard. Hershey had never bared her teeth or growled before up to that point. Justin later described seeing the backlighted silhouette of something very large and lithe that stood on its hind legs. I know what you're thinking, that it was a bear or a person. I am and artist, and have researched the bone, muscle, and outward structure of bears, humans and wolves alike. The form Justin described to me was not that of a bear or a man, but for all the world sounded like a mixture of human and wolf anatomy. I'm crazy, right? I sure hope not. Now, that was the event that started all this insanity in my neighborhood. Thing is, it got worse. No more than a week later, Justin and I were walking down that same street by the creek (we used to live in the same neighborhood), but didn't go in. Just like before, we began to hear noises coming from the woods, except this time they were on the opposite side of the road. We walked back up the road until we got back to his house. As we approached, Justin saw something large jumping from tree to tree in the woods behind his house. He then heard it land in his back yard, which sent us into adrenaline mode. The door to his house was locked, so on the count of three we sprinted as fast as we could up the road to my house. A few moments later I went outside to check if anything followed us. My suspicion was answered with the sounds something walking around in the back yard of our recently moved neighbors. Whatever it was bipedal, and not human. The next occurrence was a few days later. We were at Justin's house playing Halo, having a good time and talking about random things. Having heard a few noises earlier we were a bit on edge, considering the previous events. God as my witness, I saw something race by his porch window, barely making a sound. A seven foot tall blur of brownish fur. I looked at Justin and the look on his face told me his feelings. "What do you want to do?" I said. "I don't know," he replied. We sat there for a while, pondering about what would be the best option. We figured we would run to my house as fast as possible. We got our things, turned off the TV and the XBox, and headed out the door. While I was looking around the shadows, half-expecting to see a snarling beast, Justin realized I had forgot to turn off the kitchen light. This is the scariest part. When he went back inside, in the window were two reflective irises and a lupine muzzle, lips pulled back to reveal glinting canines and incisors. I believe this was the point we started to truly believe it was a werewolf. The window he saw it in was on the second story. There were even scratches on the windowsill where its claws had been. If you haven't stopped reading by now, I'd take a break, because there is a lot more to go. In lew of all these sightings, I decided to take public safety into account. I made about ten flyers warning people about a strange creature that was roaming the neighborhood. They had my phone number and a description of the "Beast", as we'd come to call it. Of course first came the pranksters, calling and leaving messages saying that I was gay or crazy, normal delinquent stuff from a few of the other teens in the area. The first legitimate call came from some lady who said she had pictures of a strange creature, I guess on her property or something. She gave me an email address which I never got a reply from, and her number, which I never got around to calling. That part was unfortunate, but the next call gave me the creeps. I spent that weekend at Justin's mom's house. At roughly 1:00 AM, I got a strange call from a kid about my age, 16 or 17, with some disturbing information. He told me that he and his friend were driving down Kellogg at about 35 MPH when something began sprinting alongside their car. I say sprinting, because it was literally sprinting on two legs on the side of the road. It kept up with them for a while and I assume darted off into the woods somewhere. He said that his friend who lives in Kellogg found one of my flyers and told him about it, but that neither of them had believed it until they saw that. The way he described it spooked me. He said it was bulky in the upper body, with skinnier legs. This makes me think of canines sort of barrel-chested ribcage, and the digitigrade legs could be mistaken for the skinny-ness. It wasn't a prank, given the time of night and the tone in his voice. He sounded really scared, like he wasn't trying to act. I then attempted to go back to sleep. The sightings cooled down for a while after that. The following year in August, Justin and I were out walking at about 5:00 AM and the characteristic mournful howl erupted from the trails behind a line of houses. That same month, me, Justin, and our friend Alexander went down to the creek at 3:00 AM. It was raining and we shot off a few fireworks and tried to light a firecracker we made ourselves. It flashed and shot sparks but didn't explode. Just when we were about to leave, Justin and Alex saw something in the woods to our right. It began moving and we freaked and ran back to Justin's house before going back to mine. Then in September, during that flood craziness (after the flooding stopped, of course), we went to the creek at two or three AM. We stayed for a couple of hours shooting bottle rockets into the ground. While we were doing this, a loud snap erupted from across the woods. Something knocked over a tree. It didn't just fall over, because there was no creaking before it snapped. Anyway, that scared the crud out of us so we left. On the way up I kept hearing something to the left of us, following us. And now the climax of the story. We came around the street corner and began walking up the road to my house. To the left of us, the same side I kept hearing noises from, was a house. Alex kept looking over there, thinking that he saw something, but he wasn't sure. Those people have statues in their lawn, and those used to scare us all the time. He thought it was just another statue, until it lifted its head up and howled before loping after us. We ran, cussing in fear all the way up the road. The thing jumped up into a tree and actually shook all the water out of it, which we mistook at the time for rain. As we neared my house, it howled again before finally giving up. That was the latest sighting in the string of sightings that has been occurring in this place. We have learned of a few accounts other than ours since that first chilly night. Justin's dad and stepmother saw something in the back yard once. They shined a flashlight on it and its eyes shone reflectively. My uncle was driving down Arnold Mill road and saw a seven foot tall, muscular hairy thing on the side of the road. My friend Randy Webb was told by his brother's friend of a 200 pound thing that ran through his yard. He too lives in the area around lake Allatoona, the general area the sightings occur around. I have been researching and drawing werewolves since that first fateful happening. It's all very hush-hush, but there seems to be a general consensus among artists of what werewolves look like. For reference look up "Goldenwolf's definition of a werewolf". It explains the physics of it rather well. From what I can gather, they are regular people, just like you and me. If it is true, that means they have kept their secret since the beginning of man, and I do not intend to ruin that. I simply seek information. In other words, your best friend could be a werewolf, and you would never know about it. In fact, it seems some people actually go out and purposely get bitten. If this is possible, I would like to know how. As strange as it sounds, I wish learn everything I can about them and their amazing abilities. I again apologize for the length. I hope this adequately explains everything. Feel free to ask anything else.

