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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

OMGB Update

I have edited the final draft of my next book, The Ohio Monster Guidebook. Now, the only thing left is publishing. Currently I don't know if i'll self publish again or look for a publisher.Check back later for more, I'll have more  updates as it gets closer to being published.

The book covers many different cryptids seen in Ohio, like bigfoot, lake monsters, mothman, Loveland Frogs, Melon heads, thunderbirds, black panthers, dogmen, etc, etc. There's even a bit on UFOs.


The Lachlan Stuart Loch Ness Photo - Hoax or the Real Deal?

One of the most famous photos of a supposed Loch Ness Monster is the one taken by Lachlan Stuart on July 14, 1951.

The original story goes like this:


On that day, Stuart had woken up around 6:30 a.m. to milk his cow. He was about 100 feet above the loch and on the opposite shore from Urquhart Castle. He happened to look at the loch and saw what he at first thought was a motorboat.

He soon realized, however, that it was no boat, when a second hump appeared behind the first one. He called out to his wife and Taylor Hay. Hay and Stuart ran down to the shore, and now saw a third hump. The creature had changed direction and was moving southwards through the lake, about 50 yards from the witnesses.

Stuart had his box camera with him, so he took a picture of the three humps. Afterwards, a long neck with a head "like a sheep but without the ears" appeared. There is a tiny black dot in front of the first (furthest left) hump in the photo, and some say that is the head of the monster.
The photo

The creature had come closer to the shore by this time, so Stuart and Hay decided to move further back up through the trees to where they originally were. The monster then swam back out into the center of the loch and submerged.

Stuart said he thought each hump was about 5 feet long, with about 8 feet between each of them. He said the first hump stood 2 feet out of the water, the second 4 feet, and the third 3 feet. The neck was about six feet long. Stuart also said there was a "commotion" in the water about 15 feet behind the last hump, which he thought might have been caused by the submerged tail of the monster. He described its skin as "blackish" in color.

This is one of the most famous Loch Ness Monster photos of all time. But is it real?

FRERE'S CLAIM OF A HOAX

In 1984, Richard Frere in his book Loch Ness says this about the Stuart photo:

"I have no particular objection to hoaxers…and my chief reaction on getting first hand knowledge of the affair was surprise at how easily even experts can be duped. This amateurish invention was given the seal of approval by a leading zoologist as the 'most important picture.'"

Frere then wrote a letter to Alastair Boyd, which was printed in the "Nessletter" Number 88, in June 1988:

"Dear Mr Boyd,
"Thank you for your letter concerning Stuart's photograph of ?. As you say many years have hone by since 1951 but I happen to remember clearly a meeting at Loch Ness side, in the vicinity of the Whitefield cottage, with a man who represented himself as Lachlan Stuart. At that time I had a timber business and was in need of an additional horse for timber dragging. I had heard that Stuart had such a beast or could put me in touch with one and our meeting was arranged by a third party. I met with Stuart in early August. We discussed the horse but no bargain was struck, even after the woodsman had obligingly offered a dram from his bottle. Before we parted he took me down to the pebble beach, where, concealed within a clump of alder or hazel, I was shown on my promise of silence, three or four bales of hay (as supplied for horses) and some strips of tarpaulin. I was told that these were the 'humps' of ?. S was proud of his joke, in which he saw no harm, and he was greatly surprised that his photograph had come out at all, as it was taken 'near dark.' I did not enquire at what margin of the day it had been snapped. Stuart considered ? 'a load of nonsense' and poked fun at those who took it seriously. From this you can see that I did not participate in the hoax, although, perhaps, my silence until recently may be construed as that of an accessory."

So, we are left with two options - either the Lachlan Stuart photo of three humps in Loch Ness actually shows the back of the monster, or it is fake, made with bales of hay with tarpaulin over them.

As shown on the Loch Ness Investigation website here, the water in the area where the photo was taken is not that deep, so it wouldn't surprise me if Frere's account of the bales of hay and tarp are true. And it kind of makes sense, too. In his account Stuart says that he also say the head and neck of the monster. Why wouldn't he take a photo of that? Probably because it wasn't there.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Fantastic (Cryptid) Beasts

Colin Schneider has a new post up on his Paranormal101 blog about the new movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and similarities between some of the "beasts" and cryptids from around the world… check it out!


