The following accounts are humanoid / cryptid encounters recently received from two my blog readers:
STALKED BY THE 'GOON'
Location: Pennsylvania (a State Park) - Summer 1999 - 11:00pm
Hello Lon, I have frequently read your site and just recently the article a reader sent you about seeing a tall creature possibly with a helmet but stood higher than a stop sign stopped me in my tracks. I also had a similar encounter but mine didn't have a helmet on. After reading the story it just felt like it was the right time to share my experiences with you on this topic. I also have been made fun of when I tell the story but I feel you would be interested in it.
In 1999 I was working at a State Park in Pennsylvania and got to know the back areas of it pretty well; the areas most tourists do not get to see. Approximately one mile from the park on a long all-dirt road was a large clearing in the woods which was cleared for powerlines and gas well use. Once you got to that spot you would have to walk dover a long hill until you came to an old abandoned trail. If you followed this trial it would take you deep into the forest.
Once day I followed it and found that it led to an old dilapidated cabin (not on the park cabin records) and it looked like it hadn't been used for many decades. Even though it was daylight I still got this creepy feeling like I shouldn't be there and worse...that something was watching every move I made.
A few weeks later, while I was off-duty, two of my friends and myself were just out driving around enjoying the summer night and since I knew all the back roads I was taking them on kind of a tour (Note: none of these roads are off limits or secret so I wasn't breaking any rules). Other than that mysterious cabin the park hasn't any secrets. About 11:00 pm I came to that familiar clearing and I mention something about the old cabin. Being a brave soul I talked them into letting me show them the cabin, so I grabbed my flashlight and we took off down the hill and onto the path that led to the cabin.
I took the lead and we walked half way when all of a sudden my light flashed on something on the right side of the path. Almost immediately I stopped and said, "did you just see that" to which they responded ,"see what?" As I panned the light back to the right side of the road I said, "THAT!!" There standing by a tree was a creature only seen in sci-fi movies. It had a greyish olive color skin and very thin in it's extremedies. The calves and forearm muscles were very large as well was the chest. The face was the strangest thing since it had the typical alien grey head shape but there was no mouth. It had a nose that was long and thin but not longer than it's "chin". The eyes had a reddish gleam in the light but not the size of most reported aliens...very small even by human standard. I hate to make this reference for fear of questioning my sanity but my best description was like what the 'Goons' looked like in the Popeye cartoon. It leaning oddly against the tree, like if you were leaning on an arm chair by only one arm. To make another TV show reference but like the 'Fonz' would lean on the jukebox on 'Happy Days' (minus the legs being crossed).
Immediately everyone wanted to leave but as we turned my flashlight went out. My friends told me to quit messing with them and turn the light back on to which I informed them that I wasn't messing with them and to keep moving now that I was at the back of the group. I frantically continued to beat on my flashlight trying to get it to work again. As soon as it came back on I immediately swiveled back around to shine it behind us. The creature had moved up significantly and now was on the left side. We hurried to the clearing and once we got back up the hill and to the main dirt road things got worse. Out of woods we had just come through was this high pitched blood curdling screeching noise which, after it started, others started to 'answer' back from the other side of the clearing.
The fact that I was a Park Ranger, had been in the woods all my live and had my degree from Penn State in wildlife management means I've heard a lot of noises in the wild, but have never heard that sound before. I know it wasn't any kind of owl or bobcat, bear, bird, porcupine...you get the drift. Once I told my Dad about the encounter he told me it could been the Chupacabras (which I had never heard of before and as far as aliens go, never believed in it until recently).
Months went by without incident...other than not being able to shake that "I'm watching you" feeling. I was to the point of feeling like I was being stalked. One night I went to get something from my truck when I looked into the woods and saw those reddish glowing eyes staring at me in the shadows. I immediately ran into the house and grabbed my biggest knife (I;m not a gun guy) to which my Dad asked me what I was doing. I told him I was tired of feeling 'stalked' and was going to face this thing. He told me he was coming with me (but all along I knew he never truly believed me or my encounter). When we got outside he nonchalantly asked, "Ok, where did you see this thing?" and I pointed to the spot to which he directed his flashlight. Much to his disbelief there it was and as soon as the light hit it tore off deep into the woods. My Dad, an ex-Marine who served proudly during Vietnam, yelled at me to get back into the house with fear...FEAR in his voice.
To this day it still creeps me out telling this encounter and my hands shake even while typing while recalling it all. I am now in my 30's with a wife and kids but even now, when I go outside at night, I still feel watched to the point that when I get a real strong feeling my wife won't let me leave the house without her.
Just as a side note...for the first 5 years of our relationship she too would catch sight of this creature, but mostly as it was going into the shadows. As a further note if anyone is questioning it, there were no drugs or alcohol or any other substance involved during this or any other encounter I have had. Thank you for your time. Benjamin
Source: 'Phantoms and Monsters' reader
THE MOTHMAN VISITS MY BEDROOM
Location: Killeen, Texas - Fall 1971 - night
Hi Lon...I am from Waterville, Maine. Back in the late summer, early Fall of 1971, I was newly married and living in Killeen, Texas with my husband who was in the army. We had a small duplex apartment in Killeen. One night he had duty and I was home alone in bed around 3 am in the morning. I woke up suddenly and saw a black figure standing at the bottom of my bed. It was 8 or 9 feet tall and had huge big black wings and red eyes. I closed my eyes and opened them again and it had moved closer to me on the right side of my bed...I couldn’t scream. It was as if I was frozen in fear. I covered my head in the blankets. I was so afraid!
About 5 mins. later I looked and it was gone. It gave me a horrible feeling and I prayed never to see it again. Shortly after this event I came back to Maine as I was way to frightened to ever stay alone at night when he had duty. I told my mom I had seen a huge black angel that night and she was glad I came home as that didn’t sound good. I had never heard of the Mothman but a few years later I came across an article and a drawing of one. Even before I read the article I said 'wow'...that is exactly what I saw in Texas. It didn’t have a noticeable neck and its face was like hooded, its wings tucked in on its side but you could tell they were very large. It was totally black except for the eyes were round, large and red. Lon...I still think of this thing with fear. Personally do you have any idea what it is? I'm 57 now and I am still searching for an answer.
P.S. - The apartment I lived in had a well in the entrance way that always gave me the creeps...a cistern I believe it is called. Just a flat rock covered it and it still had water in it. I couldn’t see the water but I heard the plop when I dropped a rock in it. This probably has nothing to do with any of this but felt I should tell you anyways.
Source: 'Phantoms and Monsters' reader
NOTE: This could have very well been a Mothman sighting if you're willing to believe that this creature is multidimensional (which I do). I have heard of spiritual entities described similarly as well though an apparition this distinct is quite rare...Lon
A total of 33 reports of strange crafts in the sky were made to North Wales and Dyfed-Powys Police services since 2002. A third of these were in 2009.
Only five of these reports were explained as human activity, such as army training exercises or night lanterns.
One man described how his car engine stopped working upon seeing a round unknown craft in the sky above Aberdyfi Estuary along the west coast.
Another witness saw a UFO illuminated by three glowing green, triangular lights hover directly above their Colwyn Bay house last year before flying off.
The sightings show Welsh households are still looking to the skies in search of new forms of life.
But sceptics say people should think twice before claiming they have seen a real-life ET.
Former RAF electrical engineer Bill Bevan said he saw an alien aircraft on a clear night two years ago while in his back garden smoking a cigarette.
The 79-year-old said: "I saw a big, white disk hovering over a tree. It was about two thirds the size of the moon. It was a bright, shining light, and it disappeared in about four or five seconds.
I thought it must have been going up at a fair rate of knots."
Mr Bevan, of Builth Wells, Powys, quickly called his wife to come and see it, but it was gone by the time she got there.
He said: "It left me a bit shaken, but it left me so intrigued that I have been standing outside night after night to try to see it again."
Bill is adamant that he saw some form of UFO.
He said: "It fully convinced me that there is life out there somewhere. I saw it, it was there and it just disappeared, and until my death I will still say I saw what I saw. I hadn't been drinking by the way, because I dont drink."
Bill also said his late father revealed to him that he and his neighbour saw a UFO over two decades ago in the Rhondda Valley.
Bill said: "He was stood with his neighbour and across the other side of the valley they say a cigar-shaped object in the sky. He had never talked about it before because he didn't think people would believe him.
There's something out there there's no two ways about it."
Phil Hoyle, of the UFO Investigation and Research Unit, has carried out numerous investigations into paranormal activity in Wales.
The 54-year-old said he has interviewed many reliable sources, such as army personnel, who have seen unidentified structured crafts landing and taking off.
He said: "I have interviewed people from the military and many reliable people, and quite a number have seen structured crafts leaving the scene. Some people have said they have touched the craft. I could tell you for days about these cases."
