Saturday, February 06, 2010

The Thetis Lake Monster Legend

As we have seen in some movies, the deep lakes are sometimes the home of some ghastly and terrifying creatures. Thetis Lake in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada is not an exception. Many cryptozoology advocates have claimed that the mentioned lake houses a man-sized, silvery-scaled, gill-bearing humanoid.

The Victoria Daily Times reported that the creature attacked two teenagers on the lake on the 19th of August, 1972. The two boys, namely, Robin Flewellyn and Gordon Pike, were standing next to the recreation center on Thetis Lake when they saw a scaly creature emerge from the lake and move unto the shoreline. It was, as they had described, roughly triangle shaped, with dark, large, bulging fish-like eyes and mouth, and a razor-sharp spike on the top of its head. Its weight is estimated to be 120 lbs, and measures around 5 feet tall, and 5 feet wide. The two teens were terrified at the sight of the huge scaly amphibious monster and they ran for their lives.

With its sporting webbed extremities, the creature chased the two teenagers until a few distance from the lake. The voracious predator was able to catch up with one of the young men, lacerating his hand with its razor-pointed head.

The two lads, still filled with terror after narrowly escaping the grisly creature, rushed to the nearest Royal Canadian Mountain Police station and told the officers about the incident on Thetis Lake. They showed them the cut that was claimed to have been caused by the razor-sharp fin of the lake monster. The authorities felt sincerity on the story of the two boys, hence they immediately launched a manhunt, or should I better say, “monsterhunt”, on the said lake. However, nothing turned up during that time of investigation.

The case was almost taken for granted until four days after, August 23 of the same year, at around 3:30 in the afternoon, Russell Van Nice and Mike Gold claimed to have seen the same creature from the opposite side of the Thetis Lake. But unlike the report of the two teens that were pursued by the creature, this time, it only emerged from the lake, looked around, and submerged itself back into the water.

Gold and Nice described the monster-faced creature as having a human-like body, of at least 5 feet tall. It has silver-colored scaly skin, a sharp point protruding on its head, and very big ears and horrifying eyes. Today, even if there were no more sightings reported since the 23rd of August, 1972, many cryptozoology fans still consider the Thetis Lake Monster as a real Canadian Cryptid.


First brought to international attention in the early 1970's, this grisly aberration of natural selection has been described as being nearly 5-feet tall and weighing approximately 120 lbs., with an epidermis consisting soley of silver scales. This animal's horrifying visage is made complete by the six, razor-sharp spikes - connected to one another by a thin, membranous webbing - which are said to protrude from its amphibious skull.

With it's dark, bulbous eyes, fish-like mouth and webbed hands, feet and ears, the Thetis Lake Monster bears more than a passing resemblance to the iconoclastic image of "The Creature From the Black Lagoon". What lends credibility to these reports however, is the fact that for centuries North Americans natives have reported numerous - and oft times fatal - encounters with various creatures which they describe as being carnivorous, aquatic-humanoids.

These man-like anomalies purportedly lurked in the mist shrouded lakes and rivers of the Pacific northwest. One of the beasts chronicled in these Native American legends was the Pugwis, which reputedly tormented the Kwakiutl Indians of the Puget Sound region for years. These accounts, of course, vastly pre-date the Thetis Lake Monster as well as its cinematic companion.

On August 19, 1972, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police launched a brief investigation into this phenomenon after two teenage boys - Robin Flewellyn and Gordon Pike - claimed to have been attacked by the creature on the shores of Thetis lake. According to the two witnesses, as they were standing on the beach near the Thetis lake recreational center when they both saw a spontaneous surging of water just off the shoreline.

Suddenly, the monstrous head and silver-scaled, torso of the creature rose from the lake and - with an almost preternatural speed - shot from the churning surf. According to their reports, this vicious creature pursued the young men almost back to their car.

Narrowly escaping this voracious predator, Flewellyn and Pike made their way to the nearest RCMP station, where one of the teens displayed a laceration across his hand, which he claimed was the result of contact with the spike-like fin that adorned the monster's skull. The officers on duty were so impressed by the sincerity of the boys' tale that an immediate manhunt (or monsterhunt, as the case may be) was Launched.

Nothing was turned up on that occasion, but just four days later, at approximately 3:30 pm. on the 23rd of August, the monster reared its head again. This time the creature - which perfectly matched previous descriptions - was seen by Mike Gold and Russell Van Nice on the opposite side of the lake.

Unlike the Flewellyn and Pike encounter of the previous week, these witnesses claim that the creature merely rose out of the water, looked around, then submerged. The men further claimed that they did not linger long enough to see whether the beast would manifest its previously displayed tendency towards aggressive behavior.


On 26 August 1972, The Province received a call from a man claiming to have lost a pet Tegu lizard in the area the previous year. Tegus, indigenous to Latin America and mostly carnivorous, can grow up to four feet in length. They are commonly kept as pets. The investigating police officers believed the lizard matched the description the creature and the case was closed.

Despite the sensational claims, repeated in some cryptozoology literature which portray it as a genuine cryptid and relative of the Loveland Frog, no other sightings have been reported since leading the monster sighting to be "a fact widely unknown among swimmers." Local historian Ross Crockford remarks that the advice given in Haden Blackman's 1998 Field Guide to North American Monsters to carry a flaming torch to defend oneself from the monster is probably more dangerous than any monster, given the tinder-dry nature of the park.

One of the original "witnesses," Russell Van Nice has said, "it was just a big lie," his friend [Mike Gold] was, "trying to get attention." According to Van Nice, his friend was "famous" for being a habitual liar.


Owner of Ghostly Racton Ruins Seeks Permit to Restore as a Home

portsmouth - Plans have been submitted to turn a 238-year-old ruin into a modern-day home.

The proposals seek renewed consent to transform Racton Ruins, which is a striking tower that was built on a hill in 1772 and close to the village of Funtington, near Emsworth.

The tower was built as a folly as part of the Stansted Estate and many believe was used by the then owner to see his trading ships berth at Emsworth, then a major port.

Mark Talbot, who has owned the tower for 30 years, has applied for planning permission to turn the tower into a home.

He has already been granted planning permission before, but wants to renew the consent to keep the refurbishment plan alive.

He said it would cost in excess of £500,000 to convert.

'It's just a renewal of permission which you have to do every three years, if you have not done the work,' he said.

'It's going to take an awful lot of money. We could start next year, or this year even, we just don't know. We just have to keep the planning consent.'

Mr Talbot said he has no qualms about living in the building if it is haunted as rumours suggest.

'I don't believe in it being haunted,' he said.


Click for video

Near the village of Walderton in West Sussex stands an 18th century ruin known as Racton Monument or Racton Folly. Completed in 1772, it belonged to the Stansted estate of the Earl of Halifax and is thought to have been designed by Henry Keene, an architect who was involved in the building of Uppark, a large country house nearby. Little is known about the building's history or its purpose, it may have been intended as a summerhouse or viewing point — the story goes that from the top of the tower Lord Halifax could watch the return of his merchant ships in the Solent.

