Archive for the ‘encounters’ category

“Serpentine Creatures” on MonsterQuest…

August 31, 2020

 

MonsterQuest was a show largely about cryptic creatures that debuted in October of 2007 and ran for three seasons before vanishing and being replaced by a series of inferior imitations.  The series was far better grounded than most, incorporating history of the supposed hidden life form under investigation, eyewitness accounts, and even commentary by actual scientists! 

I’m pleased to see that MonsterQuest is back for a fourth season on the History Channel as a series of specials, the first of which aired recently and concerned “Serpentine Creatures” or “Lake Demons,” essentially oversized, monster eels in North American lakes. 

In Lake Ontario in 1974, an eel fisherman was reportedly lifted out of the water by an eel that he could barely escape.  “Cressie” is said to exist in New Foundland, reportedly measuring 20 to 40 feet in length.  Then there’s the gold standard of North American lake monsters, Ogopogo, said to measure up to a whopping 50′ in length and to inhabit Lake Okanagan in Canada!  Ogopogo is said to have a snake-like body displayed in coils, and about seven sightings a year are reported by diverse people.

Pursuing Cressie, the MonsterQuest investigative team engineered a search that combined a helicopter team with a dive boat.  The helicopter crew spotted a thermal signature from the air, summoning then the dive boat to do a search.  The divers found sink holes in the lake, but encountered considerable silt obstruction.  They found a carcass that was hoped might be a juvenile specimen, but later scientific testing proved it to be nothing more than a deteriorated salmon…

While the tone of the episode was reminiscent of the old MonsterQuest series, it really wasn’t exciting to me personally, dragging at times to the point of becoming almost tedious. Giant eels really don’t float my boat, although they might if they were actually under it!  Hopefully episode 2 concerning Bigfoot will interject a little of the old series excitement…

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“Project Blue Book” A Winner!

January 17, 2019



Think of a real-life X-Files series set in the 1950’s, and you’ve got the gist of what this ten episode dramatic series on The History Channel is like…and boy, did they get the period atmosphere and flavor right, down to the home decor and guys going everywhere in hats!  In addition to careful and authentic detail, there is superb acting and engaging scripts based on actual Project Blue Book investigations.  Aidan Gillen known for Game of Thrones gives a wonderful characterization of J. Allen Hynek, a brilliant but underappreciated professor called in by the government basically to put cases to rest but finding that science can’t explain everything away. He is pressured by his assigned partner Air Force Captain Michael Quinn (Michael Malarkey) who in turn is pressured by military higher-ups to produce the desired investigation outcomes.  It’s all there, including shadowy “Men in Black” figures lurking in the background, and glimpses of a UFO hidden in a government hanger.  

Episode 2 concerned an investigation of The Flatwoods Monster, a close encounter of the third kind which occurred in West Virginia in 1952 and about which I blogged here way back in 2010.  The incident was previously highlighted in an episode of the late great series, MonsterQuest.  Anyways, in this Project Blue Book treatment Dr. Hynek explains away the alien sightings as being of an owl up in a tree so as to appear ten feet tall, but is beginning to doubt his own explanations as the episode ends and he is hustled off the case.  Future episodes will probably depict the continuing evolution of the character, and I look forward to seeing it, commending the series for your viewing…

 

“Hunted by Bigfoot” on “Terror in the Woods”

December 4, 2017

  

The S1/Ep2 episode of Terror in the Woods on Destination America was titled Hunted by Bigfoot, and was an hour-long account of a personal encounter with the legendary cryptic creature.  In Adams County, Ohio two men both named “Mike” and their son, Jordan, hunted for Bigfoot on their own, equipped with portable voice recorders and amplified listening devices.  On October 11, 2014 they drove deeply into the woods, initially setting up by a bridge where they mimicked Bigfoot howls in an effort to lure them in.  They successfully recorded howls, tracking them deeper into the woods and ending up in an isolated graveyard at night where they again set up.  Knocking on a tree with a baseball bat, they got a response perhaps sixty to seventy yards away.  Half an hour later, they heard a howl.  Footfalls and a whistling, aggressive howl were perceived coming in two different directions.  Coyote sounds were heard joining in, one apparently in distress.

The three decided to leave when the creatures appeared to be drawing closer.  They stopped for a deer on the road who appeared to be fixated on something in the woods.  Howls heard appeared to shift in front of them as if they were being pursued.  One of the men, recounting that he “was excited and scared at the same time,” saw a shadow or dark shape about six to seven feet tall standing by a tree which howled.  One of the men pulled his sidearm and went to the treeline where he heard a great inhalation of air followed by a deep, intense roar.  He fired a round into the air before they resumed their escape in the vehicle.  The son, Jordan, said that the night was life-changing…