Friday, November 25, 2016

Thoughts on Sightings of Loch Ness Monsters on Land



I'm currently reading Malcolm Robinson's book The Monsters of Loch Ness: The History and the Mystery. In the book, Robinson says he doesn't put much credence in sightings of the monsters on land around the loch, since most of them occurred in the "heyday" of LNM sightings, in 1933 and 1934. I disagree with him on this, and I will explain why later in this post. But first, lets take a look at the two most famous land sightings of "Nessie" from that time period.

THE SPICER SIGHTING (1933)

On July 22, 1933, Mr. and Mrs. George Spicer were driving along Loch Ness, between Dores and Foyers, when they spotted what can only be described as a "monster."

The sighting was first reported in the August 4 edition of the Inverness Courier. Later, Rupert Gould, author of The Case for the Sea-Serpent and The Loch Ness Monster and Others (one of the first LMN books, published in 1934), interviewed the Spicers about their sighting. Below is what Gould wrote about the sighting:

"They had passed through Dores, and were on their way towards Foyers when, and the car was climbing a slight rise, and extraordinary-looking creature crossed the road ahead of them, from left to right, in a series of jerks. When on the road, it took up practically the whole width of it.
"He saw on definite head, but this was across the road before he had time to take the whole thing in properly - it was in sight for a few seconds. The creature was of a loathsome-looking grayish color, like a dirty elephant or a rhinoceros. It had a very long and thin neck, which undulated up and down, and was contorted into a series of half hoops. The body was much thicker, and moved across the road, as already stated, in a series of jerks. He saw no indications of any legs, or of a tail - but in front of the body, where this sloped down to the neck, he saw something flopping up and down which, on reflection, he thought might have been the end of a long tail swung round to the far side of the body. The latter stood some 4-5 feet above the road. The whole looked like a huge snail with a long neck."

 After it crossed the road, the creature crashed through the underbrush and disappeared into the loch.

ARTHUR GRANT'S SIGHTING (1934)

The other most famous land sighting of a Loch Ness Monster occurred in January 1934 (which Robinson mistakingly says occurred in Aug. 1933 in his book). While Arthur Grant was driving home on his motorcycle one night, he almost collided with a creature that was making its way across the road when it jumped out in front of him.

Some people think Grant's sighting is a hoax. Tony Harmsworth has said:

"The version I had heard, from the late Joyce MacDonald of Drumnadrochit, was that Grant had fallen off his motorbike near what is now the Abriachan nursery and when he arrived home his mother asked how he had damaged his motorbike. Grant came up with the story that he had been knocked off the bike by the monster.
"A fiend of his, possibly many years later, told Joyce's husband, Willie MacDonald that he had overheard the story and told a journalist. The account then appeared in the newspapers.
"Today we have no way of discovering who that friend was. A more recent version which I heard from Dick Raynor was that Arthur Grant and a friend were calling the newspapers themselves from a telephone at a local garage owned by Alec Menzies who had overheard one end of the conversation and also heard Grant turn to his friend after the call and say, 'They've swallowed it.'"

Was the whole thing a hoax. Like Harmsworth said, we have no way of knowing. Now, back to the subject of Nessie on land.
Grant's sketch of the "monster" - did he really see it?

MY THOUGHTS

Those are not the only sighting of monsters on land around Loch Ness from around that time. Robinson doesn't believe them since there haven't really been any (at least with any frequency) since that time. That would be a good reason, but I do have something to counter that.

At the time (around 1933), a new road was being build along the loch, so there was lots of blasting of the landscape to make it. If there are monsters in the loch, I bet they would be a bit disturbed by the explosions and things falling into the loch because of them, which may have caused them to go onto the land.

So, do I believe at least some of the land Nessie sightings? Yes.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Mothman… Sighted?

Saw this on the Mothman Festival Facebook page…

"A possible Mothman sighting took place in Point Pleasant yesterday, as it was reported from a caller to our local TV news station. Caller said he allegedly witnessed what he thought was the Mothman flying over route 2 in Point Pleasant. Here are the quick snapshots he took at the scene. What do you guys think?!"
(via Mothman Festival)

To me it looks like its most likely fake. Someone is probably just trying to hoax since the 50th anniversary of the Scarberry-Mallette sighting was a few days ago...