Constructed of brick and flint, the monument consists of a two-storey, triangular structure with a tower at each corner and a large tapering, circular central tower rising to approximately 25 metres. The three floors of the central tower and its original conical roof are no longer extant.


The spooky tower of Racton Monument may or may not be haunted but it's certainly one of the spookiest places in Sussex. Some referred to the folly disparagingly as Stansted Castle, assuming it to be an act of grandeur, rather than just a celebration of individuality.

Others went further, deriding the style of the Tower for its undoubted ugliness. But many other people love Racton Tower.

Many think that Racton Ruins is one of the most frightening haunted places in West Sussex. Others disagree.

Let's consider the evidence.

The myths surrounding the use of the tower by smugglers and the general decay of the ruins add to the Blair Witch project type feel of the place. Graffiti adds to the sinister atmosphere.

But the ruins have been a well known place for raves, drinking and drug taking and many of the reports of ghosts come from people who were, by their own admission, not exactly sober at the time of their brush with the undead. Practical jokes are probably not unknown for the same reason. That's not to say that everyone who has ever reported ghostly goings on at the tower was as high as a kite, but it certainly weeds out a few accounts from the ghost hunters' case book.

From a birds eye view it looks like a triangle symbol (that was used by devil worshipers) The folly has been reported to have been used by cults and devil worshipers for over 100 years. The last report we found of this was in 2009.

There is also found reference to it being used as a brothel back in the 1800's.

There are many reports of paranormal activity at the folly. There have been reports of bricks being thrown from the top of the tower and a ghostly woman walking around the building. Also of a ghostly face looking out through a window of one the top floors. And the most disturbing of being physically grabbed and pushed. But oddly the most popular story is that of a ghost tractor in the fields that comes right up to you then disappears.

Racton has also been a place for suicides.

What isn't in doubt is that the site is evocative, atmospheric and definitely spooky, if not actually haunted.

There are plans afoot to restore the Monument - it badly needs it as the brickwork is in a very precarious state.


Mysterious Image Appears In New Zealand Post Office Window

stuff - An Invercargill, NZ man has taken a photograph that could be proof of the afterlife, or it could be a cloud – who knows?

Andrew Watters travelled to St Bathans, near Alexandra, with his partner Kim Ward during the weekend in search of the spirits that reputedly haunt its buildings.

"I'd always been nagging my Kim to go and have a look at the Vulcan Hotel and its supposed ghost, hoping we would find something."

That search turned up short.

"I had a beer at the pub and got goosebumps but I think it was just the excitement."

The pair took plenty of photos and didn't think they had anything until a friend spotted a shape with an uncanny resemblance to a woman in the window at the post office, he said.

"It's freaked me out a bit. The shape is very close to a human figure."

The photograph did not make him any more or less sceptical about the existence of ghosts but it was bizarre, Mr Watters said.

Vulcan Hotel leasee Jude Cavanagh said it was the first she had heard of a ghost sighting at the post office.

"It's a very spirited town, so who knows?"

The post office, which was managed by the Department of Conservation since the 1950s, had been vacant for about a year, at least in the bodily sense, she said.

"It all adds to the legend of the place."

The department's Alexandra community relations programme manager Amanda Ware said she had no knowledge of any phantom presence at the post office.

The building, opened in 1909, was a category two historic place and had been vacant for about a year, she said.

The interior largely remained unchanged from its days as a working port office and the second floor, where the mysterious shape was seen, was the postmaster's living quarters, Ms Ware said.

"Maybe it was him coming back for a visit."

She would tread carefully the next time she stopped by, she said.

UFO Encounter, Lost Time - Near Wichita, Kansas - 10/23/1973

MUFON witness statement (unedited): near Wichita, Kansas - 10/23/1973 - We were riding my Harley to a party at Cheney Reservoir around 8:30pm on or about October 23, 1973, in any case, it was a Friday night. We were headed west on 21st Street North barely outside of Wichita, Kansas. I stopped my bike on a dirt road intersection to relieve myself. I was a flight-line mechanic at the Cessna Aircraft Factory at Mid Continent Airport (ICT) in Wichita, and a student pilot, so I was watching incoming planes. That night there must have been a slight south wind, because the aircraft were headed south to land on runway 19 left. Donna and I saw an orange ball just sitting there, seemingly in the way, or the approach path to land. We both watched for a few moments and shrugged it off. As I swung a leg over the seat to start the sportster Donna waited to get on until I kickstarted the bike. She then told me that as she watched me start it, it got darker around me, as if the UFO had somehow lit the area around us, as if watching us. Again, we shrugged it off and rode on toward the party, not knowing we would never get to that party. As we continued down the two lane blacktop, we looked over our shoulders to the east, and it kept the same relative position to us. It was following us. TO MAKE A LONG story short, the ordeal lasted until we thought it was midnight, it was three am. I could think a question, and it would move west for yes, east for no, and north and south if it didn't understand or want to answer. A few days later, a local radio station, KEYN, had a call in talk show on UFO's. A woman from El Dorado, KS. called in and reported that she had had almost the exact same experience a few days before we did, but we did not hear her story until after we had also experienced the same self-explanatory telepathic orange sphere. (With at least one three foot smaller "scout" UFO. It changed our lives. Hers for the worse, and I have had some terrible nightmares over the years, but I feel lucky to have had the experience. One question it answered positively, was that I would see it again someday. Since Donna and I grew up together, and I knew she was our Senior Valedictorian, and I was the Senior Class President, we had some credibility, but did not want to tell anyone. I am now on disability and plan to write a book about the whole story. I thought the UFO was here for her, due to her high I.Q., until about five years ago when we got together for the first time in years, when she told me she knew all along that it was here for me. I guess I am the one that it suggested telepathy to and with. We both always sort of doubted what happened, a sort of denial, but every few years we go out to eat and see a movie, but the conversation inevitably ends up with us reliving that night and talking for hours about it. I am sending this report to MUFON now because I recently had cancer and want to tell it before I die. I'm cancer free now, but I had a taste of mortality, and it sucks.



Click for video
NOTE: Uh...try 30+ inches as I write...Lon


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Friday, February 05, 2010

Chasing the Thylacine

independent - On a bright summer morning in the back end of Tasmania's north-west, I wandered into an office of Forestry Tasmania for advice about a forest dirt road. The sketch map the official offered was expected; not so his story. On that same track a decade or so ago, he had seen a creature that was not supposed to exist. And not just him; loggers and surveyors, an old-timer shacked up in the bush, all had glimpsed the animal before it slipped away into one of the most ancient rainforests on Earth.

Foresters are generally a practical bunch who measure life by certainties such as sawlogs and stray limbs lost to heavy machinery. When they swear to a sighting, you begin to wonder if there's truth after all to the Tasmanian tiger.

