Archive for the ‘speculation’ category

The Ozark Howler…

June 7, 2019

The Ozark Howler as profiled on In Search of Monsters (Season 1, Episode 10, the Travel Channel) ranges in the dense forests of the Ozark mountains, and is a large feline-type creature traditionally described as having black fur and horns, and equipped with razor-sharp claws and teeth. In some accounts, he also sports glowing red eyes, with which it can give a “death stare.”  In spite of this, there are no reports of a Howler attack on people!  As his name would suggest, the Howler has a cry described as unsettling, uncanny, and terrifying.  A family in Missouri has recorded this cry, and it can’t be identified.  Some speculate that the loud and focused cry is a form of communication between other members of the species, suggesting that there is more than one individual member.

Game camera images also exist supposedly of the creature, images which a wildlife expert could not identify.  In 2015, other photos of an unidentified, horned creature were also taken that could not be identified (below).  These images appear to be of a smaller, less terrifying creature, and some regard them to be photoshopped although the photographer adamantly denies this.

The history of the Howler gets interesting, with witches known to have been active in the Ozarks once upon a time, and one such witch reputed to have had a horned familiar.  Is the Howler then a supernatural entity created by witchcraft?!  None less than Daniel Boone in 1810 described shooting and wounding a black, horned creature.  More mundane speculation is that the Howler is a black mountain lion, leopard, or jaguar.  Winters in the Ozarks are judged to be too harsh for a leopard or jaguar to survive, however…

The Ozark Howler should not be confused with the Midnight Rambler, which was a Rolling Stones song not heard often enough. As my mind moves in strange directions, however, I can imagine myself visited by the Midnight Rambler, a terrifying late-night cryptid who arrives uninvited and engages in pointless conversation when you only want to sleep. “Just get to the point, dammit…either that or kill me and end my misery, OK?,” I pleaded. (What passed for a grin moved momentarily across The Rambler’s face. He fed off human misery, and had no intention of ending my suffering.)  “Let me tell you about what I had for lunch yesterday,” he began as I pounded my head against the wall, and prayed for the sweet release of death that would escape me…

 

Expedition Unknown: Hunt for the Yeti

April 6, 2019

Expedition Unknown featuring Joshua Gates can provide a quality presentation of paranormal topics and investigations that are anchored with both science and history, and attractively mounted.   I tend to pass on episodes involving such things as treasure hunts, while pursuits of legendary creatures have me on board.  In one such episode recently presented titled Hunt for the Yeti — Everest Yeti Hunt, Josh started his journey in Kathmandu, heading high into the Himalayan mountains of Nepal to obtain scientific evidence of the Yeti.  

Hopping from one village to another, Josh wound up in a monastery reportedly having a Yeti scalp in their possession that had been there for 200 years, and kept in a closed and locked case.  After back and forth negotiations with the temple high lama brokered by a monk, Josh was allowed to see and physically examine the scalp, and even remove a single hair for later analysis.  A second monastery was later visited that at one time had claimed to possess a Yeti hand, one digit of which was stolen to have been later followed by the entire hand.  Today, only replicas of the hand reconstructed from photographs may be seen.  While the hand has been lost, analysis of the finger conducted later reflected human DNA, and the hand itself is felt to have come from the body of a deceased Himalayan climber discovered in the past.

There are an abundance of human eyewitnesses to the Yeti, and Josh at times through interpreters talked to a number of them, including a farmer who claimed to have lost over a dozen yaks to the Yeti, their remains being found torn apart.  Searching through the surrounding woods, Josh and his team did find yak bones strewn about in the woods.  Josh himself thought that he saw movement and perhaps a shape beyond a stream, but found nothing by the time he forded the raging waters.  The team did collect some scat and hair from suspected Yeti “nests,” and hopefully will be picking up on this story in the future.  Until that time, there are a variety of eyewitnesses but no conclusive evidence of the Yeti’s existence…

 

“Strange Evidence” Predator Resurrection

February 10, 2019

The Strange Evidence series on the Science (SCI) channel is one of the better shows currently televised on unexplained phenomena and scientific speculation. If somewhat uneven and episodic, the shows have decent production values and offer commentary and opinions by scientists as well as observers of the topics under consideration.  It’s a mixture of the far out and things that just might be possible; I like it!

With each installment comprised of several segments, the S1/Ep10 offering included camera trap footage taken in Tasmania in 2016 of an animal unfamiliar to observers that may have been a Tasmanian tiger, a species thought to have been hunted to extinction in the 1930’s with the last specimen in captivity (above) having died in 1936. Actually a marsupial, the Tas tiger was wolf-like with stripes and a long, inflexible tail. Due to the low resolution of the film taken, experts consulted could not conclusively identify the animal present, and thought it might have been a quoll, which is a smaller carnivorous mammal common to Tasmania.

