Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Winona's Winged Wonder

A couple of years ago I headed up to Winona, Minnesota to investigate sightings of a Mothman-type beast said to be roaming around the area.

Certainly the most notable report came from a few locals who had heard a strange, years-old story of a giant, winged fiend perched atop this specific high peak that overlooks the town.

Monster-bird? Flying Humanoid? Spectral Pterodactyl?

I have no idea, and certainly the people telling the story were just as puzzled, too.

But, if you ever want to hit the road in search of winged monsters, Winona may be the place to go!

Meeting Bigfoot

Who says Bigfoot doesn't exist...???

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

High-Strangeness at Castle Ring

Located in the village of Cannock Wood, Staffordshire and inhabited around A.D. 50 by the Celtic Cornovii tribe, the Castle Ring is an Iron Age structure commonly known as a Hill Fort. It is 801 feet above sea level; its main ditch and bank enclosure is fourteen feet high; and, at its widest point it is 853 feet across. In other words, the Castle Ring is a fine example of what ancient man was up to thousands of years ago.

But beyond that, Castle Ring is a definitive "Window-Area," one filled to the brim with sightings of Bigfoot-type beasts, UFOs, spooks and specters, and even - back in the 1980s - a Gargoyle-type entity!

Why? I have no idea. Except to say: Window-Areas seem to pop up all over the world (a classic locale in the 1960s was surely Mothman/UFO/Men in Black-territory: Point Pleasant, West Virginia).

Doorways? Portals? Maybe. But doorways from where...?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Grapevine Weirdness

Without doubt, one of my favorite places to visit is Grapevine Canyon, which can be found at Newberry Peak in southern Nevada.

Known to the ancient Mojave Indians as Avikwa’ame, or Spirit Mountain, the area has long been associated with paranormal phenomena - including sightings of Thunderbird and Pterodactyl-type creatures.

And, it's adorned with spectacular petroglyphs that represent the story of the creation of the world, as told in years past by Mojave shamans.

I took these pictures on my last trip on a Sunday afternoon a few years ago, while visiting the area with UFO researcher Ryan Wood. If you ever get the chance, check it out!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Aurora Alien

One of the interesting things about living here in Arlington, Texas is that you're never far from things of a Ufological, Cryptozoological, or conspiratorial nature.

Drive east for 25-minutes and you can be at the infamous Grassy Knoll in downtown Dallas where JFK got whacked in 1963.

Go north for 45-minutes and you can be in the town of Denton, the site of the Goat-Man bridge.

And, head west for about the same amount of time and you will reach the little town of Aurora - the alleged site of a UFO crash way back in 1897, after the craft is said to have collided with the windmill of a certain Judge Proctor.

Yep, this is the old tale of the people of the town supposedly burying - in the local cemetery - the dead alien said to have been found at the scene.

Whenever I have friends in town, they always want to see the cemetery, and of course I'm pleased to oblige! After all, whether or not there's anything to the tale, it has become an undeniable piece of Ufological history and legend.

A small plaque aside, the people of Aurora have chosen not to champion and promote the affair in the fashion that one sees on driving into Roswell, New Mexico. Which may not be a bad thing...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Back in Black

Some time ago, I wrote a post at this blog - and included a relevant photo - on the huge wave of sightings of so-called "Black Helicopters" that were occurring right over our house.

Here's the link to the original post.

Eventually, even I got sick of photographing the damn things, such was their regularity.

And, when they went away for a while, I forgot all about it.

But, as of this past week, they are back again, and in force, too.

The above-photo was taken just after noon today, from our back yard.

Helicopters that just happen to be black in color...or black helicopters...?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Pondering on the Assassination

One of my favorite photos of my good mate, the Center for Fortean Zoology's Jon Downes. Taken last year at the infamous Grassy Knoll, Jon ponders on who the hell shot JFK...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Goat-Man Bridge

The Old Alton Bridge, in the Texan town of Denton - which is about an hour's drive from where I live - has a very strange legend attached to it.

It concerns nothing less than a monstrous Goat-Man, of the type that have been reported from a whole variety of other locations across the U.S.

Probably the most infamous of all Goat-Men is that which allegedly surfaced in and around Lake Worth, Texas in 1969. But, what of its nearby cousin in Denton?

Well, on several occasions now I've been to the bridge that the Goat-Man is said to haunt - and that's it in the photo above.

The tale is known all across town, too, unsurprisingly. For example, on my second trip there in 2009, I parked my car on the open piece of land next to the bridge - where a cop was also parked, munching on his lunch.

I knew he was watching me, as I got my digital camera and camcorder off the back-seat, and he shouted something like: "Hey, what are you doing?"

I replied: "Looking for the Goat-Man."

His brief response was along the lines of: "Okay, well good luck!

As for the stories, one legend says that, many years ago, wannabe devil-worshippers in the area inadvertently opened up a portal to some hellish realm that allowed the vile beast open access to our world.

And now, today, and as a direct result of this reckless action, the Goat Man has no intention at all of returning to the twilight zone from which he appeared; hence his deep desire to forever haunt the old steel-and-wood bridge at Denton.

An even weirder story maintains that the Denton Goat Man’s origins can be traced back to a resident of the town who, decades ago, slaughtered his entire family, and was quickly hanged as a punishment for his terrible crime.

