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Don't open the door! Don't go into the basement! Don't look under the bed! DON'T OPEN THE CLOSET! Is it ghosts? Is it ghouls? Is it little hairy monsters with big teeth and claws? NO - It's another spine-tingling issue of your favorite weekly newsletter of conspiracies, UFOs, the paranormal, and everything else spooky and scary - CONSPIRACY JOURNAL.
This weeks issue of Conspiracy Journal looks at such neck-biting tales as:
- FBI's UFO Document Most Likely a Hoax -
- Black Eyed Kids: Insidious Threat or Myth in the Making? -
- Dark Holiness: Forgotten Apparitions -
- Scariest Poltergeist Activity -
AND: ‘Michigan Triangle’ May be to Blame for Weird Occurrences
~ And Now, On With The Show! ~
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FBI's UFO Document Most Likely a Hoax
By Lee Speigel
In the past few days a story has come out about a new FBI site called "The Vault" that allows history buffs and Web surfers the chance to check out a variety of documents, including some about UFOs.
One particular 1950 document seems to be taking on a viral life of its own. Written by FBI agent Guy Hottel and sent to the bureau's director, J. Edgar Hoover, it relates how "flying saucers had been recovered in New Mexico. They were described as being circular in shape with raised centers, approximately 50 feet in diameter.
"Each one was occupied by three bodies of human shape but only 3 feet tall, dressed in metallic cloth of a very fine texture," etc., etc.
This 1950 memo was sent by special agent Guy Hottel to FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. It concerns a story about flying saucers and alien creatures supposedly recovered in New Mexico. While the document itself is real, the story contained in it is reportedly a hoax.
Sound too good to be true? It is. First of all, it is a real FBI document -- that's not in dispute. The problem lies in the content of it, all the flying saucer, alien body stuff.
In most of the stories published this week about the alien encounter, only a handful have made a big deal of the fact that this is not a "newly released" document or that the story is a hoax.
"It was one of the documents I got in the first bunch of documents out of a total of 1,600 that were released by the FBI way back in the late 70s," said retired U.S. Navy optical physicist Bruce Maccabee.
Maccabee actually obtained the document from the FBI via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in 1977 and even wrote about it in his 2000 book, "UFO-FBI Connection" (Llewellyn Publications).
Maccabee is a renowned investigator of UFO photographs and visual evidence.
"First of all, the document was in this official FOIA release, so I have no doubt that the document is true," Maccabee told AOL News.
As to the contents of the document, "it appears this was the result of a story told by (oil scam artist) Silas Newton, during a lecture at the University of Denver on March 8, 1950 (two weeks before the document was written)," Maccabee explained.
"Newton tried to convince some potential oil company investors that he had secret alien technology that could be used to locate underground oil.
"So this was a con job. Newton was laying the groundwork for it by saying there had been three crashed saucers with creatures."
Maccabee says the story kept getting passed from person to person and believes "an Air Force Office of Special Investigations man picked up on it and told the FBI guy, who then sent a memo to Hoover."
This wasn't unusual, Maccabee continued, because around the same time, in 1947, "the Air Force initially asked the FBI to investigate witnesses to find out if there were any possible Communist subversive activities going on, generating spurious stories to make the American public fearful that our own military couldn't handle Soviet aircraft in our skies."
Even though nothing came of this investigation, Maccabee says it at least established a connection between the FBI and the Air Force, especially about UFOs.
"Back in the late 40s and 50s, no one expected the Freedom of Information Act 20 years later," Maccabee added. "Basically, the FBI was told by Hoover, 'If you come up with UFO information, do not investigate, send it to the Air Force.' But, nevertheless, they would sometimes send memos back to headquarters."
And that's apparently how this whole 1950 crashed flying saucer with dead aliens memo evolved, with a little bit of con artistry kicked in.
If there's a moral to the story it's this: You can't trust every document you read, even if it's a genuine document. To get at the truth, you need to really dig into it. How did it germinate? Are the people involved reliable, and is there a high or low credibility factor associated with it?
The truth is always out there, but it often requires investigators to use the correct filters to weed out the good from the bad.
Source: AOL News
- ONCE UPON A TIME DEPARTMENT -
Black Eyed Kids: Insidious Threat or Myth in the Making?
By Rob Morphy
It’s late, it’s dark and you’re in the middle of nowhere. Perhaps you’re walking down a lonely stretch of moonlit road, maybe you’re in a desolate parking lot trying to get your car started or perhaps you’re nestled in the warmth of your own home reading yourself to sleep; whatever the circumstance, you find yourself in an isolated locale when you’re suddenly startled by a sharp knock at the door or window. You look up from your steering wheel or cautiously pull back the curtain to see… wait for it… a pair of thin, trendily dressed, usually olive skinned teenagers.
Sounds pretty anti-climatic, right? But just wait; these aren’t your average, ordinary scallywags. These adolescents have something horribly wrong with them — something almost none of the witnesses notice at first glance — it’s their eyes. These “creatures” have no white corneas, no colorful irises, just a pair of big, black, shark-like eyes that inspire abject horror in all who have claimed to have seen them.
What’s worse is that these bizarre younglings aren’t content to scare you and continue on their merry way; no they are insistent that you help them. They stare through you with those dull ebony orbs and demand you let them in your car and give them a ride home or that they be allowed into your house to use your phone. The most horrifying aspect of all of this is that those who claim to have encountered these sinister kids swear that they’ve had to actively resist the temptation to do their bidding, as if their voices carried some sort of hypnotic influence.
ORIGIN OF A LEGEND
Stories of Black Eyed Kids — or BEKs as they were swiftly dubbed — have been popping up all over the internet for over a decade, but have yet to achieve any real pop culture notoriety… you’ll know when that happens as soon as you start seeing commercials for a Wes Craven’s or Eli Roth’s new movie based on the “horrifying, real-life phenomena!”
This strange trend was first reported by journalist Brian Bethel on January 16, 1998. According to Bethel, two boys approached him while he was sitting in his parked car. Bethel described the kids in prototypical BEK fashion as stylish, olive skinned kids. The boys asked for a ride home explaining that they were on their way to the movies, but had forgotten their money.
Bethel claimed that he was overwhelmed by a “fight-or-flight” response, but was nevertheless tempted to allow the boys entrance into the vehicle. He resisted the urge, which seemed to only agitate the boys, who grew ever more adamant that they be allowed into the car. It was then that Bethel finally noticed their “coal black” eyes, whereupon he was momentarily paralyzed with fear.
The black-eyed beings seemed to realize that their window of opportunity was closing and their demands reached a fever pitch, at which point Bethel collected himself and promptly exited the scene. Thus began the “official” saga of the BEKs.