On a follow-up, the OP said there have been other sightings/sounds since then into 2009, but none so far this year.

09 February 2010

The Mysterious "Mister Bill"?

If you were a fan of History's "UFO Hunters", you know Mr. William J. "Bill" Birnes as the show's cap-and shades wearing lead investigator and the publisher of "UFO Magazine". Bill and his team took some criticism from the "paranormal" community due to the fact that the show and it's investigations focused entirely on UFOs as "alien spacecraft" and the occasional top-secret military aircraft. No mention of extradimensional beings, no hint at the possibilities of time travellers, or thoughtforms, subconscious projections, paranormal entities, or God forbid, that UFOs themselves my be intelligent lifeforms.
Nope, Bill & company were strictly by the book, nuts-n-bolts old school ufologists. Maybe this cost them some viewers, or maybe they stuck their noses too far into some government secret, maybe there was "pressure" from a person or persons unknown, for whatever reason, according to Wiki:

History ended season three of the series abruptly on May 20, 2009 and the last four episodes that were produced were never broadcast. According to his Facebook page, Bill Birnes headed up an online petition for History to continue the series. On October 29, 2009, History aired the last four episodes as a four-hour marathon.

Okay, so History's UFO Hunters is, well, history. Like most viewers, I assumed Bill would go back to the offices of UFO Magazine, give the occasional lecture at the conventions and conferences, pretty much retreat from the "spotlight". So, imagine my surprise when on tonight's episode of "Paranormal State", there's ol' Bill again. Avec cap (once anyway, either by accident or design) sans shades, billed as "Bill, Paranormal Investigator". At first I couldn't believe my eyes, but there he was, tagging along with Ryan & a bunch of college kids in search of the Jersey Devil! How do YOU spell wtf??
With my journalistic curiousity thus aroused, I did a little searching on our by the book, nuts-n-bolt friend Bill.
First, I went to the UFO Magazine website. Bill is still listed as Publisher, however, the website proclaims that the magazine is "under new management", but I haven't found any details yet regarding the changes.
I also found that, in addition to his UFO literature, Mr. Bill has authored a couple of decidedly "paranormal" or at least "New Age" books. "Worker In The Light" and the follow-up "Journey To The Light" were published in 2006 and 2009 respectively. Bill co-authored both these books with George Noory, of Coast-To-Coast AM fame. Another book, The Haunting Of America, was also published last year. This book was co-authored with Joel Martin, and has an introduction by, (guess who?) George Noory again.
So, it appears that our Mr. Bill is more of a paranormal bent than the show and magazine led us to believe.
And, just in case you're not familiar with Coast-To-Coast AM, it's the most popular late-night talk radio show in the known universe.George Noory took over weeknight hosting duties from the show's original host, the great Art Bell. Topics range from Chupacabras to UFOs, to Secret Societies, to ghosts, to conspiracy theories and government coverups and disinformation. Linda Moulton-Howe, the pre-eminent investigator of cattle mutilations in the world is a frequent guest. Moulton-Howe has recieved funding in the past from billionaire Robert Bigelow.
And, the concept for the show originated from concept developed by Art Bell and none other than, (guess who this time!) Robert Bigelow. Bigelow supposedly dropped the concept, leaving Art Bell free to run with it.
