Thursday, December 11, 2014
Attraction offers Zombie Santa and undead elves for charity
A Nashville-area haunted house is getting into the Christmas spirit this weekend, with Zombie Santa, his undead elves and one demonic reindeer going on the attack for fun and charity.
"Instead of Christmas cheer, we are spreading some holiday fear," said Carroll Moore, who is turning his Halloween season "Death Yard Haunted Attraction" in Hendersonville into a Yuletide horror show this Friday and Saturday.
For $10 and an unwrapped new toy, visitors can pass through the 13,000-square-foot warehouse northeast of Nashville crammed with horrors. For $5 more, they can go to the paintball range just outside and take 15 shots at Zombie Santa and his friends.
"You can unload on the undead," Moore said. "Maybe Santa Claus wasn't good to you last year."
The unwrapped new toys will go to Last Minute Toy Store, which operates out of a Nashville church and gives parents who cannot afford toys a chance to look for things their children might want, for no cost.
Moore said he hopes his Zombie Christmas attraction will become just as much a holiday tradition as driving around to look at lights or going to see the Rockettes.
Moore is also offering chainsaw-wielding maniacs and killer clowns, dressed for the holidays.
Nita Haywood, who helps run the Last Minute Toy Store at the 61st Avenue United Methodist Church, where she is director of children, youth and family ministries, said she will visit Horrific Haunted Holiday.
"It's different, but new toys are new toys. And what a way to get teens involved," she said. - Yahoo
"Black Widow" Suspected of Killing at Least a Half-Dozen Men
A Japanese woman facing trial for poisoning her husband with cyanide may have also murdered as many as six former boyfriends, authorities say.
Police initially thought Chisako Kakehi's husband, Isao, died of a heart attack—until they discovered traces of cyanide in his blood. Investigators say at least six of Kakehi's romantic interests—all older, well-situated men—met similar ends.
Reports also suggest money was a factor, and Kakehi is rumored to have collected as much as $8 million from her dead paramours. Via the New York Times:
All were at least moderately wealthy, with homes and ample savings accounts accumulated over a lifetime of work in order to enjoy a comfortable retirement. Most died soon after drawing up wills that named her as the sole beneficiary.
Police also say they found a sachet of cyanide hidden in a flowerpot Kakehi tried to throw away.
Kaheki reportedly referred to herself as a "victim of doomed fate." - Gawker
Bright Green Sphere w/ White Lights
Copperopolis, CA - 12/9/2014: While taking a photo of the sunrise this morning, I noticed a shiny disk in my picture. I waited a few minutes and took another shot. The disc was still there. I then enlarged the photo by zooming it and noticed a bright green round sphere with white dots on it. I even took another picture of the sky and the disc was still there. I waited a few minutes and took another picture and the sky had become covered in clouds so the disk was no longer visible. I immediately contacted MUFON. This occurred on December 9th at about 7 am. - MUFON CMS
Batemans Bay yowie sighting an Australian first
We uncover a little known piece of Australian history and in doing so rekindle a long running argument between an amateur and professional scientist.
Batemans Bay holds a significant place in Australian yowie history.
This will be new information for many locals, but a dig through the archives unearths a rich history around this mythical Bigfoot-type creature and the South East of New South Wales.
Aboriginal communities are said to have known about and named the yowie prior to Cook and Phillip dropping anchor. It is believed that white man contact with the yowie was first documented in a formal sense on December 9 1882 in The Australian Town and Country Journal.
Amateur naturalist Henry James McCooey wrote of his encounter with a strange creature in bushland between Batemans Bay and Ulladulla.
His words from 132 years ago conjure a jaw-dropping image.
"A few days ago I saw one of these strange animals in an unfrequented locality on the coast between Bateman's Bay and Ulladulla. My attention was attracted to it by the cries of a number of small birds which were pursuing and darting at it. When I first beheld the animal it was standing on its hind legs, partly upright, looking up at the birds above it in the bushes, blinking its eyes and distorting its visage and making a low chattering kind of noise. Being above the animal on a slight elevation and distant from it less than a chain, I had ample opportunity of noting its size and general appearance.
"I should think that if it were standing perfectly upright it would be nearly 5ft high. It was tailless and covered with very long black hair, which was of a dirty red or snuff-colour about the throat and breast. Its eyes, which were small and restless, were partly hidden by matted hair that covered its head. The length of the fore legs or arms seemed to be strikingly out of proportion with the rest of its body, but in all other respects its build seemed to be fairly proportional. It would probably weigh about 8st. On the whole it was a most uncouth and repulsive looking creature, evidently possessed of prodigious strength, and one which I should not care to come to close quarters with. Having sufficiently satisfied my curiosity, I throw a stone at the animal, whereupon it immediately rushed off, followed by the birds, and disappeared in a ravine which was close at hand."
What a sight!
Myf Thompson, volunteer curator at the Old Court House Museum in Batemans Bay, says it's a piece of the town's history that is news to her and isn't widely known.
Upon learning of this local yowie link, Myf tossed her plans for the day out the window and researched further. The National Libraries bank of digitized newspapers along with Wikipedia and various yowie websites combined to add to the story.
Myf uncovered a stand-off between McCooey and the curator of the Australian Museum in Sydney at the time, Edward Pierson Ramsay.
Records suggest that Mr Ramsay questioned the existence of such a creature which in those days of the colony was also described as an 'Australian ape'.
Looking at those early documents, Myf believes that McCooey and his claims were poo-pooed by academics like Ramsay because he was an amateur.