THE PHENOMENON GAINS GROUND
As is evident to anyone who’s ever roasted marshmallows in front of an open flame, tales of BEKs have a lot of the characteristics of a classic campfire story. In fact, one of the most harrowing accounts I’ve come across concerns a man who decided to ignore years of cinematic warnings issued by scores of horror films and go camping alone. This unlucky fellow first encountered a pair of BEKs in an empty men’s room and then foolishly decided to sleep unaccompanied in his tent next to a lonely lake some miles away.
According to his chilling tale, these kids managed to track him to his tent where they spent the better part of the night begging to be let in from the cold. The man spent a sleepless night in the center of his tent doing his best to ignore their pleas for shelter, all the while convinced that any second they were going to burst in on him and end his life. As dawn broke, the chap was relieved to discover that he was once again on his own. He packed frenziedly and left posthaste, vowing to never camp on his own again.
Another of the numerous accounts of BEK encounters concerned a woman named “Adele” who was in the relative safety of her home when she had a harrowing experience with BEKs. She described the encounter thusly:
“I was sitting in my bedroom reading a book, when at about 11:00 p.m. I heard a knocking… a slow, constant one. I got up out of bed to see what it was. I looked out of the window and to my surprise saw two children. I opened the window and asked them what they wanted at this time of night. They replied by saying simply, ‘Let us in’. I said no and asked what for. ‘We want to use your bathroom’.”
“I was quite shocked that children of about 10 years-old wanted to use a stranger’s bathroom at this time of night. I told them no, closed the window, but looked at them through the glass. I glanced at their eyes… and I have never ever seen eyes like them. They were black, completely black. I got the feeling of evil and unhappiness. It surrounded me. It was horrible.”
As if that weren’t creepy enough, apparently military security is no obstacle for these entities as one Marine who was stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina can attest. The Marine was up late watching a movie in the infantry barracks where he lived in November of 2009. Being the weekend, all of his cohorts were either out drinking or asleep, and when he heard a knock at his door he assumed it was merely his roommate who had a habit of forgetting his keys.
When he opened the door the young Marine would receive the shock of his life, for it was not his buddy standing in the walkway, but a pair of BEKs. The Marine insisted that his first instinct was to slam the door and lock it, but he was unable to do so. He described the experience in vivid detail:
“I couldn’t take my eyes of their pitch-black eyes; it was like they were sucking me in. I felt horrible and was suddenly frightened for my life, like I needed to immediately take cover. They just stared at me, with those goddamn eyes.”
“I took a quick look up and down the walkway to see if any other Marines were out, but there was nobody in site. I turned back to the kids who I noticed had taken a step forward toward me. I got the feeling like I was being hunted, like these kids where predators and out for their next meal or something. Instinct gave way to reason and I decided to listen to that voice and shut the door and locked it.”
It would seem that even other children are not immune to contact from these entities and — if this report is to be believed — they are even willing to get physical with those who are ostensibly their own age. This alarming account was posted online by a 16-year old boy who had a run in with a pair of BEKs outside of his home. In his own words — typos and all:
“I was skateboarding at around 10:30 last night and i had stopped to take a rest when i was approached by two kids one with blonde hair and a baseball cap pointed and a skateboard painted all black on the bottom and the other slightly less intimitdating as he look to be around 8 he had blonde hair also and was wearing a spiderman shirt the older one spoke to me as i had my head hanging low.”
“Hey, kid can you help us were lost we need to use a phone can you take us to your house?” I looked up at them and immediatly felt Dread and dispair i stood up quickly sensing something was wrong ” Uh, you can use my cellphone if you want” the older kid seemed annoyed then and look me in the eyes it was then that i noticed they were black all black not in white i could see ” Hey cool contacts where did you get them” i asked.”
“There not Contacts” he said flatly ” Yea well sorry i couldn’t help you guys out but im going inside” i turned around and started to ride but somehow the older kid caught up with me and grabbed my sholder ” YOU will let us use your phone WE NEED TO GO INSIDE BUT WE CAN”T IF YOU DON”T TAKE US TO YOUR HOUSE” it was at this point i hit him in the face and ran up the stairs to my house and shook for hours later when i was on the computer i looked outside my window and the kids were staring at the window i told my mother and of course she didn’t belive me.”
This is the first encounter I’ve heard of where there was physical contact between a BEK and a human being. Does this represent a trend of increasing physical violence that these creatures will employ to get their way or is it merely a case of a weaker individual getting bullied by an unknown entity? Perhaps only time will tell.
These cases and scores of others have been reported from all across the globe with very few variances. Some neglect the olive skin, while other reports state that the BEKs were dressed in fashionable clothes of another period rather than contemporary trends. Most of these cases involve a pair of boys, but there are also reports of adult women and even one bizarre account by an elderly couple concerning group of black-eyed teens that pulled in front of their house in a new van. While a pair of BEKs attempted to gain access to their home they noticed that the rest of them were walk a dachshund in front of their house. Needless to say these cases represent the exceptions and not the rule.
So presupposing this phenomenon is not only real, but increasing in frequency we are forced to ask the most basic question…
WHAT THE HECK ARE THESE THINGS?
This query is as fascinating as it is frustrating, as it would seem that BEKs dwell in that nebulous void between demonology, ufology, cryptozoology and the plain old paranormal. This is a dark and perplexing realm wherein the most eccentric entities — such as the New Jersey Devil or Point Pleasant’s Mothman among others — are said to exist, carving their own unique niches in these distinctly different disciplines.
As BEKs seem to virtually materialize out of thin air there is very little evidence suggesting a point of origin. This, of course, has done nothing to prevent the volumes of speculation which has run rampant across the internet. The theories run the gamut from the barely credible to the utterly inconceivable, but perhaps the most peculiar — yet somehow logical — hypothesis is that these creatures are in fact…
Having yielded a better part of my misspent youth to monster flicks such as “The Lost Boys” and televisions shows like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” I have to admit that there is a certain horrible appeal to the notion that fashionable, charismatic vampires may be stalking our streets.
To begin with the bulk of BEK encounters consist of youthful, usually dapper young men who employ hypnotic voices and mesmerizing black eyes to try and coerce their “victims” into doing their bidding. Secondly, these beings have displayed an evident inability to enter someone’s property without first being invited. It’s difficult to argue that these attributes aren’t vampire-like.
Still, as scores of scholars have noted in the past half-century, the concept of the seductive, chic, trance inducing vampire is more the product of modern fiction than ancient legend. Traditionally speaking vampires are not young and suave Edward Cullen types, but bestial creatures that look like bloated corpses with blood slathered maws.
