; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Friday, September 28, 2012

Just the Facts?: The Battle to Find Sasquatch -- American Vampires -- Steven Spielberg Coming to Gettysburg

The Battle to Find Sasquatch

The sasquatch is just waiting to be discovered in B.C., but too few want to admit or investigate it, says a Vancouver Island wildlife biologist and author.

“And we have what has to be the best sasquatch habitat anywhere on the planet right here on the B.C. coast,” said Courtenay’s John Bindernagel, author of the 2010 book The Discovery of the Sasquatch.

“The question for me is no longer ‘Does the sasquatch exist or not?’ but ‘Why has the existence of the sasquatch been resisted for so long?’ ” Bindernagel said.

Now 70, he believes enough sightings, tracks and other evidence of the large ape-like sasquatch — Coast Salish for hairy man — have been collected to provide evidence of the creature’s existence in B.C. and North America.

Bindernagel has collected casts of massive, human-like tracks from Strathcona Provincial Park and even heard a “whoo, whoo, whoop” call. It’s similar to a chimpanzee’s call in Uganda, but he believes it is a sasquatch calling out for its own kind.

Bindernagel comes to the investigation of the sasquatch as a scientist. He studied at the University of Guelph and the University of Wisconsin and holds a PhD in wildlife biology. He has worked in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Central America, teaching, conducting research, surveys and preparing and implementing wildlife management plans and conservation measures before returning to Vancouver Island, where he worked as a consultant. Continue reading at Times Colonist

The Discovery of the Sasquatch

North America's Great Ape: The Sasquatch - A Wildlife Biologist Looks at the Continent's Most Misunderstood Large Mammal


The Great New England Vampire Panic

Children playing near a hillside gravel mine found the first graves. One ran home to tell his mother, who was skeptical at first—until the boy produced a skull.

Because this was Griswold, Connecticut, in 1990, police initially thought the burials might be the work of a local serial killer named Michael Ross, and they taped off the area as a crime scene. But the brown, decaying bones turned out to be more than a century old. The Connecticut state archaeologist, Nick Bellantoni, soon determined that the hillside contained a colonial-era farm cemetery. New England is full of such unmarked family plots, and the 29 burials were typical of the 1700s and early 1800s: The dead, many of them children, were laid to rest in thrifty Yankee style, in simple wood coffins, without jewelry or even much clothing, their arms resting by their sides or crossed over their chests.

Except, that is, for Burial Number 4.

Bellantoni was interested in the grave even before the excavation began. It was one of only two stone crypts in the cemetery, and it was partially visible from the mine face.

Scraping away soil with flat-edged shovels, and then brushes and bamboo picks, the archaeologist and his team worked through several feet of earth before reaching the top of the crypt. When Bellantoni lifted the first of the large, flat rocks that formed the roof, he uncovered the remains of a red-painted coffin and a pair of skeletal feet. They lay, he remembers, “in perfect anatomical position.” But when he raised the next stone, Bellantoni saw that the rest of the individual “had been com­pletely...rearranged.” The skeleton had been beheaded; skull and thighbones rested atop the ribs and vertebrae. “It looked like a skull-and-crossbones motif, a Jolly Roger. I’d never seen anything like it,” Bellantoni recalls.

Subsequent analysis showed that the beheading, along with other injuries, including rib fractures, occurred roughly five years after death. Somebody had also smashed the coffin. Continue reading at Smithsonian Magazine

Food for the Dead: On the Trail of New England's Vampires

Mercy: The Last New England Vampire

Mysteries and Legends of New England: True Stories of the Unsolved and Unexplained (Myths and Mysteries Series)


American Vampire Stories

The Story of Mercy Brown

When mentioning vampires, people in New England like to tell the story of Mercy Brown. In Exeter, Rhode Island residents speculated that after Mercy Browns' death she had in fact become a vampire, that she was rising from the grave and feeding on her sick brother. She had followed her mother and sister to the grave and the people of the area were in a panic. As a result, on a cold March afternoon, Mercy's father and some of his neighbors dug up her grave to see if she had indeed changed into a vampire.

It was found that she had shifted in her coffin and her mouth and heart were full of fresh blood. The heart was cut from her chest and burned on a large rock to stop Mary from venturing from the grave. Some of the ashes were even fed to her brother as a cure but he still died two months later. After he passed, the body was staked through the chest and tied in the coffin so he didn't turn into a vampire like Mercy.