There are really only two things you need to know about the world's largest carnivorous marsupial. The first is that it looks nothing like its namesake except for the sandy orange coat and stripes that extend down to a stiff tail. The tiger – or thylacine as it is usually known because of its scientific name, Thylacinus cynocephalus, which means "pouched dog with a wolf's head" – is an evolutionary concept-creature that bolts the back half of a kangaroo on to a rangy dog the size of an Alsatian. The second is that it has been extinct for seven decades. Or it has unless you ask around. Then it turns out they're everywhere.

The first one I saw was in Hobart, the state capital. In the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, a small crowd gathered around footage of a restless creature in the city zoo with a slender snout that opened to a snake's gape and a stiff gait that another believer later compared to a dairy cow. When "Benjamin" became history one chilly September night in 1936, he is thought to have taken the species with him.

Start to look, however, and a tiger will be there staring back at you. It gazed coolly from the label on my bottle of Cascade beer. It slinked into grass on the number plate of every car in front. And tigers rampant flanked the heraldic crest on state buildings – who needs unicorns when you have a home-grown fabulous beast?

No wonder tiger-hunters become obsessed. To the newcomer, Tasmania is the surprise of Australia. It is an island of hidden secrets in a nation of infinite space; a place where real-life devils utter banshee wails and moss-bearded giants stand silently in forests that predate mankind. In this Middle Earth of lost myths, a legendary tiger is just part of the scenery, and there's a lot of that to cover in a state that's one-quarter wilderness.

Many otherwise eminent people have suffered ridicule and nights cooped up in a chicken shed with a camera in their pursuit. The government's Parks and Wildlife Service mounted its own two-year hunt in 1984 before it pronounced the species extinct and devoted its energies to finding feral foxes instead. That only upped the ante.

"Parks don't want to say anything publicly to attract attention," Ned Terry confided. We were drinking coffee in Deloraine in the state's north, where farming villages were scattered over my map like seed and the landscapes are so vivid that the first pioneers christened their settlements Eden, Paradise and Promised Land. Hard to believe that the Alpine wilderness of Cradle Mountain lay an hour's drive south. "The bush was full of tourists after a national park fellow reported a thylacine on the central east coast a few years ago. But those blokes got a lot of cameras out there to look for foxes. I wouldn't be surprised if there's some skulduggery going on."

In this zoological X-Files, the 80-year-old bushman plays Mulder. Every couple of months he listens patiently to an excited witness, asks a few questions to weed out the fakers, then follows up whoever is left. His latest credible lead in half a lifetime's tiger-chasing came from Lake Peddar in the south-west wilderness.

"Fellow camped out there says he heard one for three weekends in a row; that yapping noise they make when hunting. Says it ran so close he could smell it."

Many witnesses mention the smell – a sharp, hot, animal stink that electrifies the air. "Smelled it myself once," Terry said. "Makes the hairs on your neck stand on end, I can tell you."

The truth is out there, somewhere. Probably (I dragged out of Terry) in the remote northern corners of the state. So, in the late afternoon I rolled east over swells of grass bound for Scottsdale. Every so often a timber farmhouse heaved aloft on a crest then vanished into the rear-view mirror. Beyond lay the high country of the north-east.

Around seven thylacine sightings a year, more than anywhere else in Tasmania, were made up there in the half-century after Hobart Zoo lost its star attraction. A few tiger-hunters still came to shoot blurry images, stalking the edge of old-growth rainforest that had barely changed since Tasmania ripped away from the global supercontinent of Gondwanaland.

In the pub I met a farmer who yarned about a wolfish head that had poked through the bracken fern. "When he comes out he sits up like a kangaroo, then starts sniffing the air like one. I thought: 'What the hell's that?'" A stray dog, perhaps, I suggested. "No dogs up there," he bristled.

It turned out the area was swarming with rumours. Craig Williams, Tasmania's premier wildlife guide and a fourth-generation bushman, kept up a rumble of anecdote and oath as we skirted the forest, stopping occasionally to practise an arcane element of bushcraft or stare after a furry backside that disappeared into the scrub. He indicated a farmstead as we swerved around one corner. "You know the last thylacine died in 1936? An old bloke shot one there in 1946. Said it was killing his chooks [chickens]."

Later, after a meal that belonged to a Sydney restaurant rather than a remote mountain shack, Craig told tiger tales around the campfire. There was the thylacine witnessed by four people on a logging road just over that ridge, and the waxy scat found late last year by the manager of a wilderness lodge. Or there was his mate whose car had broken down up here one night: "He said he heard these high-pitched yaps following him as he walked."

Apparently Craig's grandfather and great-grandfather used to trap thylacine on the mountain behind us. I tried and failed to reconcile the mysterious thylacine with the plantation forest that now striated its flanks. Could it really survive here?

As the sky deepened to a velvety black, Craig strobed the treeline with a torch. There were secrets as well as possum eyes in the dark spaces between eucalyptus trunks. Suddenly, at the edge of our clearing, something twitched. A stoat-like animal froze in the torch's beam then skittered into the bush – a spotted-tailed quoll.

"Amazing killing machines; the ultimate predators," Craig said with admiration. "They're only a few kilos, but they can pull down a wallaby." With jaws that opened to 90 degrees and overlapping teeth, it was a distant relation of the thylacine colloquially known as a tiger quoll. "Been quite a few tiger sightings by quite a few people made around here."

I'd lost my bearings way back on the unmarked dirt roads. "Good," said Craig. "I don't want loads of people running around with traps and cameras. If the tiger's up here, let him be. That's what I reckon." Another Tasmanian secret was safe.
Originally posted 7/4/07

Tasmanian Tiger: Not Extinct!

Australian wildlife scientists have re-opened the cryptic case of the Tasmanian tiger, a marsupial carnivore that resembled a striped coyote and which was last seen alive more than 70 years ago.

Scientists think chances are slim that Thylacinus cynocephalus still roams remote areas of Tasmania, the large island just south of Australia, but they can't help but turn over every possible leaf for evidence.

The last wild Tasmanian tiger was killed by a farmer around 1930, and the last captive died in 1936 at the Hobart Zoo in Tasmania's capital. Fifty years later, the species was declared extinct.

The extinction marked the end of the family Thylacinidae, and of the world's largest marsupial carnivore. The Tasmanian tiger weighed about 65 pounds, had a nose-to-tail length of six feet and had several vertical stripes running across its lower back and tail.

Despite the official extinction, rumored sightings of the creature have continued to emerge from Tasmania's temperate forests.

Zoologist Jeremy Austin of the Australian Center for Ancient DNA and his colleagues are examining DNA from animal droppings, or scats, found in Tasmania in the late 1950s and 1960s, which have been preserved in the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.

Eric Guiler, a thylacine expert who found the scats, told Austin the droppings probably came from a Tasmanian tiger rather than a dog or two common related marsupial carnivores — the well-known wolverine-like Tasmanian devil and the cat-like spotted quoll.

"If we find thylacine DNA from the 1950s scats it will be significant," Austin said. "This would prove that either the thylacine produced the scat or a [Tasmanian] devil ate a thylacine and dropped the scat. Either way, that is proof that the thylacine was there at the time."

