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The Anomalist


August 1

According to local legend, something tall, hairy with the unfortunate visage of a goat stalks the shores of Greer Island near Fort Worth, Texas. Witnesses say it's attacked and destroyed cars before, but mostly the reports have just been sightings and also hearing the distinct and disturbing vocalizations of something completely unknown. Maryland has a Goatman too and Maryland's Goatman is half-man, half-goat bloodsucker, according those local legends and eyewitness stories. The mysterious Goatman seems to delight in one main pastime--terrifying teenagers out late at night. Goatman even has his own modern urban legend, the unusually well-written and pretty scary story about the Alabama Goatman who stalks a cabin full of frightened teenagers over a weekend.

37% of Americans think it's a good idea to attempt to make contact with an alien race and 27% think it's just a really bad idea. But, there's still plenty of folks who are onboard with the idea of finding an alien civilization and then basically poking it with a stick to get a response. In fact, some people even write letters to our galactic neighbors and why not? After all, there is actually a mailbox near Area 51 that is designated for "Alien" mail. Micah Hanks tells us all about Black Mail: The Secret Spot Where People's Alien Letters Arrive.

Several UFO researchers suspect that there's a common denominator between most all people who have close encounters/"unambiguous UFOs" as compared to those who have seen far off weird looking lights in the sky. That common denominator might just be that they are all contactees and/or abductees. In fact, one abduction researcher goes a step further and suggests that only contactees have the ability to even see these UFOs in the first place. Maybe not everyone can see UFOs but everyone can definitely see the distinctive patterns left in crop fields, like this Crop Circle in Germany attracts many visitors.

July 31

It's not often that we are genuinely stumped by photo or video evidence of ghosts, but this video footage shot by Sefton Paranormal Investigators at Stanley Palace in Chester, UK has us puzzled. After running the gamut of the usual suspects--dust, reflection, laser pointers, shadows or actual live human beings--we still see three shadowy figures that look like children that move and then disappear into thin air. Pay special attention the figure in the middle--it turns its head making a face briefly visible. Also noteworthy is the presence of very active orbs, which are mostly dismissed as dust or insects but are significant when paired with paranormal activity like this. It appears that ghosts are having a moment this week, as yet another haunted house is in the spotlight because of very strong paranormal activity. This time it's Whisper Estate in Mitchell, Indiana, where the owner doesn't fear the dead, despite the fact that several of them seem to have taken up residence in his large Victorian mansion. Whisper Estate is well-known for its paranormal activity. which centers around Rachel, the ghost of a girl who died in a fire in the late 19th century. Rachel shares her ghostly home with other more aggressive spirits who reportedly like to stomp, growl, bite, and push visitors to the mansion.

Dr Shuker, we need to talk. We admire your work and your research on cryptids is superb. But we must issue a complaint regarding your latest blog post. When someone wonders are giant spiders just a myth or possibly real? The answer is always just a myth. Even if the answer is actually possibly real. Even if you are standing 2 feet away from a spider "the size of a washtub" as you mentioned in this disturbingly comprehensive roundup of giant spider reports. The answer is always just a myth. Okay? Until we read this we were blissfully unaware that Shelob-esque spiders have been reported around the world. Thankfully, you do explain how the simple physiology of spiders make giganticism nearly impossible, but camel spiders still do actually exist which are big enough to be completely terrifying. In an arachnophobe's world, any spider bigger than a grain of sand is horrifying. In fact, even the spiders we can't see are horrifying, and now, thanks to you, the gigantic but hopefully imaginary spiders have moved onto our spider radar.

Rob Riggs is planning to pass down his decades of knowledge and experience to anyone who wants to learn more about the "Big Thicket-Lair of the Mysterious", a really weird area near Houston that not only may be home to Sasquatch but also the location of several other incidents of high-strangness like bright, white floating orbs. Meanwhile, Matt K of Bigfoot Crossroads presents both sides of the the great Bigfoot debate: Kill Or No Kill and asks a simple question, Why argue?