While, to date, attempted blood consumption has not figured into any reported BEK encounters, it bears noting that there is not a single account from anyone who has succumbed to the demands of these black-eyed beings and actually allowed them into their home, car or tent. When speculating as to why this is, it is difficult not to assume the worst… there is a real possibility that exsanguination may play into the ultimate fates of those who indulge these creatures, but that, of course, is pure conjecture.
So, assuming we’re not dealing with vampires, then how about the equally outlandish possibility that these entities may be…
The scant bit of evidence that suggests that BEKs might be a the result of a strange synthesis of human and extraterrestrial DNA comes not from any reported UFOs seen at the sites of BEK encounters — which, as far as I know, has never happened — but from the vague reference some female alien abductees have had toward encountering half-human, half-Grey alien babies that were allegedly created utilizing their unfertilized eggs, which were extracted from them during the diminutive extraterrestrials’ notoriously invasive examinations.
More than a few of these unfortunate women have claimed to come into contact with humanoid babies,which they described as having olive shaded skin and jet-black, almond shaped eyes. Frankly, this wild supposition offers barely enough data to even call it a theory, but a more plausible explanation might be that BEKs are actually…
While some might be tempted to think that BEKs are merely the lost spirits of departed children who are sorrowfully wandering the Earth seeking help from adults, it should be noted that in each and every case the eyewitnesses have claimed to have felt an almost overpowering rush of fear when they came into contact with these beings. It’s as if they instinctively knew that they were not dealing with harmless children, but dangerous predators in disguise.
Admittedly “gut instinct” is not easy to classify as evidence, but the universality of this feeling in those who come across BEKs makes it difficult to dismiss. I also find it hard to believe that lost children — be they alive or dead — would consistently inspire such terror in adults. Wandering spirits may not be the answer in this case, but that leaves open the alternate paranormal possibility that these beings might just be…
DEMONS IN DISGUISE
Like the existence of Noah’s Ark or the stone tablets that Moses retrieved from the peak of Mount Sinai, belief in demons is a matter of faith. If one is predisposed to believing in the existence of angelic or demonic entities, then one would be hard pressed not to consider the fact that BEKs might be old fashioned, shape shifting critters from the bowels of hell.
This theory is no more or less reasonable than any other, in fact, when one considers the permeating aura of evil given off by BEKs it becomes downright plausible. Of course, if these are demons in the guise of young humans, one must wonder why they aren’t plying their nefarious charm rather than employing palpably eerie personas like the ones described. Still there’s no telling what goes on in the mind of a devilish denizen of Hades. Of course, assuming that none of the above options prove to be of merit, there is always the possibility that this whole darn thing is nothing but a…
Author Barry Napier — who has reported on this phenomenon — has made the valid point that while the internet is an invaluable tool for the distribution of information, it is also an easily abused medium for the transference of hearsay, rumors and outright lies:
“The internet has made it so that it is much easier to stay up to date with paranormal events. Sadly, it has also made it easier for people to spread many false claims and hoaxes. Because of this, it is difficult to tell when someone is contributing to a lie that has already fooled many readers or if the account is truthful.”
“One such phenomena is the growing number of stories regarding so-called Black Eyed Kids. The stories certainly reek of an almost mythological stench, but there are so many similar accounts that it is hard to look past. The events have been quietly gaining momentum in forums and paranormal websites, so quiet that many people are still not familiar with them. The Black Eyed Kids reports are scattered around the internet and chances are that a great deal of them are fabrications derived from the first reported accounts.”
This is a very real possibility. As we all know every genuine paranormal event is riddled by scores of pranks and copycat reports. It is, as they say, par for course, but that does not mean that the genesis of this phenomenon is not authentic. It simply means that investigators need to be all the more cautious when separating the truth from the exaggerations or outright fabrications.
Well, there really isn’t any conclusion. There are just too many “X” factors involved at this point. But whether BEKs are ghosts, vampires, demons, half-aliens, internet hoaxsters or prank prone teens with black contacts, anthropologists and folklorists should take note as this marks one of the few times in recorded history when a legend can be traced to a specific time, place and individual.
Whether or not this phenomenon proves to be true — and, like most of its ilk, the evidence will likely never confirm any solid conclusions — stories of BEKs will remain a fascinating and frightening addition to the hallowed halls of Fortean research and will no doubt send chills up the spines of children for generations to come.
I’ll admit that I’m still a skeptic in regards to the whole BEK phenomenon — it’s s too “loose” and has all the earmarks of an urban legend — but if I ever do bump into one of these “things” you can bet that I will not squander a single breath inquiring as to where it came from, but will employee every ounce of energy I’ve got to getting the hell out of there… and if any of you ever run into one of these mysterious misanthropes, tread very carefully and keep your wits about you — your life may depend on it.
Source: Mysterious Universe
- SHORT TERM MEMORY DEPARTMENT -
Dark Holiness: Forgotten Apparitions
By Scott Corrales
It would be an interesting exercise to sit down and compile all a list of all major events which occurred during a given period in history but were later forgotten, despite their impact at the moment. Almost assuredly better minds have attempted such an effort, categorizing incidents which caused a stir in their time yet totally overlooked by subsequent generations.
One such event--of gargantuan proportions, but tamped down by the triple factors of time, space and language barrier--occurred during the 1930's in Spain. The mention of those two coordinates will prompt thoughts of Ernest Hemingway and the international effort to participate in that country's bloody civil war, yet the event in question is by no means political. It specifically took place in the Basque Country, the industrial backbone of the Iberian Peninsula, with its coal mines and factories; Euskadi, in the mystifying Basque language, unrelated to any other on the continent and fancifully assumed by some to be the parlance of lost Atlantis.
A Forgotten Apparition
In a small, nigh well unreachable town in the Cantabrian mountains known as Ezkioga, there occurred a religious phenomenon far greater than Fátima and Garabandal, and perhaps more troubling. The agitation and the civil strife that marked those times aided religious authorities in stifling the situation ; the Second World War would succeed in obliterating any memory of it.
Ezkioga was rescued from oblivion recently through the diligent efforts of two journalists--Carmen Porter and Iker Jiménez--the first of whom published a book entitled Misterios de la Iglesia in 2002 and included her research in the text. Porter had the incredible luck to find, against all odds, one of the only copies of a limited print book regarding the mystery of Ezkioga...a book which church authorities had condemned to the flames in a tradition that dated back to the Inquisition.