If they were to find evidence the Tasmanian tiger was still extant in the 1950s, that would mean the beast was able to stay hidden from humans for at least 20 or 30 years.

"If they could survive this long with no real physical proof, then it does add a little more hope to the possibility that they could survive another 50 years without ever being caught, killed [or] hit by a car," Austin told LiveScience. "This chance is of course not great, but the glimmer of hope is ever so slightly brighter."

NOTE: The search for the thylacine has interested me for a long time. Here are a few links to other postings...Lon

On the Hunt for the Elusive Tasmanian Tiger

Are There Thylacines In Victoria?

Nick Mooney: We Still Receive at Least Two Credible Thylacine Sightings a Year

Thylacine DNA Restored To Life

New High-Tech Search For Thylacine, Large Cats After Recent Sheep Maulings

Resurrecting the Thylacine: Does it Exist or Will Science Help?

New Tasmanian Tiger Sighting Reported

Video: Hominid Captured by Thermal Camera in North Carolina

Click for video
Commentary with video: Note by Matt Moneymaker:

The full video is roughly 3.5 minutes long. This clip shows only the highlights, and in lower resolution than what is possible. You can pay a few bucks to see the entire clip online at or you can wait a few weeks for the full version in better resolution (not a whole lot better resolution though). Mike Greene will make the whole clip available for download, eventually, so you can rewind and watch it multiple times.

The download will cost a few bucks also, but it's still much cheaper than a DVD.

Greene feels he deserves something in return for the intermittent two (2) year effort he made to get this footage. We can't argue with him. It's his footage.

It is very important footage though, because it was gotten with the new technique that others should try:

Get up and drive away from the camp at the first indication of a stalking sasquatch. Leave the camp unattended for at least one hour with the camera rolling, and aimed at the food pile near a treeline, near some big trees.

There is great potential in this method for daylight footage, and it has not been tried anywhere else. It should be tried a lot more, in a lot more places. It may be the easiest and most practical way to obtain clear, close-range footage in daylight, and it can be done easily with a newer hard-drive camcorder and an extended battery. Sony makes several High-Def hard-drive camcorders nowadys that can accommodate extended batteries that will give you 10 hours of continuous recording.

Tape camera or disc camcorders are not ideal for this because they don't record long enough before the media needs to be swapped.

The camcorder must be hidden among other camping gear so it is not conspicuously aiming at the food. This is where most people will fail, because they will underestimate the intelligence of these animals.

No one can remain hidden near the camp either. Squatches seem to know that trick and won't come near if they think someone is left behind to possibly ambush them. That is why Squeaky was so very cautious approaching the stump. It didn't know if someone was still in the tent.

For that reason it will be best to have no tent at all, rather just tarps, airmats, and sleeping bags, like a backpacker.

If you have a vehicle nearby, leave the camp and drive far enough away so your engine cannot be heard by anything up on elevation acting as a whistling sentry.

Mike Greene made sure no one could steal the expensive thermal camera by parking on the only road into the camp, but some distance away. For that reason, a camp at the end of a small spur off a desolate forest road, would be ideal for car campers, if good equipment were to be left there for several hours

If your camp is somewhere where no one can possibly spot it from a driveable road, then just stay far away for an hour or two. Let the camera do the work.

Don't be obvious about the camera when you return to the camp. Assume you are being watched and don't approach the food pile til morning.

That's the "Greene Method." Give it a try and make him proud.

NOTE: I've circled the food pile (red), the hominid first appearance(yellow) and the hominid second appearance(teal). Compelling evidence if proven to be have taken as advertised...Lon


Click for video
BFRO researcher Mike Green describes the circumstances wherein he obtained the thermal clip called the "Squeaky Footage". This footage was obtained in North Carolina in 2009.

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A recreation and comparison of Mike Greene's thermal video.

Confused on the Facts May be the Key to Our History

Chris Holly's Paranormal World - With so many events coming concerning the uproar of the 2012 era we seem to give a great deal of credit to the warnings of those in past history who supposedly left us messages for our future.

I do not give too much credence in the warnings of our fore fathers past the knowledge that they lived through some tough times and did try to warn us that the same hard times will occur again. I believe they understood that cycles dominate life. I think they understood the earth as well as our solar system and universe ran in cycles and that modern man the children of their children would one day face the trying times of natures cycles again. They also may have known that our way of spiritual growth would be in question and that many changes would be coming as they had come to them.

I also know that much of what we could have learned from those who lived before us was destroyed. So much information was lost or hidden from being passed down along with most of our true history.

We have a history of being a violent species we also have been a species of holding ourselves back for small reasons keeping our growth slow and painful.

I wonder what we would be today if we had not spent so many years in war and darkness. Can you imagine the knowledge we would have today if we had not destroyed due to war or ignorance the great libraries and advances made by those before us. It seems mankind spends much of its time on earth taking five steps ahead and then four steps backwards. The recording of our factual or actual history is a perfect example.

We have small hints, little pieces of what went on before recorded history. We also suffered from leaving hints instead of fact even with the development of the written word by using myths or story form instead of truth and fact. This often occurred due to the whim of a King or Power in control that liberally changed the facts to fit personal desire. Real history recorded as it happened has only been around for a relatively short time. With that said we find we have many large gaps of knowledge concerning what truly went on before us.

It is obvious we are in a period on earth where mankind is dealing with many extreme issues. It also seems we are deeply embedded in a time of serious change. I think the one statement we all can agree on past the pain of politics, religion and globalization of this planet is that times are changing like it or not!

It would be wonderful if we had a exact past history to reflect to in order to look back to the past to help prepare for the future but sadly that is not available for us so we must do what we can with the information we have been left and try to decipher what happened to the best of our ability.

I have read many articles about history and art .You cannot deny the obvious references left by those who walked this earth before us towards the sky and many different creatures all who come from the sky or heavens.

If you think of this logically it seems odd that the people who lived during the time of the Mayans and other civilizations of that period gave so much effort and time to the idea that their gods came from the sky or heavens. This is odd to me as the very day-to-day survival of the world’s population during that point in history came from the earth and water sources on earth.

It is strange to me that the people at that time in history were not more focused on the earth, the interior of the earth and its water. I would think they would worship that which gave them life. Mother Earth was what nurtured and gave them the ability to survive. It is curious to me their focus of worship was pointed sky bound. I understand many humans did give worship to the power of the earth however many also worshiped the Gods of the Heavens above.

Since their food, shelter, water in fact all life giving material including fire are earth given it is difficult to imagine what must have occurred to turn the populations across the world to turn their attention and god worship to the heavens. It also is curious that the art work and artifacts left by those populations seem to equally point to visiting beings as well as heavenly deities.

I believe all things are possible as far as what really happened on this earth before clear written history. I believe there are many different answers to all these questions. I am not willing to discount what seems obvious as we move deeper in to understanding what may have happened in history.

Recently I have found interesting articles that update the knowledge we have on what was taking place during the time of the Mayans.

The find of artifacts and tombs newly discovered have given us new insight into what was going on at the time.