The New Orleans Vampire Murders

In 1984 nine people were found dead in various sections of the French Quarter of New Orleans. They all had been murdered by having their throats torn out. The paramedics responding to the scenes were struck by the fact that there was no blood at the scenes...something or someone had simply sucked all the blood directly from the victims. Police to this day do not have a suspect in this case....the murder spree ended as quickly as it had began. Rumors suggested that it was the work of a rogue vampire that was destroyed by the elder vampire sect of New Orleans because of pressure placed by authorities on the known vampire community in city.

In 1933, on two different nights, police were called to Royal Street where on each night young prostitutes were found laying in a alley with their throats torn out. Both women had been dead only a few minutes when they were found but no blood was found at the scenes. A local resident who lived above one of the murder scenes claimed a dark figure was observed leaning over one of the victims and people began to scream for police. The witness said the dark figure had climbed over a 12 foot wall at the end of the alley with little effort. It appeared to the witness that the dark figure was a man dressed in a black cape and hat. Police searched but found nothing. Both murders have yet to be solved.


The Vampires of Dillsboro, North Carolina

In the spring of 1788 a family setup housekeeping in the small mountain community of Dillsboro N.C. The family name was Alfort and there were rumors that they had descended from royalty. They bought land by the river and built what was then a very nice large southern colonial home. Dr. Alfort opened up an office and pharmacy in a few rooms in the front of the house. The local people were at first really happy that a new doctor had arrived in their community...but very quickly this attitude was about to change.

Two men both who had gone to the new doctor to be treated for gout suddenly died. Both men had been well liked members of the community and the circumstances angered many of the residents. However in a short time the local minister had brokered peace in the community and everything seemed to be fine. However this calm was short lived.

That Fall the young daughter of the minister was found dead in her bed with puncture marks to her throat. The minister's wife swore she had seen a dark form hovering over her daughter and she screamed but it was too late and the child quickly succumb to the attack.

The incident caused a huge outcry in the town and the people of the area started to claim a vampire or a group of vampires was in their midst. For many nights groups of men ventured out and searched but found nothing. However some men claimed to have seen a large black bat-like creature fly over them. A few nights after the sighting a young boy ran down the hill to his grandfather's house and proclaimed that something was up the hill in his house attacking his parents. The grandfather summoned other men and they ran to the house but only found the parents and their two young daughters, who were dead with puncture wounds to their necks. The area was immediately alerted...soldiers were called in and searched the area. By February of 1789 the community had quieted down.

Then one evening screams were heard and when men arrived they witnessed a black form of a human run from the house, run down the hill and into the Alfort house. When the village men went into the house where the screams had come from they found the bodies of a young couple with vicious bite marks to their throats. Almost at once more men came and they were told that the murderer had ran down the hill and into the Alfort house. When the search party got to the Alfort house Dr. Alfort refused to let them in. However as soon as the sheriff arrived they dragged Dr. Alfort outside and tied him to a tree. When the men entered the house they were surprised at what they found. The upstairs bedrooms each had beds but it was clear that no one had slept in them. When the sheriff and search party went downstairs they found three caskets and Mrs. Alfort, who was dressed in black, lying in one of the caskets and very much alive. She hissed and cursed at them as she was pulled from the casket.

Later that night the sheriff and the village minister announced to the crowd assembled outside the Alfort house that the Alforts and their son were vampires. The Alforts were summarily hanged and then placed back inside the house. The house was set on fire and burned to the ground. However the couple's 15 year old son was not found and never seen in the area again. There were no further unusual murders in the area.


The St. Augustine Stalker

In 1933 intense terror shrouded over St. Augustine, Florida. On the morning of October 5th a man visiting his brother discovered the bodies of his brother, his wife and their three children. All of the dead had open wounds in their throats where something had fed and sucked the blood from the victims. The Turner family all appeared have been dead for two to three days at the time they were discovered. Every mirror in the house had been broken and several crosses and other religious artifacts the family owned had been thrown out of a back window into the yard. The family cat had been savagely killed and it's headless body was tossed on the hall floor. The head was never found. Blood was smeared on walls throughout the house...it was clear that someone had taken a lot of time in doing so.

Neighbors said that they heard nothing but another man a few doors down said that he saw a very dark man dressed all in black leave the house just before daylight a day or two before. He said the man walked past him and he clearly heard the man make a hissing sound at him as he walked by.

Police at the time conducted extensive searches...bloodhounds were even brought in but no trace of whoever or whatever committed the horrible crime was ever found. The local newspapers both placed the same headline across the front "Vampire Stalks St. Augustine." In time, the murders faded from memory...it's still part of public record though the case remains unsolved. - Phantoms & Monsters

American Vampires: Their True Bloody History From New York to California

The Vampire Archives: The Most Complete Volume of Vampire Tales Ever Published (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)


Man offers his alligators to swim at children's pool parties

Although critics argue that mixing alligators and 8-year-olds is bad parenting, Florida alligator wrangler Bob Barrett calls it a party. And for $175, Barrett will bring a gator directly to a home.

