9/11/16  #875
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Are you afraid of ghosts and monsters? How about aliens flying down in their space-craft to kidnap you from your bedroom at night?  Or that the Men-In-Black are waiting for you just around the corner?  Do you worry that the government is listening in on your private conversations?  Or worse yet, do you worry that your community will be abandoned to the wolves and looters if a natural disaster strikes?

Well never fear - Conspiracy Journal is Here!  Yes that's right. Conspiracy Journal, your number one source of conspiracies, UFOs, the paranormal and more, is here once again to protect you from THEM, by keeping you informed on all the news and information that you won't  hear on your local 6 o'clock news.

This week, Conspiracy Journal takes a look at such insulin-robbing tales as:

Current "Clown Panic" is Nothing New -  
The Dog-Awful Truth Behind "Cryptid Creatures From Dark Domains" -
 -  Russia's Sputnik News Has Become Obsessed With UFOs -
AND: British Pub Claims Its Ghost Was Stolen  

All these exciting stories and MORE in this week's issue of

~ And Now, On With The Show! ~

Cryptid Creatures From Dark Domains

Dogmen, Devil Hounds, Phantom Canines And Real Werewolves


Here Is Proof That These Strange Canines Exist And Could Be Hiding In Plain Sight In Your Neighborhood!

Read Case Histories Of Face-To-Face Confrontations With Anomalous "Monsters" And Incredible Beasts Who Spring Forth From The Backwoods, Other Realms And Far Flung Dimensions!


Legends of black dogs and phantom hounds are widespread throughout the United States as well as in the United Kingdom. Though presented as a work of fiction, Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle based his most popular detective thriller, "The Hound of the Baskervilles," on true accounts of a mysterious black beast with blazing red eyes who is said to have attacked those crossing the moors. Some victims were lucky to have gotten away with their lives. Perhaps there are others who disappeared and whose bodies were not accounted for. Today's top paranormal researchers delve into stories of the bloody beast, who comes in various sizes and apparently even has the ability to shape-shift into an even more hideous creature when cornered, as described by England's leading cryptozoologist Nick Redfern in this stunning new work.

There also is the latest research from Pennsylvania's foremost Dogmen researcher Butch Witkowski, who finds himself in the middle of an unprecedented wave of "bipedal canine" appearances to hunters and campers. These Dogmen are upright creatures, standing over seven-feet-tall and said to have a muscular physique similar to Arnold Schwarzenegger. The strange hairy frame is topped by the face of a hideous, snarling dog who breathes out dread and fear to all those who cross its path.

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Tim R. Swartz was the guest on Friday's episode of  HyperSpace with Solaris Blueraven.  Listen to the archive here.


Current "Clown Panic" is Nothing New
By Cara Giaimo

As everyone who cares about America is probably aware, clown hysteria has taken over the Carolinas. The big-shoed menaces are allegedly lurking in the woods near residences, offering candy and money to children. People are chasing the clowns into the woods with machetes and leaning hard on their 911 autodials. At least one apartment complex has issued an official anti-clown warning. It's gotten so bad that police are discouraging people in those areas from dressing as clowns at all.

Why clowns? Why now? What's going to happen next? Atlas Obscura spoke with cryptozoologist Loren Coleman—perhaps the world's foremost authority on mysterious clowns—about this latest outbreak. Spoiler: he blames old wounds, sad journalists, and "the real clown," Donald Trump.

Recent years have brought us various sudden clowns, most of which have eventually revealed themselves to be pranks, marketing stunts, or strange journeys of self-discovery. Many news reports have cited these incidents as predecessors to the latest wave. But to truly understand this new group, Coleman says, we have to look a little further back—specifically to 1981, when a similar clown epidemic overtook Boston.

On May 6th of that year, police received a report that "one or two men wearing clown outfits" were driving a candy-laden van around near Brookline's Longwood School. (The van even had a broken headlight, for maximum punchbuggy-style kid attraction.) The next day, a similar report came from the Franklin Park horseshoe-playing grounds—though this man reportedly had only half a clown suit on, as he was naked from the waist down. According to a Boston Globe article entitled "Pupils Warned of Clowns," the school district's investigative councilor quickly issued a memo, instructing students to "stay away from strangers, especially ones dressed as clowns."

At the time, Coleman was heading up a social services office in Charlestown, Massachusetts. He was also corresponding with a number of fellow cryptozoology fans—nearly 400 of them, spread out across the country. He coined the term "phantom clown," and asked his network to send him any local newspaper clippings that referred to similar incidents. "I started getting copies from Cleveland, from both Kansas Cities," he says. "I really started tracking that this was a nationwide phenomenon."

This information enabled him to draw up a sort of Theory of the Phantom Clown. "Phantom clowns are usually very specific," says Coleman. "There's a clown, often seen in a van, kids being approached and telling adults, and then the clowns never being caught. When [the Carolina incidents] started up, it linked back to all those old stories for me."

So where do phantom clowns come from? In 1981, Boston eventually settled on "the minds of children." A follow-up Globe article, released two days after the first, recasts the alleged perpetrators as victims and vice-versa. After introducing us to a persecuted Stoughton clown, wrongly questioned by police on his way to deliver a perfectly innocent clown-a-gram, the authors quote numerous officers flummoxed by the clowndemonium. "We've had over 20 calls on 911, [but] no adult civilian or police officer has ever seen a clown," says one. "If it's someone's idea of a joke, it's a sick joke," says another.

A similar story in Chicago, from 1991, reached the same conclusion. "The reports, mainly from children, have varied," the Chicago Tribune wrote, after several alleged sightings of a van clown named Homey. "They seem to be reaching near-mythic proportions, tumbling out from different parts of the city like clowns falling out of a Volkswagen."

It's the same kind of situation in the Carolinas—so far, the police haven't seen even one clown. But people are afraid just the same, and Coleman points out that some of this fear may be grounded in community memory. Fifty years ago this summer, the same area of North Carolina that's now being stalked by clowns dealt with an actual nightmare criminal—a man nicknamed The Paddler, who would dress up as a policeman, kidnap young boys, paddle them in the back of his car, and then let them go. He was eventually caught—but after serving ten years of jail time, he went straight back to his old habits, and ended up killing two teenagers.