There must be other life forms and they could have been visiting us for quite some time.
Mr Hoyle's 12-strong team has also been investigating the new phenomena of animal mutilation through its Animal Pathology Field Unit.
The father-of-one said: "South Americans have come across cattle that have been clinically killed and dissected.
What has happened is that this has moved over towards Britain, but the majority of the incidents that take place over here are sheep.
Mr Hoyle, of Shrewsbury, has been investigating UFO sightings for the past 30 years and is in no doubt that we are not alone. He said: "What people have to remember is that they say there is no evidence. We don't pre-judge anything, and we look at information from the most incredible sources. How can you call all these professionals delusional?"
Martin Griffiths however a senior astronomy lecturer at the University of Glamorgan is a hardened UFO sceptic.
Mr Griffiths says strange objects in the sky can be explained through natural occurrences, such as ball lightning and man-made sky lanterns.
The 49-year-old said: "If people think they see a UFO, be a bit more critical about it. It's probably not somebody visiting from the planet Zog.
Don't think automatically that something in the sky is an alien craft. It is probably something else."
Joe McGonagle, who has researched UFO sightings for 12 years, is also unconvinced by the reports.
He said: "There is no tangible evidence that we have been visited by aliens. There's lots of speculation, but no evidence. For aliens to visit here, they would have to have a very good reason to do so."
Mr McGonagle said police forces in Wales were fuelling the UFO speculation by not making public when an alien encounter has been proved to be something else.
But Mr McGonagle still believes intelligent life exists somewhere in the universe.
He said: "I'm convinced that the probability is very high that there is life on other planets. Whether that life is visiting us here on Earth however, I very much doubt."
WHERE, WHEN AND WHAT WAS REPORTED
- Dyfed-Powys Police reports: (The location, the date and the sighting)
- Caersws, 2002 Bright light in the sky over the mountains towards Caersws. Did not make a sound or have flashing lights.
- Aberdyfi Estuary, 2004 Round craft of 200 to 300m in length. When seen his car engine stopped.
- Whitemill, Carmarthen, 2004 Something strange in the sky, like a streak of light.
- Beguildy, Knighton, 2004 Lights that looked like a lighthouse in the sky, and then later it was round with black spots with a ray of light.
- Penybont, 2005Something with two lights has landed in field. Later discovered to be orange flares from Army exercise.
- Llanyre, Llandrindod Wells, 2005 Oblong shaped bright yellow craft, going horizontally across, about 10 to 15ft off the ground.
- New Quay, 2006@ Spotlight from across the hill thought to be a UFO.
- Meifod, Powys, 2007 Triangular shape in sky with different coloured lights in each corner. A pulsing pink light lit up the vehicle. There was no sound to the object.
- Llanelli, 2008 Four low flying brightly lit objects.
- Newtown, 2008 Flashing balls of light though to be two UFOs.
- Llanidloes, 2009 Three orange lights thought to be UFOs. Object seized and discovered to be a night lantern.
- Beacons Reservoir, Brecon, 2009 Report of a UFO in the sky.
- Llangattock, Crickhowell, 2009 Large, vivid orange object, cylindrical in shape. Later thought to have been a night lantern.
- Ffrwdgrech, Brecon, 2009 Three lights, travelling at 20 knots.
- Glanamman, Ammanford, 2009 Report of large orange sphere in the sky, looks like a hot air balloon. Later clarified to be Chinese lanterns.
- Crickhowell, 2009 Report sighting of a red flare, possible UFO sighting.
- Brecon, 2009 Reporting sight of bright white light, then two orange lights, not high up and no sound coming from them.
- Newcastle Emlyn, Ceredigion, 2009 Three large orange lights in a triangular formation with white light around them.
- Cardigan, 2009 Two waves of UFO with red lights go past, high up in the sky.
- Llanelli, 2010 About 100 red lights in the sky. All very bright, all slow-moving, going from west to east. Moving too quick to be Chinese lanterns and too slow to be an aircraft.
- Beaumaris, 2004 Three lights in a triangular pattern, travelling East.
- Denbigh, 2005 UFO in the sky
- Penmaenmawr, 2005 Two sightings of immense white light moving quickly and silently across the sky.
- Penmaenmawr, 2005 Intense bright light moving swiftly in a South-easterly direction.
- Abergele, 2006 Caller was suspected of being drunk, claimed to have seen a UFO.
- Blaenau Ffestiniog, 2007 Bright light witnessed disappearing into the clouds.
- Llangollen, 2007 Family saw a flame shimmering in the sky.
- Pwllheli, 2008 Luminous orange light with a white circle of light around it, making no noise and hovering around the area for 10 minutes.
- Denbigh, 2009 Three large red lights about the size of the moon before flying off. Shortly afterwards a fourth craft appeared in the sky.
- Prestatyn, 2009 Red, yellow and orange lights moving backwards and forwards really quickly, with no noise.
- Wrexham, 2010 Very large, orange in colour, but changed to red, blue and green.
- Bangor, 2010 A large, black triangular shaped craft appeared. It made a noise similar to a lawnmower. It hovered in the sky for just over a minute before vanishing.
- Colwyn Bay, 2010 Glowing green triangles at the back of the craft, which eventually faded
Mysterious Cosmic Blast Keeps on Going
wired - Astronomers have witnessed a cosmic explosion so strange they don’t even know what to call it. Although the blowup, discovered with NASA’s Swift satellite on March 28, emits high-energy radiation like a gamma-ray burst would, the event has now lasted for 11 days. Gamma-ray bursts last for an average of about 30 seconds.
Also unlike a gamma-ray burst, the explosion has faded and brightened, emitting staccato pulses of energetic radiation lasting for hundreds of seconds.
“It’s either a phenomenon we’ve never seen before or a familiar event that we’ve never viewed in this way before,” says Andrew Fruchter of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. The outburst might have been generated by a star torn to shreds when it ventured too close to a black hole in its host galaxy, he suggests. Gas from the star falling into the black hole could have triggered the gravitational monster to emit a jet of X-rays and gamma rays that by chance happens to point directly at Earth.
A radio-wavelength image taken May 29 along with a Hubble Space Telescope image taken in visible light on April 4 supports that model. The images show that the explosion took place 3.8 billion light-years from Earth, at the center of a galaxy where a supermassive black hole would lie. It’s also possible that the star might have been ripped apart by a smaller black hole, Fruchter notes.
“Tidal disruption of a star by a black hole seems very plausible,” says Andrew MacFadyen of New York University. The blast’s duration “is much longer than anything we’d naturally expect from [explosive] collapse of a single star,” which is the traditional model for producing a gamma-ray burst, he says.
But Stan Woosley of the University of California, Santa Cruz says the event might be explained by the gravitational collapse of a giant star into a black hole, a scaled-up version of the process that usually produces a gamma-ray burst. In Woosley’s scenario, the core of the giant star collapses to form a black hole but it takes days for the outer layers to fall in and emit radiation, accounting for the unusually long duration of the observed explosion.
It would be an interesting exercise to sit down and compile all a list of all major events which occurred during a given period in history but were later forgotten, despite their impact at the moment. Almost assuredly better minds have attempted such an effort, categorizing incidents which caused a stir in their time yet totally overlooked by subsequent generations.
One such event--of gargantuan proportions, but tamped down by the triple factors of time, space and language barrier--occurred during the 1930's in Spain. The mention of those two coordinates will prompt thoughts of Ernest Hemingway and the international effort to participate in that country's bloody civil war, yet the event in question is by no means political. It specifically took place in the Basque Country, the industrial backbone of the Iberian Peninsula, with its coal mines and factories; Euskadi, in the mystifying Basque language, unrelated to any other on the continent and fancifully assumed by some to be the parlance of lost Atlantis.
A Forgotten Apparition
In a small, nigh well unreachable town in the Cantabrian mountains known as Ezkioga, there occurred a religious phenomenon far greater than Fátima and Garabandal, and perhaps more troubling. The agitation and the civil strife that marked those times aided religious authorities in stifling the situation ; the Second World War would succeed in obliterating any memory of it.
Ezkioga was rescued from oblivion recently through the diligent efforts of two journalists--Carmen Porter and Iker Jiménez--the first of whom published a book entitled Misterios de la Iglesia in 2002 and included her research in the text. Porter had the incredible luck to find, against all odds, one of the only copies of a limited print book regarding the mystery of Ezkioga...a book which church authorities had condemned to the flames in a tradition that dated back to the Inquisition.
