Friday, February 27, 2015

What Was That Thing? - Mystic Caverns, Arkansas

I received the following encounter report today:

Hello - I want to thank you in advance for reading my story. In 1981 I was working for a contractor as a masonry apprentice after leaving trade school. That summer, we were working at Mystic Caverns in northern Arkansas. We were upgrading tour trails in the caves.

On a Friday, it was getting close to quitting time. So myself and another guy had to go through the work area and make sure that all the tools were collected and that the safety barriers were in place. We weren't working during the weekend, so the work area had to be tightened up before we left. The guy who was with me had to leave - I forgot why, so I was down there by myself for a while.

I was almost finished loading the cart when I heard faint pounding sounds coming from deeper in the cavern. I thought that maybe one of the crew may still be in the cave, so I yelled out. The banging stopped and it was quiet. Then I started to hear slapping sounds for a few seconds - then it got quiet again. I yelled out again. I didn't get a response so I figured it was cave critters or bats. I started to make my way out.

There was an area that I came upon, where on the right of the railing it dropped off into a depression. There was some lighting but difficult to see the bottom of the depression. As I passed by, I heard splashing sounds coming from the depression. I stopped and I got a glimpse of something on two legs walking in the water below. Further away there was a section of the cavern that opened up and was well lit. As I watched, the splashing continued - then I saw this thing moving out of the shadows moving away from me.

The only way I can describe it was something walking on two legs with large frog feet. It stood about 5 ft and was dark grayish-green. The head was large and rounded, though it never turned around, so I can't give much detail of the face. The body was thick in the chest but narrow at the waist and hips. It bent at the knees when it stepped and had shiny skin resembling a frog. I didn't notice any hair. I didn't hear any vocals, just the splashing as it moved away from me. I'd estimate that it was 70 or so ft. from me when I first got a good look at it. I wasn't scared - just stunned. I grabbed the cart and quickly made my way towards the entrance.

When we came back to work that next Monday, I didn't mention anything to anyone. I kept a sharp watch for anything out of the ordinary. The job lasted a few more weeks and I didn't observed any other weird stuff.

A few weeks after this, I found out that one of my girlfriend's cousins worked at the caverns. He replaced lighting and did other odds & ends, so he was in the cavern a lot. When I got the chance to meet him, I asked if he had ever seen something weird in the cave. He said that he hadn't seen anything out of the ordinary. I told him I was just wondering. I didn't want to alarm him with details of what I saw.

I wasn't imagining this thing - and after all these years, I still get creeped out when I think of it. I have never heard or read about any other sightings in Mystic Caverns. What do you think this was?. Robert M.

NOTE: I received a follow-up email after I offered my opinion and asked permission to publish. The best known incidents that I can compared this to is the Loveland Frogman and the Thetis Lake Monster, though Robert only compared this humanoid to a frog when describing the legs and feet. One other account worth mentioning is the Zanfretta Alien Encounter. A reader once submitted an image of footprints in the snow that could have been similar to that of a frog. The Bishopville Monster is another reference of interest...BTW, an excellent book by Lyle Blackburn. I forwarded all of this to Robert...maybe it can help him answer lingering questions. What do you think? Lon

The Weiser Field Guide to Cryptozoology: Werewolves, Dragons, Skyfish, Lizard Men, and Other Fascinating Creatures Real and Mysterious

Lizard Man: The True Story of the Bishopville Monster

Phantoms & Monsters: Bizarre Encounters

Phantoms & Monsters: Cryptid Encounters

Phantoms & Monsters: Strange Encounters

Daily 2 Cents: 3 Humanoids Enter Bedroom Through Closed Doors -- Strange Lights on Ceres -- Safest Place to Hide From Zombies

3 Humanoids Enter Bedroom Through Closed Doors

Surf City, NJ - February 2015: We live on an outlet to Barnegat Bay about 2 blocks from the ocean and about a mile from a Coast Guard station. Helicopters, including black ones, are frequent sights. On three occasions this past month around the same time at night - between 1 & 2 am, a brilliant white orb was seen over the lagoon behind our home. We observed this from our third floor bedroom.

We had just gone to bed but were still awake reading. The light was so brilliant, turning more blue, and then thinned into a blue line, which may have been the edge of a craft. We went to the patio doors and what seemed to be a transparent craft simply vanished. This has happened a few times in recent weeks. A previous report I made mentioned a large, dark wedge shaped craft with 5 round white brilliant lights was hovering about 20 feet over the ocean's edge, silent and moving very slowly. It remained in place as long as we stayed to watch- we were there almost 20 minutes. My husband became uncomfortable, so we left. (I wanted to stay and see if they'd take me for a ride).

