; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Daily 2 Cents: Kashmir Musk Deer Rediscovered -- Castle Frankenstein -- Utah Cattle Mutilations

Kashmir Musk Deer Rediscovered

Hallowe'en may have passed for another year, but deer with vampire-like fangs are still haunting the hills of Afghanistan.

It is the first time that rare fanged Kashmir musk deer has been spotted in over 60 years.

Despite their ghoulish appearance, the endangered male creatures use their fangs during mating season to seduce females and fend off love rivals, instead of sucking blood.

Fangs for the memories: Researchers have spotted Kashmir musk deer (stock image) in the hills of Afghanistan for the first time in over 60 years. The endangered male creatures use their fangs during mating season to seduce females and fend off love rivals, instead of sucking blood
Fangs for the memories: Researchers have spotted Kashmir musk deer (stock image) in the hills of Afghanistan for the first time in over 60 years. The endangered male creatures use their fangs during mating season to seduce females and fend off love rivals, instead of sucking blood

One of seven similar species found in Asia, Kashmir musk deer live on the rugged forested slopes of northeast Afghanistan, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) which came across a small population when conducting a recent survey.

The last scientific sighting in Nuristan province, Afghanistan, was believed to have been made by a Danish survey team traversing the region in 1948.


Utah Cattle Mutilations

The strange deaths of several young cows has Daggett County investigators puzzled.

Three young cows were found dead of "unknown causes" in early October in ranching fields around Manila, said Daggett County Sheriff’s spokesperson Susie Potter on Wedneday.

While their cause of death remains a mystery, all showed evidence of "postmortem mutilation," leading investigators to suspect foul play, according to a sheriff’s office release.

While Potter could not disclose how the cows were mutilated, she said that it was obviously the work of humans, not other animals.

The deaths resemble an unsolved case that occurred about the same time last year, when two cows in the Manila area died for unknown reasons — and were mutilated postmortem, Potter said.

They are tough cases to solve, since the cows are out in wide-open fields with little chance of there being witnesses, Potter pointed out.

But if anyone has seen anything suspicious, or knows anything about these cases, Daggett County Sheriff Jerry Jorgensen wants them to call the sheriff’s office at 435-784-3255 or 435-789-4222. All tips will be kept confidential, according to the release. - St.Louis Tribune


Blind woman is cured after hitting her head

A woman who lost her sight as a child found that she could see again after banging her head on a table.

38-year-old Lisa Reid from Auckland in New Zealand hadn't been able to see anything at all from the age of 11 due to a tumour in her head pressing down on her optic nerve, but after a freak accident at the age of 24 she suddenly regained her sight.

Reid had been kneeling down to kiss her guide dog goodnight one evening when she hit her head on a coffee table. Thinking little of it she went to bed as normal only to find that when she awoke the next day her sight had been inexplicably restored.

"Nobody knows what happened or can explain it," she said. "I can't really find words to describe how it felt - amazing, fantastic. You can imagine not being able to see and then you can, you can't really describe that. To see the world again visually is a gift."

Reid took the decision to come forward with her story in an effort to help raise awareness for the Blind Foundation charity which helped her during the years in which she was unable to see.

"I’m grateful for what they’ve given me," she said. Read more at Independent


Castle Frankenstein

Johann Konrad Dippel was rumored to create potions, perform electrical therapies, and partake in gruesome experiments involving stolen body parts from the graveyard. Born in the Castle Frankenstein in 1673, it’s disputed whether or not he was the inspiration for Mary Shelley’s mad scientist of the same name, who did some cadaver experiments of his own.

What is sure about Dippel is his colorful career as an alchemist. He attached his name to Dippel’s Animal Oil, which he discovered from the destructive distillation of animal parts and claimed as a universal medicine. The animal oil came at the end of a wave of popularity for Iatrochemistry, which had moved alchemy from the search for creating gold to finding new medicines. The unpleasant taste and smell, as well as the progression of medicine, made Dippel's oil fall into disrepute by the end of the 18th century.

Dippel later helped set up a laboratory in Berlin for making gold and, at one point, he ended up in prison on a Danish island for seven years due to political activities. In 1734, he finally had a stroke and died at the Castle Wittgenstein near Berleburg, although his friends claimed he was poisoned. By his own hand or that of another, it is unclear.

The Castle Frankenstein is now in ruins, with only two towers, a restaurant and a chapel remaining. However, the perhaps mythical connection to Mary Shelley’s novel "Frankenstein" keeps it a popular destination, especially for Halloween. A popular annual party was started there by American soldiers stationed near the castle in World War II. Until it was deactivated in 2008, the US Army's 233rd Base Support Battalion in Darmstadt conducted an annual Frankenstein Castle run which finished at the tower. The castle was featured in an episode of "Ghost Hunters International" which aired in February of 2008. - Atlas Obscura


Why Bigfoot Is Getting Nervous

Rachel Gendreau was driving on a deserted rural road one October night when she decided to take a shortcut through a patch of thick woods.

There was a full moon that night, and the road was tinged with an eerie glow. As Gendreau chatted with her fiancé, she squinted into the darkness ahead and saw something strange: A massive wolflike creature was standing upright in the road, staring at her with shimmering white eyes.

As Gendreau drew closer, the creature leaped from the road and bounded into the woods.

"What the hell was that?" Gendreau sputtered. "Did you see it?"

"I don't know what it was, but it had dog legs," said her fiancé.

Gendreau looked into the rearview mirror and had another scare: The beast had circled behind her car in a flash and was watching her again with those glittering white eyes as she and her fiancé sped away.

Gendreau didn't know it at the time, but she had spotted the Wolfman of Chestnut Mountain, an elusive creature that people had sighted in rural Illinois for years. You may not have heard of the Wolfman, but chances are there's some strange creature lurking near you -- and a group of monster hunters is hot on its trail. Read more at CNN



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