"That turned out to be real—a real man was doing that," says Coleman. "So I think to some extent, even though the phantom clowns are shrugged off… people are very scared that there might actually be real clowns out there that could harm children."

This real concern leads to real warnings, which lead to real media reports—which, Coleman says, leads to more clowns. Coleman is also the author of The Copycat Effect, an exploration of how media coverage affects trends. "Suicide clusters, school shootings, terrorist attacks and phantom clowns are all driven from one incident to another by the media reporting on them," he says.

This phenomenon gets worse when news is bad, he says—say, in election years, which tend to correspond with phantom clown surges (there was another in Chicago in 2008). "The media concentrates on campaigning so much, if any incidental story comes along, it becomes wall to wall news, almost as if they need a distraction from the ugliness," he says. In this case, he thinks one specific candidate has had newsmakers looking for anything else to write about: "Trump is the real clown," he says. (Trump's campaign did not respond to a request for comment.)

Much of this is definitely conjecture. But the predictions that come out of it are probably worth heeding. "I do expect that if it keeps being talked about in the media, you're going to see [clowns] jumping up in California, Wisconsin, other places," Coleman says.

Stephen King, whose 1986 novel “It” tells the story of a supernatural being that appears as a clown to terrorize the residents of a small Maine town, told the Bangor Daily News that fear of clowns touches a nerve with children and adults alike.

“Kids love clowns, but they also fear them; clowns with their white faces and red lips are so different and so grotesque compared to ‘normal’ people,” the newspaper quoted King as saying in an article posted on Friday. “The clown furor will pass, as these things do, but it will come back, because under the right circumstances, clowns really can be terrifying.”

King admitted he’d be unnerved to find a pale-faced, red-lipped prankster skulking near his Bangor home.

“If I saw a clown lurking under a lonely bridge (or peering up at me from a sewer grate, with or without balloons), I’d be scared, too,” he told the newspaper.

Source: Atlas Obscura


The Dog-Awful Truth Behind "Cryptid Creatures From Dark Domains"
By Sean Casteel

They are the demon dogs from hell, the huge black canines with blazing eyes that haunt country lanes, and the phantom hounds that are regarded by some as Satan’s personal minions.

In the new Global Communications/Conspiracy Journal book, “Timothy Green Beckley’s Cryptid Creatures From Dark Domains: Dogmen, Devil Hounds, Phantom Canines and Real Werewolves,” the reader will indeed discover that there exists on the periphery of UFOs and aliens a shadowy realm of supernatural phenomena that includes many weird crypto-zoological monsters and creatures, none of which are housebroken and do not in any way, shape or form, make good domestic pets . . . demon dogs or hellhounds included!

Encounters with the oversized, flaming-eyed canines of torment and terror have been reported through the ages and have often been associated with subsequent death or other forms of tragedy. To hear such a creature howling in the night is to tread close to danger of many kinds.


In an interview conducted exclusively for this book, Butch Witkowski talks about his research into what he calls a “bipedal canine” who is frequently reported to appear in the state game lands of central Pennsylvania.

Witkowski began to study the paranormal after a UFO sighting he shared with several people went completely unacknowledged and unreported by the government and media. After he set up his own organization, called the UFO Research Center of Pennsylvania, with a gathering of like-minded UFO-believing individuals, he was surprised by the increasingly numerous reports of a doglike creature walking on two legs that were coming into the group.

“This is a real mystery to me,” Witkowski said. “You know, I thought Ufology was strange and hard to figure out, but it’s kind of simple compared to this stuff.”

The first report came to Witkowski in November of 2014 from a reliable witness – a retired pilot with 40 years of experience in both the military and with commercial airlines. Pilots are highly trained observers; it is a vital part of their job to accurately understand what their eyes behold. The pilot told Witkowski that he had been walking his two dogs in a familiar stretch of woods when the canines suddenly went berserk for no apparent reason. Next, the man beheld a tall, hairy, short-snouted “whatever the hell it was” that seemed totally oblivious to both him and his agitated hounds.

The man described the creature to Witkowski by saying, “If you would take Arnold Schwarzenegger and make him eight to ten feet tall – same body, massive chest, very thin waist, heavy-legged, muscular arms with hands.”

The man added that he didn’t see any ears, but he remarked that he hadn’t really looked for ears. He had taken in the whole creature, which had a short snout similar to a bulldog or pug.

After struggling to get his dogs back in his vehicle, the man pulled a handgun out of the glovebox and walked into the woods again. He saw nothing. No broken branches or footprints. The man subsequently returned to the scene – ignoring Witkowski’s advice – with several heavily armed friends. Although the group saw nothing, they simultaneously began to feel deathly afraid, as though an invisible presence was making them fear for their lives. They literally walked backwards out of the area, too frightened to turn their backs on whatever was generating that collective terror.

Another Pennsylvania resident, a woman raised in a religious family, told Witkowski about seeing a similar creature standing at the edge of a pond near her home. The woman had been taught that – if she were ever to see the devil – he would appear to her in animal form. “I truly believe,” she told Witkowski, “that I was looking at the devil.”

The creature is often called “demonic,” according to Witkowski. He has also consulted Native Americans, including members of the Inuit and Cherokee tribes, who have told him they think it may be a creature called a “skin-walker,” a shape-shifting spirit that could have gotten stuck somewhere between human and animal forms.

Whatever the creature is, it consistently terrifies those who encounter it.

“One thing that stands out in every report,” Witkowski said, “is that the people feel ‘This is not a good place to be right now. I need to get out of here or I’m going to die.’ They have a fear that comes over them that just sets the impulse to fear and flee right into motion instantly, the minute they see it.”


Michele Lowe is a paranormal researcher who relates a fascinating personal experience in “Cryptid Creatures From Dark Domains.”

“When I was in my late teens, early twenties,” she writes, “I used to hang out with my friends, like most people in Southern California. But I was a little weird. I loved all things Hollywood. I would recruit my friends all the time to go with me up to Hollywood to hang out.”