On June 30, 1931, a brother and sister from Ezkioga -- Antonia, 11, and Andrés, 7 -- engaged in their daily routine of walking to a nearby dairy for milk and returning over the slopes of Mount Anduaga. On this particular day, the children noticed a bright light hovering above the treetops; forgetting their errand, they approached the light in awe and quickly dropped to their knees and prayed fervently, after seeing an image within the light source which they identified with the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The youngsters ran home to tell their elders of their religious experience; as in other Marian apparitions, they were scolded and warned not to lie about "things having to do with heaven." But such was their nervous excitement that they were later taken to see the parish priest, who was unable to detect any guile in their eyes and advised their father to be patient with the children. The priest apparently had reason for such a gentle approach: only days before, one of the communities most important landowners had had a much more dramatic encounter.
The landowner and his son had been dragging a fallen tree trunk across the steep terrain using a team of oxen when the tree unexpectedly rolled, dragging the beasts and his son with it over the edge of a precipice. Fearing his son dead, the landowner ran toward the edge of the defile and proceeded to descend. To his great surprise, he saw "a lady" holding one of the oxen by its horn; the son stood to one side, in shock but otherwise alive. The "lady" was covered by a long black veil and had a five starred crown which "glowed like a sun". The landowner "knew her to be the Blessed Mother". His friends, however, ridiculed him when the story was told.
But their clumsy jests would soon come to an end when reports of "a very beautiful lady in black" who would appear and cause children to kneel and pray with their arms outstretched began to surface. The children were none other than Antonia and Andrés, who continued to visit the location on Mount Anduaga where the initial contact had taken place.
Unlike Fátima, the miraculous visitations would not be restricted to the young. Less than a week later, a man known as Patxi, a carpenter who scoffed at the notion of apparitions and decried the foolishness of his fellow townsmen, claimed to have seen the woman in black himself: she had appeared to him wielding a bloody sword, addressing him in his native Euskera instead of Spanish. Her warnings were dire--there would be a civil war between Catholics and Non-Catholics in the Basque Country, but the Catholics would prevail in the end despite the death toll. A married woman named Maria Recalde had visited Mount Anduaga to pray the Rosary and was engulfed by a brightness she described as being "greater than that of the sun." She too saw a beautiful young woman, clad in black and holding a rosary, with her heart pierced by swords. María was shown horrific visions of desolation, rains of fire and poisonous gases killing thousands.
The sword motif would appear in a vision experienced by nine year old Benita Aguirre. She would tell clergyman Juan Bautista Altisent that she "could see the Holy Virgin...with two swords, on piercing her heart and another in her left hand, its point bloodied." The girl asked the apparition if she was bleeding for mortal sins, and the reply was affirmative.
So far we have a list of elements that are common to any Marian apparition, but there are details to Ezkioga, according to Carmen Porter, which suggest phenomena other than divine: some of the worshippers present at the Basque peak thought to have seen "a witch" rather than a beautiful woman; others saw a headless figure of the type reported in paranormal chronicles worldwide. Still another claimed to have seen the devil himself, describing the fearsome apparition as tall, red-headed and black, with fangs like those of a wolf. The man wanted to scream out of sheer terror, but managed to make the sign of the Cross and the apparition vanished.
Salvador Freixedo has the following to say about this part of the his native country: "There are in Spain two regions which have distinguished themselves throughout history for being the centers of witchcraft of the entire Peninsula. One of them is the region of the Basque Country and Navarre (Zugarramurdi, Berroscoberro)..." Church authorities in the 16th century believed that at least thirty thousand witches existed in the Basque country. Could there have been other forces at play here?
Summer had turned into harsh fall over Ezkioga, but the inner fire that inspired the believers did not waver. On October 15, another visionary named Ramona Olazábal informed the congregation that they should bring handkerchiefs with them, because the Virgin was about to induce stigmata in her. At five o'clock, Ramona raised her hands, standing at the site of the apparitions, and blood began to stream from the backs of her hands. The cry of "Blood!" rent the air as the faithful swooned and others hurried forward to dip their napkins in the seeress's vital fluid. A church hearing soon followed and Ramona's stigmata were questioned, especially when witnesses claimed having seen a razor blade on the ground beside her.
Even though this new aspect of the Marian phenomenon was called into question, the number of visionaries now soared past one hundred and fifty and up to eighty thousand people had visited Ezkioga to partake of the holy event. Church authorities were beginning to look into the event to ascertain that the events occurring in the remote Cantabrian mountains were other than natural, such as the healing of a stomach cancer patient whose recovery amazed physicians, or a paraplegic woman who felt better after praying the Rosary at site of the apparitions, and walked downhill to the echoed cries of "Milagro!" ringing in her ears. Even as eminent a physician as Gregorio Marañón visited Ezkioga and unequivocally stated that the phenomena were beyond the realm of the pathological sciences. "They belong to other disciplines that are beyond my competence."
The Church was not quite so sanguine. Religious authorities like Jose Antonio Laburu, a fiery preacher of the times, stood foursquare against the miracles, saying that the predictions had been false, that fraud was prevalent throughout the sightings, and that gift-giving had stimulated many of the seers "to keep having visions". Other religious, like Amado Bruguera, struggled to separate the wheat from the chaff (the true visionaries from the impostors, in this case) and to ferret out the impostors with inquisitorial zeal, firmly believing that Satan had also played a role on Mount Anduaga, deceiving the unworthy with false visions. His misplaced zeal would later win him a jail sentence and ecclesiastical censure.
By 1933, even as the political situation within Spain grew more precarious, Bishop Múgica of city of Vitoria wrote the Vatican, denying the presence of any paranormal phenomena and forbidding Catholics from keeping "any photographs, images, hymns" or other material regarding the apparitions. This decision was approved by Rome in a letter by Cardinal Sbarreti in which the "alleged apparitions and revelations of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Ezkioga are shorn of any supernatural character." The ruling also banned three books discussing the events.
The government was also finding the events in the village of Ezkioga tiresome. Pedro del Pozo, governor of Guipúzcoa, was given the order to put an end to the commotion over the Marian apparition. The governor ordered that the image of the Virgin be removed along with the souvenir stands which had cropped up at the site; if this was not done voluntarily, he cautioned, he would order workmen to demolish the chapel with dynamite. Although workmen had refused to manhandle the statue--being cautioned by the visionaries that to do so would mean their deaths--the image was removed to a cluster of houses for safekeeping. The authorities cut down the large cross which had been erected at the site, and the premises were fenced off to keep any further multitudes from congregating. Even more medieval-sounding was the decree issued by the mayor of Ezkioga under pressure from his superiors: the punishment prescribed for anyone having visions in public would range from heavy fines to prison, internment in an insane asylum, or deportation. Many of the visionaries indeed wound up institutionalized while others served jail time.
Was Father Laburu right about all of the prophecies being fraudulent? Apparently not. Most of the revelations concerning "a war in which much blood would be spilled within Spain" would come true, and which would begin with the closing of churches in Catalonia -- the event which would unleash the Spanish Civil War.
In 2001, Spanish film filmmaker Gutiérrez Aragón directed Visionarios: La Virgen de Ezkioga, starring Ingrid Rubio as one of the visionaries involved in the actual events. Although the production was not well received by contemporary audiences despite having been shot on location, it nonetheless served to rekindle interest in this all but forgotten paranormal event.
Headless at the Holy Sites
Strange creatures, some of them far from having a divine or holy aspect to them, are often reported at the sites of Marian apparitions. In the early 1990s, for instance, a "Bigfoot"-like creature was reported at the Marian shrine of Montaña Santa on the island of Puerto Rico. Believers like Ezkioga's Amado Bruguera shared the conviction that the devil's minions were at work at some of these locales, trying to frighten the faithful away from holy ground.
Most prevalent among these apparitions are the "headless" ones: the headless woman at Ezkioga had been preceded by a similarly decapitated figure--also female--which sent Lucía, Francisco and Jacinta, the young shepherds of Fátima, running for cover in 1915. The girl returned to her house and told her mother that she had seen "a white thing hovering over the trees which looked like a headless woman, having neither hands nor eyes." This presence was seen on two more occasions during the Fátima apparitions and became known as the "angel".
Journalist J.J. Benítez, writing in his landmark La Quinta Columna (Plaza y Janés, 1985), makes the curious note that strange headless entities form part of the lore of Spain's Las Hurdes region -- at one time so inaccessible and poor that it became the source of countless legends -- which is scarcely one hundred kilometers away from Fátima and Leira, across the Portuguese border. A mere coincidence or a fact filled with hidden significance?
Not to belabor the point about disturbing, seemingly non-angelic entities seen at Marian apparitions, but it is curious to note that the rituals of the ancient Coptic church (one of the oldest branches of the Christian faith) contain explicit prayers against the presence of "headless demons", such as the one appearing in the Zereteli-Tiflis collection, described as "a text containing a spell to provide protection against headless demons and powers that are bothering the person invoking angels and archangels". To make the link between Marian apparitions even more confusing, another such amulet invokes the virgin Mary's protection against a headless dog: "because I am having a clash with a headless dog, seize him when he comes and release me..." (Ancient Christian Magic: Coptic Texts of Ritual Power, Princeton: 1999). One wonders if this orison would have worked against the bat-winged, headless "Mothman" of West Virginia or a similar entity seen landing on a field in Britain in 1965.