We only have one side of the back and forth between the two but clearly it's a passionate debate.
Again in The Australian Town and Country Journal, McCooey writes:
"The mere fact of no apes [are] found in the Sydney Museum does not justify us in rushing to the conclusion that there are none in the colony, for it is extremely improbable that any ape will be foolhardy enough to present itself at the museum to undergo the somewhat delicate operation of stuffing; and beyond the fact that there are, none to be found in the Sydney Museum there is not one scintilla of evidence to prove that they are not to be found in the colony, while there is abundance of evidence to show that they are."
Imagine Ramsay's reaction at reading that.
McCooey goes on trying to prove his case:
"I do not claim to be the first who has seen this animal, for I can put my finger on half a dozen men at Bateman's Bay who have seen the same, or at any rate an animal of a similar description; but I think I am the first to come forward in the columns of a newspaper and give publicity to the fact of having seen it.
"I may mention that a search party was organised at Bateman's Bay some months ago to surround the locality [and] the supposed ape... and shoot or capture it, but the idea was abandoned in consequence of the likelihood of gun accidents; and I may further state that the skeleton of an ape, 4ft in length, may be seen at any time in a cave 14 miles from Bateman's Bay, in the direction of Ulladulla."
It appears that in December of 1882, Ramsay offered McCooey 100 pounds to bring in his yowie dead or alive. McCooey believed it was a challenge he could meet but, as far as we can tell, the 100 pounds wasn't claimed.
Eleven months later on October 20 1883 the discourse is still bubbling between the two men.
McCooey, writing from Mandurama between Bathurst and Cowra on October 15 1883, says:
"...the position taken by the Curator of the Museum is absolutely untenable... there are indigenous apes in this colony...they have been frequently seen in Budawong mountains, in Jingera mountains, and in the Abercrombie mountains, at Bateman's Bay, at Mount Macdonald, and on the Guy Fawkes-road between Armidale and Grafton...apes were known to the aborigines of this colony, and were dreaded by them, long before a museum was founded in Australia, or a white man crossed the Murray; and that one was actually captured and killed near Braidwood within the memory of persons still living."
Referring to her understanding of the research, Myf Thompson feels Ramsay questioned McCooey's motivations, suggesting he was more interested in claiming the money, and that it was the amateur naturalist who suggested the cash reward not him. Ramsay's impression is perhaps built on talk at the time of McCooey's criminal record which points to claims of fraud.
Ramsay also seemed to suggest that the Australian landscape couldn't sustain a creature such as McCooey's.
Speculation continues to this day about the existence of a yowie in local bush land.
Callers to ABC South East point to sightings and gossip between 1960 and the early 80s around the Budawangs and at the top of Clyde Mountain at the head of the Clyde River, adding to McCooey's case. However, like Ramsay 130 years ago, we wait for firm evidence.
What isn't in doubt is Batemans Bay's connection with this unique Australian story, perhaps rediscovering it in 2014 will bring more talk.
*The Old Court House Museum is run by the Clyde River and Batemans Bay Historical Society and is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday between 10am and 3pm and on the second Sunday of each month between 10am and 1pm in Museum Place Batemans Bay. - ABC.net.au
Canada's sasquatch experts search for truth
The sasquatch scientific community is not a large group but two Canadian researchers stand tall in their midst.
Thomas Steenburg and John Green are among the elite of researchers with a large body of work, both published and Internet-based.
“I’ve been involved in sasquatch research since 1957,” said the retired 87-year-old Green who lives in Harrison Hot Springs, B.C. and is regarded as a cryptozoology authority. “In fact, I started hunting sasquatch when the village of Harrison Hot Springs decided to hunt for the sasquatch. I did a story on it, and it started what has turned into a lifelong quest. My wife and I went down to Bluff Creek, California in 1958 and began making plaster casts of prints found near a logging road.”
He said efforts were later made to discredit the footprints claiming them to be man-made and faked, a notion that has followed nearly every footprint discovery since then.
“While I have not seen a sasquatch myself, I have investigated hundreds of sightings. I have seen the Patterson-Gimlin film, and I believe that they are real,” said Green during a telephone interview. “After all, why would anyone want to fake anything like that?”
The octogenarian author noted he was in the area of California where the famed film was taken a few weeks prior, and was taken to a site where nearly 500 footprints were found by a contractor, made by possibly three individual Bigfoot walking along a road. By the time he arrived, all he could find was a handful, but he took casts of them.
“The issue of whether or not sasquatch is real depends on a couple of issues, those being how did it come across to North America, and how can we link it to any physical evidence.”
The researcher believes the creature to be an entirely different species than humanoids, and an advanced primate, adding that DNA evidence may already be in our possession but we don’t recognize it. There have been discoveries of a huge Asian ape made that might possibly be our sasquatch dating back only 10,000 years ago.
“Scientists seem to automatically tag a bipedal discovery as ‘human’, where they may really be part of the sasquatch story,” said Green. “We also have to wonder why we have not found any recent skeletons, but due to the likely small number and habitats it would have to be a miracle to find one.”
He added that it is virtually impossible for someone to fake footprints worldwide for so long without some evidence of their efforts. The work to create the mystery would not be worth the effort.
"In this field things are upside down and backwards," said Green. "The people who investigate are called 'believers' and the people who believe there can't be any such thing and therefore don't investigate are called scientists. Researchers fall in the middle, and say show me the evidence.” - Innisfail Province
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