Lowe first recounts a few Hollywood ghost stories, like hauntings by “Superman” actor George Reeves and Paul Bern, the husband of blond bombshell actress Jean Harlow. Both Reeves and Bern committed suicide and their troubled spirits can find no rest. Along with cruising the streets where ghosts allegedly materialized on a regular basis, Lowe and her friends were curious about seeing the house at 10050 Cielo Drive, where the Manson family had murdered pregnant actress Sharon Tate and several of her friends and peers.

They had to drive up a steep and narrow driveway before reaching the home’s iron gate, which was where the first body was discovered the morning after the killings in 1969.

“The feeling of being so close to where such a horrific crime was committed,” she continues, “was very sobering. The atmosphere was very heavy there, and it just didn’t feel right. So we left.”

Lowe writes that they decided to explore some of the other Hollywood neighborhoods, consoled by the bright lights and a more cheerful ambience.

It was then that a giant black dog came charging at the car.

“It was huge,” she recalled, “and had this very thick black fur. The dog’s back and head easily came up to the window of the car.”

Lowe and a female friend screamed in panic while Cuz Dave, the driver, hit the gas pedal. Even when the car reached 35 mph, the dog had no problem keeping up the pace.

“It was literally right next to the car,” Lowe writes, “looking at us as if it was out to kill! It was barking violently as we tried to drive away in sheer terror. We drove about a mile or so before Dave finally slowed down and turned into another neighborhood so we could calm down and regroup. Just as we were starting to calm down, the giant black dog literally appeared out of nowhere and came charging at the car.

“We again screamed and Dave took off again. We could not believe this was happening. There was no way that dog could have kept up with us when Dave took off out of that last neighborhood over a mile away! We quickly got out of that neighborhood and again lost the crazed dog. This time, though, we didn’t stop. We went straight home.”

Many readers, according to Lowe, might mistakenly think the young people were only dealing with someone’s pet. But she counters that assumption, saying she had never seen a dog so enormous. Its speed was also mind blowing, since it ran right next to the car without straining to keep up.

“It was clear the dog could have run even faster if it wanted to,” Lowe writes. “And then there is the fact that we drove off as fast as we could a mile or more away to another neighborhood and were there only a couple of minutes when, literally out of nowhere, the dog appeared again and started charging us at full speed. How could it even find us again? Even though we didn’t understand it then, we still knew that what happened was not normal.”

Over the ensuing years, Lowe began to study the paranormal in a quest for answers to the brush with the supernatural she and her friends had shared.

“Knowing what I know now,” she reasons, “I believe that what we encountered was a hellhound. I had heard of them before but didn’t know what they were. So I did some research and this is what I found: A hellhound is a supernatural dog, usually very large with thick black fur. They are unnaturally strong and fast and have red eyes. Sometimes the eyes are yellow. It is said that they are assigned to guard the entrance to the home of the dead, like graveyards or burial grounds. They also have other duties to do with the afterlife, like hunting down lost souls. They can also be an omen of death.”


“Cryptid Creatures From Dark Domains” also features the work of Nick Redfern, one of the most visible faces in the field of paranormal research. Redfern has testified that his bedroom was once

“invaded” by a werewolf-type creature which crept closer and closer to where he was sleeping and then suddenly vanished. Redfern begins his chapter with a genuinely frightening story, told in second person, of a hapless traveler encountering a hellhound and fleeing for his life. One is then informed that the story was not a work of fiction, but actually happened in 1997 in a small English village called Ranton.

“But what are these infernal creatures?” Redfern asks. “Are they legend, reality, or both? And how, and under what circumstances, did they inspire the most famous, cherished and loved Sherlock Holmes story of all time? Published in 1902, Conan Doyle’s ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ tells the memorable and atmosphere-filled saga of the noted and wealthy Baskerville family that has called Dartmoor, Devonshire, England, its home for centuries. Dartmoor is filled with supernatural tales of terror, horror and intrigue – but leading them all is the legend of the terrible hound that haunts the Baskervilles.”

Conan Doyle took the lead from all-too-real supernatural occurrences of the paranormal hound on Dartmoor. He also relied on stories about a real-life resident of Devonshire County named Richard Cabell, a monstrously evil squire who may have sold his soul to the Devil himself for personal gain. When Cabell died in 1677, presumably into the embrace of his fork-tailed, horned master, a pack of supernatural hounds materialized on the old moors and raced for Cabell’s tomb, where they howled ominously all night long and struck cold fear into the locals.

“Thus, the story began to develop in Conan Doyle’s mind and imagination,” Redfern continues. “He moved the location of the old hall to Dartmoor and changed Richard Cabell to the evil Hugo Baskerville. In the process, literary history was made and ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ was born. But there is one important factor to remember: Conan Doyle did not invent Britain’s fiery-eyed hounds. He merely brought them to the attention of the public in spectacularly entertaining, fictional style.”

For those looking for a possible link to the UFO phenomenon, one does not have to travel through a black hole to find what appears to be a very positive connection.

It is at this point that Redfern begins to chronicle several instances of people encountering the real thing, and in more recent times than one might think. For example, there is the story of Nigel Lea, who in the early weeks of 1972 was driving across the Cannock Chase woods that dominate much of Staffordshire when he saw a strange ball of glowing blue light that seemingly came out of nowhere and slammed violently into the ground some short distance ahead of him before releasing a torrent of bright, fiery sparks. As he slowly approached the area where the light had fallen, he was both shocked and horrified to see looming before him “the biggest bloody dog I have ever seen in my life.”

“Very muscular, and utterly black in color,” Redfern goes on, “with a pair of large, pointed ears and huge thick paws, the creature seemed to positively ooze both extreme menace and overpowering negativity, and had a crazed, staring look in its yellow-tinged eyes. For 20 or 30 seconds, both man and beast alike squared off against each other in classic stalemate fashion, after which the animal both slowly and carefully headed for the darkness and the camouflage of the tall surrounding trees, not even once taking its penetrating eyes off of the petrified driver as it did so.”