Since then, the orbs/lights have been a repeated occurrence. On one occasion, my husband observed three humanoid beings surrounded with brilliant blue light come into our room through closed doors. It was about 2 am, he was reading in bed, and I was asleep, and they began to come towards my side of the bed. My husband "heard" one of them say "He is a friend of ____(hard to understand) we must leave". Then they simply went back through the doors. He got up and followed them, but by the time he got to the living room they had vanished. I woke up as they left the room, but neither of us looked out the patio doors for a craft - we were pretty shook up. The beings have not returned, but the orbs/lights turning into craft have been seen by us a few times since that "visit". - MUFON CMS


Strange Lights on Ceres

Scientists are perplexed by a pair of strange lights on the surface of Ceres–a dwarf planet in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft photographed Ceres on February 19 from a distance of approximately 29,000 miles. Although regions of higher-than-average reflectiveness have been seen on Ceres before, these new photos from Dawn show two bright spots within the same basin on the dwarf planet’s surface.

“The brightest spot continues to be too small to resolve with our camera, but despite its size it is brighter than anything else on Ceres. This is truly unexpected and still a mystery to us,” said Andreas Nathues, lead investigator for the framing camera team at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany, in a recent NASA press release.

Although scientists are puzzled by these mystery lights, they aren’t without possible explanations. As Mashable describes, “The most obvious contender is ice, although ice would reflect more than 40% of all light hitting it. The difference may be accounted for by the resolution limit of Dawn’s camera at this distance. Scientists have previously detected water vapor coming from the surface of the dwarf planet, making ice — a more likely option.”

But Chris Russell, principal investigator for the Dawn mission, believes, “This may be pointing to a volcano-like origin of the spots, but we will have to wait for better resolution before we can make such geologic interpretations.”

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will enter orbit around Ceres on March 6, and will continue collecting better photos of the dwarf planet and its mysteries during the next 16 months. With better photos, scientists will hopefully be able to better determine if the strange bright spots on Ceres are signs of an extraterrestrial civilization, or if they indeed have a volcanic origin. - Strange Lights on Ceres


Owl terrorizes town in the Netherlands

Residents have been going out at night wearing protective headgear following a spate of owl attacks.

The town of Purmerend in the Netherlands made headlines this week after it was revealed that dozens of its residents had suffered head injuries over the last month as a result of attacks by an aggressive owl that has been living in the vicinity.

On Tuesday the European eagle owl attacked two runners, one of which required stitches for five head wounds. A home for the disabled has also been targeted by the bird with several workers and residents being attacked after going outside after dark.

"During the day there's no problem, but at night we now only venture outside armed with umbrellas, helmets and hats, anything really, to protect ourselves," said spokeswoman Liselotte de Bruijn.

The bird, which belongs to the largest owl species in the world, typically eats small birds and mammals, weighs up to 3kg and has a wingspan of up to 1.8m across.

It is believed that its strange behavior may either be the result of it being bred in captivity or due to abnormally heightened hormone levels brought on by the beginning of the mating season.

"We are advising people to stay away from the owl," said a local council spokesman. - Owl terrorizes town in the Netherlands


Cornell researchers find safest place to hide from zombies

If a zombie outbreak were to strike US shores, East Coasters should head west ASAP. That recommendation comes by way of Cornell University researchers, who have modeled the statistical mechanics of, yes, zombies and will present their findings at a meeting of the American Physical Society on March 5 in San Antonio.

The researchers used a number of techniques that are used when modeling real diseases, and the abstract ends with this dismal line: "We build up to a full scale simulation of an outbreak in the United States, and discover that for 'realistic' parameters, we are largely doomed." But Phys.Org relays a glimmer of hope by way of Alex Alemi, a grad student involved in the research: He says those who want to remain safe from the undead for as long as they can should head to the northern Rockies.

He explains that while books and movies typically show an outbreak touching all corners of the country immediately, "in our attempt to model zombies somewhat realistically, it doesn't seem like this is how it would actually go down." Yes, major cities could be toast within days, but less populated areas could be unaffected for weeks, and the northern Mountain Time Zone could be safe for months.

"Given the dynamics of the disease, once the zombies invade more sparsely populated areas, the whole outbreak slows down—there are fewer humans to bite, so you start creating zombies at a slower rate," says Alemi.

"I'd love to see a fictional account where most of New York City falls in a day, but upstate New York has a month or so to prepare." (Of course, some people want to be trapped in a room with a zombie.) -



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For Sale: Ed Gein's Ghastly Cauldron

A gruesome artifact, that once belonged to notorious murderer and body snatcher Ed Gein, is being sold at auction:

Amongst the various mundane antiques, the Pientka Auction website contains a photo of a rusted, insignificant-looking old cauldron.

According to the cauldron’s current owner Dan McIntyre, his grandmother purchased the cauldron from the Gein estate sale held in 1958, along with some gardening tools. She painted the cauldron and planted flowers in it as a memorial for Gein’s victims.

The owner says it wasn’t until 50 years later that he learned the shocking reality of the inconspicuous flower pot that ended up in his parent’s garage.