Friday, November 18, 2016

Mothman's Squeaking Sounds

In 1966, the town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia was the site of lots of strange activity. During that year and throughout the next, there were sightings of UFOs, odd occurrences, encounters with Men in Black, and of course, the Mothman.

The first publicized sighting of the Mothman occurred on November 15, 1966. Two young couples, Roger and Linda Scarberry and Steve and Mary Mallette, were joyriding in the TNT Area outside of Point Pleasant that had served as an ammunitions site during the Second World War. They also happened to spot the Mothman. The creature followed them back to the town, and as it was chasing the car, the witnesses said it made a sound "like the squeak of a huge mouse."

While at the Mothman Festival in September, I was talking with Colin Schneider (another researcher of the unknown) about the creature, and he mentioned that he thought the mention of Mothman's "squeaking" was similar to a banshee. Below is why that could be important.

Banshee
Wikipedia says that "A banshee is a female spirit in Irish mythology who heralds the death of a family member, usually by shrieking or keening" (Emphasis mine).

Now, anyone who knows about the Mothman saga knows that it apparently ended after the Silver Bridge collapsed on December 15, 1967. The collapse of the bridge, spanning the Ohio River, killed 46 people.

Could Mothman possibly be connected to a banshee in some way? With the strange squeaking sound, weird electronic occurrences, other odd sightings, and death in Point Pleasant, I think this should be looked into more.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Werewolves in Ohio

MULTIPLE DOGMAN SIGHTINGS

Several young boys reported encountering a Dogman near Niles, Ohio in the late 1980s. During the first sighting, a boy and his friend, who were both around 12 years old, were playing in a field near the boy's home when they saw a strange figure running towards them through the trees. They took off towards the boy's house.

In the second sighting a few years later, a teenager on the opposite side of town saw a "large dark figure" following him. The figure would move from tree to tree, peeking around at him. When the creature realized that the boy had noticed it, it began running towards him. Like the other witnesses, the boy ran out of the area.

"A CROSS BETWEEN A DEER AND A BEAR"

Two people driving to West Virginia from Marietta on December 11, 2003, spotted a strange creature looking at them from beside the highway. The creature "looked like a cross between a deer and a bear" and stood about six-and-a-half feet tall. The witnesses said it had extremely thin legs that "almost looked unstable holding up its huge body." The torso, neck and head of the creature were covered in long black fur, but the legs were not. The witnesses could not see the creature's feet because it was standing in two-inch tall grass.

The creature had large, red eyes and a snout that was long and slender. It watched the witnesses as they drove by.

A FISHERMAN'S SIGHTING

In 2004, a fisherman saw an "extremely hairy person" hunched over behind a bush. Before he left the man saw the creature's face, which he said looked "like a mix between a dog and a human."

TRUMBULL COUNTY SIGHTING

A witness driving in a very isolated, forested, and hilly area in Trumbull County on the night of March 1, 2006, saw a very large "creature or animal" in his headlights. The creature was on all fours, and the witness guessed that it was about six feet long from head to rump (not counting its bushy tail). The creature was at least three feet high when on all fours.

The creature jumped into a ditch, and the witness stopped and shined his headlights at it. He said was a "beautiful" gray and white color and had a face like that of a wolf. The creature did not make any threatening moves, but the witness said that he felt the thing "looked inside of him." The creature ran into the woods and disappeared.


This post is excerpted from my book The Ohio Monster Guidebook: A Look at the Buckeye State's Most Mysterious Creatures. I am done proofing the book and am planning on editing the final draft next week.

Mothman - 50 Years

50 years ago today, the sighting that would make Mothman, Point Pleasant, West Virginia´s flying monster, famous occurred.

On November 15, 1966, Roger and Linda Scarberry, along with their friends Steve and Mary Mallette, went for a drive through the ¨TNT Area" just outside of Point Pleasant. What they saw that night would change their lives.

