Archive for the ‘speculation’ category

Spring-Heeled Jack…

October 11, 2017

With Spooktober  here on Destination America, it’s time to delve into the archives a bit and consider a fairly obscure but historically interesting cryptid who reportedly terrorized London in the Victorian era.  He was called Spring-Heeled Jack for his supposed ability to execute astonishing leaps, capable apparently of clearing a house in a single bound.  

Now numerous images of Jack exist, ranging from the hideous to the almost dashing figure shown here.  Most reports describe him as appearing demonic, with clawed hands and prominent red eyes.  Jack also had the described ability to spew blue flames at his victims.  He was prone to attacking women and making off with children, with surviving victims suffering claw injuries and psychological trauma.  His first attack is said to have occurred in 1837, kissing and clawing up a woman who drove him off with her screams.  Numerous attacks were said to have taken place in 1838.

Jack’s escapades became the topics of “Penny Dreadful” fiction, and parents used to keep difficult children in line by threats of his appearance.  The last recorded sighting of him dates back to 1904.  Some have speculated that Spring-Heeled Jack was one of the inspirations for Batman, as you might see suggested by the figure above.  And with his last public appearance occurring over 100 years ago, perhaps this Victorian boogeyman is due for a revival, Steampunk being “in” and all…

  

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The Rogue Team Rises: Part 2

April 18, 2017

As Part 1 of the confusing and muddied Rogue Team episode ended, team members Buck, Huck, and Jeff were roughly thrown into a van by the Rogue Team, winding up in Part 2 (S5/Ep2) in an interrogation room in a cabin deep in the woods.  Things became surreal when the masked head of a figure became visible through a window in that room, ordering the boys to capture “The Woman of the Woods,” a witch-like figure last encountered in Lee City, VA.  In return for doing this, the captor promised to deliver the identity of those who had killed “the Stonish Giant,” a Bigfoot variant.  When their captor had left, a boot knife was produced by which the trio freed themselves.  Buck threw a chair through the window where their host had appeared and found a decapitated hog’s head on a stake…eww!

Reunited with Willy and Wild Bill, the team went to team leader Trapper’ s house, and found it ransacked.  In a secure safe was found a note and cell phone video from Trapper, detailing that he was going by invitation to a cabin of the Rogue Team; GPS coordinates were found.  Going to this location the team failed to find Trapper, but rammed around the neighboring roads a bit until they found his truck.  Also finding blood in the area, police were summoned.  With a canine unit brought in, the trail led to another cabin where a bloodied Trapper was found inside.  The blood stemmed from a reopened surgical wound rather than foul play.  On the walls of the cabin were pictures of the AIMS team illustrating things that they had missed in their investigations.

Going back to the cabin where three of them had been held captive (pictured above), the gross hog’s head was examined, and coordinates were found secured in a shotgun casing found in the hog’s mouth; so glad that I wasn’t eating for this segment!  The coordinates were to a location in “The Dark Forest,” with team researcher Jeff sharing that he had gone alone to the Dark Forest, but didn’t know how he had arrived there: presumably the “Woman of the Woods ” was influencing Jeff from a prior encounter.

And what is to be found in “The Dark Forest?”- – Why, that’s where “The Black Wolf” lives, a creature to be revealed in an upcoming episode called, “Secrets of the Dark Forest.” – – Are you not entertained?!

Churchill and the Aliens…

February 16, 2017

Now this is kinda cool, especially if you’re a bit of a history buff as many nerds like myself are.  The history and science fiction nexus gets thick at times over World War II, what with the insane speculation that Nazi Germany was scientifically advanced due to alien “assistance.”  So it really floats my boat to hear that a lost essay has been discovered by none less than Winston Churchill in which he supports the existence of alien life…

…I swear that I am not making this up!  The unpublished essay from 1939 by Churchill was discovered in of all places a Missouri museum to which the paper had been donated and then forgotten.  Now Winnie was a remarkable guy; a politician, statesman, writer, and even a friend of the sciences who while prime minister of England appointed a science adviser, and regularly met with scientists.  Radar was developed during his watch, and may have kept England afloat when the Nazis came calling.  Anyways, Churchill in this essay ponders the timeless question of alien life, and concludes that we are not alone