On June 30, 1931, a brother and sister from Ezkioga -- Antonia, 11, and Andrés, 7 -- engaged in their daily routine of walking to a nearby dairy for milk and returning over the slopes of Mount Anduaga. On this particular day, the children noticed a bright light hovering above the treetops; forgetting their errand, they approached the light in awe and quickly dropped to their knees and prayed fervently, after seeing an image within the light source which they identified with the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The youngsters ran home to tell their elders of their religious experience; as in other Marian apparitions, they were scolded and warned not to lie about "things having to do with heaven." But such was their nervous excitement that they were later taken to see the parish priest, who was unable to detect any guile in their eyes and advised their father to be patient with the children. The priest apparently had reason for such a gentle approach: only days before, one of the communities most important landowners had had a much more dramatic encounter.
The landowner and his son had been dragging a fallen tree trunk across the steep terrain using a team of oxen when the tree unexpectedly rolled, dragging the beasts and his son with it over the edge of a precipice. Fearing his son dead, the landowner ran toward the edge of the defile and proceeded to descend. To his great surprise, he saw "a lady" holding one of the oxen by its horn; the son stood to one side, in shock but otherwise alive. The "lady" was covered by a long black veil and had a five starred crown which "glowed like a sun". The landowner "knew her to be the Blessed Mother". His friends, however, ridiculed him when the story was told.
But their clumsy jests would soon come to an end when reports of "a very beautiful lady in black" who would appear and cause children to kneel and pray with their arms outstretched began to surface. The children were none other than Antonia and Andrés, who continued to visit the location on Mount Anduaga where the initial contact had taken place.
Unlike Fátima, the miraculous visitations would not be restricted to the young. Less than a week later, a man known as Patxi, a carpenter who scoffed at the notion of apparitions and decried the foolishness of his fellow townsmen, claimed to have seen the woman in black himself: she had appeared to him wielding a bloody sword, addressing him in his native Euskera instead of Spanish. Her warnings were dire--there would be a civil war between Catholics and Non-Catholics in the Basque Country, but the Catholics would prevail in the end despite the death toll. A married woman named Maria Recalde had visited Mount Anduaga to pray the Rosary and was engulfed by a brightness she described as being "greater than that of the sun." She too saw a beautiful young woman, clad in black and holding a rosary, with her heart pierced by swords. María was shown horrific visions of desolation, rains of fire and poisonous gases killing thousands.
The sword motif would appear in a vision experienced by nine year old Benita Aguirre. She would tell clergyman Juan Bautista Altisent that she "could see the Holy Virgin...with two swords, on piercing her heart and another in her left hand, its point bloodied." The girl asked the apparition if she was bleeding for mortal sins, and the reply was affirmative.
So far we have a list of elements that are common to any Marian apparition, but there are details to Ezkioga, according to Carmen Porter, which suggest phenomena other than divine: some of the worshippers present at the Basque peak thought to have seen "a witch" rather than a beautiful woman; others saw a headless figure of the type reported in paranormal chronicles worldwide. Still another claimed to have seen the devil himself, describing the fearsome apparition as tall, red-headed and black, with fangs like those of a wolf. The man wanted to scream out of sheer terror, but managed to make the sign of the Cross and the apparition vanished.
Salvador Freixedo has the following to say about this part of the his native country: "There are in Spain two regions which have distinguished themselves throughout history for being the centers of witchcraft of the entire Peninsula. One of them is the region of the Basque Country and Navarre (Zugarramurdi, Berroscoberro)..." Church authorities in the 16th century believed that at least thirty thousand witches existed in the Basque country. Could there have been other forces at play here?
Summer had turned into harsh fall over Ezkioga, but the inner fire that inspired the believers did not waver. On October 15, another visionary named Ramona Olazábal informed the congregation that they should bring handkerchiefs with them, because the Virgin was about to induce stigmata in her. At five o'clock, Ramona raised her hands, standing at the site of the apparitions, and blood began to stream from the backs of her hands. The cry of "Blood!" rent the air as the faithful swooned and others hurried forward to dip their napkins in the seeress's vital fluid. A church hearing soon followed and Ramona's stigmata were questioned, especially when witnesses claimed having seen a razor blade on the ground beside her.
Even though this new aspect of the Marian phenomenon was called into question, the number of visionaries now soared past one hundred and fifty and up to eighty thousand people had visited Ezkioga to partake of the holy event. Church authorities were beginning to look into the event to ascertain that the events occurring in the remote Cantabrian mountains were other than natural, such as the healing of a stomach cancer patient whose recovery amazed physicians, or a paraplegic woman who felt better after praying the Rosary at site of the apparitions, and walked downhill to the echoed cries of "Milagro!" ringing in her ears. Even as eminent a physician as Gregorio Marañón visited Ezkioga and unequivocally stated that the phenomena were beyond the realm of the pathological sciences. "They belong to other disciplines that are beyond my competence."
The Church was not quite so sanguine. Religious authorities like Jose Antonio Laburu, a fiery preacher of the times, stood foursquare against the miracles, saying that the predictions had been false, that fraud was prevalent throughout the sightings, and that gift-giving had stimulated many of the seers "to keep having visions". Other religious, like Amado Bruguera, struggled to separate the wheat from the chaff (the true visionaries from the impostors, in this case) and to ferret out the impostors with inquisitorial zeal, firmly believing that Satan had also played a role on Mount Anduaga, deceiving the unworthy with false visions. His misplaced zeal would later win him a jail sentence and ecclesiastical censure.
By 1933, even as the political situation within Spain grew more precarious, Bishop Múgica of city of Vitoria wrote the Vatican, denying the presence of any paranormal phenomena and forbidding Catholics from keeping "any photographs, images, hymns" or other material regarding the apparitions. This decision was approved by Rome in a letter by Cardinal Sbarreti in which the "alleged apparitions and revelations of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Ezkioga are shorn of any supernatural character." The ruling also banned three books discussing the events.
The government was also finding the events in the village of Ezkioga tiresome. Pedro del Pozo, governor of Guipúzcoa, was given the order to put an end to the commotion over the Marian apparition. The governor ordered that the image of the Virgin be removed along with the souvenir stands which had cropped up at the site; if this was not done voluntarily, he cautioned, he would order workmen to demolish the chapel with dynamite. Although workmen had refused to manhandle the statue--being cautioned by the visionaries that to do so would mean their deaths--the image was removed to a cluster of houses for safekeeping. The authorities cut down the large cross which had been erected at the site, and the premises were fenced off to keep any further multitudes from congregating. Even more medieval-sounding was the decree issued by the mayor of Ezkioga under pressure from his superiors: the punishment prescribed for anyone having visions in public would range from heavy fines to prison, internment in an insane asylum, or deportation. Many of the visionaries indeed wound up institutionalized while others served jail time.
