; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Friday, October 27, 2017

Daily 2 Cents: 'Chicago Phantom' Evidence...Odds & Ends -- Review of 'Invasion on Chestnut Ridge' -- Mothman Rap Version

'Chicago Phantom' Evidence...Odds & Ends

I've received a few images and sketches over the past few weeks. I'm looking into each submission. If anyone can offer further information, it would be appreciated. Thanks...Lon


Review of 'Invasion on Chestnut Ridge'

Invasion on Chestnut Ridge

By Sean Forker - I'm always excited when I get the message from Seth Breedlove that he's ready to work on a new project. My first, natural response is "Here -take my money!" You can't go wrong with a Small Town Monsters production. I first backed "Minerva Monster" and realized that not only was my money well spent, but Seth had a passion for telling these stories. Each Breedlove Film gets better and better. "Invasion" is no exception.

​I didn't know how the guys would top "Mothman of Point Pleasant"; you can read my review of that film on this blog. "Mothman" had the perfect mix of music, narration, and setting that I felt was a once in a lifetime hit maker. Little did I know that "Invasion" would do the same.

​Growing up in Pennsylvania, I was all too familiar with our State's version of "The Twilight Zone". On occasion, my own boots hit the ground and I too would spend countless hours on "The Ridge", waiting to experience it's oddities. How could I expect Seth and team to draw me in more to an area that I already had history with? Well, they did.

​With all the flair of an 1980's Sci-Fi movie, Breedlove draws you in with VHS-like effects on the scenery. Brandon Dalo scores yet another win with his mysterious themes that connect you even more so to the story.

Stan Gordon is our principal of the film; which makes great sense being that for 60 years - he has been the man most synonymous with "The Chestnut Ridge". He tells us of The Kecksburg UFO Incident (12/6/1965) - which got him started into his six decades of anomalous research. The film also closes with him at the Kecksburg UFO Conference. Good framing of the story.

​Eric Altman joins us to give more meat and potatoes on the area. Eric has spent many years investigating strange phenomena; and for transparency is a man who I consider to be one of my mentors. The other also being Stan Gordon. Friend and fellow researcher Dwayne Pintoff is interviewed and shares one of his strange encounters. These familiar faces really make it seem like I'm watching a home movie!

​In my favorite part of the movie, the late Sam Sherry's personal encounter with a Neanderthal Type Sasquatch is retold. Great animated sequences bring this to life. Having one of your favorite sightings come to life added a new dimension to the encounter. Amazing work.

​Mark Matzke narrates the documentary, giving depth and emotion to a topic I didn't feel could garner any more. There is a reverence in his voice that invokes the feeling you get when you are actually THERE on the Ridge. Amazing work!

​The film relies on great animated sequences and illustrations to fully flesh out the stories. This is very well done. Other movies rely on costume effects, which at times takes you out of the movie due to the strangeness of the costuming. Matt Harris and Brandon Scalf's illustrations draw you in, and Chris Scalf's animation adds to the overall effect of the creepiness to the stories. Their work really brings the mysteries of the Ridge to life!

​My only complaint is that I wish there was more! There are so many stories from this area it would be impossible to catalog in a single movie. I hope to see more of this area in a future Small Town Monsters Production.

​This is definitely a MUST WATCH and A MUST HAVE for your collection! This is the first documentary I have watched on the Chestnut Ridge, but after viewing the movie - I don't think anyone else could do it the justice that Seth and Team have rendered.

I leave you with this amazing piece of narration:

​"There are places in the world whose mysteries call us. To come, see for ourselves - whatever the human toll might be. Places like the Chestnut Ride..."


Mothman Rap Version

Chicago rapper and singer Rich Jones performed "Mothman," his new track about the winged humanoid that's supposedly been plaguing Chicago for much of the summer and fall, in early September at the North Coast Music Festival—or so I heard from an alleged eyewitness, Reader staff writer Leor Galil. His account of the song, like most eyewitness reports of cryptids, provided limited evidence for what he claimed to have experienced—he sent me a photograph of Jones performing in front of a red-eyed illustration that could've been the creature, but there was no audio and no video. The track hadn't been released. In short, I had only Leor's word about its existence.

I've been interested in the Chicago Mothman, which I've been calling the Lake Michigan Bat Creature, since June 30, 2017—that's when it was supposedly sighted in my neighborhood, outside Logan Square bar the Owl. In late July, a friend sent me a recap of sightings published by Riot Fest's magazine, and I was thrilled by how close together many of them were. Most supposed witnesses describe the monster as a giant humanoid bat, but some report seeing a huge owl, a creature with "jagged and insect-like" wings and the "body form of a mantis," or a cryptid resembling West Virginia's famous Mothman from 1966. Similar sightings in Chicagoland date back to 2011, but they've undergone a remarkable uptick this year.

Many of these sightings have been catalogued by Lon Strickler of the website Phantoms and Monsters, who lives in Hanover, Pennsylvania. According to a map he's created, we're now up to 58 sightings—55 of them in 2017. Most have occurred relatively close to the lakefront, though suburbs such as Tinley Park and Bolingbrook have seen one-off outliers. The majority of witnesses agree that the creature has red eyes, that it's seven to eight feet tall, and that they experienced a strong feeling of fear or foreboding when they encountered it. The Reader's own Aimee Levitt covered the flying humanoid in August, and the Tribune and Playboy have published investigations as well. Read more and listen to audio file at Rapper Rich Jones gives a verse to the Chicago Mothman



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