Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fortean / Oddball News - 9/16/2010

Playin' With Bigfoot

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Although the scientific community considers BIGFOOT to be a combination of folklore and myths, that didn’t stop toy designers from setting out to capture the legendary, elusive creature. Fisher-Price found BIGFOOT and brought him back to its world-renowned Play Laboratory where designers unfolded the complicated, misunderstood monster who, surprisingly, wooed them with his charm. After years of intense research (and a few laughs) with BIGFOOT, Fisher-Price is ready to share his engaging personality with the world.

“BIGFOOT The Monster is completely on-trend for 2010. Fisher-Price has interpreted a classic play pattern for contemporary kids,” says Chris Byrne, content director for, aka The Toy Guy(R). “Inspired by the legendary ‘BIGFOOT,’ Fisher-Price scores again with a toy that effectively combines the fun and engagement of R/C robotic play with technology that’s easy and engaging for preschoolers to use. BIGFOOT is feature-rich, offers long-lasting play value and reflects a preschooler’s sense of humor, all of which deliver on the value consumers are looking for this year. ”

BIGFOOT continues to roam freely and eyewitness reports persist, generating public scrutiny and misconceived perceptions of the obscure monster. With New York Toy Fair approaching, Fisher-Price is prepared to show the world the true persona behind the myth…but it doesn’t stop there.

Rumor has it that Fisher-Price will continue to work with the friendly monster throughout the year, with special character appearances and brunches at national zoo events including San Diego Zoo, Zoo Atlanta, Brookfield Zoo, Tampa’s Lowery Park Zoo, Toledo Zoo and San Francisco Zoo. To track Big Foot sightings until then, parents and children can log onto for updates.

Unlike the legendary BIGFOOT, the Imaginext(R) BIGFOOT The Monster from Fisher-Price is a life-like remote controlled monster friend for kids three to eight, with lots of personality, fun facial expressions and interactive phrases like “Wanna Play?” and much more. Featuring over 80 actions and phrases, BIGFOOT comes to life with a kid-friendly foot shaped remote control that has easy-to-use, icon-driven buttons. With the simple touch of the remote, preschoolers can make BIGFOOT walk forward and backwards, elicit happy or angry emotions, fall asleep, throw a ball, exercise and even do a forward somersault and a backwards roll! BIGFOOT also features interactive touch points on his belly and mouth that will make him laugh or eat a leaf that evokes fun chomping and burping sound effects. Although the legendary BIGFOOT has mainly been spotted in the Pacific Northwest region of North America.


MUFON Pennsylvania UFO Conference

Contact information:
John Ventre or

Pennsylvania leads the Nation in UFO Sightings

"UFO's. . . Seeing is Believing". The Pennsylvania Mutual UFO Network will present its 3rd Annual UFO Conferences on Saturday, October 9th, 2010, from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Sheraton Hotel, 400 Oxford Valley Road, Langehorne, PA 19047; and on Saturday, October 16th, 2010, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Westmoreland County Community College, 145 Pavillion Lane, Youngwood, Pa 15697.

Pennsylvania has been the epicenter of the world's largest UFO wave since the summer of 2008. There have been over 650 UFO reports filed with MUFON from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia over the past two years.

"We're getting clusters of sightings from every town from Pittsburgh to Philly along the southern half of the state,” MUFON Pennsylvania State Director John Ventre said. “We have 151 reports in the Pittsburgh-Westmoreland County area and 355 in the Philly area. I get reports of UFOs coming in from Lake Erie in Ohio and across Wheeling, West Virginia, into the Pittsburgh area and they are seen minutes later on the eastern part of the state.”

The Conference will present a combination of expert paranormal, abduction and UFO speakers.

Speakers include Richard Dolan, who has written numerous books on the government cover-up, Bill Birnes of “UFO Hunters,” Budd Hopkins on Abductions, Kathleen Marden on Betty and Barney Hill, Peter Robbins who investigated the Rendlesham Forrest UK incident, John Ventre of the Mutual UFO Network, Stan Gordon presenting Kecksburg then and now, and Leslie Kean who sued NASA presenting on Kecksburg’s 45th anniversary.