Was Father Laburu right about all of the prophecies being fraudulent? Apparently not. Most of the revelations concerning "a war in which much blood would be spilled within Spain" would come true, and which would begin with the closing of churches in Catalonia -- the event which would unleash the Spanish Civil War.
In 2001, Spanish film filmmaker Gutiérrez Aragón directed Visionarios: La Virgen de Ezkioga, starring Ingrid Rubio as one of the visionaries involved in the actual events. Although the production was not well received by contemporary audiences despite having been shot on location, it nonetheless served to rekindle interest in this all but forgotten paranormal event.
Headless at the Holy Sites
Strange creatures, some of them far from having a divine or holy aspect to them, are often reported at the sites of Marian apparitions. In the early 1990s, for instance, a "Bigfoot"-like creature was reported at the Marian shrine of Montaña Santa on the island of Puerto Rico. Believers like Ezkioga's Amado Bruguera shared the conviction that the devil's minions were at work at some of these locales, trying to frighten the faithful away from holy ground.
Most prevalent among these apparitions are the "headless" ones: the headless woman at Ezkioga had been preceded by a similarly decapitated figure--also female--which sent Lucía, Francisco and Jacinta, the young shepherds of Fátima, running for cover in 1915. The girl returned to her house and told her mother that she had seen "a white thing hovering over the trees which looked like a headless woman, having neither hands nor eyes." This presence was seen on two more occasions during the Fátima apparitions and became known as the "angel".
Journalist J.J. Benítez, writing in his landmark La Quinta Columna (Plaza y Janés, 1985), makes the curious note that strange headless entities form part of the lore of Spain's Las Hurdes region -- at one time so inaccessible and poor that it became the source of countless legends -- which is scarcely one hundred kilometers away from Fátima and Leira, across the Portuguese border. A mere coincidence or a fact filled with hidden significance?
Not to belabor the point about disturbing, seemingly non-angelic entities seen at Marian apparitions, but it is curious to note that the rituals of the ancient Coptic church (one of the oldest branches of the Christian faith) contain explicit prayers against the presence of "headless demons", such as the one appearing in the Zereteli-Tiflis collection, described as "a text containing a spell to provide protection against headless demons and powers that are bothering the person invoking angels and archangels". To make the link between Marian apparitions even more confusing, another such amulet invokes the virgin Mary's protection against a headless dog: "because I am having a clash with a headless dog, seize him when he comes and release me..." (Ancient Christian Magic: Coptic Texts of Ritual Power, Princeton: 1999). One wonders if this orison would have worked against the bat-winged, headless "Mothman" of West Virginia or a similar entity seen landing on a field in Britain in 1965.
Beatings from Beyond?
Salvador Freixedo has also made note of another strange negative feature that seems to afflict many of these Marian apparitions--the appearance of "persons unknown" who inflict bodily harm upon the seers or other involved with the miraculous phenomenon taking place at the site.
In October 1980, Amparo Cuevas, a fifty year-old mother of seven, became known as la vidente de El Escorial (the seeress of El Escorial) for her part in the Marian apparitions which occurred in said location. Cuevas was first visited by undescribable pain and voices which told her the suffering "was that of Christ on the Cross." From that moment on, Cuevas displayed the full range of manifestations that accompany the phenomenon: stigmata--including a curious image of a heart pierced by a sword on her chest--bilocation, levitation,speaking in tongues. She was able to take on the maladies of others, exhibiting the symptoms in her own body. Upon the onset of the pain, Cuevas supposedly "saw a beam of light heading straight toward her" which signalled the start of the mystical communion: during these ecstatic periods she would see the Virgin as a figure swathed from head to toe in a black mantle (with the detail of a white, gauzy veil included) as well as the crucified Christ.
While looking into the controversial El Escorial apparitions, Salvador Freixedo discovered that a gang of unidentified men--their faces conveniently covered by hoods--had inflicted a severe beating on Cuevas. The authorities considered the culprits to be members of some right-wing clique heavily opposed to any deviation of the Catholic doctrine, but the paranormalist drew an interesting conclusion of his own--based on his research into another, little-known Marian phenomenon of the 1970s.
Ladeira do Pinheiro, a small farming community not far from Fátima, became the focus of miraculous activity centered around visionary Maria da Conceicao Mendes. Mendes had startled members of the community and visitors with sixteen separate levitations, being transported--on one occasion--high into the air and losing herself among the clouds; three thousand communion wafers rained out of the heavens during one of the outdoor manifestations (their provenance was later determined to be the churches in the immediate vicinity) while other manifested in her very hands; the UFO phenomenon was also partial to Ladeira and its surroundings during the events, and some of these unknown lights outshone the full moon in their brilliance.
But one particular evening, while Maria da Conceicao Mendes held a nocturnal vigil with other worshippers, a group of men with clubs showed up out of nowhere to kick and batter the congregation. One of the worshippers died of a savage kick to the chest; Mendes lost her front teeth to another. The official explanation was that local roughs from Fátima -- incensed at the thought that Ladeira was "muscling in on the sweet deal" of the miracle business -- took matters into their own hands, possibly abetted by the clergy, who had declared the Ladeira incidents "demonic" from the onset.
"The resemblance between these incidents," writes Freixedo in Las Apariciones del Escorial (Quintá, 1991) "and what occurred at El Escorial is undeniable. Forces, whether human or non-human, appear to be always alert and active. These were not right-wing fanatics [...] but rather entities created by the apparition itself. In other words, they belong to the non-human montage behind the phenomenon. Absurd though it may seem, I suspect that the very entity that appears is the one responsible for the beatings."
The Devil at Garabandal?
So much has been written about the utterly inexplicable events at Garabandal--another town lost in the mountains of the Basque country-- that nothing can be added to it that will either make matters clearer or keep devotees of these apparitions, which ran from 1961 to 1970, from becoming enraged. For readers interested in delving fully into the matter, number of books and journals on the miracle are available in English and Conchita González, the principal seer, lives in the USA. Black and white footage of the girls walking backward and enduring some brutal testing by skeptics has been shown countless times on television.
But the bare bones of the event are as follows: four girls from the small town of Garabandal, near Santander, had repeated visions of both the Virgin and St. Michael and were given prophecies to disclose to the rest of the faithful. On June 18, 1961, while picking apples at a local orchard, the girls heard a "thunderclap" and saw a beautiful figure enveloped in light which they thought was an angel sent to punish them for stealing fruit. Over the course of the following twelve days, the girls would have visions of the same angel, dressed in blue and with pinkish wings, whom they took to be St. Michael the Archangel. The angel told them that they would soon be seeing the Virgin, and they did so after the eight visitation. The Blessed Mother appeared in garb that would be immediately recognizable to any school-age child in a Catholic country: a white dress with a blue mantle, a starry crown, and a scapular at her waist. The heavenly patroness told the girls to inform their elders that sacrifice and penance were in order to avert imminent punishment.