That night, as they were driving through the TNT Area, going by the old "igloos" that had been used to store ammunition during WWII. When they neared the old generator plant (which is not there today), they saw the Mothman.

They described the creature as man-shaped, six to seven feet tall, with red eyes, and wings. They also said the creature didn't appear to have a head. The eyes seemed "hypnotic" when it looked at them. Linda Scarberry described the creature as "flesh colored with ashen wings." When they first spotted the creature, it had one of it's wings stuck in guide wire by the road and was trying to free itself.

Not surprisingly, the witnesses were terrified of what they were seeing, but Linda Scarberry said it seemed like it was scared as well. After it freed its wing, it shuffled off towards the generator plant.

Roger Scarberry sped out of the area, and on their way out, they spotted the creature again, standing on a hill by the road. It then took off into the air and flew along with the car, flying at speeds around 100 m.p.h. As it was flying along with the car, the witnesses said the Mothman made a strange squeaking noise, described as "the squeak of a huge mouse." I will have another post on that subject later.

By the time they reached the town, the creature left. They decided to tell the authorities what they had seen. As they were heading back they saw the body of a dead dog by the road, and then saw the creature jump out at them, fly over the car, and disappear.

They told their story to the police who returned to the area. When the police went out, the body of the dog was gone. The police did not see the monster, but when they turned on their radio, they heard a "strange garbled sound screeching out at high volume, as though someone were playing a tape recorder at fast-forward speed."

That was the first encounter with Mothman, and there would be many more within the next year. Also during that time, other strange electronic occurrences happened, along with UFO activity, Men in Black encounters, and lots of other weird stuff, all around Point Pleasant and the surrounding areas in West Virginia and Ohio.


Monday, November 14, 2016

Book Review: Loch Ness: Back into the Depths by Patrick J. Gallagher

Last year, Patrick J. Gallagher published Loch Ness: From Out of the Depths, which was a collection of newspaper stories from the time of "the rise of the Loch Ness Monster" in 1933 and 1934. This year, he published a follow-up book, this one titled Loch Ness: Back into the Depths, and which has newspaper stories from 1935 to 1955.



The media loved the Loch Ness Monster in the 1930s, but that attention grew less and less in the '40s and '50s, as this book demonstrates. But, it was still reported quite often.

Throughout the book, you get to hear first-hand witness accounts reported in papers at the time, some people's thoughts as to what it(they) could be, coverage of "monster hunts," and much more. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I enjoy reading old newspaper accounts of cryptids and it's nice to be taken back to the time when all of that was taking place.

You can get the book here.



Sunday, November 13, 2016

Mill Race Monster Part 2 - More Sightings of the Creature



November 1st was the 42nd anniversary of sightings of the "Mill Race Monster" in Mill Race Park, Columbus, Indiana. On November 1, 1974, four teenage girls and two women had two separate sightings of a monster that was described as "green, hairy, and large." The local paper printed a short story on the sightings, headlined "Monster - Women Report Seeing 'Beast' in Mill Race:"

"They swear it's true. Six young women told city police Friday in to separate reports that they had seen a 'Mill Race Monster' - once in broad daylight.
"And whatever it is, the six are agreed, it is (1) Green, (2) Hairy, (3) Large, about six feet tall and walking upright, and (4) Has claws.
"Four of the women, whose names police did not list, said they saw 'the thing' about 3 p.m. Friday near the paved boat ramp in the park along White river at the west end of Fifth street. The other two said it jumped on the hood of their car, leaving scratch marks in the paint. That was about 11:45 p.m. No one was hurt, only frightened, police said.
"Officers searched the are on both occasions but found nothing. They are hoping it's only a misguided hobgoblin who lost its sense of timing and doesn't know Halloween is over for another year. But, just the same, they warned other residents to take care and keep an eye out for the 'monster.'"