Somewhat ominously, two or three weeks later, a close friend of Lea’s from back in his childhood days was killed in a horrific industrial accident in a West Midlands town. Today, after having deeply studied – almost to the point of obsession – the history of British Black Dog lore and the creature’s associations with both deep tragedy and death, Lea believes his strange encounter was directly connected.


According to Redfern, perhaps the most famous of all of the phantom hounds of old Britain are those that are said to have frequented, and in some cases still frequent, the ancient roads and pathways of Norfolk, Essex, Suffolk and Sussex. Their various names include Black Shuck, the Shug Monkey and the Shock. The Shuck and the Shock are classic black dogs, whereas the Shug Monkey is described as being a combination of spectral monkey and immense hound.

“Even their very names have intriguing origins,” Redfern writes. “While some researchers consider the possibility that all of the appellations had their origins in the word ‘Shucky,’ an ancient east coast term meaning ‘shaggy,’ others suggest a far more sinister theory, namely that Shock, Shuck and Shug are all based upon the Anglo-Saxon ‘scucca,’ meaning ‘demon,’ a most apt description for sure.”

In the winter of 1983, a couple in their twenties, Paul and Jayne Jennings, encountered a black dog in Rendlesham Forest, home to Britain’s most famous UFO encounter, the December 1980 event in which numerous personnel from the nearby Royal Air Force Bentwaters military base encountered a UFO in the woods. Like Nigel Lea’s witnessing a glowing blue light before his face-to-face meeting with a black dog, the close proximity of the military’s UFO incident creates a tenuous connection between both phenomena. [Memo: Go to our Mr. UFO Secret Files YouTube channel for the exclusive story – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8QScAUN-pE]

The Jennings were walking along a trail in the Rendlesham Forest when, according to Redfern, they saw what Jayne described as a “big black dog that kept appearing and disappearing.” When Redfern asked her to elaborate, she explained that on rounding a bend on the path they came face to face with the dog, which was a huge creature whose head was unmistakably that of a large hound while the body, strangely, was more feline in nature.

The dog was not aggressive, and seemed to have a mournful expression on its face. But the Jennings were shocked when it vanished in the blink of an eye. They were even more shocked when a moment later it reappeared and proceeded to “flicker on and off” four or five times before vanishing permanently. After the dog’s disappearance, the air was filled with a strange smell that resembled “burning metal.” Could it be the fires of hell, to which the mournful-looking dog was dispiritedly returning? And what of the possible Rendlesham connection? Are the weird goings-on there proof that this might be what John Keel once determined to be a “window area” to another dimension?


Further along in his chapter, Redfern tells the story of the Wild Hunt and even wilder hounds. He quotes the famed crypto-zoologist Jon Downes: “Belief in the Wild Hunt is found not only in Britain but also on the Continent, and the basic idea is the same in all variations: a phantasmal leader and his men accompanied by hounds who ‘fly’ through the night in pursuit of something. What they are pursuing is not clear; although Norse legend has various objects such as a visionary boar or wild horse, and even magical maidens known as Moss Maidens.

“Greek myth has Hecate roaming the Earth on moonless nights with a pack of ghostly, howling dogs and the phenomenon has also been reported from Germany, where, according to folklore, the procession includes the souls of unbaptized babies in the train of ‘Frau Bertha,’ who sometimes accompanied the wild huntsman.”

(The mythic apparition of the Wild Hunt is said to resemble, and may have inspired, a well-known Country and Western song called “Riders in the Sky,” in which a band of ghostly cowboys is condemned forever to chase a herd of cattle across the sky yet never actually catch them. The song has been recorded by the likes of Johnny Cash, Gene Autry, Bing Crosby and Peggy Lee, as well as a later rock version by The Outlaws.)

Downes explains that the hounds are universally believed to be portents of war, death and disaster, and an unfortunate traveler who heard one would fling himself face downward to the ground to avoid seeing the beast. The Devil’s hunting pack, and the related phenomenon of the Devil Dogs, have been reported on more occasions during years of warfare than at any other time.


Fortean blogger Andrew Gable ably adds a history of black dog hauntings in the United States.

“Legends of black dogs and phantom hounds,” Gable writes, “are widespread throughout the Chesapeake Bay region, which was one of the earliest areas settled by the English. The tales of British black dogs were combined with werewolf traditions and typical ghost stories, as well as possibly with crypto-zoological sightings of weird creatures, to create traditions that are like the British ones, and yet unlike them at the same time.”

One of the interesting stories Gable relates concerns a phantom hound named “Snarly Yow” who haunted a section of the National Pike near Turner’s Gap in Frederick County, Maryland. Gable references an 1882 book by Madeleine V. Dahlgren called “South Mountain Magic” in which no less than a dozen sightings of the beast are recorded.

A man named Daniel Mesick testified that his father kicked at a huge dog near Dame’s Quarter and his foot passed directly through it. Sticks, rocks and even bullets were said to pass right through the “animal.” Other accounts have it that the dog left physical traces and frightened horses so much they threw their riders.

“A staple of Frederick County legendry for years,” Gable writes, “the Yow was seen in 1962 near Zittlestown. In this instance, it was headless, white and dragged a chain along behind it.”

There is a phantom dog called the Fence Rail Dog, an enormous hound nearly ten feet long, which haunts a stretch of Route 12 near Frederica in Delaware. The dog appears in the wake of automobile accidents on the road. Gable points out that folklore from around the globe speaks of dogs as a kind of psycho-pomp – or spirits which guide the dead to the afterlife – and that the Fence Rail Dog’s appearance in the wake of death may be an example of this.

Gable also recounts the folklore concerning an outlaw named Silas Werninger, who was cornered in his home but committed suicide rather than be taken by his pursuers. He was buried in the forest near his home, and after his death a large black wolf emerged from the grove and menaced townspeople. A witch advised the people to dig up the outlaw’s remains and bury them in consecrated ground to dispel the phantasmal wolf.

Gable says the source of the folklore is the real life story of a Pennsylvania outlaw named William Etlinger, who did indeed kill himself after taking his wife and children hostage. His cabin was burnt to the ground by authorities trying to flush him out. It is said that the cabin sometimes reappears on its burnt foundations and that the outlaw’s body was moved after it was felt a black wolf familiar in the area may have been feeding on the corpse. Even suicidal outlaws deserve better. There is more to the story Gable tells than is recorded here, but let’s leave that to readers of the actual book, eh?