July 30

Northern Kentucky Bigfoot Research Group certainly has evidence of something large and humanoid lurking in the forests of Trimble County. It has weird DNA that indicates it's an "unknown primate". They've got eyewitness stories as far back as 1962 and footprint casts, but the group says they are not "driven to prove" Bigfoot exists because they already know the answer themselves. Mysterious Universe gives us a glimpse of the Cryptids of the Caribbean, focusing first on Cuba's weird and wonderful elusive (giant sharks) and mythic (flying dinosaurs) creatures. Meanwhile, Nick Redfern goes in search of an African monster that is part Bigfoot, part zombie, part gargoyle, and apparently part creepy, moving statues from Doctor Who. Moving along, Linda Godfrey gives us a Hartland Hairy Thing Update after she herself investigated the location in search of the 7-foot-tall wolfman that was sighted there earlier this month.

So says Valdo Vaher, a former Army sergeant in New Jersey. He claims he lost his VA job after he complained that his workplace was haunted. The Feds fired him because of that, he says. Well, that's just silly. Everyone knows the Feds aren't gonna fire you for believing in ghosts. They only do that if you believe in aliens...Perhaps Vaher should consider changing professions and chase ghosts for a living, as Callum Cooper does all across the UK. This Sutton man's quest to explain the paranormal has brought him a lot of attention, both from the living and the dead. In a missive from the Rhine Institute, Carlos Alvarado rounds up even more recent surveys of psychic experiences in part II of his series, giving us plenty of reading material and reference sources.

KMIR sends out a team of reporters to cover the upcoming annual "Contact of the Desert" retreat taking place next month. It' s a typical hammy and fluffy piece of a more gentle "lets point and laugh at the UFO freaks" variety, but it's always nice to get a glimpse of the incredible Giant Rock and the beautiful desert of Joshua Tree. Another UFO tourist stopping point seems to be the Ural Mountains in Russia, where UFO Enthusiasts drawn to the Ural Mountains reported supernatural activity and other high-strangeness which has been reported there since the 18th century.

July 29

This is a fascinating report and brings one of skeptics' favorite points up for discussion--is the power of suggestion strong enough to make someone believe they've had a paranormal encounter? A reporter and her cameraman recently visited a home in Hanover, Pennsylvania that is reported to be haunted by demons, not just ordinary run-of-the-mill ghosts. The homeowner provided some photos and also audio of EVP she'd recorded inside her home and told about physical attacks on her and her family, such as scratches and pinches. She even said she had been pushed down a flight of stairs. A few minutes into the interview, the cameraman admitted that he'd been scratched on the wrist and a little while after that, the reporter herself claimed to have been pinched and hit. A video taken at the time by the homeowner shows an orb and a shadowy hand next to the reporter. Another photo shows a black shadowy figure that the owner calls the 'shadow man'. Interestingly enough, the shadow man in the photo looks identical to Hat Man, an archetypal shadow person that has been reported worldwide by many people. He often appears wearing a cowboy hat, a fedora or a top hat. Although always creepy, Hat Man is not always considered a bad omen, but in this particular case it's hard not to think of it that way. Meanwhile, the much maligned orb is often derided and tossed aside as genuine evidence, but it's impossible not to link it to paranormal activity such as these Ghosts caught on camera at Brookside Theater. Chairs move without any visible assistance (and this would be hard to fake even with fishing line because other chairs would likely be affected, not just a single one in the middle of a row) and orbs flit around the area before and after. In much less believable ghostly (or in this case demonic) news, a Polish priest is troubled by an exorcism and claims "Exorcism on teenage girl left me bugged by texts from a demon". Yes, the very phone that the supposedly possessed teenage girl still has in her, uhh, possession...How gullible R U?!

First one was a fluke of nature, the second one was just plain weird and now this third one is making us start to wonder if we should all dig out our Bug Out Bags and consider heading for the hills before the snow hits the fan! Even scientists are beginning to look beyond natural explanations after admitting the Third Siberian Crater “Doesn’t Look Like Natural Formation”. And after reading that Mathematicians Say It’s Probable That Alien Probes Have Reached Earth, we're starting to wonder if they landed in Siberia.