On November 6, the Republic (the newspaper) printed another story on a third sighting of the creature:
"The Mill Race Monster has returned, apparently stepping out of the shadows Tuesday long enough to scare to park-goers... county police reported two men in their 20's saw a large, hairy 'thing' hiding behind trees near the covered bridge about 4 p.m. and again shortly before midnight... The men, who did not give their names, said after seeing the monster Tuesday afternoon, they returned with binoculars that evening to get a better look. They told police that the monster was found, an eventually chased them from the park."
Then, on November 9, the Indianapolis Star reported that two dogcatchers, 19-year-old John Brown and 20-year-old Rick Duckworth, were "studying ways to rescue cats in the trees" in the park when they encountered the monster. They initially saw the creature when it was about 200 feet away, and Duckworth decided to go after it. The Star reported:

"When Duckworth started toward the monster, the beast took off 'as fast as a deer' and disappeared into the woods. With the monster gone, the two men obtained a ladder and lowered the two cats to the ground. As soon as they hit the ground the two cats took off 'like bolts of lightning,' with one disappearing into the distance and the other running into a sewer line, according to Duckworth. 'They were really scared,' he added."

But, what did the monster look like? Not a 7-foot tall thing, Duckworth said. It was only "a large framed man wearing a green mask and green blankets."

The real frightening thing, however, is that Duckworth told the Star that if he saw the "creature" again, he would shoot it with  his tranquilizer gun!

After the hoaxer theory appeared after that report, that's what officials decided the "monster" was. Witness Tyra Cataline, however, was not happy with that explanation. She said:

"I know it's real and what I saw is not a joke. It was not a person in a costume. It was really something that could move around. It could grimace its face. It was growling. It was very aggressive. So people can think what they want to. I know what I saw and it was pretty bad… I don't want to think about it too long because it still scares me to this day."

Monsters and Mysteries in America

Soon the story of the monster spread, and people from all across Indiana went to Columbus to hunt for it. Chris McDaniel, a paranormal researcher from Columbus, described the situation: "People were coming out of the woodwork and they were walking through the woods with baseball bats and shotguns… it was getting to be a thorny situation."

To keep people safe, the city park director ordered that the park be closed at night.

What was the monster? Not surprisingly, no one really knows. Some think it was a Bigfoot-like creature. Others say possibly a lizard man. The two men who reported the second sighting of the creature even thought that it could have been connected to UFOs that had been seen in Indiana. On November 6, 1974, the Republic said that :

"One of the men suggest an explanation for the newly found monster, that it had been left here in the early fall by visitors from another planet. At the time, Columbus and much of the midwest was flooded by sightings of unidentified flying objects."

Whatever it is, the mystery of the Mill Race Monster lives on...

Friday, November 11, 2016

Beyond Boggy Creek

Recently Lyle Blackburn posted news about his fourth book, set to be released early next year…

"My next book, titled 'BEYOND BOGGY CREEK: In Search of the Southern Sasquatch,' will be released by Anomalist Books early next year! It's and extension of my previous work in 'The Beast of Boggy Creek,' covering not only the latest encounters near Fouke, but also the history, sightings, and evidence for similar cases throughout the entire Deep South. The release date is tentatively set for February. I'll keep you posted as always. Thanks for your support!"
Lyle's other books…

The Beast of Boggy Creek: The True Story of the Fouke Monster


Lizard Man: The True Story of the Bishopville Monster

Monstro Bizarro: An Essential Manual of  Mysterious Monsters
With Lyle Blackburn...



Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Book Review: Astonishing Encounters by Stan Gordon

While I was at the Mothman Festival in September I picked up a copy of Astonishing Encounters from Stan Gordon. Astonishing Encounters is Stan's most recent book and was published last year.

The book is a casebook of all kinds of different creature sightings from throughout Pennsylvania. Each chapter of the book focuses on a different type of cryptid or mysterious creature.

The first chapter focuses on many Bigfoot reports throughout the state. Some took place many years ago and others took place recently.

Thunderbirds and flying cryptids are the subject of one chapter, and another focuses on aquatic cryptids like the Lake Erie Monster.

Stan also discusses things like black panthers, werewolves, dragons, UFOs and aliens, and some really, really odd things.

This book was short but interesting. You can check it out here.


The Defiance Dogman



On July 25, 1972, two freight train company employees in Defiance, Ohio were working the graveyard shift when they encountered a Dogman. Ted Davis, one of the witnesses, said, "I saw these two hairy feet. Then I looked up and he was standing there with a big stick over his shoulder. When I started to say something, he took off for the woods." He also said that the creature had "huge, hairy feet, fangs, and it ran side-to-side like a caveman in the movies."