So, "Mister Bill" isn't exactly what he seems, and he's teamed up with the clique of Noory, Bell, and Bigelow.
Are any of these people who they seem? Or are we all victims of yet another campaign of disinformation, coverups, and conspiracies?
Where'd I put that tinfoil?

05 February 2010

Sand Mountain Wrap-up

While I could go on and on about the stories, legends, and curious wonders of the Sand Mountain, Alabama region, I'm going to wrap-up this little case study with this final post.
So far, I've discussed the famous UFO's and cattle mutilations, Bigfoot, "Sea Serpent" and Thunderbird sightings, and those pesky black unmarked helicopters.
Today I'll mention a few other odd and curious items about the area I've managed to find.

Religion: Get Some!
(apologies to Jimmy Buffett!)

By and large, the people of the South, including residents of the Sand Mountain area, can be described as religious and conservative. Mind you, that's not saying they're bigoted or intolerant, in fact, they're some of the nicest people you'll find anywhere. Most of the counties or towns and cities are "dry", meaning no alcohol is sold. Among those that are "wet", the majority have "Blue Laws" in place, meaning no sales on Sunday.
In the more remote areas of Sand Mountain, there are a few small churches that still engage in the practice of snake handling. If you're unfamiliar with this practice, it's just what it sounds like. They handle snakes. Venomous snakes. Rattlesnakes (which really do taste like chicken, btw!), copperheads, major poisonous critters. And I don't mean in a careful manner. They pick them up bare handed, pass them around, sometimes even kiss them. They take the Bible passage about "taking up serpents" quite literally as a gesture and show of faith. I'm all for freedom of religion, but that's not my cup of tea.
What's odd is that, given the overall religious conservatism, there seem to be a lot of schools with "devilish" mascots! Red Devils, Blue Devils, and Albertville High School's "Aggies". Technically, "Aggie" has something to do with agriculture, however, the school's mascot is a sort of "imp" (as anyone who's ever dined at the "Aggie Burger" can tell you!). Not really a devil, but more of a mischievious, trickster-like figure. Could the juxtaposition of Bible-belt conservatism and all those "devils" running around set up some kind of cosmic imbalance?

Speaking Of Religion

I have a few relatives in Albertville. My cousin and aunt used to tell us about a house that was owned by "Devil Worshippers". They showed it to us once. It's a big house on top of a hill, with big windows facing the road. They said that on some nights, you could drive by and see robed figures standing in a circle through the windows. The reader should bear in mind that in the South, the term "Devil Worshipper" could be applied to anything from Druids/Wiccans to people who wear Alice Cooper or KISS t-shirts in public, so I've always taken their story with a grain of salt.
I did some searching on the web, and I did find a reference to the "Witches Wall" in Albertville. From the description, it doesn't appear to be that same house. The story is that "Satanic rituals" were once held in the house, and if you stand by the wall at night, you can hear the sounds of evil laughter and screams (yep, screams again!).
I can't verify if in fact any kind of Satanic or Demonic activity was ever performed in the area (apart from my cousin's Ouija board!). But some paranormalists caution against such activites because they can open a portal. Connection? Maybe, maybe not.