As the local legend tells it, at the moment he was hung, the man’s head was torn from his body by the weight of his blubbery form; and, for months afterwards, his spectral body returned to the world of the living with only one goal in mind: to find itself a brand new head – which it supposedly did by wrenching off the head of an innocent goat that had the great misfortune to be in the area at the time.

And so, the Goat Man of Denton was born. Was this merely a tall tale? Of course, it was!

But that does not take away the fact that local folk, on many occasions, have reported seeing the nightmarish, hoofed one roaming around the woods behind the bridge.

In other words, whatever the real origins of Denton’s Goat Man, there does appear to be a significant amount of substance to what many merely perceive as an entertaining piece of local hokum.

Bridges, as anyone with even a basic knowledge of Forteana will know, have been linked with paranormal phenomena for years. There's the Man-Monkey of England's Shropshire Union Canal, which I have written about at this blog already.

And, of course, there is Mothman and the tragic events of December 1967, involving the huge Silver Bridge at Point Pleasant, West Virginia that collapsed into the Ohio River, drowning dozens.

Is it simply coincidence that bridges and bizarre entities go together hand-in-glove style? Maybe not.

In her 2006 book, Mystery Big Cats, author Merrily Harpur writes of mysterious locales that she calls Liminal Zones: “These are the transitional zones between one area and another – the kind of no-man’s-land traditionally regarded as magical.”

Harpur notes that such zones include streams, gates, churchyards and...bridges.

Coincidence or portals to other realms? Whatever the answer, take care next time you cross an old, mysterious bridge. You never know what might be lurking around...

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fat Cat!

It may just be a fat house cat, or perhaps something feral, but I suspect this is what was responsible for the animal killings in our yard. I photographed it last week on the front yard of the house opposite ours.

The reason I knew it was there: I was sat in front of my computer in my office and could hear a cat screeching, so I turned around to see through the window a regular-sized black cat miaowing at the top of its voice at this critter (which, I would estimate, was significantly larger than the black one), while laying flat-out on the ground, looking paralyzed with fear.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Monster of the Pool

During the summer of 2003, all hell broke loose when sightings began of a strange creature, or creatures, said to inhabit a sizable body of water in central England called the Roman View Pond (pictured left) – situated only a mile or so from where I grew up.

And, rather oddly, the location was within near-literal-spitting distance of where the infamous George Edalji lived - he of "horse-ripping" infamy who I have referenced in an earlier post at this blog.

And that Edalji's alleged crimes occurred 100-years prior to the sightings of the Roman View Pond "thing" only added to the strangeness. A monstrous anniversary indeed!

Local police, representatives of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), and the nation’s media all quickly descended upon the scene, as they valiantly and collectively sought to ascertain the truth about what, at a local level, fast became known to one and all as the "Cannock Nessie."

Of course, the facts were somewhat more sober and down to earth.

As my good friends Jonathan Downes and Richard Freeman - of the Center for Fortean Zoology - demonstrated to practically everyone’s satisfaction when they visited the area at the height of the sightings, the “beast,” as the more sensationalistic elements of the press tirelessly insisted on calling it, was likely nothing stranger than a three-foot-long Spectacled Caiman – a crocodilian reptile found throughout much of Central and South America.

It was the conclusion of Jon and Richard that the unfortunate creature had probably been housed locally by an unknown exotic-pet-keeper – that is, until it grew to a point where it became completely unmanageable, and was then unceremoniously dumped in the pool late one night and under the protective cover and camouflage of overwhelming darkness.

Almost certainly, Jon believed, the creature would not survive the harsh fall and winter months that were destined to follow.

And, sure enough, as the English weather changed for the worse, sightings of the mysterious beast came to an abrupt end.

To this day, Jon is convinced that the bones of the crocodilian lay buried deep in the muddy floor of Roman View Pond. And he's almost certainly correct.

Whatever it was, the "Cannock Nessie" of Roman View Pond is long gone.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween Antics...

This is what happened in the Redfern household on Halloween - Dana dressed as a hippie-chick and I put on my favorite Vampira t-shirt.

Then we sacrificed a few unfortunates, prayed to the beasts of the Underworld, and cast a dark spell on our enemies.

Well, no actually.

The first bit is correct, but the latter part is a bit of an exaggeration.

What we did do was to hang out, eat dinner, drink some good wine, and watch 3 Hammer horror movies from years long-gone - Dracula Has Risen From The Grave, The Reptile, and (best of all) Plague of the Zombies.

Plus, we saved all the chocolate for ourselves. The neighborhood kids had to do without. Fuck 'em.

Gunning For Trouble

In my previous post - The Werewolf of Stone - I made mention of the fact that back in the summer of 2003 I had found a rusted old pistol on a stretch of Texas beach.

"Can we see it?" asked one emailer. Yes, you can, and here it is!

Me and Dana had gone on holiday for a week - to a place called Crystal Beach - and one morning, after a particularly bad storm the night before, I was walking our Shar-pei dog, Charity, along the beach, stepping over all sorts of rubbish that had washed up on the beach as a result of the storm.

Imagine my surprise when I found the aforementioned rusty shooter! So, I picked it up, and brought it home. It now sits on one of my book-shelves.

I showed it to a friend in the military, who thought it was pretty old.

But, whatever type of pistol it is, and from whatever era it dates, it's still pretty cool to find something like this!

Who knows: maybe it played a significant role in some old, unsolved crime, and was dumped at sea to prevent the truth from ever surfacing?

Maybe, it was the second gun in the JFK assassination. Nah, that would just be too good to be true. Wouldn't it......?