Interestingly as we find new insights to what went on in history we uncover facts that seem to ask questions as well as give us answers

Two areas in which this is evident concern the Mayans. I often wondered what started the practice of deforming the shape of human skulls. Archaeologists recently found a new Mayan Tomb that contained pottery urns and the bones of what they believe is a woman. Her skull appears to have been intentionally deformed, a practice common among the Maya.

I have to ask why this practice would develop among people who were earthbound and consumed with the details of daily survival. How and why would the idea to change the shape of the human skull enter into the picture of life in the jungle? The only answer I can think of was to please or imitate that which they worshiped or feared. Could seeing beings that were in some way more powerful have influenced these odd practices? Could the Maya have tried to please those who wore odd headpieces or protective helmets or even had differently shaped skulls? Could a visiting alien have been the Maya inspiration to these practices? It may be a bizarre idea but it is one to contemplate.

Adding fuel to the fire of what really was going on before recorded history is the practice of Mayan bloodletting.

Before I discuss the Mayans let us think about all the cattle and animal mutilations found in our present time all over the world. We read article after article where farmers find dead animals drained clean of every drop of blood. Often Alien interaction is looked at as a possibility to these mutilations as well as many other theories. I could not help but think about the customs of the Mayans when I read about the on going animal mutilations of our time.

I often wondered why those who worshiped heavenly beings became obsessed with human earthly qualities like blood. Why would this become connected to and given as a gift to non-earthly entities?

Mayan Bloodletting, although considered a controversial subject by many still today, did seem to take place in the Mayan culture. It is thought that Mayans not only sacrificed in group many of their own population, they also would offer small bleedings of those who governed from the top of their holy temples to their gods. I find this all to be very strange especially by those so connected to the earth for their day-to-day survival. Would it not make more sense for them to pray to the earth, waterways or animals?

I was thinking about the Mayans and how they practiced this odd on going offering of their blood to the Gods and had a stunning thought. What if the Mayans also found animals drained of blood. What if the Mayans found people drained this way also. Would that not be the basis of reason, a fear that started the Mayans offering blood to the Gods above?

Could the Mayans have been sacrificing in this fashion in hopes of keeping a step ahead of a blood thirsty Gods? Was offering up what they witnessed their way of appeasing in hope of being spared and in good grace with their skyward Gods? It is something to think about.

I look at the artwork left over the centuries and cannot deny that odd objects and actions were being left in the art for us to see. I also know you can only use the available knowledge and surroundings you do understand to describe that which you are trying to explain to others. If I was trying to describe a new Ferrari convertible with a glass-covered motor to a man living in 1790 I may use terms like wagon, horseless, and thunder like in sound. I may talk about a moving part machine covered with a window and a roof that moves with magic to appear and disappear.

I think many paintings, carvings, even dress including odd head coverings were possibly drawn by the same method of explaining by what they had - what they were seeing.

I have no idea what truly went on in history. None of us do. All we can do is keep looking and try to understand that we have to consider all things known and unknown before coming to conclusions.

It certainly clears up many reasons we find artwork with objects painted into the skies or beings with strange helmet style headsets being shown as heavenly gods. I cannot dismiss the idea some of our past did include the possibility of visiting beings from a more advanced civilization. It may explain some of the incredible structures that were built during that time in history that remain a mystery as how the buildings were constructed during such a primitive point in our development in earths civilizations.

As we learn and discover more facts about our past we seem to become more confused as to what and who was moving and shaping our own past. Adding in other factors such as finding species that have become extinct for unknown reasons can only confuse the issues of our past instead of connecting them to a defined history.

I think as we look with logic at the above facts and add the on going new finds we have to face the idea that we may have been mistaken and confused at what took place in history. Who was involved in the shaping of our species as we walk the earth today in my mind remains a mystery.

I recently read that we have found skeletons showing surgeries that not only took place but also enabled the patient to survive and live as a productive person 7000 years ago. Understanding that things were not as we thought is becoming more obvious with each and every new discovery.

I have no answers to the mysteries of the Mayans or for that matter most of what went on in history before mankind started to record it in a factual written form. Even once we were able to leave written history we did not do it well. Much or what was written was destroyed by generations before us. Much of what did survive was that written in myth form or contrived by the powers that ruled at the time rather then the actual history or fact.

I can only hope we can keep open minds and understand our history is really unknown. I do not discount any theory or finding that fits in with logic or possibility of the many options that may be the history of this earth.

For now I watch and wait with every new find for another part of our human earth history. One day we may all know not only what happened, we may also find out exactly who we are. Until then I can only wonder what happened and with whom we share history? Confused on the facts may be the key to the answers.

Thanks to Chris Holly at Chris Holly's Paranormal World
Copyright © 2008-2010 Chris Holly all Rights Reserved


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Thursday, February 04, 2010

Newly Discovered Letters Uncover Lost Silbury Hill Theory

gazetteandherald - Letters that lay undiscovered in national archives for more than 230 years suggest that Silbury Hill, the enigmatic man-made mound that stands between Marlborough and Beckhampton, may have originally be constructed around some sort of totem pole.

Historians have uncovered in the British Library in London letters written in 1776 that describe a 40ft-high pole which once stood at the centre of Silbury Hill. Europe’s largest man-made mound.

The letters detail an 18th century excavation into the centre of the man-made mound, where archaeologists discovered a long, thin cavity six inches wide and about 40ft deep.

A separate excavation found fragments of oak timber within the cavity leading historians to believe that the mound was built around the pole dating from around 2,400 BC.

David Dawson, director of the Wiltshire Heritage Museum in Devizes, said: “This is important, lost information dug out of the library, rather than through field work.

“It tells us that in one of its earliest phases some kind of totem pole was erected on the mound, then subsequent additions to build the hill up were piled up around that timber.”

The 18th century letters, written from Edward Drax to Lord Rivers, described excavations Drax had supervised at Silbury Hill.

He oversaw the digging of a vertical shaft from top to bottom that is sometimes claimed to be the work of the Duke of Northumberland.

Drax, a wealthy landowner who lived in Bath, had hired a team of miners to dig a shaft from the top of Silbury Hill, to the centre of the hill, 125 feet below.

To begin with the miners found little but chalk and pieces of deer antler, but 95 feet down - some 30 feet above where they expected the base of the mound to be – they stumbled upon a deep, narrow cavity.

The hole was six inches across but Drax noted: “We have already followed it already about 20 feet, we can plumb it about eleven feet more.”

In his letter he wrote that “something now perished must have remained in this hole to keep it open”.

Together with a later, independent account of fragments of oak timber found at the centre of the mound, the evidence adds weight to the totem pole theory.

Last year English Heritage completed a £2 million restoration programme on the mound to prevent it from collapsing after previous excavations, including the one by Drax, had left the structure weakened and prey to erosion.

Drax’s letters have been published for the first time in the new volume of the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine.


Radiocarbon dating indicates that the earliest phase of construction on Silbury Hill began about 2660 BC. It has been estimated that 18 million man-hours went into the building of Silbury Hill, which is the equivalent of 700 men working for 10 years.