About a week after that encounter, Davis claims he spotted the creature again, and in the same place. This time, the creature looked at him from the edge of the woods, and then left.

That same night, a grocer reported that he was attacked by a "hairy, animal-headed creature wielding a two-by-four."

About a week after the sightings the local newspaper heard about them and the story of the werewolf spread. The police took the reports seriously and searched for the creature. Police Chief Donald Breckler considered the creature a threat to the community.

In October 1972, also around Defiance, Ed Miller and his wife saw a large, bipedal creature running through a field. They left the area they were in, and later they went back with three of their younger friends and saw the creature again.

"It would start running towards the car, then crouch down in the weeds so we couldn't see it," Mrs. Miller said. "It howled at us… it was a long, hissing sound."

Gary Moore and his wife also saw the creature and described it as "wide, black, and hairy." They added that it had huge, glowing eyes. The witnesses agreed that it wasn't a man in a costume.

This post is excerpted from The Ohio Monster Guidebook, my upcoming book on Ohio cryptids.

More on the dogman can also be found in my first book, Cryptid U.S.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Book Review: Here's Nessie! by Karl Shuker

This years has seen quite a few Nessie books published. Most of these I have gotten, including the latest one, Karl Shuker's Here's Nessie! A Monstrous Compendium from Loch Ness. 

If you are someone who knows me or looks at this blog, you'll probably know that I am a fan of Karl's books. This one did not disappoint.

Throughout the book, Shuker examines the history of the Loch Ness Monsters, some theories as to what they could be (including plesiosaurs, long-necked seals, giant eels, etc.), and lots of other things, including Nessie in music, other Scottish loch monsters, kelpies and legends of water horses, and more.
A Kelpie/Water Horse

One very interesting chapter is the one about a sighting report given to Shuker by Tim Dinsdale, famous Nessie researcher, back in the 1980s. Shuker's book is the only one this sighting has been published in.

Another interesting chapter covers some very odd theories for what Nessie is, including Tony "Doc" Shiels' "elephant squid" theory, and some sightings in which the creature was described as a giant frog, a "cross between a very large horse and a camel," and more.

I enjoyed this book quite a bit and recommend it to those interested in the mystery of the Loch Ness Monster.

You can get it here.

UPCOMING REVIEWS...

As a side note - Coming soon will be a review of Stan Gordon's 2015 book Astonishing Encounters. After that, I have a few more CZ books from this year - Patrick Gallagher's Loch Ness: Back into the Depths and The Tantanoola Tiger, and Malcolm Robinson's The Monsters of Loch Ness. Look for those reviews in the future.





Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Mystery of Spring-Heeled Jack - A New Book



Out now is a new book on Spring-Heeled Jack by John Matthews - The Mystery of Spring-Heeled Jack: From Victorian Legend to Steampunk Hero.
It was said he could jump much higher than a
normal man

Here's the book description:

"An extensive investigation of the origins and numerous sightings of the mysterious and terrifying figure known as Spring-Heeled Jack
"Shares original 19th-century newspaper accounts of Spring-Heeled Jack encounters as well as 20th and 21st-century reports
"Explains his connections to Jack the Ripper and the Slender Man
"Explores his origins in earlier mythical beings from folklore, his Steampunk popularity, and the theory that he may be an alien from a high-gravity planet
"Spring-Heeled Jack--a tall, thin, bounding figure with bat-like wings, clawed hands, wheels of fire for eyes, and breath of blue flames--first leaped to public attention in Victorian London in 1838, springing over hedges and walls, from dark lanes and dank graveyards, to frighten and sometimes physically attack women. News of this strange and terrifying character quickly spread, but despite numerous  sightings through 1904 he was never captured or identified.
"Exploring the vast urban legend surrounding this enigmatic figure, John Matthews explains how the Victorian fascination with strange phenomena and sinister figures paired with hysterical reports enable Spring-Heeled Jack to be conjured into existence. Sharing original 19th-century newspaper accounts of Spring-Heeled Jack sightings and encounters, he also examines recent 20th and 21st-century reports, including a 1953 UFO-related sighting from Houston, Texas, and disturbing accounts of the Slender Man, who displays notable similarities with Jack. He traces Spring-Heeled Jack's origins to earlier mythical beings from folklore, such as fairy creatures and land spirits, and explores the theory that Jack is an alien marooned on Earth whose leaping prowess is attributed to his hime planet having far stronger gravity than ours.
"The author reveals how Jack the Ripper, although a different and much more violent character, chose to identify himself with the old, well-established figure of Spring-Heeled Jack. Providing and extensive look at Spring-Heeled Jack from his beginnings to the present, Matthews illustrates why the worldwide Steampunk community has so thoroughly embraced Jack."

