; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Just the Facts? Squid Invade California, 'Clawed Man' Attack and White Sphere USO

Squid invade California coast

The ocean off Orange County has become alive with two- to three-foot squid, to the delight of anglers who don't mind being squirted with water and ink, and of landing operators who had been enduring a slow period of sportfishing.

Boats from Long Beach to Dana Point began targeting Humboldt, or jumbo squid after an image surfaced last week showing hundreds of the deep-water denizens washed ashore at Blacks Beach in San Diego County. (Hundreds more washed ashore Thursday at San Clemente.)

Humboldt squid, which can measure 7 feet and weigh more than 100 pounds, appear off Southern California every four or five years, spurred by a warm current or some other anomaly. Their historic range was off South America, but for years they've been entrenched in the Sea of Cortez off Mexico.

Recent invasions off California and even beyond, off the Pacific Northwest, caused scientists to become concerned that the voracious squid, which could be harmful to other fisheries, are expanding their territory to include West Coast waters.

Strandings of squid on beaches have historically preceded infestations in localized areas, and it's apparent that such an infestation is occurring off Orange County. This might have something to do with a considerable decrease in blue whale sightings in the same areas during the past two days.

The crew of the Freedom out of Davey's Locker in Newport Beach reported the capture of 1,300 squid on Thursday night alone.

Blacksbeachsquid Anglers aboard the Sum Fun out of Dana Wharf Sportfishing had trouble locating the squid, which typically inhabit depths of 650-3,000 feet, until about 9:45 p.m.

"Then all of a sudden they just attacked the boat," said Donna Kalez, who manages the landing. "They bit for 45 minutes and the anglers caught over 400 squid."

While Humboldt squid are easier to locate at night, by using bright lights to lure them upward, anglers aboard day boats have been getting them, too.

There are even reports that fishermen off the Dana Point breakwater have seen squid chase game fish as they're being reeled in.

Kalez said the last time squid were off Orange County they stayed for three weeks, allowing anglers to load up on calamari steaks.

She's billing her nighttime trips, which cost $25, as family-friendly. After all, what kid wouldn't appreciate a creature with slithering arms and tentacles, capable of squirting ink the width of a boat?

As for crew members who have to clean the boat, they might be of a different opinion. - petethomasoutdoors


Boy attacked by bizarre 'clawed man'

A 15-year-old boy was scratched in a bizarre 'claw' attack as he walked to school.

The attack happened in an alleyway in Quedgeley off Church Drive at around 7.55am on Tuesday, September 20.

The boy, a pupil at Severn Vale school, reported that he was walking towards School Lane when he turned around and saw a man lash out with his hand and use an unknown implement to inflict five scratch marks on his right cheek.

The offender lashed out again and scratched the boy’s forearm before the boy managed to run away.

The offender is described as white, between 50 and 60 years old, 6ft to 6ft 4ins tall and with grey hair.

Patrols are being increased in the area as a result of the incident and police are urging anyone with information to call the new non-emergency number 101, quoting incident 161 of September 20.

Severn Vale School headteacher Peter Rowland said: “I was shocked to hear his report, and was happy to liaise closely and quickly with the local police and repeat the warnings about stranger danger we regularly give our students. It’s a highly unusual situation which we must take most seriously.” - thisisgloucestershire


Croc turns orange

Owner Tracey Sandstrom, who runs Roaming Reptiles, In Victoria, Australia, said Snappy the crocodile made a meal out of the filter in his water tank. "I think it caused the pH levels in his water to soar which has led to the change in colour."

She was stunned when her prized pet turned bright orange. "Snappy's pretty territorial and he attacked the filter one day and a few weeks after that, I noticed he was orange," she said.

The 2.5m croc stays warm at night in his heated indoor tank before moving outside through his "croc flap" to bask in sunshine by day. "It doesn't seem to have affected him at all. He's still got a healthy appetite, he is normally aggro and doing everything he always does," Ms Sandstrom said.

Darwin croc expert Grahame Webb examined the photos and confirmed Snappy was a picture of health.


What was that thing?

White Sphere Sweden

A mysterious unidentified submerged object was filmed off the coast of Sweden this month.

The encounter has hit headlines in Sweden and generated interest elsewhere, with talk of secret underwater vehicle developments and even alien visitation being considered as a possible explanation. Sweden's armed forces have been involved in trying to determine what the object could have been and if it represents a threat.



Hi folks....well, a survey of finances and revenue for the blog was conducted the past several days and I have been given some interesting results.

Since the newsletter and feed readers rarely come to the blog site those people do not use the advertising offerings that are posted there. In other words, they receive the posts by email or feed reader and are not subjected to the product advertisements that create revenue.

According to the person who administered the analytics, I am losing about $4400 each year in lost advertising revenue including other out-of-pocket expenses.

Though I do not want to stop the newsletter or charge a fee for this service, I am left with only one option...limit the amount of subscribers.

Those subscribers who are currently receiving the newsletter will continue to do so. I will continue to allow new subscriptions...but there will be an eventual cut-off point in order to maintain a maximum number of subscribers. I am also going to go into the subscriber list and remove those email addresses that have (1) stopped receiving emails, (2) continue to return mailings and (3) forward the newsletter to other addresses. If you unsubscribe please be aware that you may not be able to reestablish a future subscription.

I feel this is the only fair solution since many readers have made prior donations and I want to honor their loyalty. If you wish to contribute with a donation, there is a 'DONATE' button located on the blog at www.phantomsandmonsters.com or you can go to PayPal.com and use our email address (lonstrickler@phantomsandmonsters.com) as the donation recipient.

Thanks again for reading...Lon