The thousands gathered in Garabandal to see the miracle were hoping for something more substantial, however, and in the wee hours of October 19, 1961 those present saw the famous miracle of the communion wafers manifesting itself on Conchita's opened mouth (and of which photographs have been reproduced in countless journals and religious tracts).
Garabandal's "dark side" -- if it can indeed be said to have one -- came about a few months earlier when theologian Luis Andreu lost his life in a car crash. Andreu had seen the four girls in their ecstatic trances and had been forced to proclaim aloud the miraculous nature of what he was seeing. When asked exactly what the miracle was, he told his friends that he was overwhelmed with joy at what the Virgin had shown him and that it was the happiest day in his life. Shortly after, he fell silent, much to the concern of those around him. The priest had died.
When news of Father Andreu's death reached the young visionaries, they claimed that they had seen the Virgin looking at him at one point, as though saying: "you shall soon be with me".
The death of this respected religious caused the bishopric of Santander to forbid members of the clergy from visiting Garabandal without permission from Church authorities. Worshippers were advised that they too must cease their visits, and the tide of pilgrims to the mountain village was stemmed for a while. But there was another death in the works...
In 1965, Monsignor Puchol assumed the bishop's crook at Santander and was even more stringent in his prohibitions against any veneration of Garabandal, issuing a terse pronouncement: "there has never been any apparition of the Blessed Virgin, nor of the Archangel Michael, nor of any other heavenly personage. There has been no message, and all of the events which have transpired at said location have a natural explanation."
It was this rejection of the miracle of Garabandal that many believed cost the bishop his life: he died while driving his car, allegedly screaming "God, what's wrong with me?!" before the collision. The car crash occurred on the same day as the feast of St. Michael the Archangel.
Another Jesuit father, José Warzawski, wrote a comprehensive study on the phenomenon entitled El Mito de Garabandal (Madrid: Ed. Studium) accepting the reality of the events which occurred at the site but ascribing them all to demonic forces. Does the Church know something else it isn't sharing?
(A version of this article appeared in Paranoia Magazine in 2003)
- GET OUT AND DON'T COME BACK DEPARTMENT -
Poltergeist Forces Family out of House
A family has been forced to flee their home after they became terrified by a poltergeist.
Even paranormal investigators were 'freaked out' by the activities that included the discovery of the word 'move' written onto a window at the house in Hull, East Yorkshire.
For Emma Keeitch, 31, and her family, the writing in condensation was the final straw and they left the house soon after.
The poltergeist echoes a case last week when the mother of 11-year-old Ellie Manning videoed a poltergeist opening a wardrobe door and moving a chair across a room.
Experts were called in to see what could be done at Miss Keeitch's house, but one of them became so scared that he was going to be attacked by a spirit that he also bolted from the house.
Now the family has been told that they will need to employ the services of an exorcist to rid the house of its spooks.
Paranormal psychic Steve Kneeshaw said: 'I have done many investigations but this is the worst one yet - it even freaked me out.
'It was a very intense evening and some of what happened was totally bizarre.'
Emma and her boyfriend, Jamie Owen, 25, left their home with their four-month-old daughter Pheobie after waking up and seeing the message on their bedroom window.
She claimed that poltergeists had switched on stereos, spun pictures that were hung on walls and even threw a plank of wood into a bin.
She said: 'I've never believed in ghosts and always been very skeptical. But what has happened to us is too much - we just can't stay here any longer.
'We have tried to explain it away. You can blame the electrics or a draft for some things but not everything.'
One of the investigators, Kellie Taylor, said that she was slapped across the face by one of the spirits causing her to flee.
As they continued to look around the house a television remote was thrown across the room and bedding moved by itself.
In his report on the events Elliot Ainley said: 'The house is definitely haunted and has poltergeist activity. There are two spirits haunting the house - that of a mother and that of a baby.
'The mother spirit seems particularly angry, probably at the way she died, which is why objects are being thrown about.
'We decided to do some glass divination, during which Kellie had her face seemingly lightly slapped by a spirit hand.
'Through this we determined that there were two spirits - a mother and baby and the names "Rachel" and "Sarah" also became apparent.
'They appear to have both died quickly and tragically. The master bedroom proved to be a very active area. All three of us were in this room calling out for the spirit when I had a TV remote control thrown across the room at me.'
A retired Church of England clergyman, Reverend Tom Willis, has now been called in and is expected to carry out an exorcism next week.
He said: 'The first thing you need to do is diagnose what is causing it then I simply bless the house and pray what is there is removed.
'Hauntings are usually lonely spirits that have refused to move on.
'I don't get scared by this as I'm not actually that psychic and haven't seen an apparition in 50 years.
'What I do brings relief to both the spirit and those bothered by it.'
Source: The Daily Mail
- ARE YOU SCARED YET DEPARTMENT -
Scariest Poltergeist Activity
By Stephen Wagner
From unexplained noises to flying objects to attacks on people, this is some of the strangest, scariest poltergeist activity ever documented.
Picture the Earth in the blackness of space, spinning on its axis, orbiting the sun, with the moon following its orbit around the Earth - all in accordance with the predictable laws of physics. All is as it should be. But look more carefully at that bright blue planet. Go in closer... move toward that land mass, down to that town, into that house at the end of the block. All is not as it should be there. Something is not right. There - and in many other houses around that planet throughout history and even today - things don't always seem to be operating by the laws of physics as we know them. Dishes fly out of cupboards; loud crashes are heard with no apparent cause; stones rain down from nowhere; covers are yanked off beds; people are pushed, poked and even slapped -- all by some mysterious, invisible force.
There is no scientific accounting for these occurrences. Yet they happen. They have been seen, experienced and documented since ancient times. Hundreds upon hundreds of cases; perhaps even thousands. We call them poltergeists and we have no idea what causes them. Some believe they are psychokinetic manifestations of our own subconscious, while others think they are caused by ghosts (or a combination of the two); yet others believe they are the work of demons.
No one knows for sure. The activity usually begins with unexplained knocks, raps or rolling noises. Then it sometimes escalates into lights and other mechanical or electric appliances working on their own. Occasionally small objects and even furniture are moved about; objects are thrown and clothing is torn. Bedcovers whipped off sleeping people are a favorite poltergeist prank. If it gets really bad, in rare cases, people are physically assaulted by the mysterious energy. Then after several days or weeks the phenomena simply fades away and disappears as mysteriously as it began.