Beatings from Beyond?
Salvador Freixedo has also made note of another strange negative feature that seems to afflict many of these Marian apparitions--the appearance of "persons unknown" who inflict bodily harm upon the seers or other involved with the miraculous phenomenon taking place at the site.
In October 1980, Amparo Cuevas, a fifty year-old mother of seven, became known as la vidente de El Escorial (the seeress of El Escorial) for her part in the Marian apparitions which occurred in said location. Cuevas was first visited by undescribable pain and voices which told her the suffering "was that of Christ on the Cross." From that moment on, Cuevas displayed the full range of manifestations that accompany the phenomenon: stigmata--including a curious image of a heart pierced by a sword on her chest--bilocation, levitation,speaking in tongues. She was able to take on the maladies of others, exhibiting the symptoms in her own body. Upon the onset of the pain, Cuevas supposedly "saw a beam of light heading straight toward her" which signalled the start of the mystical communion: during these ecstatic periods she would see the Virgin as a figure swathed from head to toe in a black mantle (with the detail of a white, gauzy veil included) as well as the crucified Christ.
While looking into the controversial El Escorial apparitions, Salvador Freixedo discovered that a gang of unidentified men--their faces conveniently covered by hoods--had inflicted a severe beating on Cuevas. The authorities considered the culprits to be members of some right-wing clique heavily opposed to any deviation of the Catholic doctrine, but the paranormalist drew an interesting conclusion of his own--based on his research into another, little-known Marian phenomenon of the 1970s.
Ladeira do Pinheiro, a small farming community not far from Fátima, became the focus of miraculous activity centered around visionary Maria da Conceicao Mendes. Mendes had startled members of the community and visitors with sixteen separate levitations, being transported--on one occasion--high into the air and losing herself among the clouds; three thousand communion wafers rained out of the heavens during one of the outdoor manifestations (their provenance was later determined to be the churches in the immediate vicinity) while other manifested in her very hands; the UFO phenomenon was also partial to Ladeira and its surroundings during the events, and some of these unknown lights outshone the full moon in their brilliance.
But one particular evening, while Maria da Conceicao Mendes held a nocturnal vigil with other worshippers, a group of men with clubs showed up out of nowhere to kick and batter the congregation. One of the worshippers died of a savage kick to the chest; Mendes lost her front teeth to another. The official explanation was that local roughs from Fátima -- incensed at the thought that Ladeira was "muscling in on the sweet deal" of the miracle business -- took matters into their own hands, possibly abetted by the clergy, who had declared the Ladeira incidents "demonic" from the onset.
"The resemblance between these incidents," writes Freixedo in Las Apariciones del Escorial (Quintá, 1991) "and what occurred at El Escorial is undeniable. Forces, whether human or non-human, appear to be always alert and active. These were not right-wing fanatics [...] but rather entities created by the apparition itself. In other words, they belong to the non-human montage behind the phenomenon. Absurd though it may seem, I suspect that the very entity that appears is the one responsible for the beatings."
The Devil at Garabandal?
So much has been written about the utterly inexplicable events at Garabandal--another town lost in the mountains of the Basque country-- that nothing can be added to it that will either make matters clearer or keep devotees of these apparitions, which ran from 1961 to 1970, from becoming enraged. For readers interested in delving fully into the matter, number of books and journals on the miracle are available in English and Conchita González, the principal seer, lives in the USA. Black and white footage of the girls walking backward and enduring some brutal testing by skeptics has been shown countless times on television.
But the bare bones of the event are as follows: four girls from the small town of Garabandal, near Santander, had repeated visions of both the Virgin and St. Michael and were given prophecies to disclose to the rest of the faithful. On June 18, 1961, while picking apples at a local orchard, the girls heard a "thunderclap" and saw a beautiful figure enveloped in light which they thought was an angel sent to punish them for stealing fruit. Over the course of the following twelve days, the girls would have visions of the same angel, dressed in blue and with pinkish wings, whom they took to be St. Michael the Archangel. The angel told them that they would soon be seeing the Virgin, and they did so after the eight visitation. The Blessed Mother appeared in garb that would be immediately recognizable to any school-age child in a Catholic country: a white dress with a blue mantle, a starry crown, and a scapular at her waist. The heavenly patroness told the girls to inform their elders that sacrifice and penance were in order to avert imminent punishment.
The thousands gathered in Garabandal to see the miracle were hoping for something more substantial, however, and in the wee hours of October 19, 1961 those present saw the famous miracle of the communion wafers manifesting itself on Conchita's opened mouth (and of which photographs have been reproduced in countless journals and religious tracts).
Garabandal's "dark side" -- if it can indeed be said to have one -- came about a few months earlier when theologian Luis Andreu lost his life in a car crash. Andreu had seen the four girls in their ecstatic trances and had been forced to proclaim aloud the miraculous nature of what he was seeing. When asked exactly what the miracle was, he told his friends that he was overwhelmed with joy at what the Virgin had shown him and that it was the happiest day in his life. Shortly after, he fell silent, much to the concern of those around him. The priest had died.
When news of Father Andreu's death reached the young visionaries, they claimed that they had seen the Virgin looking at him at one point, as though saying: "you shall soon be with me".
The death of this respected religious caused the bishopric of Santander to forbid members of the clergy from visiting Garabandal without permission from Church authorities. Worshippers were advised that they too must cease their visits, and the tide of pilgrims to the mountain village was stemmed for a while. But there was another death in the works...
In 1965, Monsignor Puchol assumed the bishop's crook at Santander and was even more stringent in his prohibitions against any veneration of Garabandal, issuing a terse pronouncement: "there has never been any apparition of the Blessed Virgin, nor of the Archangel Michael, nor of any other heavenly personage. There has been no message, and all of the events which have transpired at said location have a natural explanation."
It was this rejection of the miracle of Garabandal that many believed cost the bishop his life: he died while driving his car, allegedly screaming "God, what's wrong with me?!" before the collision. The car crash occurred on the same day as the feast of St. Michael the Archangel.
Another Jesuit father, José Warzawski, wrote a comprehensive study on the phenomenon entitled El Mito de Garabandal (Madrid: Ed. Studium) accepting the reality of the events which occurred at the site but ascribing them all to demonic forces. Does the Church know something else it isn't sharing?
I don't know what to think about this one. I applaud the fact that they're getting the word out to kids and parents but the video is a bit weird. Here's the video link Click for video and website Yellow Dyno
This video was posted by TcsjrBigfoot - Ohio Bigfoot Hunter who states on his YouTube channel: We are Bigfoot Researchers and spend countless hours out in the wilderness searching for the elusive beast. I saw this creature in 1992 and know it exists. The videos you will see is random footage of our field research. We do not claim anything on our videos but there are certain things that happen which could be connected to this being.
The evidence that we find and our conclusions is based on our own personal opinions.
We will continue to provide you with High Definition videos and many dedicated hours of field research and appreciate all the help and comments from our viewers.
NOTE: I have no reason to doubt the witness. In fact, I feel he is being quite sincere in his presentation...there may very well have been an unknown hominid roaming those woods. But thermal imaging, in my opinion, can't be used as a governing factor. Intelligent research and investigation needs to follow up the thermal evidence. Nonetheless, I really do appreciate the effort made by Mr. Stover and I do hope he continues his quest...Lon
Thermal Bigfoot videos...is this going to be a new trend? I have reposted Michael Greene's evidence below. Can we expect more of this?
Uwharrie, NC (PRWEB) -- ”This is the most important footage of a Sasquatch since Paterson/ Gimlin film taken over 40 years ago,” said Matthew Moneymaker, head of the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO)as he introduced guest speaker Michael Greene to a crowd of 250 Bigfoot researchers in Yakima, Washington, at an invitation only tribute to Bob Gimlin.
In 1967 The Paterson/ Gimlin film of a Sasquatch striding across a creek in northern California made headlines around the world.
Since then there has been only dubious additional footage, usually crudely made fakes.
In April 28th,2009, some three minutes of video of a Sasquatch were taken through a thermal imager (FLIR) by Michael Greene, in the Uwharrie National Forest, NC.
This footage, known as “The Squeaky Thermal” was first shown at Bob Gimlin’s birthday party 2 weeks later. It was viewed with wild applause and a heartfelt “Thank you, thank you so much” from Bob Gimlin, who was finally receiving some well deserved vindication of his efforts so long ago.
Michael Greene is the retired Chief of a State Fraud Investigations Bureau. has a Master’s Degree in Psychology, and is a Court Qualified Questioned Documents Expert ,and former Investigator for the Public Defender’s Office .His hobby for the last 20 years has been searching for proof of this elusive beast. This quest has taken him from glacier fields in the Yukon, to a giant meteor crater in northern Quebec, the Everglades of Florida and the rain forests of the Pacific Northwest.