UFOs are becoming masters of using social media to promote themselves, it seems. This particular bright, glowing orb attracted witnesses from all over Toronto, prompting a flurry of posts on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Instagram. UFO sightings with only one or two witnesses and no photos or video are quickly becoming anachronisms at this point. But wait, don't get too excited over that Toronto UFO--it looks like a local police officer explains the mystery behind mysterious lights hovering over North York, calling the blinking, multicolored lighted craft a quadcopter that was likely launched from a rooftop. He helpfully added the hastags, #shakeshead and #slownewsnight.

July 28

Paul Seaburn laments the fact that there are no giant sandworms, graboids or portals into hell appearing in remote Siberia, but says that the explanation for these mysterious holes is probably just as dangerously disturbing as any imaginary cause could ever be. And just as weird. Another earthly mystery is the "Hum" that's being reported world-wide and increasing steadily. We covered this report from the UK a couple of weeks ago, but now it's been updated to include dozens of reports from locals as the Report of mystery "hum" in Plymouth drums up a lively response. The Hum has become such a problem for some residents, they've visited their doctors for relief. The sound is not originating from their own heads though, as thousands have reported hearing it day and night without ceasing.

Sykes clears the air and sets the record straight after Matt Moneymaker publicly announced that Skyes' results were "meaningless scientifically" and that the testing was corrupt at the sample stage. Not true, says Sykes. He says he had 95 hair samples to test and none of them were from organizations, just individuals, and that some of these were just single hairs. Take a listen to this radio interview about J.C. Johnson's Terrifying Encounter With The Mogollon Monster, told by Johnson himself. The incident happened back in 1999 during a fishing trip in Arizona and involved "deafening" screams and rocks being tossed at their canoe. He doesn't use the term "terrifying" lightly...

Forget that it might be breeding, we still want to know what this creature is. The photo shows what looks like a cross between a cat and, well, a kangaroo. Is the Beast of Bodmin a big cat? Or is it something even more out-of-place? Meanwhile, Karl Shuker tells us of a creature even more outlandish--the the deadly Dodu of Cameroon-[Is it a] belligerent grub eating Bigfoot? And by grubs, Shuker isn't referring to slug-like creatures hiding under logs. He's actually referring to maggots inside of rotting carcasses, which the peculiar Dodu seems to have a taste for.

July 27

Our Alien DNA Daily Grail
We have met the aliens, and they are us! Okay, maybe not us but they might've tinkered with our genes just to say "Hi!" SETI's been coming up empty-handed for thirty years, and some mavericks in Icarus point out some regularities suggesting our DNA wants to express something more than the color of our eyes. Leave it to Greg Taylor to find an older article from 1979 suggesting the same thing, along with recent innovations to encode Wikipedia into an apple's genome. By no means should SETI shutter their giant dishes, considering how some Mystery Bursts Baffle Astronomers. Known as Fast Radio Bursts, they're a damned sight different from pulsars, and cynical debunkers are scrambling for any prosaic explanation that isn't aliens. I'm not saying it's aliens, but to eliminate the possibility is simply unscientific! So chill out with Joe Palca and his contribution to NPR's Weekend Edition, and entertain the prospect this could be an analogue to the Triangulum Transmission. Of course, some puny earthlings might get lucky enough for a close encounter of the third kind, much like the folks involved in a Mystery From Half A Century Ago. What Jason Offut doesn't note is how the event resonates with the Flatwoods Monster case.

We know some cave paintings (possibly) illustrate NDEs, along with the Tibetan Book of the Dead, and Plato's 'Story of Er' from his Republic, but this is the closest thing anomalists have to contemporary western science. While the account might be brief, it provides enough details to be judged as a near-death experience. Check out how it scores on the Greyson scale over at the journal Resuscitation.

Experience At 'Hell House' Phantoms And Monsters
Man, oh man. It's Hallowe'en in July and you can thank Lon Strickler and Steve Meyer. Steve was snapping photos around the ruins of St. Mary's College, a shell full of ghosts and goblins, discovering the most innocuous object can raise the hairs on the back of your neck. Next time, we hope he braves the building and lives to tell the tale. Not everyone gets off so easy, considering the story about Ghost Attacking A Photographer In A Pennsylvania House ‘Haunted’ With Demons and Spirits! We turn to Darcie Loreno who's on the scene of this breaking story. While most Scoobys and ghostbusters have Tobin's Spirit Guide, Nick Redfern, the most trusted name in necromancy, covers the corporeal in The Zombie Book. An essential tome to stuff in your bug-out bag, right next to your twelve gauge and shells. He prepares the reader for any eventuality, citing examples from the silver screen and legends from unspeakable tomes.