…remarkably, Churchill’s reasoning even from over seventy years ago mirrors scientific thought even today, proving that the cigar-smoker was both broad-minded and a man ahead of his time.  Churchill and Carl Sagan probably would have liked each other.  The best politicians are scientifically friendly; if only such could be said of Mr. Trump…

“Werewolves in America…”

November 5, 2016

 

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A recent episode of Werewolves in America airing on the Destination America network covered several classic werewolf tales, most of which we’ve heard and seen packaged elsewhere.  The Beast of Bray Road in Wisconsin has been seen more than 100 times, with a flurry of sightings in 1989 of upright wolf creatures.  In fall of 1989, for example, a local bar manager when driving home saw an animal on the road holding road kill.  It locked eyes with her, and she barely got her car restarted in time to escape the creature.  Animals have been reported found suspiciously dead and dismembered by the creature.  A sanitation worker reporting a sighting in 2006 described the creature as standing about 7′ tall, and looking like a wolf on top of a bear’s body.  

Slidell, Louisiana features the Cajun Werewolf, perceived as a person who’s been cursed.  Such creatures may be set forth by the swamp as a warning.  In Chauvin, Louisiana a 13-year-old boy went hunting on All Saint’s Day despite admonitions not to, encountering what he described as a dog shaped in human form which chased him. Werewolves have also been reported in Montegut, Louisiana where they are also seen as cursed souls.

The town of Holly near Detroit, Michigan reports “the Man-Dog of Holly,” also known as the Michigan Dogman. Described as a spirit-based creature rather than one of flesh and blood, over 500 sightings of the Dogman have been reported, including one reported in 2005 by a repo man seeking out a vehicle late one night.

Whether sighted in the old or new world, werewolves and their legends continue to fascinate and intrigue us…

 

 

“Psychic Powers” on Monsters and Mysteries Unsolved

October 10, 2016

 

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An episode on psychic powers is not really something I expect to see on a show like Monsters and Mysteries Unsolved, but then again, the earlier episode on ghosts didn’t really seem to fit the mold well, either.  This S1/Ep12 installment again ran far afield, focusing on several psychics, two of which have reportedly used their abilities to advance police investigations.

Psychic Laurie McQuary believes that she gained her psychic abilities following a fall from a horse at the age of 18. She assisted police in Wheeler City, Oregon in 1994 on the “case of the missing cowboy.”  The man in question left his ranch on horseback and failed to return, although his horse did.  The psychic believed that the cowboy was murdered, and sure enough his gunshot body was later discovered.  Holding a fragment of the bullet retrieved, the psychic received impressions from it, and felt that the murderer was female.  The case, however, remained unsolved.

A second psychic, Nany Orlean Weber, was also profiled.  She assisted police in New Jersey in the case of a missing girl, and was reported to intuitively perceive facts about the case that police didn’t disclose to her.  This psychic felt that she was born with her psychic abilities, and reports receiving her insights in visions.

In Dunstable, England, Chris Robinson is called the “dream psychic” or “dream detective.” He reportedly has dreams that foretell the future, most notably about large scale disasters such as the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Most interesting to me was a segment on the “Stargate” project during the Cold War, when 20 million dollars were spent in a government project over a period of 25 years investigating “remote viewing,” a phenomena where people not physically present were thought to extend their consciousness to other locations via astral projection to perceive what was going on there.  However, tests revealed that psychics were not successful in discerning concealed information any more often than simple chance would indicate.  The study was abandoned when it was determined that no useful information came from it, and no “psychic spies” have ever been fielded; your tax dollars at work, folks…

Although neuro-scientist and psychiatrist Diane Powell has found some similarities between the brainwave activities of psychics and epileptics, the scientific community in general has taken a dim view of psychic powers. Professor and psychologist Chris French, for example, notes that there is simply no good or convincing evidence of psychic abilities, although he wishes that there were, as such people would be handy to have around in some applications…

“Animal Apocalypse” on Monsters & Mysteries Unsolved

September 27, 2016

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Episode 10, Season 1 of Monsters and Mysteries Unsolved looked  at a global increase in animal die-offs, a phenomena referred to as the “Animal Apocalypse.”  Several examples of this were then investigated.