In 2008 he briefly saw a Sasquatch in the Uwharrie National Forest , and spent the next year repeatedly camping at the spot, trying to encourage its return and gain some semblance of its trust.
“Over and over I left out bananas, apples, peanut butter, Zagnut bars, and little squeaking bathtub toys that my grandchildren like to play with. Hence the name 'Squeaky', one of the toys the Bigfoot took. Sometimes things would be taken , most times not. At the time I could only record for about 2 hours, the battery life of the thermal , so a lot of the night went unrecorded. This is definitely a patient man’s game.
"A thermal imager sees only images made by heat. FLIR, or Forward Looking Infra Red, is most familiar to viewers of police reality shows like COPS, where a fugitive is seen from a helicopter as a white image, running through backyards. You cannot fool a thermal imager as it is recording only the heat signature of what it sees. Thus, a man in a costume would look splotchy and irregular, as his costume would suppress the body heat to varying degrees, unlike a naked man, or Bigfoot, which would appear primarily as a solid color."
Greene continues, "Around 11:30 on the night of April 28th, 2009 I was setting up the thermal recording stuff, to try hiding it in the back of my Toyota Highlander when I heard movement in the woods down in the area I expected it to show up. On an impulse I took the thermal imager and put it on a tripod, with the DVR ( Digital Video Recorder) on the ground next to it. Then I got in the car and drove away, leaving my campsite very obviously deserted . I drove to the one entrance to the area ( which had no one else in it) and parked for two hours ( the approximate life of the thermal’s battery ). When I returned the battery was indeed dead, but the bait was gone.
"On reviewing the tape I saw that about half an hour after I drove away, the creature very cautiously approaches, crawling up the hill behind the stump, then reaches up with its right arm and grabs the Zagnut bar. Then it crawls backwards , moving almost out of sight and moves off to the right of the screen. A few seconds later, perhaps emboldened by its success, it reappears on the right side of the screen and moves, standing upright, to behind a tree, where it slowly sways back and forth, giving the viewer a good idea of its enormous bulk. This swaying behavior has been repeatedly reported by other witnesses. The height I estimate at around 7 ½ feet, but it is hard to exactly pin down as the ground slopes down , away from the viewer so one cannot exactly tell where it’s feet hit the ground.
"My website, www.bushloper.net, gives a thorough explanation of the area, and how it was filmed and a reenactment of the Sasquatch’s movements by me, wearing only shorts, taken from the same spot, with the same equipment. You can see the difference, and I’m 6’5” tall and 190 pounds .By comparison, this thing is huge. The website also contains the complete Squeaky Thermal video (Copyrighted).
"After Bob Gimlin’s birthday party I posted some of the footage on the BFRO website, where it has been viewed over 80,000 times, with overwhelmingly positive feedback.
"Most people are completely unaware of the enormous body of reports and evidence for this fascinating but very elusive creature’s existence. I suggest that they explore the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO) website at bfro.net and spend a few hours reading.
"My efforts continue to this day, now with the ability to record all night long with two thermal imagers, in hopes of getting clearer and longer footage to finally put the question of their existence to bed once and for all.”
Michael Greene recently moved to Salisbury, North Carolina. Formerly from New Jersey, he is a Private Pilot, Former EMT, and 18 year veteran of the National Ski Patrol., He served as a Sergeant/ Tank Commander with the 4th Recon Squadron,6th Armored Cavalry.
A full biography and details of his long search may be seen on his website www.bushloper.net.
An interview with Greene discussing how he obtained the thermal footage may be seen on YouTube at BFRO VIDEOS, Mike Greene (sic) Interview.
Video: Hominid Captured by Thermal Camera in North Carolina
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 www.bushloper.net 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.
Click for video
A recreation and comparison of Mike Greene's thermal video.
The BFRO posted the following on it's website about a month ago:
Let it be known far and wide: The market value for bigfoot footage is $100 per second. Shout it from the mountain tops. It’s a fact!
The BFRO is willing to pay at least $100 per second for new and authentic footage of a bigfoot (i.e. clear footage in daylight or in headlights).
If $100-per-second seems like too much to pay for bigfoot footage … consider that most sightings last only a few seconds. And consider that very few people have observed a bigfoot in daylight, and at close range (less than 100 feet), for more than 30 minutes or so.
Observations lasting more than a minute or two are exceedingly rare. That will not change.
The supply of new, authentic bigfoot footage will never exceed the demand.
If you obtain clear bigfoot video footage during a BFRO expedition, the market value will be at least $200 per second. That’s what we would pay for it.
Reliable measurements of the surroundings, and systematic comparative video clips can be obtained immediately afterward, with the help of several knowledgeable people and witness bystanders.
Comparative clips can be made using the same camera, from exactly the same camera angle. Also, the surrounding foliage in the comparative video is exactly the same as in the original video. The changing foliage pattern is usually the most difficult variable to contend with long after the fact.
A group of experienced bigfoot researchers being present and voluntarily gathering all the useful data immediately afterward … makes things much, much easier for us when trying to ascertain accurate biometric measurements of the figure.
Honestly, if someone does manage to obtain a clear daytime video of a Bigfoot it's most likely NOT going to be offered to the BFRO. I can appreciate the offer and the attempt but I'm afraid the BFRO is setting itself and the Bigfoot research community up for a ton of fake videos. Let's just hope that this is not the case.
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Join Eric and Lon this week for a very special show as we welcome back to the program Bobbi and John Robinson of the organization Unity, A Journey of Hope! 'The Forkchop' Sean Forker will make a rare appearance on the program along with James Baker with the latest episode of the 'Bake Shop'.
About Unity, A Journey of Hope:
Unity, A Journey of Hope is a 503c Non Profit Organization that grants wishes for individuals 18 years and older with life limiting illnesses. In 2001 an old schoolhouse built in circa 1854, known to neighbors as "The Unity School" was purchased by the co-founders of Unity, A Journey of Hope. Following a lifetime dream they remodeled this school house, reusing existing material from the school house into a home. The majority of work was done by themselves with friends and family help.
September 2005, they opened "Unity, A Journey Home LLC" Southwestern PA's first residential hospice house. Upon caring for hospice residents, they decided that these people each deserved some joy in their struggle for life. Each resident was granted wishes as part of the care & therapy they received. During the operation of hospice granting wishes as Unity does now, was never a thought until much later.
August 2007, it was decided to create an accredited non-profit organization that grants wishes not only to their residents, but extending their hands to the surrounding community in order to grant wishes.
This endeavor has proven to be a true blessings to the co-founders. The hospice house is no longer in operation however, it was a stepping stone to what is now named "Unity, A Journey of Hope." Granting wishes to adults with a life-limiting illness.
Unity from its humble beginnings has now grown into a national wish granting organization. Within the past year their wishes have stretched far beyond their local community granting wishes in Houston Texas, Denver Colorado, New Jersey, Chicago Illinois as well as the greater Pittsburgh Area.
This past year has proven to be a great year, not only for wish granting but recognition and an awareness of Unity's mission and passion beyond the Pittsburgh Area.
Unity is partaking on what they call the "Wish Warrior Program." This is the start of national push to establish local offices throughout the USA. There is already a pilot program in the South Hills of Pittsburgh & interest in Atlanta Georgia.
So Join us this week for a heartwarming show with the founders of Unity John and Bobbi Robinson as we welcome Unity, A Journey of Hope back to the program and find out what they've been up to, some of the wishes granted and where Unity is headed in the future!
Join us this Sunday night, April 10th at 10:00 PM ET for what is sure to be an informative and inspirational show you do not want to miss! Live on Beyond the Edge Radio
Join Eric Altman, Lon Strickler and the crew LIVE each Sunday at 10 PM ET as we go Beyond the Edge!
In 2008, a CCTV video of a 'stick person-like' creature walking through a San Diego, CA residential yard was recorded and went viral on YouTube. It was dubbed 'The Nightcrawler' and was investigated by at least 2 parties (each with an opposite opinion as to authenticity). Now a recent sighting in Fresno, CA has raised more questions, including...has 'The Nightcrawler' returned?
Statement with video: A retired couple was having trouble with break-ins in their Yosemite private property and aimed their security camera at the driveway to video visitors. They caught these things on their security camera and called me over to see because they know I am interested in the paranormal. They gave me this digital copy but I can't figure out what the crap they are! They remind me of the Fresno Stick-like creatures but they seem to transfer weight and there are two here. Is one a baby? What are these!? Nightcrawlers? Stickmen? Something new? What?
http://vault.fbi.gov/ - The Vault is our new electronic reading room, containing more than 2,000 documents that have been scanned from paper into digital copies so you can read them in the comfort of your home or office.