Back when television was still a thing, Sunday mornings were reserved for Davey and Goliath and talking head programs. What Tara MacIsaac presents here are three, sadly brief, clips from the Sundance Channel's Iconolcasts program featuring Mike Myers (party on, Wayne!), and Deepak Chopra. What's important about their meeting isn't synchronicity, but the importance of humor in all endeavors. If your interest's been piqued, go on and watch the full episode of Iconoclasts. You'll be glad you did.

July 26

Losing a pet is like losing a family member, and even for someone as conspicuously vapid as Miley Cyrus. She too experiences profound grief over the loss of her pup, Floyd, and hopes a medium can soothe her sorrow. Just beware, Tyler Johnson's heavy on snark, but light on details that could advance anomalistics. For example, the tough question, Do Animals Have ESP? Turns out dogs have Peak-in-Darien experiences, elephants are far more sensitive than their thick skins suggest, and kitties just want to come home to nap with their humans. Even if they ran out of those nine lives. With enough anecdotes, notes Tara MacIsaac by way of Dr. Michael Fox, you have a statistic. Elsewhere in celebrity news, there's a new grab for publicity as Megan Fox Announces 'Bigfoot Is Real And I Could Find Him.' Perhaps some enterprising anomalist could introduce her to Rick Dyer.

Just last week, everyone's been crawling out of the woodwork with crackpot theories regarding the tragedy of MH17. Taking his sweet time, in the style of his Appalachian upbringing, Micah Hanks shies from conspiracies while acknowledging some provocative coincidences, deepening the whispered conversations in the twilight language. Read it while you can, you might not be as lucky as Maarten De Jonge and have a second, or third, chance. Speaking of co-inky-dinks, The Professor connects two sightings, separated by time and space, with an astonishing correspondence featured in the eyewitness descriptions. Oh yes, those Coincidences Again, And Again, And...

Ah, the great names of astronomy. Galileo, Copernicus, and Shen Kuo. Wait, who? Tara MacIsaac knows, after thumbing through her translation of Dream Pool Essays, featuring an astounding, repeating sighting of a luminous object over medieval Yangzhou. Still not sold? Before there were a billion screaming Chinese, there's a 19th Century Account Of A UFO Flight Witnessed By Hundreds In China, immortalized upon an Asian analogue to the Bayeux Tapestry. Glancing at the eyewitness account, it's eerily reminiscent of the Kaifeng affair in 1990. Even if our ball of mud isn't being visited, surely there are alien contemporaries scanning their skies for company. Perhaps one day, some lucky tentacled horror will catch a glint of Earth when smoggy Beijing is facing its 'scope. It's one of Henry Lin's SETI hypotheses how Aliens May Be Easier To Spot If They Pollute. Then again, one sophont's pollution is another sophont's fresh air. Even if these beings are vaguely analogous to us, they might be intentionally pumping sulphur dioxide into their atmosphere to counteract their version of global cooling. Oh well, Paul Seaburn explains it a whole lot better so listen to the guy!

Leave it to MUFON's mover and shaker, Roger Marsh, getting his mitts on curiously compelling corroboration of the tall tales haunting Wright-Pat since '47. A graying Wikileaker shares only enough to tantalize, since the full truth would only precipitate panic among the populace. Next up, Roger's does his best impression of the late Casey Kasem with the Top UFO Cases From 2013 Identified By MUFON’s Science Review Board. Among these reports are tons of swell infographics illustrating the USA's UFO hot spots, the top ten types of sightings, and how 2013 compares to the last seven years of official denial. Still not sold that something might be haunting our skies? Sit tight, 'coz Fabrice Bonvin and pals are Interviewing UFO Researcher And Author Jacques Vallée. Jacques waxes eloquently on psi, cryptids, and other forteana in the context of flying saucers, along with bemoaning the constant bickering within the UFOlogical community.


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