You can get the book here.  

Spring-Heeled Jack


Cryptid Culture #4

Out now is issue #4 of Cryptid Culture Magazine. 

This issue features


  • "The Rise and Fall of the Loveland Frog" by Brian D. Parsons,
  • "The Beast Between the Lakes" by Ron Coffey,
  • "The International Cryotozoology Society" by Loren Coleman,
  • "Paleodictyon" by John Mezaros,
  • "The Chupacarba's Cronies" by my friend Colin Schneider,
  • "The Florida Skunk Ape" by Robert C. Robinson,
  • The Bishopville Lizard Man" by Lyle Blackburn,
  • and "The Monsters of Loch Ness" by Malcolm Robinson.
It also features lots of cool cryptid artwork.

You can get Cryptid Culture here.


Thursday, November 3, 2016

Marc DeWerth at Mansfield Library This Saturday

Bigfoot investigator Marc DeWerth will be hosting a lecture on the subject at the Mansfield-Richland County Public Library this Saturday, November 5th. Doors open at 12:30 p.m. and the event is from 1-3 p.m.. The library is located at 43 W 3rd Street, Mansfield, Ohio. There will be plenty of door prizes and anyone who likes Bigfoot will enjoy DeWerth's talk.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

"The Movie's Become Real Life to Me" - A Review of "Boggy Creek Monster"

Recently I got to check out the newest Small Town Monsters documentary Boggy Creek Monster, which will be released November 11th.

Boggy Creek Monster is the third film in the Small Town Monsters series, the other two being Minerva Monster and Beast of Whtiehall. 

The new film focuses on sightings of the Boggy Creek Monster (or, more likely, monsters) seen around Fouke, Arkansas, and the area of Boggy Creek and the Sulphur River Bottoms. One interesting thing I learned from the film is that Boggy Creek itself it actually very small, and most sightings of the creature occur in different areas around there.

The Boggy Creek Monster became famous in 1972 after the movie The Legend of Boggy Creek was released. Directed by Charles B. Pierce, the movie was a sort of "docu-drama" that told mostly true stories about what the people around Fouke had been seeing. Lots of the people in the film weren't actors either, and were "playing" themselves.
My LoBC poster

The 1972 movie is about sightings that happened in the early '70s, but sightings of the creature(s) around the area have continued to this day. Boggy Creek Monster covers quite a few of these more recent sightings.

The film is narrated by Lyle Blackburn, who wrote a fantastic book on the subject titled The Beast of Boggy Creek: The True Story of the Fouke Monster, which was released in 2012. Throughout the film he talks about the time he has spent investigating the mystery.
Lyle Blackburn & I
Boggy Creek Monster is over an hour long, which makes it the longest of the three Small Town Monsters film. It also thoroughly covers the history of the town and the monster from the early-1900s to the present day.

Two things that really stuck out to me in the film were the parts when Smokey Crabtree (who passed away earlier this year) talked about the monster, and when it was revealed that the film crew may have captured evidence of the creature itself! I won't say what that evidence is - you'll have to watch and find out yourself.

Smokey Crabtree lived in the woods near Fouke and became almost as legendary as the monster itself. He helped convince the people in Fouke to help Pierce make his movie in the '70s. Smokey never saw the monster himself, but members of his family did. His son Lynn had one of the most famous sightings of the monster in the '60s. In the film, you get to hear Smokey tell that story, and it is fascinating and awesome to hear it from him.