A-Haunting We Will Go

I mentioned at the outset that I don't really get into ghosts or haunted houses. Those interested in finding a haunted house, cemetery, building, school, or other location will find quite a few listed on the web.
However, a few "hauntings" aroused my interest.
Albertville's Main Street Strip: in the early 1900's, a tornado tore through downtown Albertville, killing many people. To this day, business owners and patrons along the Main Strip report feeling a chilling coldness even on hot summer days, and at night, witnesses report hearing people screaming in the empty streets. Any ghost hunter worth their KII meter will tell you that loud, audible screams are NOT typical of hauntings. The various "ghosty" reality shows would give their eye teeth to capture such a phenomenon at one of their haunted sites.
I've always found it interesting that the sound of "screaming" is witnessed at the scene of other paranormal phenomena. I have theory that what we hear as a scream is in fact an effect of a "portal" or gateway being opened. Much like breaking the sound barrier produces a sonic "boom". Just my thoughts, I can't really prove it or anything.
Another haunting of note (to me, anyway) is the ghost of Nancy Dollar's dog. Nancy Dollar Lived near DeSoto Falls. After her death, thieves broke into her house, killing her faithful dog. (there's more to the story, but I won't go into the whole thing). Anyway, to this day people report seeing a "phantom black dog" on the property near Nancy's old cabin. "Black Dogs" or "Hellhounds" enjoy a long folkloric tradition in European history, but not so much in the US. They've always been an interest of mine, so this tale made me take notice.

Beneath Sand Mountain

Of course neither I nor anyone else can guarantee that you'll see a UFO, black helicopter, ghost dog, or any other bizarre creature here. But I can assure you that you'll find some of the most beautiful, picturesque scenery anywhere. Sand Mountain is home to many national and state parks, resorts, and tourist destinations. Some of these include: Bangor Cave, Rickwood Caverns, Cathedral Caverns, (hmm.. is there a pattern here?) DeSoto Caverns, Russell Cave, (yeah, I see a pattern developing here) Sequoyah fact, Jackson county, Alabama has more caves per square mile than any other county in the US. The region is literally honecombed with catacombs. Feel free to don your tin foil hat and ponder the possibility of secret underground military installations, subterranean alien bases, passages to the Hollow Earth, a society of Bigfoots living in the network of tunnels and caves beneath the mountain...

The "Vibe"

While I've never travelled the area extensively, I have visited my relatives in Albertville, spent an anniversary with my wife at a lodge on the banks of Lake Guntersville, been mountain climbing in Mentone, and I passed through the areas of Gadsden, Attalla, Oneonta, and more when I travelled to and from school at Jacksonville State University. Despite all the heavy weirdness I've discussed here, I never felt any kind of ominous or foreboding "vibe" from the area. In my case, it's more of a sense of wonder. It's the kind of place that makes me want to explore, travel off the beaten path, and hopefully someday spend more time enjoying the area.
If you travel through or near the area, take a camera. You may not capture a UFO or any other high strangeness, but you'll find enough natural beauty to make it worth the trip!

04 February 2010

More On Sand Mountain

I've been doing some more research on the phenomena in the Sand Mountain, Alabama region. Found some truly fascinating stuff, it appears there's literally something for everyone!