Included here are more than 25 new files that have been released to the public but never added to this website; dozens of records previously posted on our site but removed as requests diminished; and files from our previous electronic reading room.
The Vault includes several new tools and resources for your convenience:
* Searching for Topics: You can browse or search for specific topics or persons (like Al Capone or Marilyn Monroe) by viewing our alphabetical listing, by using the search tool in the upper right of this site, or by checking the different category lists that can be found in the menu on the right side of this page. In the search results, click on the folder to see all of the files for that particular topic.
* Searching for Key Words: Thanks to new technology we have developed, you can now search for key words or phrases within some individual files. You can search across all of our electronic files by using the search tool in the upper right of this site, or you can search for key words within a specific document by typing in terms in the search box in the upper right hand of the file after it has been opened and loaded. Note: since many of the files include handwritten notes or are not always in optimal condition due to age, this search feature does not always work perfectly.
* Viewing the Files: We are now using an open source web document viewer, so you no longer need your own file software to view our records. When you click on a file, it loads in a reader that enables you to view one or two pages at a time, search for key words, shrink or enlarge the size of the text, use different scroll features, and more. In many cases, the quality and clarity of the individual files has also been improved.
* Requesting a Status Update: Use our new Check the Status of Your FOI/PA Request tool to determine where your request stands in our process. Status information is updated weekly. Note: You need your FOI/PA request number to use this feature.
China: "No more time-travel drama", authority says it disrespects history
chinahush - Now there’s an interesting trend in China’s film and television industry: more and more time-travel themed dramas are made and aired. In these time-travel based TV plays, usually the protagonist is from the modern time and for some reasons and via some means, travels through time and all the way back to the ancient China where he/she will constantly experience the "culture shock" but gradually get used to it and eventually develop a romance in that era. Though obviously the Chinese audience is found of this genre of shows, the country’s authority -General Bureau of Radio, Film and Television, to be exact, is not happy about this trend and calls a halt to the making of this type of drama.
From the end of last year, the time-travel themed drama is becoming more and more popular. Most of these time-travel dramas are based on real historical stories but with many newly added, and usually exaggerated elements to make it funny and more attractive. Nothing is off limits in this television genre. While some find it hilarious, others think the exaggeration and even ridiculous elements added into the story is a real source of annoyance and is a disrespectful for history.
The authority’s decision was made on the Television Director Committee Meeting on April 1st. – but obviously it’s not a prank to fans of the drama genre. The authority has a good reason to go against the genre. "The time-travel drama is becoming a hot theme for TV and films. But its content and the exaggerated performance style are questionable. Many stories are totally made-up and are made to strain for an effect of novelty. The producers and writers are treating the serious history in a frivolous way, which should by no means be encouraged anymore."
Shen Hua (Myth) is the country’s first time-travel TV play and a successful one. The play depicts how a young adolescent travels through time to the China of 2000 years ago and becomes sworn brother with Xiang Yu and Liu Bang, (both are prominent military leaders and political figures during the late Qin Dynasty period of Chinese history) and eventually ends up being an army general leading troops of thousands of soldiers. On the same time, his twin brother and families in the modern days is fighting with a mystery man to find him.
Italian archaeologists to dig up remains of 'Mona Lisa model'
telegraph - A team of researchers announced on Tuesday that they will carry out excavations beneath a convent in Florence, believed to be the burial place of Lisa Gherardini.
She was the wife of a rich Florentine silk merchant and is believed by most scholars to have been the model for Leonardo da Vinci’s famously enigmatic portrait.
The archaeologists' ultimate aim is to find enough skull fragments to be able to reconstruct her face, enabling a direct comparison to be made with the Mona Lisa.
It could solve a mystery which has intrigued art historians for centuries – the identity of the subject of the world's best known painting, which hangs in the Louvre Museum in Paris.
In addition to the suggestion that the Mona Lisa was based on Gherardini, it has also been proposed that the painting was inspired by Florentine noblewomen, courtesans, street prostitutes, the artist's gay lover and even da Vinci himself.
The team will be led by Silvano Vinceti, an art historian who last year announced that he had found the remains of the Renaissance genius Caravaggio, although his claim was disputed by other scholars.
Digging will take place beneath the former Convent of St Ursula in central Florence, where Gherardini is believed to have died in her sixties in 1542.
The team will use ground-penetration radar to search for forgotten tombs inside the building.
If they discover human remains, they will sift through the bones to identify any that are compatible with a woman of Gherardini's age.
They then plan to conduct carbon dating and extract DNA, which will be compared to that extracted from the bones of Gherardini's children, some of whom are buried in a basilica in Florence.
But there is doubt over the project before it has even started.
Giuseppe Pallanti, an authority on da Vinci, claimed last year that Gherardini's remains were most likely dug up 30 years ago, when work was carried out to convert the former convent into a police barracks, and dumped in a municipal rubbish site on the edge of Florence.
The work was carried out long before the discovery of Gherardini's death certificate, which suggested that she was buried in the convent.
Sci-fi fans undergo operations to get ears like fantasy film characters
dailymail - There are certainly some big Lord of the Rings fans out there, but most wouldn't go this far to look like their favourite characters.
Some fantasy film buffs in Arizona are taking their obsessions to new levels by actually having their ears cut open and sculpted to look like elves.
The elf ears craze has many health risks but that isn’t stopping sci-fi fans having the top of their cartilage sliced and sewed back together in a point.
Jordan Houtz, who went under the knife to get elf ears, said she thought about having the operation for around 18 months because she knew they would change forever.
'It was just something I thought would be fascinating,’ she told ABC’S Good Morning America show. ‘I wouldn't go as far as saying I’m a “trekkie”.
‘But definitely Lord of the Rings - all the sci-fi stuff. It just fit my personality. It's something that once you have it, it's there forever'.
The elf ears craze is believed to have been brought on by films such as Lord of the Rings and Avatar, as well as HBO’s comedy television series Bored to Death.
Body modification artist Steve Haworth, of Phoenix, Arizona, is world-renowned and has won the Guinness World Record for ‘most advanced body modification artist’.
He said: 'There are a lot of people out there who have an inner vision of themselves and want to express that to the world around them.
‘I'm very happy to be an artist that can provide that kind of work,’ he told ABC.
Operations: Guinness World Record winner Steve Haworth is a body modification artist and said elf ear clients often want to 'express an inner vision of themselves'
Operations: Guinness World Record winner Steve Haworth is a body modification artist and said elf ear clients often want to 'express an inner vision of themselves'
But Dr Arthur W. Perry, author of Straight Talk About Cosmetic Surgery, warned that sculpting cartilage is dangerous and applicants should be aware of the risks.
'The real risks are major deformity of the ear, which is very easy to have happen, and infection of the ear,’ he said. ‘If infection occurs it can destroy the ear within days.
'It's very difficult and often it's not possible to fully reconstruct a nice looking ear.'
Mr Haworth’s operation costs $600 for both ears and takes about 20 minutes, but he is not allowed to use any anaesthetic because he is not a doctor, reported ABC.
The Bigfoot Research Organization (BFRO) forum administrator has posted the following remarks in reference to Autumn Williams' book 'Enoch' and the supposed witness 'Mike':
BFRO: Enoch and Autumn Williams - The fellow who told Autumn Williams (by phone) the stories that she eventually published in a book titled "Enoch," is actually a yarn-spinning homeless person in central Florida who our investigators had encountered in 2006 in Polk County, FL.
Among other things, Mike claimed to have been a helicopter pilot in Vietnam. He had some very lucid, detailed stories about his experiences as a chopper pilot in Vietnam, but when asked about some basic things that any helicopter would know about (such as thermal up-drafts) Mike had no idea what our guys were talking about. He had apparently watched a bunch of Vietnam movies and was accustomed to telling his tales to people who weren't smart enough to figure out that he was lying .... eh hem ...
When our guys visited him at his hobo camp near the highway in Polk County in 2006, they looked around in the area and they actually saw him remove some food from a bait station they had set up, and then he claimed the bigfoot had come by and taken the food.
Homeless Mike is a lying bum with a penchant for hustling women who he can sponge off. He's also got an arrest record in more than one state and is almost certainly a parole violator as well.
Oregon Sasquatch Symposium Revelation (6/22/2010)
registerguard - An unusual group of hominid was spotted Saturday in the fir-ringed valley at Lane Community College in south Eugene.
Although the skies were sunny, 210 of them gathered in the shade of a lecture hall and exchanged vocalizations on the subject of a bigger, hairier and more elusive and most controversial species — bigfoot.
“One thing these people have in common is determination in the face of societal opposition,” said Jim Kiser, who researches bigfoot from his home in Newberg. “My son thinks I’m crazy and my brother-in-law is less polite. My Ph.D.-in-chemistry friend says he has a bigfoot detector — and it’s a six pack.”