Claudia Cunningham, nicknamed “The MIB Lady,” relates the story of how she and Timothy Green Beckley visit the grave of Charles Fort in Albany Rural Cemetery, near the state capitol of New York. Cunningham says that perhaps the site where Fort and his entire family are entombed is a fitting place for dastardly black hounds and phantom dogs from hell to be seen since Fort collected such beastly stories throughout his writing career and placed them in the volumes that make up “The Complete Works of Charles Fort.”

While Cunningham and Beckley failed to sight any phantom dogs of their own, their story still makes for a lively break in the action, to include some local Men-In-Black stories that center around the cemetery just outside Albany. In addition to being the place where Charles Fort is buried, the graveyard is the resting spot of a president of the United States, Chester Arthur. Is it any wonder haunting hounds, the MIB and other strange incidents raise their heads up from the etheric there from time to time?

Cunningham then goes on to record several late 19th and early 20th century stories from Fort’s research concerning the mysterious slayers of sheep in the UK. In one case in England, the police were unable to explain how the sheep had died since it was not possible for the killer to have been a mere dog.

“Dogs are not vampires,” said Sergeant Carter of the Gloucestershire Police, “and do not suck the blood of a sheep and leave the flesh almost untouched.”

A few weeks later, a newspaper report declared that the “marauder” had been shot and was said to be a large black dog, which Cunningham claims was an early example of convenient “debunking,” a pattern repeated throughout the history of the subject of demon dogs by the newspapers of the time. It appears that even in Fort’s time, a media cover-up of the paranormal was firmly in place.


The Loup-garou often appeared as a monstrous wolf but could also shape-shift into a cow, horse or any other animal.

Also included in “Cryptid Creatures From Dark Domains” is a chapter by paranormal researcher extraordinaire Tim Swartz, who writes about the folklore of his native Indiana. In the early 18th century, French fur trappers making their way south from Canada encountered their own version of the canine nightmare called the Loup-garou, a supernatural threat more frightening than any wild and predatory “earthly” wolf.

The Loup-garou often appeared as a monstrous wolf but could also shape-shift into a cow, horse or any other animal. The creatures were also said to have mental powers; under their spell, a human victim became an enraged animal that roamed at night through the fields and forests. During the day, the unfortunate reverted to his human form but was sickly and fearful to tell of his predicament. People at the time believed that such was the fate of those who violated the rules of the Catholic observance of Lent.

Swartz is also a scholar of cinema and provides several pages of background and poster art from movies about werewolves.

Not to be outdone, legendary paranormal writer Brad Steiger offers his chapter, called “The Terrible Hungers of Real-Life Vampires, Werewolves and Ghouls.” The title alone should whet your appetite for Steiger’s fascinating historical study of monstrous crimes committed before the advent of modern psychiatry, which taught us to attribute such things to simple human sadism and sexual perversion. In times past, Steiger writes, evil spirits got the blame, but perhaps we moderns should instead search “the wasteland of man’s subconscious.”

Then, finally, there is William Kern’s short story, “The Man Who Fell From A Clear Blue Sky.” Kern is a sort of jack-of-all-trades; he writes both fiction and nonfiction, as well as working as a graphic artist and layout designer, to include his designing efforts on “Cryptid Creatures From Dark Domains.” Kern’s short story revolves around the phenomenon of “changelings,” specifically human/wolf changelings, which are called “hulfs,” we learn.

The reader will most likely agree that the new book covers the subject of supernatural canines very thoroughly, does it not? To which we can only add, “We double-dog dare you to take a walk on the wild side and read ‘Cryptid Creatures From Dark Domains.’”

Source: Spectral Vision


Russia's Sputnik News Has Become Obsessed With UFOs
By Max de Haldevang

One of Russia’s international state broadcasters, which reports in over 30 languages, seems to have found a new beat: aliens.

Despite its name, Sputnik News doesn’t typically focus on extraterrestrial life. But the organization, which targets only foreign audiences with text and radio content, unleashed a stream of stories on the subject recently, with one apparent scoop detailing a supposed UFO sighting over Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming:

“Chilling footage reveals several large UFOs flying over the gigantic Yellowstone super-volcano which alien hunters now suggest may be an alien base,” led the article, published on Aug. 28.

Other items included an alleged NASA cover-up of a “mysterious ‘alien’ cube” apparently found floating near the earth, an “alien mothership whizzing over London”, and “strange lights” filmed near the International Space Station.

Why is the Kremlin spending money on such reporting? The answer requires an explanation of the Russian state media’s geopolitical role.

Alongside Russia’s TV channel RT, Sputnik acts as a spoiler to try and disrupt or blur information unfriendly to Russia, such as Russian troops’ widely alleged involvement in the war in Ukraine, according to Kevin Rothrock, Russia editor for Global Voices, a non-profit that analyses and blogs on international media.

“When Ukraine was world news, they were leading the way in either spreading conspiracy theories or debunking theories that Russia was responsible for various things,” Rothrock said. “They have a pretty overt mission basically to either skew or dirty the waters.”

When Sputnik launched in 2015, its chief Dimitry Kiselyov said the service would aim to fight “aggressive propaganda that is now being fed to the world.” The agency’s slogan: “Sputnik tells the untold.”

But to maintain a web audience like so many other digital outlets, the agency needs to generate traffic. So it has carved a niche among people in what Rothrock calls the “peripheries”–in this case, alien hunters.

The website did not immediately respond to emailed requests for comment.

These aren’t the only bizarre space stories to come from Russia in the last few weeks–a radio astronomy observatory in southern Russia caused a frenzy at the end of August when it observed a signal many thought could be intelligent alien life. It did turn out to be from intelligent life but not as hoped: It originated on earth. That didn’t stop America’s own news organizations going crazy for it:

    WATCH: ALIENS?!? Did astronomers hear aliens? Scientists detect "strong signal" in space. https://t.co/MgPOsWUeTj

    — Good Morning America (@GMA) August 31, 2016

Meanwhile, Russian alien hunting also goes on at a more serious level, with billionaire Yuri Milner joining Stephen Hawking and Mark Zuckerberg to invest hundreds of millions in a project to find intelligent life by flying to distant galaxies.