Tampa-area parents looking for something more than a clown or pizza for their children's birthday parties now need look no further than Barrett's Alligator Attraction, which will bring an alligator straight to their backyard pool to swim with the children. "It just took off like wildfire, Barrett said. "Everybody loves having the gator pool parties."

Barrett runs The Alligator Attraction of Madeira Beach, Fla., where visitors can pay to hold and feed rescued baby gators. He says the inspiration for his party idea came when business was sluggish in the summer and he saw other options that were available for children's parties. "If you're 9, 10 or 11 years old, you've already had the 'jumparoo' house, the bounce house, you've had the pizza party, you've had the clown party,"

Barrett said. "You get to have a pool party with a gator. It's a very popular party." This is all safe, said Barrett, who tapes the baby gators' mouths shut before the party. He says that because the muscles they use to open their mouths are weak, there is virtually no risk of children being bitten. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has determined that Barrett isn't doing anything illegal, but added in a statement, "We will say that this is not something that we encourage."

Click for video


Steven Spielberg to speak in Gettysburg

Steven Spielberg is coming back to Gettysburg.

The Academy Award-winning director is slated to speak Nov. 19 at Soldiers' National Cemetery as part of Dedication Day, an annual event held in honor of President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

The event, which has been held every year since 1938, is hosted by The Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania, Gettysburg National Military Park and Visitor Center, and the Gettysburg Foundation. A wreath-laying service at the Soldiers' National Monument is scheduled for 9:30 a.m., followed by a ceremony featuring Spielberg as the guest speaker. Past speakers have included William Rehnquist, Colin Powell, Sandra Day O'Connor, and Ken Burns.

Spielberg was chosen for this year's ceremony because it coincides with the release of his new movie, "Lincoln," which will open in theaters on Nov. 9 in select cities and then to a wider audience on Nov.16.

"The film will not be a battle film", said Tina Grim, who chairs the Dedication Day committee. "Instead it will focus on Lincoln's political achievements in his last four months."

Based off of Doris Kearns Goodwin's best-selling biography, "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln," the movie will star Daniel Day-Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones, and Sally Field.

For the fellowship, inviting Spielberg to speak so close to the opening of this modern historical film accomplishes one of the main goals of Dedication Day.

"It is really a reminder of the significance and relevance of the speech today," Grim said. "And our speakers recognize that and are willing to make the commitment."

Spielberg's speech and Dedication Day wreath-laying ceremony will be free and open to the public. All residents are invited to enjoy this event and its connection to Gettysburg.

"The address has become forever linked to Gettysburg and the ceremony will be held very close to the actual site where Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address," Grim said. "It doesn't get more powerful than that."

Spielberg and Day-Lewis were spotted in Gettysburg last year at the David Wills House, where Lincoln slept before delivering the Gettysburg Address. The director posed for pictures, and signed the museum's guest book: "Thank you for keeping our history." - Eveningsun

NOTE: If you have never been to Gettysburg, I suggest you make the trip. I grew up near there (Hanover, Pa) and spent a lot of time on the battlefield as a boy...in fact, I used to give private tours at one time. There are a few unpublicized locations where the paranormal activity is really intense...maybe I'll discuss it in my next book. From my prologue: "I’ve been interested in the strange and unusual for as long as I can remember. My childhood includes many bicycle jaunts to the Gettysburg battlefield and other odd locations that would draw my attention. After a while, I started to realize that I was sensitive to spiritual energies that would occasionally surface...sometimes manifesting into apparitions that would continue performing soldiers’ duties. Muffled sounds of drums, gunfire, cannons and mortal suffering were not uncommon. As well, the smell of gunpowder, blood and death hung in the air like morning fog. I never got used to the horrible sensations though I was fascinated by the opportunity to witness the phenomena before me." - Lon

The Killer Angels: A Novel of the Civil War (Modern Library)- Without a doubt, my favorite novel! Lon

The Complete Gettysburg Guide: Walking and Driving Tours of the Battlefield, Town, Cemeteries, Field Hospital Sites, and other Topics of Historical Interest

The Gettysburg Campaign: A Study in Command- A remarkable and accurate account! Lon

Bruce Catton's Civil War: 3 Volumes in 1: Mr Lincoln's Army, Glory Road, A Stillness at Appomattox- If you can find it...get it! Lon

Links to Gettysburg Books and Videos- I have read and enjoyed many Civil War related books that decided to give you a link to the entire catalog...Lon