Hollis Brown, a friend of the owner's family, had been a neighbor of Ed Gein’s. After the police had finished photographing the crime scene, they were feeling sick to their stomachs. So he and another neighbor by the name of Howard Lowellyn helped remove the bodies and various remains. It was then that Hollis first saw the black cauldron in a shed, crusted with dried blood and guts beside tubs and barrels filled with what he described as bloody human entrails.

When he saw the cauldron again many years later in the garage, Hollis immediately recognized it. Pale and noticeably shaken, he told his son Carneth about the cauldron, saying that he saw something he had not seen in 50 years. He wished he didn’t remember where he saw it.

The cauldron is listed at Pientka Auction. More information can be found at Ed Gein Cauldron Up for Auction in Wisconsin.

Ed Gein's horrid activity inspired the creation of several film characters, including Norman Bates (Psycho), James Gumb (The Silence of the Lambs) and Leatherface (Texas Chainsaw Massacre). He was obsessively devoted to his mother, a religious fanatic. After her death, Gein began robbing graves...keeping body parts as trophies, practicing necrophilia, and experimenting with human taxidermy. He then turned to murder, killing at least two women in 1957.

I almost fell out of my chair while reading this vintage newspaper article. Maybe Ed Gein took lessons from this guy:

'It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again' - Buffalo Bill in 'The Silence Of The Lambs'


Alton Evening Telegraph, Alton, Illinois - 27 February 1907

It is a fact well known to a very few skilled workmen, and not known at all to the world at large, that human skin can be prepared, tanned, and made into durable articles quite as successfully as can the skin of our four-footed friends. You can say over and over again to yourself that there is really no reason why human skin should not be so utilized, and you can be told by the workmen who handle it that there is nothing gruesome in the work; you can reason and argue with yourself about the matter, and try to be “matter-of-fact and sensible,” and still there will be be little shudders running through you and creeping up and down your spinal column at the thought of having the skin taken from a human body and made into some article of wearing apparel.

The only way to overcome this sensation, if you want to overcome it, is to examine some of the articles made from the skin, and you will find that the leather is very much like dogskin or pigskin. Mr. William Hansell, of Philadelphia, has the largest article which has ever been known to be made from human skin. He was particularly fortunate in getting enough of one grain, and succeeded only after a long and systematic search. The article is a beautiful pure white saddle, and anyone examining it would be at a loss to tell the kind of skin from which it is made. When you are told, you realize that the pores show a familiar look; but when you are given a bit of the skin, of which Mr. Hansell has retained a few samples, you are amazed at the thickness. Three layers of skin you know you have, but knowing how easily a needle prick will draw blood, you are astonished to find what a good, thick covering these three thicknesses make. This saddle is made from the skin of one man. A woman’s skin, generally speaking, would be too delicate.

Now, it is not to be supposed that there is a general trade in human leather. Human skin is an exceedingly rare article. Sometimes a physician will have a piece made into a cover for an instrument case, and occasionally medical student get enough to be made into a purse or pair of slippers. Patients sometimes have a bolt or a book cover or some such article made from a limb which has been amputated. It seems a peculiar mind that would take pleasure in “souvenirs” of this order.

The wearing public are not alone in their aversion to the use of human skin for the purposes to which they unhesitatingly put the hides of animals. It is very hard to get workmen to handle the “leather.” Mr. Hansell gave his piece of skin, after it had been tanned, to an old workman who had always made up all his leather goods, and told him to make it into a saddle.

Three weeks the workman kept the skin, and one day he brought the partly finished saddle to Mr. Hansell with question about finishing. “By the way, Hansell,” he remarked as he was leaving, “I wish you would tell me what this skin is. It is the most contrary stuff I ever worked with; it is worse than pig or goat skin.”

Very injudiciously Mr. Hansell informed him that it was human leather. At that the workman dropped the half-finished saddle and left without a word. He never returned, and nothing would induce him to finish his job. Mr. Hansell, after waiting three months, hoping he would change his mind, turned the unfinished saddle over to another workman, but he took good care not to tell him what kind of leather the “contrary stuff” was.

The work of tanning human skin is pretty much the same as the of curing any other skin. Curiously enough, tattooing goes through the epidermis to the under skin, and not a little of the tanning of human skin is done for the purpose of preserving the designs tattooed upon it. Human skin may, however, be tanned with the hair on it, in which case the epidermis is not removed. Scalps so tanned are said to m ake the best wigs known, and because the tanning is done with alum instead of with oils, as is the case with furs and most of the hair covered skins of commerce, the resulting leather is much more durable.

NOTE: Here's a company in the UK that make products from human skin. Also - Top 10 Bizarre Uses for Human Skin. Lon

The Silence of the Lambs [Blu-ray]

Deviant: The Shocking True Story of Ed Gein, the Original Psycho

Acres of Skin: Human Experiments at Holmesburg Prison

Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (R-Rated & Unrated Versions)

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