Source: Quartz


Zimbabwean Family Plagued by 'Mystery Fires'

A FAMILY at a house in Mkoba's Village 13 in Gweru is living in fear after a mysterious fire recently started from an egg and destroyed property, one of many strange blazes at the property since 2013. The frightening occurrences at the house sometimes force the family to sleep in the open.

On Thursday, the family alleges that a mysterious egg under a bed triggered the fire that destroyed a bed, blankets, a television set, electrical appliances, a kitchen unit, chairs, the bedroom's roof and windows.

The Fire Brigade said the latest fire, which is said to have started at around 12PM, "did not add up."

When news crew visited Number 1225/2 Mkoba Village 13 yesterday, the owner of the two-roomed house, Mr Philip Hlabati, said he was convinced that the egg that was under the bed was the source of the fire. He said the mysterious fires have been tormenting his family since 2013.

"As you can see, the house was burnt by a fire on Thursday. Property in the bedroom and kitchen was burnt as you can see and we have nothing," he said.

"In the morning (Thursday) we saw an egg under the bed. We didn't have eggs in the house and it's not possible that the egg could have rolled from the kitchen. Worse I don't have chickens. Next thing around 12 midday, the fire started from the bed and spread throughout the house. We lost the bed, blankets, electrical gadgets and food."

Mr Hlabati said in 2013, their house was once engulfed by a fire which started from a travelling bag that was on top of a wardrobe.

He said he had no solution to the bizarre fires as he had even tried praying to no avail.

"The Fire Brigade was called in but by the time they arrived, most of the property had been destroyed. They also said they were puzzled as to how the fire started," he said.

"The room is as it is with the burnt stuff. It's rather awkward that I have to share the kitchen with my grown daughter because we are not using the bedroom since this is a two-roomed house.

"After the fire started some people said they had seen an egg fall from the roof accompanied by a note saying, "Hausati watanga" (You will suffer). But we looked for the letter and we haven't seen it. So I don't know what is happening. This is all a mystery to us and we need assistance as a matter of urgency."

A neighbour, Mr Andrew Takada they were no longer surprised by the odd fires.

"We were shocked when the first fire was first reported in 2013, but from there on, we have just been watching. Something is wrong. No one in the area can explain the origins of the fire. We are all baffled," he said.

Gweru Chief Fire Officer, Mr Emmanuel Musemwa, said they were called to the house on Thursday, but the cause of the fire remains unknown.

"We tried linking the fire with electricity or to some other negligence but it didn't add up. It's not an electrical fault. So the cause is unknown. We hear strange things happen at that house and fires mysteriously start," he said.

Source: Bulawayo 24 News


Hunt is on For the Humber River Monster

It was jet black, had a head shaped like an ostrich and eyes the size of portholes that "filled people with terror".

Eighty years ago, Hull had its own answer to the Loch Ness Monster – dubbed the "Humber Monster", a terrifying sea creature said to have a head the size of an elephant, six humps and flashing eyes.

Kingston upon Hull (usually abbreviated to Hull), is a city in the East Riding of Yorkshire England.

Historian Mike Covell, from Humber Monster Watch, is heading the campaign which aims to track down the creature ahead of Hull being crowned UK City of Culture in 2017.

Covell has researched several tales of "monsters" from the deep – including the confirmed discovery of a giant squid that washed up on a local beach.

"As you might expect in a city of the sea, Hull has a long history of weird and wonderful tales of sea serpents and other strange creatures," he said.

Covell has formed a patrol to monitor the shores of Hull's Humber river in the hope the infamous monster can be tracked down.

Speaking to The Express, he said: "Throughout the 1920s, trawlermen from Hull had reported strange sightings of a creature in the Humber and the North Sea.

"In 1923, a Hornsea school teacher was swimming off the coast when he was attacked by an unknown sea creature."

Throughout the 1920s, the Humber Monster terrorised the city's residents, with sightings of the beast filling the pages of the local press. It was said the beast, with its gargantuan head and oddly shaped body, could travel faster than 100mph.

One of the most incredible reports was published in the Mail on February 6, 1934, when Thomas Atkinson, of Barnsley Street, described an encounter with the Humber Monster.

He had been walking with his wife and children by the riverside when they saw something black swimming in the Humber.

As they watched, intrigued, the creature turned towards them and stared back at them with eyes the size of portholes. The Atkinson family fled in terror.

This was a time when the Loch Ness Monster was being splashed across the front pages of papers up and down the country and more sober observers quickly began to discuss a rational explanation for Hull's own strange sightings.

"Theories came thick and fast, from seals, to pods of porpoise, to ribbon fish," said Mr Covell. "And the sightings continued.

"School teachers, bus drivers, holidaymakers, trawlermen and politicians all saw the creatures.

"They were reported near Hull docks, all the way across to Grimsby and around the coast in Easington, Spurn, Withernsea and Hornsea."

The monster was reported as late as October 1938, when a Hull trawler, Deepdale Wyke, caught a creature in its net.

It was described as 12ft long, with a straight tail, grey skin, and an ostrich-shaped head. An autopsy revealed the contents of its stomach to be kittiwakes and nothing more.

"It was put on display at the West Dock Steam Fishing Co, where people took guesses at its identity," said Mr Covell. "Some thought it might be a dolphin."

However, the sightings of the monster were not the only inkling that something strange was brewing in the Humber. In 1925, a supposedly giant octopus was found by fishermen on Withernsea beach, near Hull. It was reportedly 6ft long with eight tentacles full of suckers.

A Mail photographer was sent to the scene and secured a rare photograph, which still survives, of the beast, before it went on display at a Hull fishmongers.

An accompanying article read: "THE OCTOPUS FOUND AT WITHERNSEA: The octopus that was found recently on the sands at Withernsea was afterwards brought to Hull. It has been on view at the shop of George Bennett, 409 Hessle Road, where it has proved an interesting curio.