Recent excavations (1968-69) have revealed three phrases of construction. Unlike at Stonehenge, these phases occurred relatively close together. Thanks to ancient ants trapped in the lowest level of turf, archaeologists know that the mound was started in late July or August, perhaps after the harvest. "Silbury 1" was a small mound made of layers of muddy gravel and dark layers of turf and soil. The turf layer was held in place with wooden stakes and covered with four layers of soil. This first mound was 120 feet (37 m) in diameter and 18 feet (5 m) high.

Silbury 2 was built soon after, over the first mound. It was made of chalk rubble dug from a ditch around the mound and arranged in a complex series of reinforced walls. This mound was 50 feet (17 m) high, 350 ft (110 m) in diameter, and incorporated 1 million feet (28,325 cubic meters) of chalk and soil.

During the third and final phase, "Silbury 3," the first ditch was filled in and a new one was constructed, enclosing a further 2.5 acres. The chalk was again built up in a precise manner, with six horizontal steps to maintain the 60-degree slope of the pyramidal structure. Only the top step was not filled, which can still be clealry seen today. Overall, Silbury Hill is notable for its advanced design — the prehistoric builders had excellent knowledge of soil mechanics.

In later times, Silbury Hill was used by the Romans and Saxons as a military lookout and possibly for burial. Related artifacts have been found dug into the surface of the mound. The hill was also used for fortification in the 11th and 12th centuries, which is when the terrace near the top of the hill was created.

Over the years, many legends have developed concerning the purpose and contents of the mysterious ancient mound. The most well-known legend, dating from at least the 17th century, is that it is the final resting place of King Sil, who was buried here on horseback.

By the 18th century, the legend had been embellished and the king and his horse were said to have become life-size figures of solid gold. A further tradition has it that the Devil was carrying an apron of soil to drop on the inhabitants of Malborough, but was prevented by priests at Avebury and he dropped it here instead.
Originally posted 7/9/09

Three Strange Beings Reported at Crop Circle - Silbury Hill, Wiltshire is reporting an event that occurred 7th July 2009, Silbury Hill, Wiltshire, England, near the crop circle located south west of the hill off the A4 highway.

This is the same location where on the 23 May 1994, four researchers (including one nuclear scientist) visiting a crop design in this field, witnessed intense military presence moments before they each experienced 45 minutes missing time and within a short while a further period of missing time. Each had red marks appear on their necks and had severe nose bleeds hours later.

This is also the site of a secret military stake out which took place during the 1990 Operation Blackbird, where over these fields a large unidentified white orb was filmed by the army.

The latest bizarre event took place yesterday morning (7th) at approximately 5:00 AM local time, when a off duty Wiltshire Police Sergeant was driving towards Marlborough on the A4 highway and about to pass Silbury Hill on his left. He looked to his right and witnessed three exceptionally tall beings inspecting the new crop circle which appeared there on the 5th July. He stopped his vehicle and watched them for several minutes because they stood out as odd. Each of them were well over six feet tall, each had blond hair and also they all were wearing one piece white suits, with hoods that had been dropped onto the back of their heads.

After a few minutes watching them, he said they appeared to be examining the crop in the circle, he shouted at them from a distance of about 400 yards but they ignored him. As soon as he entered the field, they became aware of him and ran at an amazing speed to the south, away from Silbury Hill. He said "I recognized that I could never catch up with them since they were exceptionally fast." He glanced away for just a few seconds and looked back to find that they had completely vanished. He became very uneasy and left the scene.

The police officer was very aware of hearing a static crackling sound in the field and around him. He said as the plants moved around, he could see the movement coincided with the level of sound, as if the static was effecting the plants by moving them.

He also started to experience a headache in the field, which became worse as the day went on and he could not shake it off all day. is reporting new information and more sightings of strange beings in Wiltshire, UK.

Following the report on July 9th (Three Strange Beings Reported at Crop Circle - Silbury Hill, Wiltshire) by a police sergeant of three extremely tall beings he witnessed in a field near Silbury Hill, Wiltshire, England and the posting on this website, I have received several other reports, and I encourage others who have information to also please contact me.

One report is extraordinary and allegedly received the immediate attention, of a government organization to the home of the witness. I asked for written details about this exceptional (and some what scary) case and received those details last night. I will not be making any further public statement about the details until they can be fully verified, only to say this:

I trust my source in Washington DC implicitly and he trusts the originating source but to get to the bottom of it, I am going to have to do some leg work, best done quietly. The witness claims to have had a very close encounter with a 8-9 feet tall being, north of Silbury Hill, in Wiltshire, England.

He was visited by three government officers (details with me) who produced a book of sketches of different ET beings and ask the witness which one he had seen. At least two agencies were allegedly involved which should help verify this case. Full details later.

A second report was sent to me also yesterday by a woman driving the A4 (the highway that runs east-west next to Silbury Hill), and was driving on the east side of Marlborough, Wiltshire when she estimates a 7-8 feet tall being came out of a gateway from a field and jumped back as the car passed - his head appeared triangular shape. The latter incident took place three years ago. I have details of the exact location etc, which will be posted as part of a much more extensive report including other similar reports later.

I will pursue the first incident that involved several government agencies when I arrive in England next week. On the face of it, the three officers from one of these agencies revealed by their actions, that the government knows much more about these beings than they have so far declared under the new open policy surrounding the UFO subject.


Evidence Convinces Investigators Theatre is Haunted

lariat - With reports circulating that the Hippodrome is haunted, Brandon Burns, technical director for the Waco Performing Arts Company, agreed last fall to participate in a paranormal investigation conducted by McLennan County Paranormal Investigations (MCPI).

"We go into a place, not to prove that it is haunted, but to prove that it is not," Mike said. "Once we go in, we try to debunk what we can. What we cannot debunk is what we focus the investigation on."

Mike said they investigated the Hippodrome on Nov. 14 and Jan. 9. They confirmed Friday that the Hippodrome was haunted.

"Any time you do theater correctly, it will be haunted," Burns said. "You can't bring characters to life and expect them to go away."

Burns said he has personally experienced paranormal activity at the Hippodrome and was not surprised when the investigations deemed the building haunted.

"One of the reasons I agreed to the investigation was because I kept seeing things out of the corner of my eye when going up the stairwell," Burns said. "It is like a mob of people heading out of the building, and I see it more on one side of the building."

Mike also used to work as a night assistant manager at the Hippodrome in the 1970s when it was the Waco Theatre. He was in charge of climbing the catwalks to work the curtains.

"One night we went up there and I started up the stairs," Mike said. "The guy that was with me said, 'Who is up on the catwalk?' and I said 'Well, nobody.'"

The man told Mike again that someone was looking at them.

"When I looked up, I saw a black figure looking at me," Mike said. "I walked up there to look and didn't see anything. I got chills and did not go back up there again until the second investigation."

Mike had not returned to the catwalks of the Hippodrome until last year, during the investigation.

During the first investigation, MCPI found mists that were unaccounted for and they caught voices using extremely sensitive digital recorders.