So is the Tasmanian tiger still out there?  I remain skeptical, but stranger things have happened…

“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…

 

Mysterious Creature Stalks Canadian Moose?

August 5, 2018


Here we go again…another sighting of an alleged unknown creature, this one supposedly stalking a moose!  The encounter occurred July 29th in Gaspesie in the Quebec area of Canada.  As usual, only a blurry, indistinct, out-of-focus image of the creature (circled) is available for perusal.  It is said to resemble Tolkien’s Gollum or perhaps the Rake.  The thing spotted was said to have moved in an inhuman fashion, shaped like a hunched-over demon and about six feet in height.

Skeptics say that the thing was most likely a splat on the window of the vehicle from which the picture was taken, and it simply appears superimposed from there by the treeline.  It is not known if the moose suffered any ill fate from the encounter.  I for one would be more excited if the moose had appeared accompanied by a flying squirrel named Rocky who wore aviator goggles…

Still Rockin’ the X-Files…

January 13, 2018

  
Hard to Kill” might have been a subtitle of the second installment of the new limited X-Files  season as Fox Mulder and Dana Scully eluded and thwarted deadly Soviet operatives when guided themselves by the artificial intelligence version of a deceased Lone Gunman who sought to be unplugged, Richard Langly (aka Ringo).

I like how the series has kept its paranormal core while expanding the two central characters into almost action-heroes.  I mean, when armed with only handguns against a legion of Soviets with automatic weapons who attacked them at home they killed two Soviets outright,  and not only eluded death  but despite being handcuffed together managed to escape!  These are two smart, savvy, and tough FBI agents who could probably be featured on recruitment posters for the agency.  The episode expanded upon real-life events, too, with the enigmatic Skinner referencing how the current administration in Washington didn’t like the FBI much, and had even been infiltrated by Soviets.  

Now deep in the bowels of a compromised FBI resided a supercomputer into which had been uploaded the virtual essences of Langly and hundreds of other people whose survival was deemed desirable for the dark times to come.  A computerized existence was abnormal and apparently hellish, however, for Langly who wanted the program ended and his virtual existence expunged.  Mulder and Scully now as renegade agents were ultimately able to penetrate the forbidden FBI complex, with Mulder going mano-a-mano against a younger agent (and besting him) while Scully zaps the computer.  Plot twist, however; the bad guys made a backup system, so we may be hearing from the virtual Lone Gunman again.  I’d like that…

The notion of uploading an individual’s life experiences and general personality attributes to a computer program to simulate that person in life is within the fringes of a possible future reality, and may someday provide a kind of worldly immortality while allowing relatives to interact with a version of a departed loved one without requiring the downside of a zombie…I want to believe! — And hooray for the FBI and two of its coolest agents!

Bigfoot and the Catacombs

December 3, 2017

The S1/Ep6 episode of Terror in the Woods featured an encounter with a cryptid and later a ghost, haunting, or restless spirit encounter.  First considered were the adventures of Rodney and fellow campers who were settled in at a campsite in Red River Gorge, Kentucky when a large rock landed near them, followed by others.  Guttural vocalizations then came towards night as well as tree-knockings, sounds reportedly generated by Bigfoot creatures hitting limbs against trees.  The campers heard bipedal footfalls, and Rodney saw the outline of a large creature, which shunned flashlight beams and began throwing tree limbs.  Later into night, camping pans were knocked over, rummaging sounds were heard, and Rodney despite having only a machete exited his tent to see a Bigfoot creature scraping a pan, presumably scavenging food.  The creature stood six to seven feet tall, and had broad shoulders and long arms.  This Bigfoot made long, angry vocalizations as it made off.  The other campers with Rodney were professionals who did’t want to speak of the incident.  Rodney, however, continued to wander the woods in later times with a camera and firearm in search of the creature.

The “Catacombs” segment took place in Savannah, Georgia.  Ashley and Jess with others climbed down into the catacombs which were located near an abandoned hospital that was used as a quarantine location for yellow fever patients in the late 19th century.  Some of the unfortunate patients had tried in the 1800’s to escape the grounds via the catacombs while others were simply contained there.  Anyways, the group held a seance in a large chamber of the catacombs and heard a large stone shatter on the wall.   The last person in the group to depart the catacombs is reported to have felt a suctioning force on her body which pulled her back into the underground chamber.  A second effort to climb up and out was successful, however.  It was related that guards were stationed in the catacombs in the past to prevent patients from escaping them, with the inference being that they had encountered one of these spirits, still trying to perform their duty…