"It will be remembered that it was left stranded on the shore when the tide receded, and tried to bury itself in the sand.

"It is understood that the specimen was being sent to London this afternoon.

A later story claimed: "It showed a flicker of life after being hauled ashore."

Could memories of this creature have been partly to blame for the later sightings of the Humber Monster? It was even rumoured locally that the "octopus" – actually a giant squid – may have been a man-eater.

"Curiously, a couple of years before the squid was washed up, a Hornsea schoolteacher was swimming off the coast when he was attacked by an unknown sea creature," said Mr Covell.

"At the time of the squid being washed up, it was posited that the creature could have attached the poor teacher, taking him to his death.

"Interestingly, after the find, and bizarre removal to a fish shop in Hessle Road, the squid was examined by British Museum of Natural History and the London Zoological Society, which confirmed it was a squid."

There was a bizarre final twist in the story of the Humber Monster. Thomas Sheppard, curator of Hull's museums, called the Mail when he "discovered" elephant-like footprints in the sand at Spurn Point. He called the Mail, which sent a reporter armed with a camera.

Our man soon saw the joke, however. Sheppard had created the footprints with his own elephant's foot waste paper basket.

Today, the offending foot can actually be seen on display at the Streetlife Museum.

As for the "monsters" that were put on display in Hull, they are all lost, even the giant squid.

"The creature was boxed, alcohol was poured into the box, and it was sent to London, where it has since been 'misplaced'," said Mr Covell. "All enquiries with the Natural History Museum and the British Museum had failed to find the giant squid's current whereabouts.

"One has to wonder if anyone is brave enough to suggest that it be returned for 2017 to be put on display in one of the ponds in Queens Gardens."


The city of Hull seems to have a history of weirdness surrounding it.  On top of the Humber river monster, Hull was witness to a strange UFO incident in 1801.

In June 1801, citizens of Hull saw an immense moon-like globe with a black bar across the centre of its face appear over the Humber river. For a moment it bathed Hull and the Humber in a mysterious blue light. Then, it split into seven smaller fireballs and vanished.

Was it a weather phenomenon, a comet, or Hull's first UFO sighting? To the people who witnessed it, it may even have seemed like a sign from God.

Local historian Mike Covell has conducted extensive research into local UFO reports. He said: "The common misconception is that UFO sightings began in America in 1947, when Kenneth Arnold saw some unidentified objects flying over the Cascade Mountains. The famous Roswell incident – when an alien craft supposedly crashed in New Mexico – happened the same year.

"But in Hull we can trace the phenomena back to June 1801, when Hull and the Humber was the scene of one of the earliest sightings of an unidentified flying object. It featured in the local and national press and science periodicals."

After its initial disappearance, the UFO then reappeared "looking like the face of the moon", before again splitting into five circular balls of light, according to a report in the Hull Packet newspaper.

    Mike said: "Whatever it was came from the south-west towards Hull. There was a great deal of discussion about it at the time. Could it have been a celestial object – a comet or a meteorite – or was it something else?"

It is not the only local case of its type to make headline news. Mike has built up an extensive collection of UFO clippings, from the 19th century to the present day.

In 1909, Hull became part of the so-called "Scareships" craze – sightings of unidentified airships, seen over a number of towns.

"In May 1909 these Scareships were witnessed over Hull, near Coltman Street, when a Mr Walker contacted the police and the press reporting what he had seen," said Mike.

"It flew over Hull and headed for the Humber but the next night other eyewitnesses reported the same thing, independent of each other, before Mr Walker's sighting had been reported in the press."

In 1913, the Scareships returned, arriving in Hull in February of that year before being seen all over the country.

Mike said: "The press reported that one had been seen hovering over Hull for an hour. Crowds of Hull residents, including policemen, stood and watched the object hovering over Paragon Station with red and white lights reported on the unidentified aerial object."

Of course, the sightings may simply have been test-flights of airships – unfamiliar technology to many at the time. UFO reports peaked in the 1940s, following the American sightings, and then again in the 1990s, probably because of the huge success of the X Files TV series.

One of the strangest cases was reported in 1967, when a UFO was said to have landed in a park on the Longhill estate.

"The story goes that on Wednesday, November 15, 1967, a group of Hull children saw a cigar-shaped craft descend and hover over the park, leaving burn marks on a hill," said Mike.

"Two police officers on duty visited the 'landing site' and noticed burn marks on the hill but no sign of any such craft. Initially they thought the children had been up to no good but their stories were very consistent.

"Other eyewitnesses across Hull described seeing a cigar-shaped object flying over the city, while another eyewitness claimed it was a helicopter from the Yorkshire Electricity Board. The matter was never fully resolved."

Source: Hull Daily Mail


Mysterious Light Draws Thrill Seekers to Michigan Forest
By John Carlisle

PAULDING, Mich. — “I can see it right now!” Bob Anderson said excitedly, staring into the trees.

It was a cool summer evening, and the 61-year-old from L’Anse, Mich., had brought a few of his fishing buddies down a dead-end road into the Ottawa National Forest to see the famous, mysterious phenomenon known as the Paulding Light, which is said to appear frequently at a remote spot in the woods in Michigan's western Upper Peninsula.

Those who’ve seen it say it’s a bright white light, glowing deep inside the woods, changing size and shape before fading into the darkness.

For half a century, the Paulding Light has been a legend in the Upper Peninsula. But it’s not easy to find. You have to take narrow U.S.-45 to Paulding, which is a tiny speck of a town near the Wisconsin border. Then turn down unmarked Robbins Pond Road — also known as the remnant of old U.S.-45 — which is now little more than a gravel road encroached on its sides by the creeping forest. About a half mile in, it dead ends at a guardrail overlooking a tree-filled valley where the former highway vanishes into the woods.

This legend spread by word of mouth, and later by TV shows about the paranormal, and people have enthusiastically speculated on what it could be ever since it was first seen. That is, until a few years ago, when a group of engineering students from a nearby university conducted experiments at the viewing site and claimed to have solved the mystery once and for all, in a fairly unexciting way.

But, despite the proof the students offered for their explanation, a lot of people still come to the forest in hopes of seeing the light for themselves. And a lot of them still refuse to give up their belief that it’s truly something magical.

