; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Fortean / Alternative News: Shapeshifter Strikes Again, Alaskan Mothman News and UFO Museum Snafu

South African shapeshifter strikes again!

news24 - A ‘monster’ plaguing the sleepy Karoo town of Steytlerville struck again over the Easter weekend, Eastern Cape police said on Monday.

Another two sightings of the "shape-shifting creature" were reported on Sunday evening, said Warrant Officer Zandisile Nelani .

“Two men were walking near a tavern when they saw another man wearing a black jacket. One of the men, identified only as Nozipho, went up to the stranger and asked him, “What is your problem?” said Nelani.

A dog or a cow?

When the stranger did not respond, Nozipho went closer and saw that the man had no head. The man then turned into a dog that was “very angry” and “as big as a cow”, Nelani said.

He said that as Nozipho and his friend ran away, the monster allegedly turned on another group of people in the same road. “They said it turned into a big monkey, and then it was gone,” Nelani said.

He said that since the monster was spotted near the tavern, people were afraid to go there at night.

Last week police were told by residents that the monster changed shape while one looked at it. One man had reported that it changed from a man wearing a suit into a pig and then into a bat.

There had also been rumours that the monster could fly. Previously, the monster had only been spotted near the church. It had even been seen peering through the windows during a service, but had vanished by the time the congregation came outside.

Nelani said that the community had dubbed the monster “Bawokozi”, meaning ‘brother-in-law’.


Sightings of the monster began over a month ago when it was seen by mourners attending two separate funerals, Nelani said.

He said that the community requested a meeting with police because they were frightened of it. Police agreed to work with residents, but asked them to try to take a photograph of it as evidence.

Nelani said that a photograph had since been taken of the monster resting under a tree.

He said that when the photo was taken the monster had been in human form but when the photo was developed an unknown animal was visible in the picture.

“It is a very strange thing happening in Steytlerville, but no one has been hurt by it,” Nelani said.

Previous post at Shapeshifting Creature Plagues South African Town


7 Year old slaughters animals at Australia Zoo

According to The Times Online when keepers arrived for work at the Alice Springs Reptile Centre they thought there had been a mass break-out. Thirteen animals, including a large turtle, bearded dragons and various lizards had apparently escaped from their outdoor pens.

Worse was the scene of carnage in the pen of Terry, an 11ft, 31-stone saltwater crocodile and the zoo’s star attraction. He had been feasting on his fellow reptiles.

CCTV footage revealed the truth: a seven-year-old boy had scaled a fence at the zoo, in Northern Territory, Australia, bludgeoned the giant lizards to death and fed them and others to the crocodile.

The break-in happened just before 8am on Wednesday. Initially, the boy evaded the zoo’s security system because of his size.

In 35 minutes he killed 13 animals, including thorny devils and western blue-tongue lizards, which are rare in captivity. Another victim was a 3ft goanna, a variety of monitor lizard and one of the zoo’s favourites.

Rex Neindorf, the zoo’s director, said that many of the animals were rare or mature and would be difficult to replace.

“It’s absolutely devastating for us – we’re just horrified,” Mr Neindorf told The Times yesterday. “The goanna was 20 years old – she was an absolute doll.”

He said that the boy, whose face was expressionless during the killing spree, had “clammed up” when questioned by police. He had climbed over a second fence to get a closer look at Terry and his victims. “He was lucky because if he got in there with the goanna, she would have torn him to pieces.”

Police questioned the boy but, because of his age, were unable to do anything: children under the age of 10 are not liable for criminal offences. However, the zoo is considering legal action against his parents.

Mr Neindorf said: “I thought for the sheer consequences of what he did that there would have to be some severe punishment, but they can’t do anything. We’re going to see what we can do – maybe try and sue the family in the civil court. We’ll look down that avenue.”

He said that the boy’s brother was part of a group that attacked Terry the crocodile about five years ago. Children often tried to throw rocks at the animal enclosures from a nearby hill, but this was by far the worst incident in the eight-year history of the zoo.

Mr Neindorf said: “We’re horrified that anyone could do this, and saddened by the age of the child. He will just get worse and worse and worse – by the time he’s 10 he will be a hardened criminal.”

The Alice Springs Reptile Centre has 200 animals on display, including perentie goannas, frill-necked lizards, pythons, taipans, death adders and, of course, Terry.

A spokeswoman for the Northern Territory police said that they had identified the boy from the CCTV footage. They had cautioned him and spoken to his mother about the incident.


UPDATE: Alaskan Mothman Information Forthcoming

I've been looking into these claims and hope to have other information posted (as a complete follow-up) either on Wednesday or Thursday. Here's the initial post from Monday - The Alaskan Mothman. Stay tuned...Lon


Wild parakeets to be killed in UK

telegraph - Monk parakeets are the latest invasive species to colonise the country after being released from captivity in the 1990s.