When one team was leaving the area so another team could investigate, the leaving team said, "We are leaving now. Have a good show."

The response recorded was, "That you must see."

Cindy Jacobson, founder and investigator of MCPI, uses a sensitive flashlight to communicate with spirits. She sets the flashlight down so that the spirits can touch it and make it flash.

"I like to use the flashlight," Cindy said. "You loosen the back of it and make it real sensitive and sometimes I seem to get responses to questions I ask."

Cindy said she uses the flashlight to ask yes/no questions. She tells the spirits to flash the lights once for yes, twice for no. She said she had very good results during the investigation at the Hippodrome.

"Just as soon as a question came out of my mouth, the flashlight would come on," Cindy said.

During the second investigation, MCPI collected voice evidence and also recorded images with a thermal camcorder that registers hot and cold images. Mike said there is a theory that spirits are different temperatures.

"So wherever they are at, they are showing a cold signature or a hot signature, according to what kind of spirit it is," Mike said.

The camcorder records cold areas as a dark, bluish gray, and it picked up a thermal image in the shape of a person in the balcony at the Hippodrome.

"The one in the balcony I got it to where you could see it. This blue figure [was] walking up and down the aisle and around the seats," Mike said.

Cindy said she firmly believes the Hippodrome is haunted, especially because of the evidence collected by the thermal camcorder.

"That is one of the things that convinced me. We don't catch things like that very often," Cindy said. Burns said while he is excited about the certification, he is not surprised.

"We got certification on something I already knew," Burns said. "So it didn't make a difference to me if we actually got certified."

Cristina Uptmore, the box office manager, said she has not experienced anything unusual in the theater.

"In a theater you hear things and it's an old building. It's creaky," Uptmore said. "I have never attributed it to paranormal activity, but it creeps you out just the same."

"I was surprised when they certified us, but you know, who knows if there is another dimension of life that no one knows about?" Uptmore said. "Its kind of fun, though, thinking about it." The investigative team also heard loud, unaccounted-for bangs. Mike compared it to someone dropping a 200-pound weight on the floor.


Construction began on the building currently known as the Waco Hippodrome Theatre in 1913. When it opened on February 7, 1914, admission was ten cents for adults, a nickel for children and a quarter for box seats! A mixed bill of road shows, vaudeville tours, movies and local talent shows and events were held.

A fire in the projection booth destroyed much of the front of the building in November of 1928. Due to projectionist error during the show, the first reel came undone and the film came to close to the kerosene lamp and caught the film on fire. Fortunately, no one in the house, was injured, but it did destroy the front of the building.

The theater was built as a hooray to vaudeville to bring family entertainment to Waco. The land that the theater sits on was donated to Waco leaders by Mrs. Wm Bruestadt.

The theater originally operated as the Hippodrome from 1913-1928 by Mr. E.H. Hulsey and Mr. J.P. Harrison.. In 1929, Southern Enterprises, a subsidiary of Paramount Pictures, leased the theater to Louis Dent’s Waco Theater and changed the name from the Hippodrome to the Waco Theater.

After the fire occurred, the theatre was remodeled with a Spanish facade. It then spent the next fifty years bringing renowned stars such as Elvis, John Wayne, and Ann Margaret to town. The largest crowd ever gathered at the Waco Theater was over 10,000 people to see John Wayne in person.

While native Wacoans remember the Waco Theater as a movie house, the Hippodrome has always been a performing arts center in one form or other.

From 1932 to 1956, the Mary Holliday Show broadcast on WACO radio was sponsored by Jones' Fine Bread, entertaining Wacoans on air and Central Texas children in person for years. Every Saturday, someone would win a prize and tickets to the afternoon show. Its most famous graduate was Hank Thompson, Country Western singer.

The Waco Theater operated as a movie house primarily up until 1978, when it closed in disrepair. Between 1981 and 1986, the community raised $2.4 million in private and public funds to restore the Hippodrome to its original use as a live performance venue.


AlienPhotog: Famous Alien Abductees - Musicians

On January 26th, I posted an introduction by alien abductee 'alienphotog'. The plan is to post installments where 'alienphotog' will go into more detail of his experiences and thoughts. The second part of the series, including videos, follows.

* * * * * * * *

To SpaceChickens of which this may concern: (Spell check wants to make SpaceChicken two words … no way)

Creating a lucid, intelligent and logical argument for “things unexplained” is a painstaking venture to embark upon. Some would say it’s a gift I have. To me it’s at least 50% curse. At least … but here we go. I’m curious to see where this one goes.

First, let’s establish common ground. A rational trailhead … We all know “angels” sing” Correct? Ok … good. Now who are these “angels“ ? I can’t pin it down precisely (on ALL of them), but we know the sky … outer space. Our word in 2010 for creatures that come from above (which is outer space … some pretty obvious dots to connect really …) is “aliens”. Which has an entirely different connotation than “angels”. But they ARE the same thing. Right? Who else would they be??? The root word “angel” hasn’t really come far to “alien” … meaning of course, not from here.

Let’s mix in a dash of the “hybrid program”, a pinch of 2012, and a newt’s eye or three just to freak out the Christians (it’s good for them.) and mix that puppy up like a batch of cinnamon rolls, and see how it comes out. In my opinion, pretty darn good. But what do I know, I’ve been “abducted by aliens” after all … a.k.a. taken for intergalactic rides by the angels in their “chariots“. Same thing.

From that point, one can see the truth. Which one of the most rare, yet seemingly obvious elements in this Universe … the truth. The truth shows us these “hybrids” are not weird, not freakish, oh no …. far from it.

They’re the people we respect the most. Let’s begin with musicians. After all … “angels/aliens” sing right? So the hybrids that are part “alien/angel” should too right??? Well some of them do. They’re good too. The best.

They even tell us about it in their lyrics if we can get past the “rest of the music” and down to the words, their actual message …. That’s the good stuff.

So … Rob Thomas, Kurt Cobain (dead), Dave Groehl, Roger Waters (is he dead?), Axl Rose (under a rock) and etc. I apologize. I’m going to “out” you. (Send my regards to Linkin Park, Green Day, Shawn Mullins, Kings of Leon, etc. too please) Good news is most people will not be smart enough to listen to this. So your secret is safe with us … if you have a problem with that … go talk to your lawyers. Or listen to what I have to say because you just might learn something.

All of these “people” are hybrids. That’s just the beginning. Go ahead … hear me out, and make a lucid, intelligent and logical argument against this … I’d honestly love to hear one, but highly doubt I will.

I should have been a lawyer, but they’re evil for the most part … so here I am.

May the painstaking venture continue boldly and shamelessly, and please God bless us all!!! I hope our efforts are appreciated.

Or as Hendrix said “I’m going to wave my freak flag high!!!”

Have fun with this one guys!!

(Freak flag flying high!!!!)