UFO's And Cattle Mutilations

A quick search for UFO reports in the area will yield a true bounty of results. From one end of the mountain to the other, strange lights, formations, and low-flying triangular craft have been and continue to be reported. If you believe geology has something to do with such phenomena, Sand Mountain is composed primarily of sandstone,(duh!) with limestone outcroppings and deposits. Like most of Alabama, the clay soil is acidic and slightly loamy.
Cattle mutilations have been reported in the area since at least the 70's and still continue to this day (though not as heavily reported). No discussion of Sand Mountain UFO's & would be complete without mentioning the town of Fyffe, the "UFO Capital of Alabama". UFO's and cattle mutilations have been studied and featured in documentaries, tv shows, and books. Prominent investigators include Ted Oliphant and Linda Moulton Howe.

Black Helicopters

Cattle mutilations and black helicopters seem to go hand-in-hand. Is there a connection? I don't know. I personally doubt that the "Government" is behind the mutilations. If the government, military, or other federal agency needs to experiment or test cattle, it would be way more cost-effective o just buy some cattle and test away. It's a lot cheaper than organizing and conducting multiple covert ops just to get a few bovine rectums.
But, yes, there are multiple reports of those unmarked black helicopters flying over and around Sand Mountain. Could they be looking for meth labs in the forests? Marijuana fields? Moonshiners? Or is there something more nefarious afoot?

Bigfoot (or Bighand?) and Big Bird

It's no surprise to Bigfoot researchers that Sand Mountain is also home to Bigfoot reports. Members of the Souteastern Crypto Society have conducted investigations in the area and report vocalizations around Weiss Lake in DeKalb County, as well as the discovery of a handprint that "looked like a huge gorilla paw" in the Albertville/Boaz area.
And big things aren't confined to the ground, either. In his book Mothman and Other Curious Creatures, cryptozoologist Loren Coleman recounts a report of a "Thunderbird" sighting in the town of Oneonta. The sighting took place in the 70's (hmmm, the 70's again...) the witness described the bird as having a wingspan of about 15 feet, the wings approximately 4 feet wide, and the bird's body was "bigger than his own body".
I also ran across an internet report that in the 1950's, multiple witnesses in the city of Gadsden saw a "sea serpent" swimming along the Coosa River. (elswhere on my blog I posted a link to a newspaper story describing a "river monster" that was killed on an island in...the Coosa River!). And I won't even get into the Giant Catfish!
To the "flesh-n-blood" school of Cryptozoology, these accounts of land, water, and airborne cryptids are tantalizing enough. If, like me, you believe such creatures originate "somewhere else"...
Stay tuned, it gets even weirder!

03 February 2010

Sand Mountain , Another Paranormal Hot Spot?

It's funny how looking into areas where one type of phenomenon occurs can lead to the discovery of the existence or history of others. There are well-known hot spots like the Skinwalker Ranch, the Bridgewater Triangle, and the so-called "Contact Ranch". There appear to be many more of these areas which some researchers refer to as portals or gateway areas.
I call an area a hot spot or gateway if it has a history of cross-phenominal occurances. UFOs, Bigfoot (or other creature sightings), cattle mutilations, and/or "shadowy government operations", plus any other signs of heavy weirdness. Some people may include hauntings or poltergeist activity, but IMO hauntings, or at least reputed hauntings, are so ubiquitous they don't really bear inclusion.
Part of the difficulty in locating hot spots is that the groups who research and report anomalous phenomena concentrate and report on their one particular area of interest and don't look into other activity. Cryptozoologists who consider Bigfoot an undiscovered ape aren't interested in UFO sightings. Ufologists don't investigate cryptid sightings. Ghost hunters aren't interested in black helicopters and so on. So, anomaly researchers have to plow through reports from these various "disciplines" to determine just how "hot" an area is, just how many of these reports overlap geographically.
The Alabama/Georgia border area is home to the famous Troup-Heard Corridor. The THC is known as an active UFO area. But, it is also home to numerous reports of Bigfoot/cryptid sightings, and both "black" and marked military aircraft and helicopters are reported also. The THC as a whole seems host to enough High Strangeness to be considered a hot spot.
I'm currently putting together a file of sorts on another Alabama region which appently has a history of playing host to a variety of phenomena: the Sand Mountain area. This is an area I could really "tear up" if Bigelow ever decides to come across with some funding! :)
Stay tuned!