Once again (like with the other films,) Boggy Creek Monster was directed by Seth Breedlove. It also features a great soundtrack by Brandon Dalo, who also composed the soundtracks for the other two films.
With Seth and Brandon

This is probably my favorite out of the three STM films, and if you are someone who is interested in the mystery of the Fouke monster or cryptozoology in general, it is not to be missed. Like the other two STM films, there really isn't any dramatization and you hear the witnesses' stories directly from them. These movies are made how cryptid documentaries should be made.

One last thing - one thing a witness said really stuck out to be me, too, when he said "The movie's become real life to me" when talking about his encounter.

Thanks Seth, for letting me check out the movie early!


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

A Field Guide to Sasquatch Structures

A new book out by Christopher Noel, which looks quite interesting…


"For centuries, we have come across striking and consistent stick and tree structures in the forest, especially in areas with a long history of Sasquatch encounters. Yet until now, no field guide has existed to catalog and present these remarkable formations for quick and easy reference. Sasquatch is a higher primate (like us) with a large brain, capable hands, and plenty of time to use them. As our evolutionary next of kin, this species, too, naturally manipulates its environment in distinctive and impressive ways. But instead of building cities, universities, machines, or writing books, symphonies, or computer code, they simply express their creative intelligence otherwise. Using this valuable resource - graced with Zoe Christiansen's pen-and-ink illustrations - you'll be equipped to recognize characteristic themes and variations with a trained eye. It's your key to a higher level of insight into the mind and personality of these fellow humans."

You can get A Field Guide to Sasquatch Structures here.
 
 

Mill Race Monster Day (MRM Part 1)

On November 1, 1974, a creature now called the "Mill Race Monster" was spotted in Mill Race Park, in Columbus, Indiana.

The first sighting occurred around 3 p.m., when four teenage girls in the park saw something standing between some trees near a boat ramp going into the White River. They quickly fled the area and went to the police, telling them they had seen a monster that was "green, hairy, and large."
On Monsters and Mysteries in America

That evening, two women stopped in Mill Race Park to eat and talk. They knew nothing of the earlier report of the monster, but also encountered it.

Tyra Cataline, one of the witnesses, came forward years later to discuss the story on Monsters and Mysteries in America. "Out of the woods comes this thing," she said. "It had to be at least 7 feet tall, if not taller. It was way taller than a normal man. It was beating on the windshield, trying to get in and we were screaming... who wouldn't be screaming? We thought we were going to die... I said 'we've got to get out of here,' but the driver's leg was shaking so badly she couldn't get the car started."

The driver managed to get the car started and get out of there, but not before Cataline got a look at the monster.

She described it:

"There was  a greenish tinge to him. The thing's face. I don't know if it had been in the river drinking and it got moss on it because there was so much slime on its face... it did have fangs and he was trying to bite through the glass, and I was afraid he was going to tear the door off. Nothing has ever scared me as much as that."
Like the girls earlier in the day, the two witnesses went straight to the police and told them about their encounter. The police didn't really believe them, just like before. The women's car, however, had noticeable damage done to it and a terrible stench surrounded it. The police did go to the scene but found nothing.


 The next day, The Republic newspaper of Columbus printed a short blurb about the sightings, titled "Monster - Women Report Seeing 'Beast' in Mill Race:"

"They swear it's true. Six young women told city police Friday in to separate reports that they had seen a 'Mill Race Monster' - once in broad daylight.
"And whatever it is, the six are agreed, it is (1) Green, (2) Hairy, (3) Large, about six feet tall and walking upright, and (4) Has claws.
"Four of the women, whose names police did not list, said they saw 'the thing' about 3 p.m. Friday near the paved boat ramp in the park along White river at the west end of Fifth street. The other two said it jumped on the hood of their car, leaving scratch marks in the paint. That was about 11:45 p.m. No one was hurt, only frightened, police said.
"Officers searched the are on both occasions but found nothing. They are hoping it's only a misguided hobgoblin who lost its sense of timing and doesn't know Halloween is over for another year. But, just the same, they warned other residents to take care and keep an eye out for the 'monster.'"

The story

Sightings of the Mill Race Monster did not stop after the 1st, however. Check back later for another post on the other sightings.