- AlienPhotog

Click for video 1

Click for video 2

Click for video 3

Click for video 4

Click for video 5

Click for video 6

NOTE: I received a lot of response from 'alienphotog's' initial presentation. As many of you know, I try to present different sides of a topic and save my thoughts as a notation. As well, I'm not stating that I'm necessarily in agreement with everything I post....unless it's something I've written myself. For those who think I'm a shill for 'alienphotog', well that's simply untrue. I know as much about him as you do....I don't know his name and anything about him. I'd rather keep it that way, at least for now. Thanks to all for the comments...Lon

Los Angeles Paranormal Returns to Linda Vista Hospital

Click for video

In 2009, LAPA documented paranormal activity at the Linda Vista Hospital in East LA when we captured what sounded like the voice of a little girl humming in the surgery area. We later returned with the crew of the Ghost Adventures TV show (Travel Channel) and experienced paranormal activity once again, including the capture of an evp that sounded like the same humming. In January, 2010, Los Angeles Paranormal Association returned once more to Linda Vista hospital with a host of noted and experienced paranormal investigators. Special thanks to Mark and Debby Constantino, Andy Coppock, Michelle Ayers, Jen Brown, APRA Paranormal and Dave Harvey & Kristin Baalman of Altered States Para Radio.

You can find the LAPA crew at Los Angeles Paranormal

Click for video

Click for video


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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Offer Her a Ride or Pay the Consequences

wabi - Some of you who have driven the Black's Woods Road in Downeast Maine between Franklin and Cherryfield, may have heard about the legend of Catherine's Hill.

Meghan Hayward joins us in the studio with more on this haunted tale.

Prepare yourself for some terrorizing accounts from those who have had been frightened by seeing the figure

We're going back more than 20 years ago for a chilling close encounter with Catherine.

Dale Whitney, a musician who had finished playing in Bar Harbor one evening, was traveling alone to Machias.

"It was very foggy and I came up on the top of Catherine's Hill and I was kind of straddling the line a little bit because I couldn't see the road. And I got up to the top of the hill and all of a sudden I looked and there was a woman standing on the left side of the line."

Whitney says he pulled over and rolled down his window, only a few feet away from the figure.

"I looked at her and I could see her complete image, everything she had on, but I could look through her which was really kind of weird."

Whitney says his body was covered in goosebumps.

"She stepped up to the car and in a flirtatious way said, I want to go to Bar Harbor and I said I just came from there."

In fear, Whitney sped away.

But by the time he reached the bottom of the hill, he reconsidered his actions and doubted his senses.

"She may be real. She's probably had an accident. I turned around and drove back up on the hill and she was gone."

Even though she was nowhere to be found, he still remembers what the figure was wearing.

"She had on a light blue what we use to call an evening gown in the old days. It hung all the way to her ankles and you could actually almost see through it."

For skeptics, Whitney has this to say.

"If anyone told me the story, I'd say the guy's crazy, something is wrong with him. No nothing. But it happened to me and I'm absolutely sure of what I saw."

This next encounter is from a UMaine Machias student.

Lacie Pottle took part in the Catherine's Hill project for a class.

They made a makeshift ouija board.

"So we kind of had this feeling that because some of our energy was put into it, it was better than a store bought one. When we st down to use it, we made sure it was on flat ground and we put the jar on it and we all had our hand above it so you could tell if there was pressure on it."

What happened next was most alarming. She says the jar began to move.

"We didn't move that jar. That's all I can really say. We didn't move the jar, please believe me."

Pottle says she's returned to the site more than once since the project.

She says it was almost like the presence of Catherine took her over.

"It was just weird how attached we became and how she made us feel that way. And the heavy heavy weight that immediately got lifted when she came back around."

To this day, Lacie is puzzled by the events that unfolded.

"Something happened that I can't explain and that science can't explain. So I walk around on egg shells as far as beliefs go these days."

So if you dare, take a drive along the winding road of Black's Woods.

As the legend goes, if a figure appears, you must stop and offer it a ride or pay the consequences.

The Legend of Catherine's Ghost

Travelers who claim to have seen Catherine's ghost on the hill most commonly describe a woman approaching the traveler asking for a ride, sometimes to Bar Harbor. Catherine is said to be dressed in a light blue evening or ball gown. Travelers who decline the ghost's request suffer various consequences. Purportedly Catherine was traveling on the road with her husband or boyfriend, after their wedding or prom night in Bar Harbor, when they were in some kind of accident (that it was a car accident is belied by the fact that the "Catherine's Hill" moniker predates the widespread use of cars in the area, at least back to the 1930s). It is said that Catherine lost her head in the accident, that her significant other was never found, and that Catherine wanders Catherine's Hill and the Blackwoods area searching for her head and her missing love.

The book Dark Woods, Chill Waters: Ghost Tales from Down East Maine contains several variations on the legend. It also includes testimony suggesting that the Catherine legend may have been based on an entirely uneventful evening in the life of one Catherine Downing, d. December 29, 1862.


In Search of Gustave, the Burundi Man-Eater

For 20 years, near Lake Tanganyika in Burundi, locals have been terrorized by one of the largest freshwater crocodiles in the world. The 25 foot long crocodile, named Gustave, has an insatiable appetite... for people. He is known for having eaten over 200 people, though some believe that number to be as high as 300. In the past, all attempts to catch or kill Gustave were unsuccessful. Still, for one man who has made it his mission to hunt the crocodile, there may be a more humane solution to stopping this man-eater.

Patrice Faye is Frenchman, but he's been living in Burundi for the past two decades. He became something of a local hero 11 years ago when he made his first attempts to capture Gustave using a trap, but that didn't work out well. "He must have a very strong survival instinct , because he has survived while other crocodiles were massacred," Faye told the BBC Brasil.

Despite the fact that Gustave has eaten so many people, Faye still has respect for his elusive nemesis--and does not intend on killing him.

We live in an age where creatures like these are increasingly rare. He's a prehistoric animal, very fat. In the water, he's like a hippo. But he still has all his teeth, suggesting that he is about 68 years.

During one three month period that he followed the crocodile, 17 people were eaten. This had lead Faye to estimate that Gustave has probably eaten over 300 in the last 20 years. "I do not think it is a matter of taste, but a question of what he can hunt," he said.

Faye points out that Gustave's massive size likely makes acquiring more conventional meals difficult--plus a diet of fish probably wouldn't be enough to satisfy his appetite. Faye says the crocodile "has no choice but to hunt easier prey," and humans in or around the lake are good candidates.

So, what's the best way to humanely deal with a man-eating crocodile? Faye hopes that following Gustave's movements more closely might reduce the numbers of people being eaten.

I have informants. In Burundi, thousands of people who live along the lake, especially fishermen who spend most of their time in water. I gave them a dozen cell phones to tell me where he is.

Still, some gun-wielding locals have made attempts to stop Gustave themselves. "Many fishermen said they had hit him. He seems to have bullet proof leather."

It may take more than a bullet to stop an enormous, man-eating crocodile--or to discourage his devoted follower, Patrice Faye.

I will remain faithful to Gustave and expect him to do the same.

NOTE: Here is a link to a 2005 National Geographic report on this beast - Gustave, the Killer Crocodile
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