There are around 150 of the raucous green, yellow and grey birds, originally from the Americas, living around the Home Counties.

But the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) has called on the Government to rehome the birds rather than shoot them.

"They have the potential to expand rapidly and could pose a threat to agriculture and public safety because of the nests causing structural problems to the electricity supply," he said.

"But we do not believe that they should be shot."

Like their cousins, the ring-necked parakeets, that are already being controlled, they are a nuisance to agriculture because they eat fruit and crops.

But they can also build nests the size of a car, posing a threat to public safety. In the US nests on electricity pylons have caused serious problems.

The birds can also push out native species that rely on the same foods.

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said the birds are being brought under control before they become a nuisance.

"Control work is being carried out as part of a Defra initiative to counter the potential threat monk parakeets pose to critical national infrastructure, crops and native British wildlife,” said a spokesman.

"This invasive species has caused significant damage in other countries through nesting and feeding activity and we are taking action now to prevent this happening in the UK.

“The control measures will include trapping and re-homing, removing nests and shooting if necessary.”

Graham Madge of the RSPB said the monk parakeets must be bought under control before the population explodes and the “genie is out of the bottle”.

He pointed out that ring-necked parakeets, which were released into the wild 40 years ago and now number more than 4,000 are a serious problem in many areas of the South East.

But Mr Madge said the birds should be rehomed while there is such a small number to control.


Elephant on the menu in Zimbabwe prisons

scotsman - Cash-strapped prison chiefs in Zimbabwe have come up with an innovative plan to provide meat to thousands of hungry inmates - feed them elephants.

President Robert Mugabe's justice ministry claims there are "too many" elephants in Zimbabwe, and culling and cooking them could be a way of supplementing prisoners' meagre diets.

However, the plan has sparked outrage among conservationists.

Reports say most of Zimbabwe's 13,000 or so prisoners haven't tasted meat for four years. Inmates have been surviving on near-starvation rations of cabbage and beans with maize-meal porridge known as sadza, leaving them weak and prone to diseases such as cholera.

"The meals do not meet the approved dietary standards as stipulated by the law," said deputy justice minister Obert Gutu, confirming his ministry would start talks with the state parks and wildlife management authority for the supply of elephants to prisons.

He claimed Zimbabwe was over-populated with elephants. "Why not get some of them and give them to the prisoners as meat, since we don't have meat and neither do we have the money to buy it?" he said.

Conservationists claim Zimbabwe's elephant population has been vastly overestimated. Johnny Rodrigues, of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, disputed claims that there were 100,000 elephants in Zimbabwe. He put the figure at nearer 35,000, with just 8,000 in the country's largest game park in western Hwange. Plans to feed elephants to prisoners could result, he warned, in the "extinction" of Zimbabwe's elephants. He said he was "disgusted" with the proposals.

"They keep saying we have an overabundance of elephants and we don't," he said yesterday.

"We're trying to put a stop to poaching and then the government goes and does it. They set the example. It's unbelievable."

During a decade of food shortages, Mugabe and his generals have often ordered conservancies and game parks to be raided for buffalo and elephant meat, either to feed the army or for festivities like the president's birthday party, hunters say.

In eastern Manicaland province this week, a bull elephant was slaughtered to feed thousands of Mugabe supporters at a rally to celebrate Zimbabwe's 31 years of independence. State media said it was "a treat."

Poachers - many of them operating in organised syndicates - also target the elephants for ivory. Police arrested four last week at Harare's Avondale shopping centre. They were found with 15 elephant tusks worth more than £5,000 in the boot of their car.

The authorities appear to have shelved controversial plans to make and market elephant biltong, a version of the strips of dry beef so popular throughout southern Africa.

At the time, parks director Morris Mtsambiwa said the project - which would have seen the culling of 6,000 elephants a year - was part of the "sustainable utilisation" of the animals.


New International UFO Museum on hold

krqe - It's the place you would expect to visit in Roswell. It brings in more than 12,000 visitors a month, but now big plans to build a new UFO Museum are not taking off.

Visitors come from all over the world, and according to the International UFO Museum and Research Center director, it pumps about $14 million into the city's economy every year.

"It's a wealth of material that they've gathered," said California visitor Rhys Wade. "It's pretty interesting stuff!"

Wade and his friend Lee Armstrong both toured the museum Monday. They said the plans for a new museum look fantastic and would even entice them to come back. The problem is the $14 million project hit a snag.

"Our new building is on temporary, indefinite, time frame; I don't know, it is on hold," said Museum Director Julie Shuster. "We still have the whole block, and we still have all the plans."

Shuster said the standstill is due to a "paperwork error" that was out of the committee's control. The museum is an independent nonprofit and does not collect funds from the city or the state.

The museum's board of directors plan to re-evaluate things after the UFO Festival in July.