...All while our planet, solar system and galaxy revolve just as our science and mathematics predict. How can we reconcile it all? What is going on here?
Poltergeist activity is one of the most fascinating and baffling areas of paranormal investigation. It's especially enticing because there are physical phenomena taking place. We aren't talking about mere hazy sightings or strange feelings. Things move! Bangs rattle the walls! Objects appear out of thin air! There's no room in science for this nonsense. Yet they happen.
Consider the following, a tiny sample of some of the strangest, unexplainable physical manifestations from a few well-known poltergeist cases.
THINGS SMASHED, THROWN AND MOVED
Unexplained noises - banging, knocking, pounding, footsteps - are by far the most common type of poltergeist phenomena (poltergeist means "noisy spirit), and perhaps the most benign. There are extreme cases, however.
In 1962, Harper's Magazine carried an article about a couple in Cape Cod who were experiencing a whole host of poltergeist noises, including tapping and clicking noises, and the sound of a man walking around on an upstairs floor when no one was there. Such sounds might be explained away as house settling noises, but one summer night they were startled by what the homeowner called "the grand piano smash" - a crash so loud from the garage that is sounded like a huge piano dropped to the floor. They even worried that the ceiling had collapsed. Upon inspection, of course, the garage was empty and intact.
More unsettling than noise is when objects we usually consider inanimate begin to move or fly around.
One of the earliest accounts of poltergeist activity comes from Annales Fuldenses describing an event that occurred in 858 A.D.! On a farm near the town of Bingen along the Rhine river, a farmer was the victim of stones being thrown at himself and his house by some unknown source. When holymen came to help rid the farm of the evil force, they too were pelted with stones. The Bingens were also the victims of spontaneous fires that destroyed much of their just-harvested crops. (Spontaneous fires are also not uncommon.)
The Golding household of Stockwell, England was tormented by a number of things thrown in 1772:
Stacks of dishes flew off the kitchen shelves, smashing on the floor - bottles of wine and rum that were about to be served to guests, shattered - joints of ham that were curing on hooks on the ceiling thumped to the floor - the coal scuttle was overturned - candlesticks flew across the room - a bucket of cold water suddenly began to boil.
If you're thinking this could all be explained by an earthquake, the events did not all happen at once, but over a period of time. The disturbances ended when the young maid was fired.
The Phelps family of Stratford, Connecticut, was likewise plagued with very similar poltergeist antics in 1850, which included a candlestick that leapt off the fireplace mantle and repeatedly smashed itself against the floor until it broke.
In 1658, the house occupied by Mrs. Stiff, her two daughters and her mother, Mrs. Cowley in Northamptonshire, England became the target of a prankster poltergeist:
Furniture was stacked in front of a doorway - flax was continually taken out of its box and thrown about, even when the box had been closed and locked -
a loaf of bread was seen "dancing" around the kitchen - Mrs. Stiff's shoes floated around the upstairs - stones flew through the windows - in both directions - a carving knife went hurling toward a servant, point first, but at the last instant it rotated in midair to harmlessly strike the man with the handle.
PUSHES, PULLS AND POKES
Violence against our person is disturbing enough when inflicted by other people. Think how much more disconcerting it is when you cannot even see your assailant!
Eleven-year-old Dinah McLean, the adopted daughter of the Dagg family of Quebec, Canada, was the focus of a severe case of poltergeist activity in September, 1889. The disturbance began when the family noticed money inexplicably being moved around the house. And when Mrs. Dagg began finding what appeared to be feces smeared on walls, a boy who did chores for them was blamed and promptly dismissed. But then the poltergeist attacked Dinah, pulling her braids so violently that some of the hair was broken and the braids had to be cut off. Stones were also thrown in this case.
In the famous 1817 Bell Witch case, in which daughter Betsy Bell appeared to be the catalyst for the activity, both she and her father, John Bell, had their hair pulled with great force. Betsy and other Bell children received sharp slaps across the face. The Bells also experienced stones and sticks being thrown, furniture moved about, covers pulled off beds and fires started.
The Reverend Phelps, whose family was mentioned above, became a personal target of the poltergeist on several occasions: He was lifted into the air to a height that nearly crashed his head into the ceiling; was pushed into a water cistern; was tied up and suspended from a tree; in the presence of other clergymen, both legs of his pants were ripped apart from cuff to knee.
An aport is an object that materializes from nowhere, as if by magic, and it may be the most mysterious and rarest of all poltergeist phenomena. I remember reading about the Beaird case, described below, in a Hans Holzer book when I was a teenager, and it has stayed with me my entire life and is one of the astonishing cases that led me to study this field.
Whether the objects literally materialize out of thin air or are gathered and carried some impossible distance by the unseen force, here are a few remarkable apart cases:
In the Bell Witch case, when mother Lucy Bell fell ill, the poltergeist expressed sympathy for her, then showered her with hazel nuts. Later, again seemingly from nowhere, a basket of fresh fruit materialized, which included oranges and bananas.
It was also observed that Lucy Bell, in her illness, would vomit, but at least on one occasion the vomit contained dozens of pins and needles! Very strange, but not unique. In a poltergeist case recorded in the book Sadducismus Triumphatus in 1682, Mary Longdon was afflicted with showers of stones, even while indoors, and also would vomit pins and needles. She blamed the weirdness on a curse placed on her by a witch.
In a case investigated by the late, great Hans Holzer, the Beaird house of Tyler, Texas documented strange aports in the early 1960s. The various manifestations might have been psychokinetic phenomena brought about by Mrs. Baeird - named Johnnie, but called John - who was mentally ill and either confined to her room or away from the house when these events occurred:
Hundreds of dead June bugs were thrown into the faces of Mr. Baeird and his son Andy at night - "dead so long that they were crisp and would crumble between our fingers," Baeird said they were later similarly pelted with wood lice (what are commonly called pill bugs, the kind that roll up into a ball when touched), which do not fly, but that struck the Beairds "as if they were shot out of a gun" - then slimy slugs were thrown around the house - handwritten notes from John materialized out of thin air, sometimes in response to questions; dozens upon dozens of notes materialized "from right out of nowhere, simply materializing out of midair, some folding themselves as they came toward us."
This is just a small sampling of the number, variety and severity of poltergeist cases. If you want more detailed information about the above cases and many, many others, I highly recommend the following books.
Poltergeist: A Study in Destructive Haunting by Colin Wilson - Poltergeists and Other Hauntings by Rupert Matthews - Ghosts: True Encounters with the World Beyond by Hans Holzer - Ghosts, Apparitions and Poltergeists by Brian Righi
- HIGH STRANGENESS AROUND THE GREAT LAKES DEPARTMENT -
‘Michigan Triangle’ May be to Blame for Weird Occurrences
Almost 18 percent of the earth’s supply of surface fresh water is contained in the Great Lakes.