On New Year’s Eve 2010 in Beebe, Arkansas, blackbirds swarmed all over the town, impacting with buildings and other objects, and dropping dead on lawns and streets.  The next morning, residents found 5,000 dead birds in the city.  In a scene reminiscent of The X-Files, crews in Hazmat suits were called in, collecting the birds and taking them to a wildlife health center in Madison, Wisconsin where experts examined the bodies and found that birds were not ill but had impact injuries, dying from blunt force trauma.  The question was why had blackbirds bruised and battered their bodies in Beebe; nothing like a little alliteration to liven things up!  The best answer was that New Year’s Eve fireworks displays had scared hundreds of thousands of birds, forcing them into flight at night when the species couldn’t see, causing them to simply fly into things, which did not go well for them.  

Elsewhere in Ozark, Arkansas 80,000 drum fish were found dead along the Arkansas River. No abnormal toxins were found in the water, but examination of the fish revealed that they had over-inflated swim bladders, a condition referred to as gas bubble disease.  This condition was felt to have been caused by an abnormally high number of gate openings at a dam on the river.

Some entire species of bees are disappearing at a furious rate in a phenomena referred to as “Colony Collapse Disorder .”  Such things could pose a direct threat to the world food supply of fruits, nuts, and vegetables where pollination by bees is critical.  The mystery of the vanishing bees remains unsolved.  “White Nose Syndrome” has also ravaged bat populations in the eastern U.S., causing strange behavior such as bats flying out during the day and in winter.  Five to seven million bats were lost during the winter of 2008, with the afflicted bats showing a fungus which eroded through tissues and made them thirsty during normal hibernation times.

Time was given to a Pastor Wohlberg, who felt that species die-offs were part of Biblical end times prophesy.  By this viewpoint, it’s all a reflection of corruption of the Earth due to human immorality…

Wildlife die-offs have been noted globally, in countries that have included England, Brazil, Italy, the Philippines, and Peru.  Pandemics are likely to happen as animal diseases jump to human populations.  This occurred with the Black Death that ravaged medieval Europe, as well as with the 1918 Influenza epidemic, the West Nile virus, the Swine Flu, and others.  Pathogens getting into the human population increases every year, so we can reasonably expect more of the same in the future, with animal populations providing an advance warning.  

“Bermuda Triangle” on Monsters and Mysteries Unsolved

September 18, 2016

 

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Ships go missing!- – Planes vanish without a trace! – – Are strange forces at work, or is the Bermuda Triangle just a myth?  In another episode focusing on the paranormal and mysteries rather than cryptozoology, Monsters and Mysteries Unsolved on their S1/Ep09 installment dealt with such questions.  Most of the segments again covered familiar territory and occurrences in an uneven fashion.

There was pilot Bruce Gernon, who in 1970 while flying from Palm Beach to the Bahamas encountered a lenticular cloud which ascended and expanded, trapping him.  A kind of tunnel with strange lines formed, his instruments went haywire, and the pilot could not ascertain his position, but reported the sensation of zero-gravity and hydroplaning.  He arrived at his destination earlier than otherwise would have been possible given the capabilities of his small plane.  At least this pilot had a positive outcome…

…not so the legendary Flight 19, a group of five American Navy Avenger bombers which a quarter century earlier disappeared while on a training flight out of Ft. Lauderdale.  Compass deviations were reported, with the final squadron transmission occurring two hours into the flight.  Despite a massive search, no trace of the planes or their occupants were ever found.  The ill-fated Fight 19 was termed the single most important event perpetuating the myth of the Bermuda Triangle.

On the sea itself, the USS Cyclops disappeared in 1918 on route to Baltimore out of Barbados.  A massive ship for its day, no wreckage, oil slick, or any trace of the vessel was ever found.  The ship went down over the Puerto Rico Trench, a deep part of the ocean.  A rogue wave was advanced as the leading theory for the disappearance.  Other oceanic disasters have included the sinking of the Ocean Ranger oil rig in 1982.

These are but a few of the best known Bermuda Triangle disappearances, with author/researcher Michael Preisinger reporting over fifty unsolved cases.  Even Christopher Columbus reported compass malfunctions.  David Pares believes that bad weather accounts for most of the disappearances, noting that converging storms can form a hole between them, possibly like that experienced by pilot Gernon in 1970.  Efforts to recreate his experience, however, have not been successful.  Other explanations briefly and weakly advanced included the possible association of gamma rays with thunderstorms, and the weakening of Earth’s magnetic fields, especially in association with an area called “the South Atlantic Anomaly.”  Ultimately, the show concluded that the Bermuda Triangle is felt to be founded more on myth than on facts…