The first recorded sighting of the Paulding Light was in 1966 when a group of high school boys reportedly saw it and told the local sheriff.

The official legend says the light comes from the swaying lantern held by the ghost of a railroad brakeman who died when he was crushed as he tried to stop an oncoming train from hitting railcars stalled on the tracks. This was logging country more than a century ago, and local residents say there were a number of railroads that ran through the forest and are now buried in the underbrush.

Some believe it’s the light of the train, which itself is now a ghost. Some claim it’s the distraught spirit of a grandparent looking for a lost grandchild with a lantern that needs constant relighting, the reason the light seems to come and go.

Others have speculated that it’s swamp gas. Or something related to the Northern Lights. Maybe even something extraterrestrial.

All along, doubters noted that the light looks rather similar to automobile headlights at a distance, and their location just happened to coincide where there’s a sight line to a highway. Plus, reports of the light began pretty much about the time that highway was constructed.

Curious visitors have flocked to this remote town, turning a hidden, abandoned gravel road into one of Michigan's most popular tourist spots.

“I get a million people that come looking for directions because they’re lost,” said Jason Lannet, the 43-year-old owner of the Paulding General Store, which sits at the town’s only intersection, a few miles north of the viewing area.

It got so popular that the U.S. Forest Service erected a big sign in the middle of the woods at the end of the road, noting that it’s the place to see the famous Paulding Light. “Please do not litter,” the sign asked politely.

Shedding light on the subject

In 2010, Jeremy Bos was an electrical engineering grad student at Michigan Tech in Houghton and was trying to find a project to engage the members of the Society of Photo Optical Instrumentation Engineers — a club for those who study optics. And about a dozen students joined him on a road trip to Paulding.

“When you tell them about how it’s a spooky ghost story, it got people really wanting to get involved,” said the 39-year-old, now an engineering professor at the school.

They brought a spectrograph and a telescope to the dead-end road, sent each other driving down the new highway while blinking their lights in a prearranged pattern, and recorded the results.

Every time the light appeared, one look through the telescope showed what sure looked like the headlights of oncoming cars, which could be seen clearly through the lens, sometimes with the distinct outline of the car coming down the road, which is about 8 miles away. The group even shot a video through the telescope so others could see, and posted it online. The flickering, they said, was caused when cars went over a hill.

Mystery solved, they announced.

Not everyone agreed. Bos still gets flak from people who refuse to give up their belief in the supernatural origin of the light. Some people say the light they’ve seen in the woods is too bright to be headlights. Some say it moves in ways no car can. And some, he’s found, don’t have a particular objection — they just want to keep believing.

“It’s the same with anything,” he said. “There is scientific evidence to disprove all sorts of things, and people still choose to believe the more fantastical, maybe because they view science as taking away the mystery of things and they want to hold onto some of that mystery.”

As Anderson and his buddies sat there, a round, flickering light suddenly appeared in the distance where the trees disappeared into the horizon. And it grew brighter as it lingered.

“See it!” Anderson yelled to his fishing buddies.

There was no missing this light. It was as bright as, say, a lantern.

The fishermen were among the first to see it that evening. But they weren’t the last. And like everyone else who’d show up that night, none of them believed the phenomenon was caused by headlights after witnessing it themselves.

“That’s pretty long lights for a car,” said 65-year-old Terry Nestle of Ithaca, Mich., squinting at the light in assessment. “That’s a long-lasting light. That’s not a car topping a hill.”

Nestle and a friend had come from downstate to the Upper Peninsula to explore the woods on their four-wheelers. They came roaring out of the valley, up to the gravel road, just in time to see the light glowing persistently through the trees.

“I just can’t see how that’s a car,” Nestle said.

Every few minutes, the darkness was interrupted by the beams of car headlights coming in from the highway and parking along the gravel road in long rows. It was ink black outside. Mosquitoes were swarming and biting. Yet none of that stopped a spontaneous party from coming together in the woods.

All of them had heard that someone had debunked the story of the lights. And each of them came out to see it anyway.

“Maybe you just gotta be a believer in the light, I think,” Anderson said. “You either believe it or not.”

Source: MSN


British Pub Claims Its Ghost Was Stolen
By Ed Mazza

A supernatural squabble has broken out between a British pub that dates back to medieval times and a Chinese artist.  

The Ye Olde Man & Scythe, a 765-year-old pub in in Bolton, England, claims it was haunted by the ghost of James Stanley, the seventh earl of Derby, who was beheaded outside the pub in 1651. The establishment even posted footage on Youtube that allegedly features images of the ghost in action.

But the ghost has... well... given up the ghost. He’s missing, and the pub owners are blaming Chinese artist Lu Pingyuan for stealing it.

Lu wrote on his website that he caught the ghost at the pub in “a symbolic act in reaction to the UK’s colonialist past, which saw great losses of both tangible and intangible cultural assets by other nations.”

Now the pub wants its specter back.

Owner Richard Greenwood told the Bolton News that he sent a letter to the artist calling for the ghost’s return:

    “I feel very strongly that James Stanley’s ghost should remain in Bolton and at Ye Olde Man and Scythe to preserve the natural order of things. That said I do believe that your exhibition should travel and be seen by many people around the world and I would like to contribute to this as long as at the end of your exhibition it returns home.”

Greenwood also told the newspaper that he’d contribute the chair reputed to have been the one Stanley sat in for his last meal if the artist would ensure the safe return of both phantom and chair.  

Lu, who said on his website that his stories “are partly authentic and partly fictional, often enigmatic and concerned with spiritual themes,” told the Bolton News the ghost agreed to be captured and used for the exhibition.

The ghost may return, Lu said, but only if it wants to.

“My original thought is that after the world tour of exhibitions, I will discuss with him and ask him whether he would prefer to stay like this, as a piece of art, or go back to the Ye Olde Man and Scythe,” the artist was quoted as saying.

On the other hand, the pub should be able to spare a ghost or two. HuffPost UK reported that it has been haunted by at least 25 spirits, including the earl supposedly seen in the 2014 video.

Source: Huffington Post

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