The range of the bigfoot-seeking hominid is national, but, since 2003, large seasonal gatherings have occurred in California, Oklahoma, east Texas and Ohio — where 670 turned up in April, said Jeffery Meldrum, who teaches anatomy at Idaho State University.
“It’s a curious commentary on human nature that there are these sorts of gatherings all over the country,” he said. “It becomes a social network that fills a human need, obviously.”
Saturday’s gathering, called the Oregon Sasquatch Symposium, drew participants from — besides Oregon — Washington, Idaho, California, Nevada, Florida, Texas, Hawaii and New Zealand. The symposium continues today in Building 17 at LCC.
The participants’ habitat — while traveling — is the Red Lion Inn or similar motels. But their ordinary location is out in the woods, listening for unaccounted-for knocks and whoops that might indicate the presence of bigfoot.
“Many of them devote any time they’re off the job,” said Jon Nichols, a Sasquatch researcher and bull breeder from Vancouver, Wash.
Bigfoot followers cannot be distinguished by surface activities, such as career or political affiliation, Nichols said. “You’ll see computer programmers to pipe fitters — a wide spectrum,” he said. “You have everything from the greenies to the rabid conservatives.”
They are tool users, these human bigfoot-seekers. They employ infrared night vision goggles, motion activated cameras, plaster casting kits. Some have developed mobile field research laboratories they tow behind pickup trucks to support their work.
Increasingly, they pursue bigfoot on the Internet, where several websites have cataloged signs and sightings of the elusive animal.
The Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization, for instance, lists 224 sightings in Oregon, including 13 in Lane County — including details of each encounter.
The bigfoot-seekers refer to themselves as “witnesses” if they’ve glimpsed a bigfoot-type creature and “habituators” if they’ve “come to know these beings,” said Toby Johnson, a University of Oregon student and the symposium organizer. Although, he said, the term “habituator” is fading in favor of “long-term witness.” The group calls itself the “bigfoot community.”
The community has its alpha individuals, who are revered for their experiences, their knowledge of foot- or voice-print — or their ability to rivet an audience to an encounter story.
Robert Gimlin, who shot the most famous bigfoot footage in 1967, was on hand Saturday. So was Meldrum, who is among the most prominent academicians to venture into Sasquatch study, despite the ridicule of university peers.
But the rock star was Autumn Williams, the keynote speaker, who was feted with whoops and cheers. “We are a family,” the slender blond woman said as she started her story, “drawn together by our interests.”
Williams told the story of a 50-year-old bulldozer driver in Florida, who took up residence in a swamp to escape the tragedies in his life.
There, Williams said, he took up a Jane Goodall-style life with a tribe of bigfoot. She referred to him only as “Mike” and said that she was the only human in the world to which he would confide.
Mike is a profane and funny witness, given to playfully calling his friends, the bigfoot — bigfeet? — “snapperheads.”
Williams said Mike would not supply her with a picture because he is wary of the demand for such “evidence,” but he allowed an artist to simulate an image that he verified was close to accurate, she said.
“Oh,” a woman in the audience gasped, when Williams flashed a close-up of the hairy face with luminous eyes, wrinkled nose and broad mouth on the lecture hall screen.
“Wow,” other audience members said.
Williams took questions after her speech, and none were critical, Meldrum noticed. “There were no probing questions, none of that,” he said, later adding: “It reflected the attitude of the audience. They were won over to her story.”
Many bigfoot enthusiasts are fervent — and some range into the realm of anti-science, Meldrum said. At an earlier conference, he said, “I thought I was in a Bible belt meeting in the South.”
The bigfoot-seekers are fairly shy. A half dozen wouldn’t mind sharing their experiences for this story, but not if they were identified by name.
“I just don’t want anybody to know,” said a woman from Spokane.
There are a number of reasons for their reticence, Nichols said. “As a (bigfoot) researcher, your highest priority is to not let anybody know what your doing and keep your mouth shut. They don’t want to be held up to ridicule.”
Another reason, Nichols said, seekers are proprietary about the woods where they do their field research. They don’t want their sites compromised.
“Mike,” the habituator in Florida, must remain secret so his identity doesn’t bring attention and jeopardize the safety of bigfoot — which he calls Enoch, Williams said.
“The big guy comes first,” she said Mike said.
Those who follow bigfoot’s trail tend to assume that the creature they seek is, generally speaking, friendly and intelligent.
Some have been influenced by the movie Avatar, Meldrum said, whether they recognize it or not. Williams, for instance, depicts bigfoot as a kind of noble savage who shuns the use of technology and lives communally.
She juxtaposes bigfoot with man’s image-and-possession obsessed society.
“That’s the politically correct posture for a lot of people,” Meldrum said. “The Sasquatch has chosen a path that’s more pristine and pure.”
NOTE: First off, I respect Autumn Williams' stance on this but I'd really like to have one question answered...why her? Why was she privy to this exclusive and remarkable information above all other researchers? As a person who has had an encounter with one of these creatures as well as taken the open-mind approach to sighting experiences expressed by others, I'm still wary of Autumn Williams' revelation despite what others may think. I will read the book and hopefully my questions will be answered...Lon
UPDATE: well, I was over at the Bigfootforums.com and it seems the vultures are beginning to circle in reference to Autumn William's narrative. A post by Gigantopithecus canadensis is probably the most detailed:
Autumn's presentation was punctuated by odd rants of political correctness that were invariably fashioned into reasons for not offering any evidence. I thought it odd that she hadn't even been to Florida to meet Mike and check his story out in the slightest way. I was dumbfounded that most of the participants were willing to stand in a very long line to buy a signed copy of her book during the first day's lunch break. I just didn't see the appeal in the book. Even viewing the book as just a story, I must assume it is like her presentation, which I believe told me far more about Autumn than it did about bigfoot.
I understand Autumn may have broken into tears at least twice during the symposium -- once during her mother's presentation, and again during a tribal storyteller's presentation. And taking the cell phone call toward the end of her presentation was just downright rude and wierd. She offered no explanation, and I assume she was expecting the call -- her phone was on the podium. I've never seen anyone give a presentation with their cell phone on the podium.
I found it odd that Mike, the source of the stories for Autumn's book, is not realizing any benefit from the book. I suspect that Mike won't complain, because there's no Mike to complain. If Mike existed, even if he was declining compensation, I'd have a hard time as a human being cutting him out entirely.
Autumn's presentation was the first; her mother gave the second presentation, which consisted of excerpts from her book, Valley of the Skookum. Her mother lost me entirely when she read a passage about her husband watching an invisible bigfoot tromp past their cabin -- he saw the invisible foot depress the grass into bigfoot footprints. I am willing to entertain the idea of bigfoot having some fairly unique characteristics, but invisibility isn't one of them.
Autumn's mom also related what seems to be Autumn's sighting, the event that makes her a witness? Mom and very young daughter (an older toddler?) were walking down a trail looking for sticks to make the fire in their cook stove, when they rounded a corner they came face-to-face with a large bigfoot. Mom told her daughter to run, they turned around, dropped their sticks, and beat it back to the cabin where they remained all day in bed. Apparently mom never talked about this incident until a young adult Autumn asked her a question about meeting an animal in the woods when she was young, then mom related the event. Thus, I have to question what, if anything, Autumn remembers of her witnessing a bigfoot; or, is she simply remembering how her mother told her a story.
There was a disquieting lack of logic running through Autumn's presentation. I suspect her book may suffer the same problem. If so, I assume some member of these fora will dissect her story and post his or her findings.
I just ordered a copy of the book so I can see for myself the reason why this revelation is beginning to cause a ruckus...Lon
UPDATE: The following was posted by Autumn Williams (oregonbigfoot) on the Bigfootforums.com today (6/23/10). Honestly, I don't know what type of response she expected...other than the one she got...Lon
I've been in this field 20 years. This isn't my indoctrination into the world of bigfoot community scoftics and naysayers. When you're in this as long as I've been, you've gone toe-to-toe with the peanut gallery a time or two. The players are different... many of you weren't present during the other go-rounds, some 10 years ago or more. But it's the same each time.
I can sit here all day and listen to insults, snickering comments about "garlic", argue semantics, attempt to defend my "motives", my character, Mike's credibility, my credibility, and even my status as a single parent to those who, for whatever their reasons, appear to have a need to question, question, and re-question those things, despite my giving you the answers. (What... do I need to write a book to explain myself? Oh, wait...) The point is very simply this: in the end, it doesn't matter what I say. If you're inherently deeply suspicious, if you have a need to attempt to discredit, nothing anyone SAYS will make a difference. I expected that - as you'd see if you'd read the book.