Water is essential to life, but great expanses of water can also be a hostile environment. Searching for a lost object just a few hundred feet under water can be a daunting task, requiring special equipment and training. The cold dark depths of any great body are also mysterious, and in some ways frightening, because they conceal the unknown.
Many stories have been written of weird and unexplained happenings in an area off Florida known as the Bermuda Triangle.
It is said that in this area, boats and planes have disappeared in good weather with no evidence ever found as to why they vanished. UFO sightings are supposedly frequent in the area. Many boats have also reported compass failures and unexplained trouble inside the triangle.
But did you know that almost at our very doorstep, another “mysterious triangle” exists? The triangle I am speaking of is known as the Michigan Triangle. The boundaries are said to be from Ludington, Mich., to Benton Harbor, Mich., and then across the lake to Manitowoc and back to Ludington.
Numerous stories have been told of unexplained disappearances, weird happenings, periods when time seems to slow down or speed up and the appearance of strange creatures.
A well-documented case is the disappearance of Capt. George R. Donner of the lake freighter O.M. McFarland from his cabin while the ship was under way on April 28, 1937. The McFarland had picked up 9,800 tons of coal in Erie, Penn., and then headed west through the lakes bound for Port Washington.
Because it was early in the season, the lakes and the locks in the upper part of the Great Lakes were still choked with ice, which slowed the McFarland’s progress.
Capt. Donner had remained on the bridge many hours guiding his ship through the treacherous ice floes. When at last the ship turned into Lake Michigan, the exhausted captain retired to his cabin, with the instructions that he be called when the ship neared Port Washington.
Some three hours later as the McFarland neared her destination, the second mate went to the captain’s cabin to awaken him as instructed, but the captain was not there. Thinking that Donner had gone to the galley for a late-night snack, the second mate checked the galley and learned that the captain had not been there.
The mate and other sailors began an exhaustive search of the vessel, but to no avail — the captain had disappeared. No clue as to what happened to Donner was ever found.
When Captain Donner vanished from his cabin on the McFarland, it was said that his cabin door was locked from the inside.
Ironically, the day Donner disappeared was his 58th birthday. The captain’s disappearance is as much a mystery today as it ever was.
Believers in the Lake Michigan Triangle point out that the O.M. McFarland was in the triangle when Donner vanished.
A more recent event took place on June 23, 1950, when Northwestern Airlines flight 2501 took off from New York with a crew of 3 and 55 passengers bound for Minneapolis.
Later that night at 11:37 p.m., the large, four-engine DC-4 reported that it was at 3,500 feet over Battle Creek, Mich. Due to bad weather near Chicago, the plane changed its course to a northwesterly direction over Lake Michigan, with an estimated time of arrival over Milwaukee of 11:51 p.m.
From there, the plane simply vanished — nothing of the plane or its 58 occupants was ever seen again.
A massive Coast Guard search turned up only a blanket bearing the airline’s logo. Triangle believers again point out that the tragic loss of flight 2501occurred near the center of the Lake Michigan Triangle.
For hundreds of years, sightings of a strange creature have been reported in Loch Ness in Scotland.
In our Pacific Northwest a land animal that has become known as “Bigfoot” or “Sasquatch” has been sighted by many reputable people. In the Himalayan mountains this same animal is known as “Yeti” or the “abominable snowman” after the terrible odor he is said to emit. In 1987 a lighthearted movie called “Harry and the Hendersons” was made about an “abominable snowman.”
But were you aware that just 30 miles north of Sheboygan just such a sighting occurred?
Back in the late 1930s it was reported that about dusk one warm summer evening, two young boys were walking along a railroad right-of-way when they stated they heard a fearsome roar or scream quite unlike anything they had ever heard before. Just a short time later they saw what they described as a large hair-covered man-like creature in the brush nearby.
The boys said the “thing” was light colored but very dirty and walked upright. Not wishing to get to know the frightful oddity any better, the boys rapidly departed the scene.
As for large sea monster type animals, there have been reports of strange creatures seen in Lake Michigan as far back as the early 1800s. The Indians also had many stories in their folk lore of what they referred to as sprit creatures, which they claimed to have sighted in many small lakes around Wisconsin.
One of these strange sighting occurred right here in Sheboygan County; in fact, it was said to have happened at Elkhart Lake in the early 1900s.
As the story goes, a local fisherman put out a set line, which is a long fish line with many hooks which is anchored to the bottom and fastened to a post or tree on shore. In this case the fisherman had fastened his set line to a post that was part of a small pier jutting out into the lake.
After setting his fish line, the fisherman returned home with the intention of returning the next day to pull up the line and retrieve any fish he may have caught.
Early the next morning, the fisherman returned to his set line and as he tried to pull it in, he apparently had caught a very large fish, as he found it very difficult to pull in the line. After great effort was expended he finally was about to pull whatever was on the line close to the dock.
Suddenly the unknown creature gave tremendous pull in the opposite direction. Catching the fisherman off-balance, it flung him head over heels into the lake.
Spitting and sputtering, the astonished angler managed to get his head above water only to be looking straight at a large head rising above the water. The frightened man said the animal had large jaws, which were wide open, and flashing eyes. Somehow the panic-stricken man was able to gain shore and run for his life.
When recounting the story the fisherman often claimed that he barely escaped with his life. As the story got around, it was noted that for that particular summer there was a definite lack of swimmers in the water. It might be further noted that the “sea monster,” or what ever it was, was never seen again.
In the late 1890s several commercial fisherman were setting their nets in Lake Michigan just off Jones Island in the Milwaukee area. Suddenly they stated they saw the head of a large ferocious-looking beast rise above the water.
The fishermen said they were not far away and got a good look at the creature before it submerged. Not long after, several young boys sailing in Milwaukee harbor saw what they at first thought was a large cluster of debris floating in the water. But as they drew closer, they saw what they later described as a large serpent-like animal floating on top of the water. The boys then fled the area, having no desire to investigate the creature at closer quarters.
There have been many reports of monster like fish or serpents in Lake Michigan over the years; the creatures have been given several names, among them, Michie and Mickey.
Do they really exist? Those who have claimed to have seen them swear that they do.
Next time you take a walk along the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan, keep your eyes on the water.
Today’s Tidbit: A young college student sunning herself on a pier on Lake Monona, some 20 or more years ago, felt something tickling her foot. When she looked down, she saw what she described as a sea serpent licking her foot.
Source: The Sheboygan Press
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