"The quality of speakers at this conference rivals the larger, pricier conferences that take place around the country," Ventre said.

Professional presentations and vendor tables will highlight these conferences in an academic setting. "We also have a few surprises for the audience and they are not Halloween tricks," Ventre said.

Admission prices are $20 in Pittsburgh, and $30 in Philadelphia. Advance orders and the Conference agenda can be obtained at John Ventre's website at or John Ventre can be reached at 724.836.1266 or at

The Mutual UFO Network was founded in 1969 after the US Air Force concluded their 17-year Project Blue Book study of UFOs and concluded that UFOs are not a threat to National Security.

"They never said UFOs don't exist,” Ventre said. “There is overwhelming evidence that they do. I believe this is an aviation safety issue. The only reason there are not more collisions is because of their ability to maneuver, not ours.”

MUFON has 2,700 members worldwide and over 900 certified investigators. The Pennsylvania MUFON branch has 129 members and 21 certified investigators. Anyone interested in joining MUFON can speak to John Ventre or one of the many investigators that will be at the conference from Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New York, New Jersey and Ohio. "One thing I know from conducting my investigations – if you've seen one, you believe," Ventre said.


99 Years for Stealing Smokes

nbcdfw - A central Texas jury has sentenced a man to 99 years in prison for stealing a carton of cigarettes from a smoke shop.

The McLennan County jury sentenced 55-year-old Leon Willis Wilkerson in Waco Thursday after finding him guilty of robbery Wednesday.

Wilkerson was charged as a habitual criminal. He had a record of eight previous felony convictions and 12 misdemeanors.

According to court documents, Wilkerson stole the cigarettes in July 2008, tucked them in his jacket, then shoved to the ground a man who tried to stop him. The fallen man was injured, allowing prosecutors to upgrade the charge against Wilkerson from theft to robbery.


IHOP (International House of Pancakes) vs. IHOP (International House of Prayer)

HP - The International House of Pancakes is suing another IHOP, the International House of Prayer, saying the church mission shouldn't be allowed to take advantage of the restaurant chain's famous name and acronym.

The Kansas City Star reports that the chain says it sued only after the church mission refused repeated requests to stop using the IHOP acronym. Restaurant spokesman Patrick Lenow said the church has expanded and some branches are serving food. The lawsuit was filed last week in federal court in Los Angeles.

Gary Cooper, a former Houston attorney who until recently served as the church mission's chief financial officer, said he didn't think the lawsuit had any legal basis. The religious group, which promotes its belief in daily, continuous prayer, has drawn thousands of people to Kansas City since it opened 10 years ago.


Canadian Man Charged With 'Pretending' to Practice Witchcraft

CTVNews - Police have charged a Brampton, Ont., man with fraud, and the unusual charge of pretending to practice witchcraft.

Sgt. Zahir Shah of the Peel Regional Police told CTV Toronto on Wednesday that the accused allegedly promised to perform magic for money "and that (he) would be able to solve any and all of your problems."

The complainants allegedly paid the accused, who worked out of a large home. "Obviously he wasn't able to perform any magic and their problems remained unsolved," Shah alleged.

The sergeant said that the charge of pretending to practice witchcraft "is not one we lay very often." An additional charge of fraud under $5,000 was also laid.

The charges were laid after a victim came forward to police. Officers said they don't yet know how many people may have been victimized, but they suspect the accused has been operating for more than one year.

Shah clarified that practicing witchcraft is not illegal, saying, "If you want to be a wiccan, that's your business." He added that someone is committing fraud if they say they have the ability to practice magic in return for money or a service.

Yogendra Pathak, 44, was arrested on Monday. He is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 7.

No allegations against him have been proven in a court of law.
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