You want "proof". I stated long before I finally decided to publish these personal accounts - mine and Mike's, which is what this book entails - that there would BE no proof offered... at least not at the time the book was published. Mike had his reasons for that - they are his and his alone, but I agreed with them. You can sit back and declare all day long that you BELIEVE those reasons are justification for your not believing his story, and that is ultimately your prerogative. He anticipated this. In fact, he warned me about it. I'd anticipated it, too, as you'd see very clearly... again, if you were to read the book. The simple fact is that it does not change anything. Mike shared personal accounts with me. They had a profound effect on me. THAT'S what the book is about. THAT'S why the book was written. Mike gave me his blessing to write the book because he cares about me, because he saw how profoundly I was affected, and because he supports and respects my desire to share his story with other eyewitnesses - LIKE MYSELF.
In part, it's also about researchers. Ironically, some of the folks here play a starring role. Granted, the "researchers" in this story are faceless, nameless, but those characters are giving themselves faces and names as we speak.
To those folks, I'll say this: Don't bother reading it. Honestly, there is likely very little that you'll get out of it. It's not that there isn't loads of detailed, anecdotal observation that could answer many of your longstanding questions. It's not that there isn't a ton of context for why I believe Mike. It isn't that there aren't deeply valuable messages that could profoundly affect you if you were open to such things. It's simply that it does not, will not and cannot measure up to your need to STUDY and PROVE everything you touch before you'll put your stamp of approval on it.
Again, the irony. That's what the book is about. How "we" - those in the research field - treat witnesses. You'll note that I decided to hang up my researcher hat, thus the quote marks around the "we". It's not because I don't value logic, science, empirical thought. It's not that I don't plan to go out in the woods and attempt to learn all I can about these amazing beings firsthand... it's because of this very thing that is occurring here. Witnesses, PEOPLE, become statistics, something to study, to pick apart, to measure, to evaluate. I don't want to be associated with that particular aspect of this group of "we" anymore. Someone brings you a story of something very intense and personal that happened to them and you whip out a microscope and try to evaluate it. Trouble is, you can't MEASURE emotional impact. You can't QUANTIFY the effect something has on someone's life. You ultimately can NEVER PROVE THAT SOMETHING HAPPENED, if no evidence was gathered at the time and you weren't there, no matter how hard you try. That's why anecdotal evidence is ANECDOTAL - and I'll remind you that it's the majority of what we have, so it's a good idea to learn to get along with it. You can try to sit there and examine potential motives for falsifying information, put your witness under that microscope and interrogate him mercilessly, hold him still while he answers your questions and you say, "Oh yeah? Well what about this? And this? And this? And this? And this?" until he's so disgusted with your neurotic fear of taking anything at face value that he's ready to kick your a$$... and what you'll ultimately be left with is exactly what you have here. Someone who DOES NOT want to talk to you, because it's become obvious that it's pointless, that you have already decided that you do not believe him, and that now you're simply out to do everything in your power to discredit him.
Do you honestly think Mike would have shared his story with me if I'd have behaved like this?
"There's a sucker born every minute" you can say. I could counter, "He was willing to talk, because I LISTENED." You can rationalize it however you like, but the fact is that Mike felt comfortable talking with me precisely BECAUSE I withheld judgment and listened.
Some of you can't even withhold judgment until you've read that which you're judging. And THAT is what makes this dialogue pointless.
Like it or not, as a single Mom, I'm busy. (Thanks for the "offer" of watching my "child(ren)", but I'm actually pretty selective about who I have watch my 3 year old daughter. Generally, I tend to start with someone who has at least some indication that there's only one of her...) I have a limited amount of time to devote to this subject every day, and it makes sense to me to spend that time sharing the information I have to share with people who are interested in listening. That's why I have a blog. That's why I have a members forum that is private. There is a lot of time wasted arguing with someone who really has no interest in the actual answer and is simply trying to set you up for a "gotcha!" when that time and energy could, instead, be dedicated to delving into curious exploration that supports witnesses while giving them the means and opportunity for sharing.
"But what about the tough questions?!?" you cry.
You might find that if you simply listen and allow a witness to talk, they'll answer any questions you have in the course of their discourse, whether you've asked them or not, when they feel they can trust you NOT to make them feel like a "specimen" or a "case study".
For those who do feel they might get something out of this, I invite you to read the book, follow the blog, become a member and join the OB forum, if you like. I will be on hand there to answer questions. Yeah... even the "tough" ones, provided they're posed respectfully.
For the rest - and please understand that this is intended with complete equanimity - no one is twisting your arm. Feel free to disregard me as "important" in this field. In fact, I'd prefer it if you DON'T buy the book and delight in trying to tear this witness, who is also my friend and someone I care deeply for, apart. Don't read the blog. It'll be a waste of the time you could be spending sitting here and analyzing other things that you feel might be of more value to you. And don't join the members' area, please. I run a tight ship at the request of the current OB community members and those who bring a public forum approach there last a day if they're lucky.
Finally... Mike's funny words of wisdom to me in the past when I've gotten a little worked up or start taking life too seriously. "Drop your pants and slide on the ice."
In other words, chill out, he says to me. It's good for the soul.
Good advice for us all, I think.
Enoch: What Are We To Believe? (6/28/2010)
During the Oregon Sasquatch Symposium, author and researcher Autumn Williams presented her new book “Enoch: A Bigfoot Story”. I was told by a few attendees that her presentation was punctuated by rants against the Bigfoot community in general that were fashioned into reasons for not offering any photo or physical evidence. As well, many of the attendees believed it strange that she hadn't even been to Florida to meet the witness and check his story out. Overall, the impression I got from the attendees I talked to was that there was a disquieting lack of logic in Autumn's presentation.
It seems that ‘Mike’, the source of the stories for Autumn's book, is not realizing any benefit from the book raising the speculation that 'Mike' won't complain, simply because there's no 'Mike'. 'Mike' was only identified as a heavy equipment operator living in Florida. No other personal info was provided other than his life had been full of disappointment which had left him depressed and bitter.
I read ‘Enoch’ this weekend and was struck by the similarity to ‘Fifty Years with Bigfoot’. I was also surprised that Autumn and Mike referenced much of Jan Klement’s book ‘The Creature’ which supposedly is a first hand account of a semi habituation of a Bigfoot creature he named ‘Kong’ in southwestern Pennsylvania. Klement’s story was interesting, but mostly unbelievable. The author also did not hide the fact that he is an alcoholic and has serious mental health issues. The one anecdote where he shoved the creature into the back of his station wagon and drove him 200 miles away in order to protect him from hunters during deer season was one of several head shaking passages.
Klement described himself as a scientist, but he didn’t take Kong's dead body to be "dissected", but decided he would drive the body to a remote location and hack up his so-called "best friend" with an axe. I’m not sure if this was simply out of friendship or a sociopathic reaction to ‘Kong’s’ death.
The ‘Enoch’ scenario is also reminiscent of the Janice Carter case. In 1947, on the family farm in Tennessee, it is alleged that Robert Carter Sr. began feeding a male Bigfoot, known as Fox. Through prolonged contact, Robert was able to create a habituation situation where Fox felt comfortable around Robert and his granddaughter, Janice. According to the book ‘Fifty Years with Bigfoot’, Robert and Janice were allowed to witness the most intimate moments of Bigfoot life, including their relationships and the death and burial of a young Bigfoot. These assertions have been questioned by a majority of researchers involved with the study of the Bigfoot phenomenon. For example, one of the authors maintained that Fox was capable of speech. She cited many examples in the book of Native American dialects, words, and names used by Fox, and even stated that he could speak English. However, in late 2006 it was proven that the supposed language and names employed by the resident Sasquatches were in fact plagiarized from the book 'Ride the Wind' (1985), an historical novel about a woman's life after she was kidnapped during the Comanche raid on her family's fort.
‘Enoch’ is a very well written, interesting and enjoyable narrative. I do recommend you read it since there is common sense information that could be helpful to those interested in Bigfoot. I have no doubts that 'Mike' is real, has witnessed a Swamp Ape and has knowledge of their activity. But, honestly, I'm just not convinced that Autumn isn’t being 'played' to some degree by the witness. I don't want to feel like this but I have to go with my gut reaction. Hopefully I will be convinced otherwise in the future.
My only wish is that if someone is privileged to be in regular contact with a Bigfoot, Sasquatch or Swamp Ape, that they would share it with us on a factual, scientific level. If you present your information in book form only, the anecdotal evidence is going to be torn apart and labeled as fiction. Possibly, Autumn will use the receipts from the book, travel to Florida, meet up with 'Mike' and attempt to prove some of the book's assertions.
In 1981, I had an encounter with a Bigfoot and it was one of the most unforgettable experiences of my life. In fact, it is the reason why I started to include cryptozoology as part of my paranormal field work. I know without a doubt that these creatures exist. That’s why I expect a tangible level of proof from those who claim to have had extraordinary experiences with these beings...Lon
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